Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Lawmaker Demands Answers on LRS-B Cost Discrepancy

Lawmaker Demands Answers on LRS-B Cost Discrepancy: Rep. Jackie Speier is demanding answers after the US Air Force reportedly botched estimates for the 10-year cost of its next-generation bomber.

The California Democrat sent a letter to Air Force Secretary Deborah James on Monday morning decrying “massive discrepancies” between this year and last in 10-year cost estimates for the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), and demanding an explanation by Sept. 30.

Last year, the Air Force estimated costs for the LRS-B from fiscal years 2015 to 2024 at $33.1 billion. This year, the service pegged costs for FY '16 to FY '25, a similar 10-year period, at $58.2 billion. This is a 76 percent increase, Speier points out in the letter — a change the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on oversight and investigations calls “alarming.”

“This sudden 76 percent increase in estimated cost is alarming, because it raises questions about the management of a crucial program that lacks transparency, on which we cannot afford serious cost overruns, development errors, and reduced production numbers that would deprive the United States of one of its core military capabilities,” Speier wrote.