Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Report: US strategic bomber spending totals $58B through 2024 - 7/31/2015 - Flight Global

Report: US strategic bomber spending totals $58B through 2024 - 7/31/2015 - Flight Global: The US government expects to spend $33.1B building its next-generation strategic bomber over the coming decade and a further $24.4B upgrading the Northrop Grumman B-2 and Boeing B-52, according to a 30 July Government Accountability Office report.

The figures come as the US Air Force prepares to award a development contract for the Long-Range Strike Bomber to either Northrop Grumman or a Boeing-Lockheed Martin team. An announcement is expected in late August or early September and could be worth upwards of $80B to the winner for 80 to 100 new bombers.

The 10-year spending projections are accurate as of May 2014, but represent the most comprehensive bomber figures made public so far.

By comparison, the Congressional Budget Office reported in January that strategic bomber spending would total $40B through 2024, $18B less than the government estimate.

GAO’s numbers come from its analysis of the Pentagon and National Nuclear Security Administration’s joint 2014 forecast of nuclear weapons spending, and the LRS-B total was not reported in 2013.

The report shows that the total estimated cost of sustaining and modernising the nuclear force rose 40% in 2014 compared to the 2013 projections, partly because the new sum includes LRS-B and the air force’s replacement for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, called the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD).