Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bomber Award Kicks Off Interservice Fight for Funding

Bomber Award Kicks Off Interservice Fight for Funding: The Pentagon’s decade-long search for a next-generation bomber ended last week, but now a fight is brewing over how the new bomber fits into the Pentagon’s long-term spending blueprint.

As all of the service branches brace for a tsunami of crucial — and costly — modernization programs next decade, top brass will have to reach deep into the Pentagon’s coffers to find cash for the Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B).

Unless Congress stands up a separate fund solely to bankroll the new plane, the Air Force is stuck paying for the LRS-B out of its own shallow pockets. If the bomber is forced to compete with other service priorities for funding, smaller programs may fall through the cracks.

Winning contractor Northrop Grumman has already launched a campaign to pressure lawmakers to back the program, and experts are urging the Air Force to publicly push for an LRS-B slush fund. But for now, it is unclear how the Pentagon will pay for the bomber.