Defense

November 15, 2013

Welsh: Air Force will resist requirements drift in new bomber

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

The Air Forces long-range strike bomber program continues to ramp up, and senior leaders are determined that the platform will come in on budget and on time, the services top officer told the Defense Writers Group today.

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III told the group that any change to the requirements for the long-range strike bomber program must go through him.

And I dont intend to approve anything until I am absolutely convinced that it makes sense to change the requirement, he added.

The bomber program is needed, Welsh said, noting that the newest B-52 Stratofortress entered the Air Force fleet in the early 1960s. The last B-1B Lancer bomber was delivered to the Air Force in 1988, and the last B-2 Spirit stealth bomber entered the inventory in 2000.

The important thing is we need a bomber fleet in case — God forbid — we have to conduct a large-scale campaign, Welsh said. We need a sufficiently sized bomber fleet to do that.

Current plans call for the new aircraft to enter the inventory in 10 years. The Air Force is spending $440 million on the program this year, but that cost will rise to $1 billion next year. This increase enables the Air Force to plan how to integrate the bomber and its systems, Welsh said.

The aircrafts operational capabilities will remain secret.

Cost is an independent variable on this playing field, because we have to field this platform, Welsh said.

At a cost of $550 million per aircraft, he added, we can field a meaningful platform that will be effective in the future warfight.

The bomber will not feature a leap in technology, the general said, but its going to be a very capable machine.

What we dont want to do is reach into some level of technology that is impractical, he added. Thats where prices start getting out of control.

The Air Force must resist requirements drift, Welsh said, and it will not keep adding to the requirements base for a platform without proven technology.

We are not going to go there, he told reporters.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines September 2, 2014

News: Debris yields clues that pilot never ejected - When investigators were finally able to safely enter the crash site of an F-15C “Eagle” fighter jet on the afternoon of Aug. 27, they made a grim discovery that concluded more than 30 hours of searching – the pilot never managed to eject from the aircraft.  ...
 
 

News Briefs September 2, 2014

Pentagon: Iraq operations cost $560 million so far U.S. military operations in Iraq, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, have cost about $560 million since mid-June, the Pentagon said Aug. 29. Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the average daily cost has been $7.5 million. He said it began at a much lower...
 
 

Unmanned aircraft partnership reaches major milestone

A team of research students and staff from Warsaw University of Technology have successfully demonstrated the first phase of flight test and integration of unmanned aircraft platforms with an autonomous mission control system. The demonstration marks a significant milestone in a partnership between the university and Lockheed Martin that began earlier this year. This is...
 

 

Raytheon delivers first Block 2 Rolling Airframe Missiles to US Navy

Raytheon delivered the first Block 2 variant of its Rolling Airframe Missile system to the U.S. Navy as part of the company’s 2012 Low Rate Initial Production contract. RAM Block 2 is a significant performance upgrade featuring enhanced kinematics, an evolved radio frequency receiver, and an improved control system. “As today’s threats continue to evolve,...
 
 
Courtesy photograph

Two Vietnam War Soldiers, one from Civil War to receive Medal of Honor

U.S. Army graphic Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins and former Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat will receive the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam. The White House announced Aug. 26 that Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. A...
 
 

Sparks fly as NASA pushes limits of 3-D printing technology

NASA has successfully tested the most complex rocket engine parts ever designed by the agency and printed with additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, on a test stand at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. NASA engineers pushed the limits of technology by designing a rocket engine injector – a highly complex part that...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>