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.


 
 

 
Army photograph by Charles Kennedy

New CT scanner finds diverse, important uses for researchers

Army photograph by Charles Kennedy Turning a now-standard tool for medical diagnostics and therapeutics to a host of new applications, the U. S. Army Research Laboratory’s Survivability/Lethality Analysis Directorate rece...
 
 
Army photograph by David Kamm

Chow from a 3-D printer? Natick researchers are working on it

Army photograph by David Kamm Natick food technologists already believe they serve up the best food science can offer. Now they are working to incorporate 3-D printing technology into foods for the war fighter. Army researchers...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Alexander Guerrero

Weapons School students get first look at upgraded B-1s

Air Force photograph by A1C Alexander Guerrero Maj. Brad Weber checks a screen that displays diagnostic information May 7, 2014, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The IBS is a combination of three different upgrades, which includ...
 

 
arnold-a10

A-10 ‘Warthog’ tested in 16-T

Air Force photograph A model of an A-10 Thunderbolt II, more commonly known as “The Warthog” due to its unique shape, recently underwent a pressure-sensitive paint (PSP) test in Arnold Engineering Development Complex’s 16...
 
 
Untitled-1

F-15E takes first flight with new radar system

Air Force photograph by Jamie Hunter/Air Force graphic by TSgt. Samuel Morse The first 389th Fighter Squadron F-15E Strike Eagle received a Radar Modernization Program upgrade at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho in June. The...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of Alan Walters

45th Space Wing launches ORBCOMM satellites

Photograph courtesy of Alan Walters The 45th Space Wing supported Space Exploration Technologies’ successfully launches a Falcon 9 rocket carrying six second-generation ORBCOMM communications satellites July 14, 2014, fro...
 




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>