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 C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman

Hanscom working to provide 5th, 4th gen aircraft common tactical picture

Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle taxis for takeoff on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Sept. 16, 2014. The Space, Aerial and Nuclear Networks Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is worki...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller

Australian F-35 lands at new home

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller The first Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II jet arrives at Luke Air Force Bas, Ariz., Dec. 18, 2014. The jet’s arrival marks the first international partner F-35 to a...
 




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>