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Tue, Apr 28, 2015

House Armed Services Committee Would Cut KC-46, LRS-B

Draft Budget Takes $460 Million From Next-Generation Bomber Program

A draft military budget which will be discussed by the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) this week would cut $460 million from the Pentagon's next-generation bomber program that would lead to a replacement to the aging B-52 and B-1 fleets.

Defense News reports that it obtained a copy of the chairman's markup budget that recommends the cut to the Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program, which is considered one of the top priorities for the Air Force. A source told Defense News that the cut was requested by the bomber program office as part of a "readjustment" which followed the President's budget request.

There were few specifics about the cuts, as the LRS-B is part of the "black" budget for military research and development.

When it goes into production, the LRS-B is estimated to cost about $550M per airplane, with a production run of 80-100 aircraft. Critics of the program say that the per-airplane cost likely will be higher.

Other programs cut in the HASC markup budget are the "sixth generation" fighter that would be a follow-on to the F-22. That program, which is still in the research and development phase, was reportedly cut by $4.9 million.

The KC-46 tanker program R&D budget has also been slashed by $200 million due to what was described as a "program decrease."

(B-52 pictured in file photo)

FMI: www.af.mil

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