Strategic Bombers:

Need to Redefine Requirements for B-1B Defensive Avionics System

NSIAD-92-272: Published: Jul 17, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided an unclassified summary of a classified report on the B-1B bomber, focusing on whether Congress should provide additional funds for the Air Force's CORE program to upgrade the ALQ-161A defensive avionics system.

GAO found that: (1) it is unnecessary to continue testing of the CORE-configured ALQ-161A to determine whether to implement the program; (2) implementing the CORE modifications would provide similar operational capabilities to, and offer limited survivability improvements over, the currently fielded defensive avionics system; (3) additional testing of the CORE system would only be to demonstrate that the Air Force resolved problems with the maintenance diagnostic system after identifying potential fixes; (4) the CORE system should not be implemented, even if the maintenance diagnostic capabilities are fully demonstrated, until the ALQ-161A design can support future B-1B operational requirements; and (5) the Air Force does not have reasonable assurance that future B-1B electronic requirements will be met if the CORE program proceeds before the Air Force's planned review of the B-1B upgrade program.

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