B-2 Bomber:

Status of Efforts to Acquire 21 Operational Aircraft

NSIAD-97-11: Published: Oct 22, 1996. Publicly Released: Oct 22, 1996.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the Air Force's progress in acquiring B-2 aircraft, focusing on: (1) recent B-2 bomber program changes; (2) program funding and current cost estimates; and (3) progress achieved in the flight test program, production, and modification efforts.

GAO found that: (1) the Air Force is confident that the program, as currently defined, can be completed within the estimated cost of $29,160 million (1981 dollars), the equivalent of $44,785 million in then year, or actual dollars to be budgeted and spent; (2) however, there remain certain cost and schedule risks in the B-2 program; (3) these risks are primarily associated with: (a) completion of flight testing by July 1, 1997, as scheduled; (b) completion of modification programs designed to upgrade B-2s to the block 30 configuration within cost and schedule predictions; and (c) the potential for additional modifications as a result of tests that are being accomplished concurrently with modifications of aircraft to the block 30 configuration; (4) the Air Force's current estimated cost includes costs for the 20 aircraft program formerly limited by the Congress, as well as costs for activities added by the Congress in fiscal years (FY) 1995 and 1996; and (5) about 96 percent of the estimated cost of $44,785 million has been appropriated through FY 1996.

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