Strategic Bombers:

Early Retirement of B-52G Bombers

NSIAD-87-12BR: Published: Oct 8, 1986. Publicly Released: Nov 7, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided the estimated budget savings which would occur if the Air Force: (1) retired all of its B-52G bombers; and (2) transferred all of its Strategic Air Command's (SAC) FB-111 bombers to its Tactical Air Command (TAC).

GAO found that: (1) the retirement of all 167 B-52G bombers earlier than planned could reduce future costs by about $6 billion; (2) these cost reductions, mostly in annual operation and maintenance costs, would accrue from 1989 through 1996; (3) the savings would not be sufficient or available in time to acquire additional B-1B aircraft; (4) the retirement of all B-52 aircraft in 1989 would result in a reduction, until 1996, in the number of nuclear weapons the bomber force could carry and eliminate the dedicated conventional bomber force the Air Force planned for the late 1980's; and (5) the transfer of SAC FB-111 aircraft to TAC would merely shift these costs within the Air Force and not result in savings.

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