B-2 Bomber:

Early Radar Signature Tests

NSIAD-91-188: Published: Apr 15, 1991. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1991.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) early radar signature and flight-worthiness tests of the B-2 bomber aircraft.

GAO found that: (1) the early testing adequately measured the B-12 aircraft radar signature under the limited conditions planned and tested; (2) flight tests for the second B-2 adequately demonstrated some basic flight characteristics beyond those accomplished in earlier testing; (3) DOD did not intend the initial early development tests to demonstrate full B-2 capabilities, but only provide preliminary indications of its radar signature; (4) the tests did not account for the daily operational effects on the equipment for any length of time; (5) the tests adequately met the objectives of partially measuring and assessing the aircraft's radar signature, and demonstrating the aircraft's flight worthiness; (6) testing complied with the conditions established in the full performance matrix for the early tests; and (7) the flight test program did not progress as planned, since test aircraft deliveries were both late and incomplete.