B-2 Bomber:

Status of Compliance With the 1992 and 1993 Defense Authorization Act

NSIAD-93-46: Published: Dec 4, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 4, 1992.

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GAO reviewed the B-2 program, focusing on the: (1) Department of Defense's (DOD) progress in demonstrating specific B-2 performance characteristics; and (2) status of the continuing long lead production effort on five B-2 aircraft DOD intends to procure.

GAO found that: (1) the flight test program is behind the schedule the Air Force planned in 1989; (2) the latest Air Force schedule, approved in 1991, extended flight tests to August 1996 because of problems during flight testing and the late delivery of flight test aircraft; (3) the fourth development aircraft was delivered 12 months behind the original schedule; (4) DOD will not be able to complete demonstrations needed to satisfy provisions of the fiscal years 1992 and 1993 DOD Authorization Act based on June 1992 test schedules for the B-2 aircraft or submit a certification of compliance until mid-1993; (5) DOD will certify compliance without actual flight tests of integrated offensive and defensive avionics on B-2 aircraft; (6) DOD will not be able to demonstrate a high degree of confidence in mission accomplishment for all critical performance characteristics until offensive and defensive avionics are flight tested; and (7) although the act restricted obligating fiscal year 1992 funds to procure the 16th aircraft, Congress has appropriated funds to initiate and continue long lead efforts for five B-2 aircraft.

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