B-2 Bomber:

Acquisition Cost Estimates

NSIAD-93-48BR: Published: Feb 10, 1993. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated cost estimates and the status of funding for the Air Force's B-2 bomber, focusing on the differences in B-2 acquisition cost estimates for different quantities of aircraft.

GAO found that: (1) estimated costs for B-2 acquisition were difficult to determine due to development schedule delays, procurement schedule delays, funding restrictions, and incomplete and preliminary information; (2) by reducing the number of aircraft to be procured from 75 to 20, the Air Force could realize a $19.5-billion reduction in costs, including an offset of $2.3 billion in development cost increases, a $21.6-billion decrease in procurement costs, and construction cost reductions of about $204 million; (3) development costs would increase for retrofitting accepted aircraft and acquiring support equipment; (4) the Air Force used differing information to develop its cost estimate for 15 aircraft, causing the cost estimate to be higher and less precise; (5) to procure only 15 aircraft, the Air Force would have to terminate the long-lead effort for 5 of the 20 aircraft, and costs would increase as progress continued toward the 20-aircraft goal; and (6) of the $35.2 billion Congress appropriated for the B-2 program, $20.5 billion was for development, $14.3 billion for procurement costs, and $436 million for military construction.

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