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What Will New Bomber Squadrons Mean For Air Force? 75 More B-21s?

Posted by Colin Clark on


So reporters kept pressing Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff David Goldfein for answers to the reasonable question: How will the Air Force afford 74 more squadrons with all the people, planes, satellites, and infrastructure needed to make them useful?

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SecAF Says B-21 ‘On Schedule’ As China Rises To Air Force’s Top Threat

Posted by Colin Clark on


PENTAGON: It’s explicit: China is the Air Force’s “pacing threat.” That was the clearest message from Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who met with the press the day after the Pentagon budget’s release. China’s rapid modernization is driving the Air Force to respond, Wilson said, though she declined to detail any of the service’s efforts… Keep reading →

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CBO’s Nuclear Weapons Cost Estimate Is Way Too High ; Hint — Bombers

Posted by Todd Harrison on


Todd Harrison is one of the best defense budget folks around. Like many budget weenies (that’s the technical term) he really cares about how people come up with cost estimates because the underlying assumptions for them can lead in radically different directions. One example is the recent estimate on how much the next generation of… Keep reading →

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The New U.S. Nuclear Triad Will Be A Bargain

Posted by Rebeccah Heinrichs on


Is America’s nuclear arsenal too expensive? The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that concludes the Trump Administration’s plans to operate, sustain and recapitalize the aging U.S. nuclear arsenal over 30 years would cost the American people $1.2 trillion in constant dollars. The report explains ways in which delaying or cancelling the recapitalization of parts of… Keep reading →

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Coatings Plant Offers Hints On B-21 Production

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: A little Pentagon contract announcement offers the latest indication of the course of the secretive B-21 program. The announcement last Tuesday of a $36 million modification to an existing contract is the key. It’s for a new 45,900 square foot “coatings facility” at Northrop Grumman’s facility at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA.… Keep reading →

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Keep The Pilots For B-21: Former B-2 Fliers

Posted by Colin Clark on


CAPITOL HILL: The B-21 will be America’s next bomber and the Air Force says it will be “optionally manned.” That’s fine, say some of America’s most experienced B-2 pilots. Just keep the pilots. You’ll want them for those rare moments when everything goes wrong and a human being needs to take the controls and make… Keep reading →

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How Many B-21s? Answer Pending, Says AF Global Strike

Posted by Colin Clark on


CAPITOL HILL: Gen. Robin Rand, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, made it pretty clear he’d like more than the 100 B-21 bombers to which the service is currently committed. He would probably like close to half again that many. Rand told a Mitchell Institute breakfast that the US currently has 156 bombers “in our… Keep reading →

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Presumptive CSAF Goldfein’s Top Five: Mackenzie Eaglen

Posted by Mackenzie Eaglen on


The Senate Armed Services Committee approved the nomination of the new Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein, today by voice vote. He is almost certain to get full Senate approval soon. This will round out the rare and noteworthy turnover of the entire slate of Joint Chiefs over the past year, including the National… Keep reading →

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B-21 Costs Must Stay Secret, Insists Air Force RCO Head

Posted by Richard Whittle on


The classified costs of the B-21 bomber should remain secret because revealing the figure would be “too insightful for the adversaries to get a sense of what they can do (and) what the U.S. can do in building that next generation bomber,” the official in charge of the program said Tuesday. The bomber’s Engineering and Manufacturing… Keep reading →

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Presumptive Air Force Chief Appears To Shift On B-21 Cost Info

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


UPDATED: Adds Air Force Statement  WASHINGTON: The administration’s nominee for Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. David Goldfein, came before the Senate Armed Services Committee this morning promising to improve Air Force relations with Congress. And Goldfein delivered, to the point of apparently agreeing with a pleased SASC chairman John McCain that the service should… Keep reading →

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