The Air Force on Friday announced it has chosen Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma to maintain and
In a release, the Air Force said the Air Logistics Complex at Tinker, part of the Air Force Sustainment Center there, has the knowledge and expertise to handle the Northrop Grumman bomber’s depot maintenance.
“With a talented workforce and decades of experience in aircraft maintenance, Tinker AFB is the right place for this critical mission,” Secretary Heather Wilson said in the release.
Robins Air Force Base in Georgia and Hill Air Force Base in Utah will support Tinker on maintaining, overhauling and upgrading the B-21, the Air Force said. The bases will also be equipped to rebuild parts, assemblies or subassemblies of the bomber, and test and reclaim equipment when needed to activate depots.
Edwards was chosen for the B-21′s Combined Test Force because it is home to the Air Force Test Center. That center handles the Air Force’s testing and evaluation to make sure aircraft and equipment meet the service’s standards.
“From flight testing the X-15 to the F-117, Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert has been at the forefront of keeping our Air Force on the cutting edge,” Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said. "Now, testing the B-21 Raider will begin another historic chapter in the base’s history.
The Air Force expects to buy at least 100 B-21s, and each aircraft is expected to cost about $638 million. The service expects to stand up the first B-21 operational units around 2025.
The B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber program recently completed a developmental review and remains on schedule, the top civilian of the
"Our most recent review was last week, and the B-21 is on schedule and performance," Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said during the forum in Simi Valley on Saturday.
While Wilson noted the development process is in its early stages, "We are pleased with how that program is going forward," she said.
Officials have said the Northrop Grumman-made B-21 is expected to reach its
"It's a good example of how to run a major acquisition program well and why delegation of authority back to the services … works to get high quality and to do so quickly," Wilson told reporters after her panel discussion.
In recent budgets, the Air Force has received more acquisition authority from Congress to push decisions down to program officers so they can spend more time managing their designated projects "than managing the Pentagon," Wilson has said.
Wilson and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen "Seve" Wilson touted the service's progress
It's about the "speed of relevance," the vice chief said Saturday of the B-21. "We empowered people with the right authorities and responsibility, and they produce great capability and that's why they're successful."
Last month, the service announced it had selected
The announcement was a new sliver of public information in the longstanding, highly classified program to create the Air Force's next long-range stealth bomber, known as the Raider.
Northrop's Melbourne, Florida, facility is the site of the Raider design and development headquarters.
Currently, the B-21 is in its
The Air Force awarded Northrop the contract,
Total program costs are
The first B-21 is expected to reach initial operating capability in the mid-2020s.
The Air Force’s super-secret new bomber
The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record on the program, offered no further details about the status of the
During the Reagan National Defense Forum on Dec. 1, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters that the program had recently accomplished a key review, although it was not immediately clear whether it was the critical design review.
She said that the program continued to move forward
"It's a good example of how to run a major acquisition program well and why delegation of authority back to the services … works to get high quality and to do so quickly," Wilson said.
The Air Force has only sparsely released information about the Northrop Grumman-produced bomber, and details about the exact status of the plane’s development — such as whether a prototype exists or has been flown — continue to be shrouded in mystery.
The service plans on buying at least 100 B-21s, but airpower advocates are hopeful that the requirement will grow in light of the Air Force’s stated desire to grow its number of bomber squadrons from 9 to 14 by 2030.
The program is managed by the service’s Rapid Capabilities Office, a small shop separated from the Air Force’s larger acquisition apparatus that is able to use special authorities to more quickly develop and field new technologies.
Earlier this year, RCO head Randall Walden acknowledged that office has begun component testing and put a subscale model of the bomber through wind tunnel tests.
“From my perspective, this is about producing 100 bombers, not about just getting through development,” he added. “Development is a phase that leads into the fielding of this critical need. So my focus is getting the production started, but I can’t do that until we understand what the design looks like.”
well the current F-X funding appears to be low in comparison to the current LRSB funding based on your own post LOLAnd if you assume $2.5B to$3B for FY24 and FY25, you roughly get the number FG posted.
However, if we're going down /this/rathole, may I suggest we move it to the LRSB thread?
I posted here asking if you thought it was underfunded vs expectations as a comparison to the NGAD.
The LRSB started with a baseline of $300M (+/-) annual through FY14. Then a jump to $900M FY15. When we had a jump to $1.2B and a contract award. Since then it has grown to $1.3B FY17, $2B FY18, $3B FY19 continuing until FY23 when it falls to $2.4B. FY24 is when the IOC is supposed to be done for the B-21. Supposed to be.
NGAD goes from $23M in FY17 to $294M FY18 to $500M FY19. FY20 is projected to be $1.3B. FY21, $1.9B. FY22, $3B. FY23, $2.9B.
That pattern ought to look really, really familiar. The NGAD just jumps up faster, probably because they are not planning on shifting gears like the LRSB had to. Based on the budget numbers, I'd guess a contract award in FY21, possible, but not likely to be in FY20.
Anyone can browse through the budget here:
As a reference, the US Navy's Next Gen Fighter Budget just sorta dorks around at $5M:
Now as for what the aircraft will be, I'll get to tomorrow. Getting a bit tired and its affecting my google-fu.
That's because the NGAD is at the start of the ramp-up. They are about 2 or 3 years behind the LRSB in the funding profile and the ramp up/funding profile matches pretty closely though.
just to do the homework, using what's in Today at 7:43 PM :
on a hunch, I think the opposite (I mean development cost)And, tbh, I'd hope a fighter doesn't cost as much as a bomber.
Historically, that's not been the case.on a hunch, I think the opposite
OK but who knows what will go into 6Gen aircraftHistorically, that's not been the case.
The B-1, B-2 and B-52 were all more expensive than the then current fighter generations.
The F-35 doesn't have an equivalent for bomber being developed at the same time. However, as I have said, the F-35 was a overly ambitious program and then badly run, IMO. Fair enough aircraft, good avionics probably in the end, but...geezus, the price and delays.
We don't know. Not yet. It's intended to fight China. So. What does that tell us?OK but who knows what will go into 6Gen aircraft