The following is an excerpt from Martin Matishak | April 18, 2016 | Thefiscaltimes.com |
Congress should consider taking a closer look at how the U.S. Air Force picked the winning bid for its next-generation bomber, according to a recent independent assessment.
A Congressional Research Service analysis released late last week noted that the cost estimate offered by Northrop Grumman for the Long Range Strike-Bomber, designated the B-21, “came in substantially below DOD’s independent estimates.”
Related: How Will the Air Force Pay for its Budget-Busting Next-Generation Bomber?
Capitol Hill lawmakers have been curious about Northrop’s proposed price tag since the contract award was announced last October. Senate Armed Services Committee chair John McCain (R-AZ) has explicitly asked the Air Force to disclose the winning figure, but, like much of the B-21 program, the dollar amount remains under wraps.
Price estimates cobbled together by various agencies within the Defense Department concluded it would take more than $23 billion to develop the B-21 and another $56 billion to buy 100 aircraft, costing around $560 million apiece.
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