Dec 9, 2013
U.S. Bomber Planes at $81 Billion Seen 47% More Than Plan
The U.S. Air Force’s new long-range bomber may cost as much as $81 billion for the 100 planes planned, 47 percent more than the $55 billion sticker price the service has listed.
The Air Force based its estimate of $550 million per plane on the value of the dollar in 2010, and it represents only the production costs for an aircraft that won’t be deployed for at least 10 years. Including research and development, the bomber would cost as much as $810 million apiece in this year’s dollars, according to calculations by three defense analysts.
The new bomber is needed because the B-2 is an older airplane that’s getting expensive to maintain.
The Air Force has identified the new long-range bomber as one of its top three weapons projects, along with the F-35 from Lockheed and the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker made by Boeing.