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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 378-95
July 12, 1995

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RELEASES BOMBER INDUSTRIAL CAPABILITIES STUDY

Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology Paul G. Kaminski today announced the conclusions of a study of heavy bomber industrial capabilities, a follow-on effort to the FY 1995 heavy bomber force study. The heavy bomber force study was required under section 133 of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 1995, Public Law 103-337. The results of the heavy bomber force requirements study were provided to the Congress on May 3, 1995, and the results of the industrial capabilities study were provided on July 11, 1995.

Based upon the results of the industrial capabilities study conducted by TASC Inc., the Department concluded:

. There is no distinct bomber industry. The capabilities required to design and build bombers are available in the broader military and commercial aircraft industries.

. The B-2 bomber is a unique aircraft and incorporates unique features; however, the industrial capabilities to produce these features--including composite structures and certain aspects of stealth--are now available in the broader aircraft industry.

. These capabilities will be sustained by future military design and production (F-22 and Joint Advanced Strike Technology program), as well as commercial aircraft production.

. If needed, B-2s could be acquired in the future using resources that would include the tooling and data that will be preserved under the existing curtailment program.

. Continuing B-2 production is thus unnecessary to preserve capabilities necessary to build a future bomber.

. A modest annual investment in stealth and large composite structures manufacturing technologies could reduce the costs of a future bomber. Kaminski indicated that the report should not be interpreted as minimizing the complexity or capabilities of the B-2, the difficulty in developing it, or the industrial capability problems that existed when the program was starting. Rather, the report is an indication that the aircraft industry has learned and benefited from the B-2 program and that a broader spectrum of the aircraft industry is now able to contribute to military stealth aircraft development and production.

Kaminski reiterated that the heavy bomber requirements study provided to Congress on May 3, 1995, concluded that the planned force, which includes 20 B-2s, can meet national security requirements of two nearly-simultaneous major regional contingencies. Additionally, since the industrial capabilities study did not find compelling reasons to continue B-2 production beyond the planned 20 aircraft program, the Department's position of not requesting additional B-2s in the FY 1996 budget is reaffirmed.

Copies of the study's executive summary are available to the news media from Lt. Col. David Sims, Directorate for Defense Information, Room 2E765, (703) 697-5131. All others should contact the Directorate for Public Communication, Room 1E794, (703) 697-5737.