DoD News Briefing: Mr. Kenneth H. Bacon, ATSD PA
Wednesday, May 3, 1995 - 2:00 p.m.
(Note also participating in this briefing was Dr. Paul Kaminski, Under Secretary of Defense, Acquisition and Technology)
Mr. Bacon: Dr. Kaminski is talking on the record with charts, and will take your questions afterwards.
Dr. Kaminski: Thank you, Ken.
I think on the 7th of February I was here to talk about a Heavy Bomber Study that we would be doing. We have, indeed, done that study and I'm here to report on the results today.
In the way of background, this is the congressional language that directed the study. Language in both the Authorizations Act and in the Appropriations Act. I'll just stop and let you read that for a minute.
Also on the 7th, I described the logic flow diagram that we would undertake, and what we've completed at this point are the parts in green. Let me, at this point, really give you sort of a four-point bottom line which I'm trying to transmit with respect to our study. We've done the study, and the results of the study do not make the case for buying additional B-2s. This, in my opinion, is the most comprehensive study of bomber force structure that I have ever been associated with in about 17 years, off and on, of working in this arena. It includes all the relevant forces that would be involved; and all the planning assumptions that we used in arriving at the Bottom-Up Review forces and that we're currently using in our defense planning guidance. The same underpinning as we have for the rest of our force structure and programs.
The third point, in doing this work our study shows the overwhelming importance that tactical air plays in this two MRC scenario; and the fact that you can't ignore the impact of tactical air in making this decision as have many other studies of this issue.
The key issue here is really being sure that you understand all the assumptions and the uncertainties that go with tactical air to understand about how it arrives, how fast it arrives, and how much there is at various stages. We've worked in earnest to illuminate those issues.
The fourth outcome or observation I would share is that the study shows additional value provided by more B-2s. But what it illuminates is the much greater cost effectiveness that can be derived from advanced and accurate weapons to leverage not only the bombers, but the rest of our tactical forces, and also some conventional upgrades that we looked at in the study.
What I'll do is go through this in some detail to support these underlying points, and using this chart, we are now at the box labeled, "No, we are not recommending buying additional bomber capability." We still have one more piece of this effort to undertake, because as I indicated earlier, with the decision "No", we do need to complete our Bomber Industrial Base Study now to say what is it we need to do with our underlying industrial base if we're not buying additional B-2s. What needs to be preserved? That effort is already in progress. We're due to wrap that effort upon the first of July of this year.
I'd like to brief the results of this study in three parts. The first part is a part that I call "No strike TACAIR." This is a very extreme excursion, but it was one that we looked to do to tie to other studies that have been done in this area that didn't look at any tactical air. Parts two and three are really the guts -- the meat of what we did -- looking at the baseline case of a two MRC scenario with all of our planning factors, with all of our planned forces, and carefully putting those together in the campaign. Then part three addresses all the sensitivity excursions. It is the variations and assumptions and planning factors that one would want to undertake to be prudent in looking at hedge positions and the like, and exploring alternatives to be looked at. What we did through those parts two and three was looked at a full spectrum of engagement conditions.
This first chart addresses this "no-TACAIR" case. Let me first explain the underlying assumptions here.
We looked at major regional contingencies East and West in which we arbitrarily constrained tactical air to not be there for 15 days. So our strike assets that are available to us in this case are bombers only for that period of time. We are getting a little bit of air superiority support, but we've constrained the tactical air that's there.
The direction of goodness on this chart is up. The actual movement of the forward line of troops is classified, so what I've done is use a normalizing yardstick here to be able to give you some comparison and the yardstick number is 100, in the sense of 100 percent. So if I look at this blue bar, these are the results we got in our normal baseline situation using all the tactical forces and using the planned bomber force, and I've just arbitrarily set that to 100. That was the amount of territory that was lost in this major regional conflict before we started to move it back.
So if you use that as your yardstick as 100, when we went to the special tactical air case now, we removed the tactical aircraft, as I said, for 15 days. With our planned bomber force, this was the amount of territory lost about 50 percent more than we had when we left all the tactical air engaged.
We then added 20 bombers to the force. We lost this amount of territory. We added 20 more, we lost this amount of territory. And we add 20 more, coming up to a total of 60, and we lost this amount of territory.
So looking at the MRC East contingency, you can see that it takes a little more than 60 additional B-2s to get us back to the line of troop movement than we had when we had tactical air and bombers together in the baseline case.
There are two overall observations I would make from this chart. Actually, three. The first is that additional B-2s certainly helped to mitigate the absence of tactical air. You can see that we're moving back in the right direction and restoring the motion of the forward line of troops. But one needs a significant number of bombers to make up this difference. Not shown on the chart is the fact that we also need some increases in accurate munitions to do this job, and those bombers have to be forward based.
These study results are similar to other results that have been done without tactical air.
The last major observation I would draw from this chart is that you can't ignore tactical air. Comparing the blue bar with the other shows what a big impact it has.
What I'd like to do now is move to the main piece of the briefing which is our whole underlying analysis with tactical air involved in the scenarios.
We are now to this base case: two major regional contingencies using our planned DoD forces and the planning factors that go with them.
This campaign analysis which was undertaken by the Institute for Defense Analysis has each of these components. It has a set of threats in the form of air defenses and ground forces. These were basically derived from DIA and the intelligence community and then confirmed by our national intelligence officer for conventional forces.
Next we have a set of forces. Those are the forces that are in our current program and in our future plans. They were confirmed and reviewed by a steering group which included the services and the Joint Staff.
Next we have a scenario, and that scenario was derived, as I said earlier, using the planning assumptions consistent with what we used in driving our Bottom-Up Review Forces, and it is the current planning guidance for our future budget activity.
Those three inputs were used in campaign models and we used three different models. Each of these models has some particular fidelity that we wanted to exploit, and each is different. The IDA Bomber Model was developed by the Institute for Defense Analysis. It is a linear programming optimization kind of model to do the best assignments of weapons and targets to minimize losses.
TACWAR is a very widely used model used by the Army and the Joint Staff, and it's a deterministic model which combines all the forces.
THUNDER is a model developed by the Air Force which uses a [sticastic] process to model what's going on.
What we did was use all three, using the strengths of each and looking at the results for consistency of output.
Then, as a result of those models, we had a number of outcome measures. The first one is the movement of the forward line of troops. I showed you that measure in the charts that I showed in the reduced TACAIR scenario. It's a movement of the forward line of troops in the engagement into allied territory.
The next outcome measure is number of aircraft lost when completing the mission. Obviously, the fewer the better. The third outcome measure is how many sorties were required to complete the mission. Again, the fewer the better.
Through this whole combination we went through the entire force requirements. As I said earlier, this is the most comprehensive study, that at least, I personally have seen -- about 12 man-years of effort have gone into this effort at the Institute for Defense Analysis since November of last year, and we've expended about $3 million of effort undertaking this study.
As a part of this effort, we've also looked at, in a systematic way, 18 other related studies that have been done on this subject, and there is a whole separate briefing we've done on that to analyze the output of all of those.
The next chart shows the forces that we looked at in this study. On the top line is the planned force. I've shown all of these in the year 2014. We looked at three different years as we did our results. They were mandated years, and they were reasonable years. 1998, 2006 and 2014. I picked these because on any schedule that we looked at, the 20 additional B-2s would be in the force at this date. The force composition will vary a little bit over time as new bombers are built and introduced.
The planned force would have a total of 181 bombers composed as shown. The second option that we looked at was simply to retire B-1s from this force and to compensate some for that we added to the B-52s in the force. That results in a total of 114. That is a lower cost option than our baseline, since there is money saved from retiring the B-1s in addition to what you'd get from restoring B-52s.
The third force involved buying 20 more B-2s and then retiring the B-1s from the force above. That force costs slightly more than the planned force, but it's close to the planned force. It's a few billion dollars more, as I'll show in a minute.
The last force involves simply buying 20 more B-2s and adding them to the base force. Of course, that's the force that's the most expensive of the combination since it's bearing the acquisition and the support costs of 20 additional B-2s. We looked at each of those combinations.
The next chart I think is one of the more comprehensive looks at the cost, or at least a more comprehensive summary. It starts with the recurring flyaway cost of the B-2 and then builds up, adding the various pieces to go through aircraft flyaway cost which adds non-recurring facilities: the weapon system cost which adds the technical data and the training equipment; the procurement cost which brings in the initial and the mission readiness spares; the program acquisition cost which adds and amortizes the development costs; and then finally, the life cycle cost associated with operating the additional B-2s over a period of 25 years. Those are all given in constant FY96 dollars.
As a point of reference, if we took that last number, the life cycle cost of $24.5 billion and, converted that into inflated then-year dollars, that number would be $30.8 billion -- I think a number you've seen before.
I would draw your attention to two numbers from this chart: the $14.8, that's the recurring flyaway cost; and the $24.5, the life cycle cost. And now take you to the next chart.
Those two numbers appear on the left. The blue bar labeled IDA is the $24.5 that we had in life cycle cost; and the shorter bar is the recurring flyaway cost. And not surprisingly, different people who do the costing get different results. The independent results obtained by IDA are shown on the left. We have a Cost Analysis Improvement Group in the Pentagon. Their results are shown labeled CAIG. The Air Force did an independent estimate and, those are shown. The two government and the IDA estimates are all really very close. There is a difference with the Northrop estimate. And the difference in the Northrop estimate is attributed to a number of things that aren't included that were included in the government estimate such as warranties, sustaining engineering and reserve for engineering change orders, additional spares, and there was also a difference in learning curve, in production of aircraft used in our two buildup models.
We used in this analysis the bars that are on the left.
Let's look at some of these measures of effectiveness for our baseline case. Three different measures of effectiveness are shown on this chart. The first one is movement of the forward line of troops. One wants a shorter bar here; that is, the farther this line goes down, the farther was the advance into allied territory. So a shorter bar is better on this chart.
The blue line shows the result with the planned force. The shaded bar shows the result obtained with the planned force plus 20 more B-2s. It's very hard to see the difference. That's in MRC East. We have nearly the same result for MRC West. Again, I've normalized these on the basis of 100 for the baseline case to make the results presentable in an unclassified way.
The next measure of performance is number of aircraft lost. Here, goodness is a shorter bar, a smaller number of losses. Again, I've normalized so that whatever number of aircraft lost in the baseline, I've set my yardstick to call that 100 -- 100 percent, so to speak. In comparison to the baseline force, we did better with a force that had additional B-2s. We did not quite 10 percent better; that is, nearly 10 percent fewer aircraft losses, somewhere between 5 and 10 percent fewer.
The last measure looked at was number of sorties required to complete the mission. We also did slightly better with 20 additional B-2s than we did in the baseline case. But small differences in each of these cases.
Incidentally, these results are for the year 2014. You see similar results in other years, but the effect of the B-2 probably is greatest in this year because of the fact that they're all in the force by this time.
Q: Can you explain in each of those situations why the results are what they are, since some of them are sort of counter-intuitive?
A: Why there's so little difference? If you look at all the tactical air that's involved in this scenario, we have more than ten times more tactical aircraft than bombers involved. So the differences caused by varying the bomber forces are very small when all those tactical aircraft are present. It's actually less than ten percent by some measure -- composition of bombers to the total tactical forces. We, later in the excursions that I will show you, removed some of that tactical air to where we can start to see more discriminance; but it comes down to the point I made earlier on, that tactical air has a very big impact -- just adding up the number of aircraft: allied aircraft that are already in the theater, U.S. aircraft that were already in the theater at day one, plus all the aircraft, all the tactical aircraft that are shipped to the theater.
Q: So what you're saying is that there would be so many tactical aircraft, and if they are to be used effectively, you, in effect, would be under-utilizing the extra 20 B-2s. Is that what you're saying?
A: Yes. What you're seeing here is that the addition of 20 B-2s makes a very small difference because it's lost in what all the rest of the tactical forces are doing.
Q: May we take this just one more step, Doctor? If you look at your chart that shows 2014 in the bomber force, some of the B-52s are going to be more than 60 years old, which is twice the number of years from the Jenny to the B-52 to begin with.
Q: If you read between the lines of the study, if you're talking about advanced weaponry and you include such weapons as the Tomahawk, are you really saying you don't need a bomber force as you get towards the future?
A: No, we're not. I'll show you that as we look at the sensitivity analysis. The B-52...By our assessment, the B-52H models we'd be using here, are good to the year 2030.
Q: When you say aircraft lost and the sorties required, are you talking about just during the halt phase or during the entire campaign?
A: During the entire campaign.
What you find if you look at these results in detail, is that the bombers are far more important during the early halt phase as tactical air is arriving. After everything has arrived, the bomber results get more lost in this overall aggregate.
Let me go now from this absolute measure to a cost effectiveness kind of measure. Once again I've had to normalize these for purposes of classification, so first let me explain my axes here.
Down here, I'm showing the change in the bomber force cost and I've picked zero change to go with the planned force. So zero cost associated...Zero change in cost associated with our baseline bomber force. If we added 20 more B-2s -- you remember that number of $24.5 billion more -- to go with that.
On this axis here I've plotted number of aircraft lost. Again, I've picked my yardstick to have 100 percent be whatever was lost for our baseline planned force.
The next point I would make is that every one of these combinations on the chart accomplished the mission in both MRCs. They were sufficient to accomplish the mission under all our baseline situations.
Now let's look a little bit about the cost effectiveness of the combinations. Adding 20 more B-2s saved, as we showed earlier, something about eight percent of the aircraft involved in the whole campaign. That is, we lost eight percent fewer aircraft when we added the B-2s. That cost us $25 billion.
You might look at that and say that's a relatively flat curve; but one has to, at this point, make some subjective judgment about cost effectiveness, and I'll talk a little bit more about that later.
On the other end, one could retire all of the B-1s that are in the bomber force. The mission still gets accomplished. We, however, pay the penalty of losing 20 percent more aircraft in the combination of the two MRCs, and we save $20 billion.
Again, I can only make a subjective judgment about cost effectiveness without looking at some alternatives.
Here is a case where I can make a judgment about cost effectiveness. I should have said this earlier, but on this chart, goodness is up and to the left. Fewer aircraft losses and less cost, so we want to be moving up or to the left to be in the direction of goodness.
This option here was the one that was nearly zero cost; retiring the B-1s and using the money to buy additional B-2s. You can see it isn't quite zero cost. It's about an extra $4 or $5 billion to do that. But we spend that extra $4 or $5 billion and we end up with greater losses. So that clearly is not a good thing to do. That's an option we want to erase from consideration. It's clearly not a cost effective option. We're better off with the other force compositions than we are with that one.
That is the summary of our baseline case, and I could show you other force combinations, but what I want to do now is get to the basis of the other questions. Do we need bombers at all?
Here what one has to do is take this baseline and examine some variations in the threat. In the availability of tactical air, how much of that tactical air really gets there, in the effectiveness of weapons, for example, which I told you had a big impact. We did a full spectrum of these engagements conditions -- looking at weather, threat, warning time, availability of bases for tactical air. The preponderance of our work in this analysis was looking at those various combinations of excursions.
I would characterize what I've described to you thus far as follows. I started out with this extreme case where we just took out the TACAIR and I showed you that many bombers were required to make up for that, and you shouldn't do an analysis that simply discards the tactical air.
Next, I showed you the results which were in this baseline case which used all the parameters, the planning assumptions that we thought were appropriate.
Now I'm going to be showing you some excursions which look at lesser availability of tactical air bases, lesser warning time -- some of these other combinations.
The first one has to do with weapons. Once again I'm using my normalizing yardstick. This was the planned weapons inventory that we have in our program defined to be 100 percent as our scale of measure. Using this planned inventory of weapons, we had 100 percent of the losses in our baseline scenario. So I've just defined the two axes of my yardstick here. This is what we did in the baseline with the planned number of weapons.
Let's say that we reduce the number of weapons available to 75 percent of what's in our planned program. What happened is that the number of aircraft losses went up almost 60 percent over what they were in the baseline. A very high sensitivity compared to the other results I was showing you. This has a big impact.
If, on the other hand, we do the opposite -- we simply double the planned inventory of our advanced accurate weapons -- we reduce the number of losses to a little less than 40 percent of what they were in the baseline situation. So the weapons effects have a very big impact on the outcome of the scenario. I think it is not surprising, because they are not only leveraging the bombers, they are leveraging all the tactical aircraft who can also use these weapons.
Q: Isn't it rather self-evident? If you don't have weapons, the aircraft are useless. I'm sorry, but you have to define for us what you mean by the type of weapons -- the new weapons that may be coming on-line -- and how that relates to the aircraft that you're going to have by 2014.
A: I surely do. The weapons that we used in the baseline case are the weapons that we have in our current program plan. What I showed you were changes of that -- buying more or less of what we have in our current plan. So the nominal case is all the weapons that we now plan to buy and forecast beyond our planning years.
Q: How many of those require bombers?
A: Every one of those weapons can be used. The advanced accurate weapons can be used in either bombers or tactical aircraft.
Q: Can they also be used by ship or fired by land, many of them?
A: There are weapons that can be used on ships or fired by land. We, for example, have a few thousand Tomahawks in that baseline case. They were used in this exercise. We also have missiles that are operated by the Army, the MLRS system, the ATACMS systems. All of those nominal systems were used in this assessment. But that change I showed you was with respect to the air-delivered weapons.
I've gone back to one of these cost effectiveness charts. I apologize for the arcaneness of this, but I'm trying to present results in which I can't show actual numbers, so I've normalized to the baseline in each case.
This blue curve is the same curve that I showed you previously. It shows the nominal, the planned force with zero cost change, and 100 percent of the losses that we incurred.
The green line is now a new entry. That plots the data that I showed you on the last curve of doubling the weapons inventory that we have in our current budget. That doesn't come free. That has a cost of $13 billion. That's what the current weapon inventory objective would cost us. But you can see what a very significant impact it has on aircraft loss. And now I can make an objective judgment that says that is a more cost effective expenditure than buying 20 additional B-2s. The slope is higher. We get a greater reduction aircraft losses per dollar spent than we obtain buying additional B-2s.
We looked at one other issue here as well, shown by the red curve. There's something in our current program called the B-1 conventional mission upgrade program. It costs about $3 billion as I read the curve. That is funded. It's in the planned force. So we did an excursion to say what would happen if we removed it. By removing it, we would save this $3 billion, but we would end up losing about 20 percent more aircraft. That's clearly not a good move. If you think of the slope moving up this way, that looks just as effective as the additional weapons, so that's something... Our plans were well founded. That's something we will want to continue doing.
I would also note that how you draw this weapon curve depends upon your... A lot of assumptions about weapons effectiveness. Relative to other studies, our overall assumption was reasonably conservative about the weapon effectiveness. Several other studies have assumed they were more effective. But this single line honestly deserves to be a fan, in which there's some variation in the effectiveness. This sensitivity is so high it's such an important outcome in this study; that looking more carefully at the weapons composition rather than simply doubling the current inventory is something we need to put our energies into to look at much more carefully and to understand this better because it has such a high leverage on the future force.
I promised you we would also look at some sensitivities to those scenario conditions. This chart addresses that. It's the same format that I showed before. Moving up or to the left is good in a cost effectiveness sense, and this is the same curve that I had shown before for our baseline case with these different force compositions. Planned force centered right here. More B-2s here, retire B-1s here.
The red curves deal with a short warning situation in which we reduced the warning time to zero in one of the major regional contingencies, so that resulted in tactical air arriving much later than it would have arrived nominally. The first thing you see is an overall increase in the number of aircraft lost in all situations. In this case, about a 30 percent -- 35 percent -- increase in the number of aircraft lost, so it has a significant effect.
Adding more B-2s improves the situation by a small amount. It's interesting, though, retiring the B-1s actually has a larger detrimental effect here than it had here. That is, you can see the slope of this line is changing a little bit.
If we go to a more severe case, limiting tactical air -- this is the sort of thing that would occur if bases were closed down -- to where we were losing more than half of our tactical air sorties for the first week or so, something like half for the next week as a result of attacks on bases.
We incur even further losses, about 60 percent more, than we had in the baseline. Adding more B-2s again helps, and it helps by a little bit more than it did in that situation in a relative sense. Retiring B-1s hurts even more.
We also did the runs here looking at what if we retired the 20 B-2s that we had in the force. We get very similar results. The points plot almost over the B-1 force. What these numbers are showing us is, in these stressing situations, you miss bombers; that is, as bombers start to go out of our current force, our aircraft losses are going up, and they're going up in a more dramatic way when we have fewer bombers.
None of these situations are planned, but they're excursions that we need to look at to be prudent in deciding what the composition of our bomber force should be.
From this overall assessment I draw the following conclusions:
That our planned force can meet our national security requirements of two nearly simultaneous MRCs for the anticipated scenarios and for reasonable excursions.
Secondly, that additional quantities of accurate guided munitions are shown to be more cost effective than procuring an additional 20 B-2s for our baseline two MRC scenario and for reasonable excursions. As I indicated to you, this was such an important effect that we need to put some energies into further more careful assessment to really look not only at increasing blindly the number we're buying, but looking carefully at the composition in the mix of weapons.
Thirdly, that the planned bomber force with accurate guided munitions provides a prudent hedge against the excursions from the baseline. We showed we could do the job in the baseline with fewer numbers of bombers; but, as we began to look at those excursions, we saw the situation eroding and the slopes of those lines weren't the sort of slopes you'd like to see.
Finally, our planned conventional upgrades to the B-1 bomber force were shown to be more cost effective than procuring an additional 20 B-2s.
Q: Has this study been chopped on now by the Secretary, and is it official DoD policy?
A: Yes, it is.
Q: What about the argument that the B-2 is unique in its stealth capabilities. It can hit the high value targets more easily. Having twice as many bombers, couldn't you hit twice as many of those targets at the same time and perhaps shorten the war?
A: The B-2 is very unique. It had high leverage in these calculations. I think I showed you, when we were reducing the bomber force, the 20 B-2s had leverage that was comparable to 60 B-1s. The points plotted in the same place. So we used the signatures of the B-2 in the Block 30 model; we used the threat assessments, and the B-2, indeed, was making very important contributions, especially in those early pieces of the scenario. And I would add, when we added B-2s, in some cases the improvement was so small it was hard to see; in some cases there were noticeable effects. The issue really comes down to comparing the cost effectiveness of that with other approaches.
I have one more slide, if I may.
Q: ...figure in all..
A: It does figure in this. We used those aircraft in the assessment. Also I would point out, the impact of stealth here is also very significant in the study. It takes some time before we have stealth aircraft in numbers coming into our forces. We can see some discriminants between the year 2006 and 2014 as a result of having a much bigger stealthy tactical set of forces.
What do we do from here? I believe we need to continue the Department's current initiatives to acquire modern conventional capabilities for our heavy bombers. That means finishing up our delivery of the 20 B-2s, completing the conventional mission upgrade for the B-1B that we have planned. And we have a similar program for the B-52H. I didn't show you those results, but it also comes out to be similarly effective.
We now have this Bomber Industrial Base Study to complete, and I would imagine we'll be talking together sometime about the first of July as to what we've concluded that's appropriate to be done with our bomber industrial base as we work through that study. That effort is now in progress and it has been for a month or so.
We had some funds that we talked about last time: $125 million that were appropriated to preserve the B-2 industrial base. Our final disposition of those funds depends upon the outcome of the study. I've released $94.7 [million] of that to protect the option to produce additional B-2s. Of that, about $52 million has been obligated to date. That's enough to provide that protection through the 30th of July. If our industrial base study predicts that we don't need to use those additional funds for industrial base reasons, of course I would then be redirecting those funds back to the high payoff areas that I just showed you, back into munitions or conventional upgrades. But our final decision on that is going to depend upon the outcome of that industrial base study on the first of July.
Lastly, this effort that we've undertaken give us an excellent foundation now. We have all the tools and the forces and the arrangements in place to be able to look much more carefully at the quantity and the mix of conventional weapons for our anticipated target sets to get the best product for our future forces. So this is an effort we'll be taking seriously.
Q: Can I ask you a parochial question? There are a lot of people working at Northrop in Palmdale who now see a sword of Damocles very clearly over their head come July of zero/zero, although they've known it all along probably. What words do you have for them about where they go after the next five years, or what's going to happen specifically regarding the industrial base? Any thoughts on that or anything you can say?
A: Certainly we have work ahead in this munitions arena. Northrop has been a player there. So has Grumman been a player there. So the combination of the companies will. That is certainly one very high payoff area for that work to be directed to in the future. There also is some upgrade work to be looked at.
We have looked at an upgrade to the B-2 as well. It appears to make sense on the basis of the analysis that we've done thus far, but we really haven't scrubbed the program enough to look at the details of the executability. That will be another potential; that is, to add some features to the B-2 that are not in the current Block 30 capability of the aircraft that would further improve its conventional effectiveness.
Q: You measures of merit, as I recall, were all campaign wide?
Q: Intuitively, again, the impact of the additional bombers comes in the halt phase, those first few days. You may or may not be able to bed down TACAIR and so forth. Can you map that intuitive assumption onto whatever the dynamic is that you think is at work generating those curves over the life of the campaign? I have a difficult time bridging the gap between that intuitive assumption that I think a lot of us have -- or have been given -- and the outcomes that you reflect in those curves.
A: We have looked heavily at the halting phases of those campaigns, and just as you say, the bombers' contribution is far greater in the halting phase than it is in what I'd call the steady state phase as all the forces arrive. If you do a plot of all the arriving tactical aircraft, it's almost hard to see the width of the bomber line on that plot. Yet the bombers' contribution during the halting phase gets into tens of percent of targets destroyed, so it's significant in that early period.
Q: What PGMs and their capabilities they bring did you factor into your study? Like a son of TSSAM? Walk us through those, and what capabilities you assume.
A: There is a son of TSSAM, a followon in our planned program. There are combinations of our sensor-fused weapon carried in the wind-corrected munitions dispenser. JDAM, [JSOL], our whole complete planned family of weapons. I think the actual number of those we have in the inventory is classified.
Q: How about HAVE NAP? Is that included?
A: Yes, it is included.
Q: You mentioned you talked about Tomahawks and ATACMs which aren't air-launched missiles. Your chart that you showed previously in terms of moving up and doubling the amount of weapons, is that a factor of just air-launched weapons or...
A: It was just air-launched weapons, I believe, that we doubled.
Q: When do you intend to do that study on the weapons, and to finish it on the munitions?
A: As soon as I find my way through this bomber study and our interaction with the Congress on it. We have a foundation in place to do that. We have some residual funds that were appropriated. We directed a little over $4 million to this IDA effort, spending some additional funds there I think would be a good use of that money.
Q: If you say bombers make their largest contribution in the halting phase, could you not also argue that the halting phase is perhaps the most important phase of your battles? And then B-2 bomber proponents could say, you've just admitted that they make their biggest impact in the halting phase. Why not increase the number of bombers and shorten the halting phase?
A: It's harder for me to say that any one phase is more important than the other. They're all important. What is important is if you can't deal with a halting phase. So we've looked at all pieces of them. I wouldn't weight necessarily one result more importantly than the others, but bombers play a key hedge role in that phase.
Q: Did you look at the possibility that you wouldn't be able to halt forces?
A: The most extreme scenario I looked at was the first one I showed in which we had no tactical air for 15 days. And we were able to halt the forces, as I showed; that is, there was a stop of the movement of the forward line of troops...
Q: In other words, over the next 10 or 20 years, it's inconceivable that any force could... You could confront any force that would overwhelm our forces?
A: No. I wouldn't say that at all. What we did is look at these two major regional contingencies. That was the whole foundation for our analysis -- the forces that were there, the threats that were there. I couldn't broaden the statement to the degree that you did.
Q: When did you send this to the Hill, and what's the reaction?
A: I sent it to the Hill this morning and have just had our first briefings. It's really too soon to tell. I think if I were on the Hill what I would be doing is carefully examining all these assumptions and excursions to satisfy myself that this problem has been looked at sufficiently broadly.
Q: Do you think that despite the bleat expected from members of the California delegation about wanting more B-2s... Do you think that the preponderance of opinion in Congress is toward not building more B-2s?
A: I can't make that judgment today. Clearly some additional B-2s help the situation. The curves were up. One can go to more and more stressing situations which emphasize more halting phase. But I would imagine people will, quite rightly so, look at all these assumptions in a very serious way and that's probably where the debate will ensue. I will continue to look at all the measures of effectiveness that is to enter that debate, and the question where is it best for us to spend our next marginal dollar.
Q: What is the goal of the Industrial Base Study if you've already decided that you don't want to build more bombers? How do you keep an industrial... Why do you keep an industrial base if you're not going to build more B-2s?
A: The goal of the industrial base study is based on not building more B-2s. And the question is, what does the country need to do? What's the best course for the country for the future, given that we're not building more B-2s now? Should we be spending some small amount of money to keep critical capabilities in place to build more B-2s later? Should we forget about it and simply count on designing and developing a new bomber some time in the future? Are there intermediate steps that we ought to look at to be able to leverage off large commercial aircraft? We want to do that in a systematic way to see what is the best approach now during a hiatus.
Q: Two quick questions. One, could you elaborate on what sort of things you're looking at for a B-2 upgrade? And could you speculate on the chances of if you decide... Can you take some of that unobligated funding for industrial base preservation and put it to a TSSAM followon program? What are the chances of that?
A: The answer to the second question is yes. That idea is exactly what I was proposing if our conclusion is we don't need to do anything additionally to preserve a bomber industrial base in the country. There are a whole family of five or six things to be looked at in the B-2 upgrade. They generally include improving our conventional munitions posture and giving us a better targeting flexibility. There's some radar upgrades that we've looked at. There is the ability to carry this wind-corrected munitions dispenser which gives us better performance from higher bombing altitudes. Somebody help me with others.
A: Improvements in the controls and the displays. Some of the display presentation features to enable better interaction and targeting.
Q: Anything on radar cross-section?
A: I don't see anything fundamental there at this point. We are planning, however, as you may know, to retrofit our current fleet all to the Block 30 configuration.
Q: Did you look at increasing the B-2 force by any number less than doubling it?
A: No, we did not.
Q: Did the study look at increasing F-15Es in the Air Force?
A: No, we did not. We fixed all the tactical forces and we fixed all the weapons and tried to do our trades basically on the bombers. This weapons effect was so significant -- it's something that jumped out -- that we had to look at.
Q: The study was delayed by a couple of weeks, and there have been reports that perhaps the conclusions may have been changed in the final stages. Can you comment on that?
A: Yes, I can. I am the culprit. We finished all the baseline work and the Institute for Defense Analysis did a superb job. They did all the baseline assessment that I showed you and they did what they thought were a reasonable set of excursions. I forced still some more severe excursions to get looked at, including these extreme cases that I showed, just to be sure I was satisfied that we had covered the waterfront.
Q: Did the initial excursions that they had and presented to you essentially match the same conclusions that you came up with in the end?
A: The excursions that I forced were more severe. That is, less tactical air, less bases available. So I forced things more in that direction where you started to see the force erode.
Q: The B-2 does enjoy a lot of support on Capital Hill, both inside and outside of California. Is the Pentagon now bracing for a situation where this is going to become a political ping-pong ball for awhile?
A: I think we're going to just present our case as I have today and let reasonable people come to reasoned judgment.
Q: Did your measures of effectiveness include casualties?
A: They did not. Some of the models we used try to do some aggregation there, but our experience is that they're not very reliable.
Q: Did you find any surprises in B-2 survivability when you did the analysis?
A: No. The B-2 survivability I think was as expected, and it is a high leverage feature.
I'd make one more comment about this. There are situations in which those survivability features of the B-2 are extremely important. I want to contrast two things -- two situations here -- that sometimes cause credibility questions about studies like this. What I want to contrast is a very small surgical strike in comparison to the large campaigns that I was describing.
I can envision situations in small surgical strikes in which the B-2 has enormous leverage. In which a few B-2s can go in directly to their objective, not worrying about suppressing defenses and bringing all the other defense suppression aircraft along with it, in that kind of a contingency to go right to the heart of the strategic strike that we want to make. Undertake that strike and come back out, and you see numbers like a couple of B-2s being able to do the job of 40 tactical aircraft. I don't disagree with those at all. These results are not inconsistent with that framework.
The difference in this situation is, that in a large campaign in which you're going back again and again and again, it makes sense to remove those defenses. So with the first few weeks, that's what you're doing. You're removing those defenses.
What you're then doing is opening up a free ride for all the rest of the non-stealth aircraft and that's very high leverage. It pays off in this kind of campaign.
Q: In this part one, which is the most stressing scenario that you apparently asked IDA to go back and restudy, you say short warning time. There's been a lot of speculation that there's a 14-day assumption built into this study. Can you address where the 14-day assumption occurred, and what is the assumption on short warning time?
A: I can tell you that the excursions we looked at went down to zero tactical warning time, but I can't tell you what our planning assumptions are for warning time. They're classified.
Q: Can you address the 14-day assumption that's been publicized?
A: No, I can't.
Q: If the study decides not to maintain the bomber industrial base, when would you anticipate it actually closing down? How quickly?
A: I don't know the answer to that. We have our current B-2s to finish producing, and I think that's about a two-year period. We'll get you a better answer.
Q: In all your assumptions regarding TACAIR I assume you included F-117s. Did you ever break them out, or assume TACAIR without stealth or TACAIR with stealth? Was that kind of excursion made?
A: No. We never did break. We did keep track of the number of stealth aircraft that were in the force and have those plots. But those results, I'm not sure about their... There was a mix, and we did keep track of how many. As I said, there was a noticeable impact that stealth was paying off.
I thank you all for bearing through these arcane charts. I wish I could have found an easier way to explain some of these results.
Press: Thank you.