Unless Congress stands up a separate fund solely to bankroll the new plane, the Air Force is stuck paying for the LRS-B out of its own shallow pockets. If the bomber is forced to compete with other service priorities for funding, smaller programs may fall through the cracks.But wait! THERE IS MORE!
Winning contractor Northrop Grumman has already launched a campaign to pressure lawmakers to back the program, and experts are urging the Air Force to publicly push for an LRS-B slush fund. But for now, it is unclear how the Pentagon will pay for the bomber.
The Air Force alone plans to be at, or ramping up to, full-rate production for its top three priorities at the same time: the F-35 joint strike fighter, KC-46 tanker and LRS-B.Hold on...it gets better.
“LRS-B is going to be in more of a head-to-head fight with F-35 for funding because they fall under the same account for Air Force procurement,” Harrison said, adding that LRS-B also will compete with programs like JSTARS and the Combat Rescue Helicopter for funding.Here.
Several key members of Congress, including Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., also predicted the bomber would compete for funding with JSF.
“Everybody competes, and the F-35 has sucked so much funding out of the room that it makes it hard for other weapons systems,” the vocal JSF critic told Defense News.
SASC member Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., agreed the bomber will likely fight for funding with F-35, “because everything is underfunded.”
Do you see the absolute arrogance of the USAF on display here? The USMC and US Army are slashing Battalions and Brigades, the US Army is having trouble doing a simple upgrade to its Strykers and the USMC is still dicking around with the ACV on an extended (much extended) procurement path....yet the USAF is ramping up to full rate production on THREE (3) PROGRAMS!
I thought the Chinese were about to drink our milkshake (and they are) but the bigger threat is the US Air Force.
Just plain wow.