STEALTH FUNDING SOUGHT MCKEON SEEKS $55 MILLION TO BUILD B-2 BOMBERS.
Byline: Charles F. Bostwick Staff Writer
PALMDALE - U.S. Rep. Howard P. ``Buck'' McKeon is asking Congress to authorize restarting Northrop Grumman's B-2 production line to build 40 more stealth bombers - which the company said it could do for $29.4 billion.
In a letter to House Armed Services Committee The term Armed Services Committee could refer to:
Stump was born in Phoenix and was a U.S. Navy World War II combat veteran, where he served on the USS Tulagi from 1943-1946. , McKeon asks for $55 million to buy critical materials, verify that subcontractors can be hired to make parts, and make sure the production machinery exists to build more bombers.
``The B-2 proved in Kosovo that it is highly effective as a strategic bomber A strategic bomber is a large aircraft designed to drop large amounts of ordnance onto a distant target for the purposes of debilitating an enemy's capacity to wage war. Unlike tactical bombers, which are used in the battle zone to attack troops and military equipment, strategic operating in a conventional theater, not just as a nuclear deterrent A nuclear deterrent is the phrase used to refer to a country's nuclear weapons arsenal, when considered in the context of deterrence theory.
Deterrence theory holds that nuclear weapons are intended to deter other states from attacking with their nuclear weapons, through the ,'' said McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, a member of the Armed Services The Constitution authorizes Congress to raise, support, and regulate armed services for the national defense. The President of the United States is commander in chief of all the branches of the services and has ultimate control over most military matters. Committee's subcommittee on procurement.
McKeon's letter asks for the Armed Services Committee to declare that the ``Global Strike Task Force'' envisioned by the Air Force needs at least 40 more stealth bombers.
Besides the B-2 money, the letter requested at least $415 million more in spending on a wide range of defense projects, including money to build a new fire station, control tower and operations and maintenance building at U.S. Air Force Plant 42, equipping Global Hawk spy planes for Navy use and transferring the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's canceled X-33 and X-34 programs to the Air Force.
McKeon asked that the money be included in the 2002 Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes defense spending for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
The bill will likely modify President George W. Bush's proposed defense budget, which is expected to be unveiled this week.
``It's a timely request by the congressman,'' aide David Foy said.
A Defense Department study released two weeks ago called for making improvements to the B-2 bomber fleet and left open the possibility of restarting the production line.
The study, conducted for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, recommended that the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. create a new ``long-range precision strike capability,'' which could include the B-2C, a proposed new, and cheaper, version of the stealth bombers.
Other ``precision strike'' options, however, could include unmanned bombers or even a weapon based in space, officials said.
Northrop Grumman Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is an aerospace and defense conglomerate that is the result of the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company is the third largest defense contractor for the U.S. has told Rumsfeld it could build 40 B-2Cs for a total cost of $29.4 billion. That averages to $735 million per aircraft, about one-third the cost of the original bombers. The 21 bombers cost $44 billion, including an estimated $20 billion in development costs.
The company says it could build the new version more cheaply by using updated manufacturing techniques and lower-cost components.
McKeon's request asks for $123 million for upgrades to the existing B-2 bomber fleet, including new satellite communications equipment and fittings to carry heavy bombs designed to destroy fortified fortified (fôrt´fīd),
adj containing additives more potent than the principal ingredient. enemy defenses.
In addition to the B-2 money, McKeon's letter asks for the Air Force to take over the X-34 and X-33 rocket planes, the projects that NASA NASA: see National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
in full National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Independent U.S. abandoned in March on the grounds that the money they would take to finish wasn't justifiable.
McKeon's letter doesn't ask for a specific amount of money, but calls for ordering the Air Force to complete testing at Edwards Air Force Base Edwards Air Force Base, U.S. military installation, 301,000 acres (121,805 hectares), S Calif., NE of Lancaster; est. 1933. It is one of the largest air force bases in the United States and has the world's longest runway. .
McKeon's request for $19.3 million to build a new fire station, operations and maintenance building and control tower at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 was made because all three buildings date to the 1950s or before and should be replaced, Foy said.
``They're old and decrepit de·crep·it
Weakened, worn out, impaired, or broken down by old age, illness, or hard use. See Synonyms at weak.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin d and crumbling,'' Foy said. ``Some of our staff went up in the tower. It was shaking when the wind blew.''
(color) A Northrop Grumman B-2 stealth bomber takes off from Palmdale in 1999. The company wants to build 40 more.