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Bomb the Budget: US Stealth Bomber Financials Defy Laws of Physics

CC0 / / B-2 Spirit, American stealth heavy strategic bomber
B-2 Spirit, American stealth heavy strategic bomber - Sputnik International
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According to the US Air Force’s estimates, it would cost about $55 billion to construct up to 100 of the new bombers, with each aircraft being worth about $550 million.

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The US Air Force apparently made a 'slight' miscalculation worth several billions of dollars regarding the cost of research, procurement and support of its upcoming top-secret long-range bomber, according to media reports.

In 2014, in its annual report to the US Congress, the Air Force estimated the cost of the Long-Range Strike Bomber program between fiscal years 2015 through 2025 would be $33.1 billion. A year later however a similar report contained quite a different figure — $58.4 billion for fiscal 2016-2026.

In an attempt to explain this 'minor' discrepancy, Air Force officials claimed that both figures were in fact off the mark, with the correct numbers in both cases being $41.7 billion, according to Bloomberg.

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US Air Force spokesperson Ed Gulick said in a statement that the program costs remained stable and that the service "is working through the appropriate processes to ensure" the report, requested by lawmakers is "corrected, and that our reports in subsequent years are accurate."

The Air Force originally intended to award the development and production contract for the bomber in June or July, but eventually delayed the announcement until September. Currently, two entities, Northrop Grumman and a joint team of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, – are working to secure the contract.

The Pentagon intends to use the new stealth aircraft to bolster its aging bomber fleet. According to the US Air Force’s estimates, it would cost about $55 billion to construct up to 100 of the new bombers, with each aircraft being worth about $550 million.

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