Strategic Bombers

B-2 Program Status and Current Issues Gao ID: NSIAD-90-120 February 22, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the B-2 Aircraft program, focusing on: (1) cost increases; (2) funding assumptions; (3) program schedule changes; (4) manufacturing problems; and (5) the flight test program.

GAO found that: (1) estimated B-2 costs have increased to $70.2 billion due to incomplete aircraft design at the start of manufacturing, underestimated material costs, and production schedule extensions; (2) it is likely that future funding will not grow to the peak levels required in fiscal years 1992 through 1995, which will increase costs and delay the schedule; and (3) program schedules have changed each year since 1986, which has affected program milestones, the overall procurement strategy, test programs, and program costs. GAO also found that B-2 contractors: (1) reduced the number of manufacturing defects, improved worker efficiency, and transferred less work to the final assembly site; and (2) continued to initiate engineering changes, which hindered efforts to stabilize the manufacturing process. In addition, GAO found that: (1) the Air Force had completed only 1 percent of the B-2 flight test program; and (2) critical operational testing was scheduled to begin in 1992.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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