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Air Force Bombers: Options to Retire or Restructure the Force Would Reduce Planned Spending (Chapter Report, 09/30/96, GAO/NSIAD-96-192).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the: (1) basis for the
Department of Defense's (DOD) bomber force requirements; (2) Air Force's
progress in implementing the new conventional concept of operations for
using bombers; and (3) costs to keep bombers in the force and enhance
their conventional capabilities.

GAO found that: (1) DOD based its decision to retain and upgrade 187
bombers on three studies that had significant limitations in their
methodology, used questionable assumptions, and failed to examine less
costly alternatives; (2) service commanders in chief, who expected to
use fewer aircraft than recommended by the three studies, did not
express concern that a smaller number of bombers would adversely affect
their abilities in future conflicts; (3) the Air Force's bomber
modernization program has experienced testing delays, has yet to
demonstrate that bombers meet some the most important mission
requirements, and has not fully detailed bomber upgrades; (4) the total
cost to modernize DOD heavy bomber force is likely to exceed $7 billion
by 2008; and (5) options that would help DOD to reduce bomber costs
while maintaining extensive conventional ground-attack capability
include retiring the B-1B force, retiring the 27 B-1B in the
reconstitution reserve, placing additional B-1B in the Air National
Guard, and consolidating basing for active B-1B.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-96-192
     TITLE:  Air Force Bombers: Options to Retire or Restructure the 
             Force Would Reduce Planned Spending
      DATE:  09/30/96
   SUBJECT:  Bomber aircraft
             Combat readiness
             Defense cost control
             Defense contingency planning
             Defense capabilities
             Air warfare
             Strategic forces
             Air defense systems
IDENTIFIER:  DOD Bottom-Up Review
             DOD Future Years Defense Program
             Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
             Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser
             Joint Direct Attack Weapon
             Air Force Bomber Roadmap
             B-1B Bomber
             B-2 Aircraft
             B-52H Aircraft
             DOD Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study
             DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study
             B-1B Conventional Mission Upgrade Program
             B-1B Mobility Readiness Spares Package
             START
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to the Chairman, Committee on the Budget, House of
Representatives

September 1996

AIR FORCE BOMBERS - OPTIONS TO
RETIRE OR RESTRUCTURE THE FORCE
WOULD REDUCE PLANNED SPENDING

GAO/NSIAD-96-192

Air Force Bombers

(701053)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  AGM - Air-to-Ground Guided Missile
  BUR - Bottom-Up Review
  CINC - commander in chief
  DOD - Department of Defense
  GAO - General Accounting Office
  FYDP - Future Years Defense Program
  IDA - Institute for Defense Analysis
  JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
  START - Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty
  WCMD - Wind Corrected Munitions Dispenser

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-260149

September 30, 1996

The Honorable John R.  Kasich
Chairman, Committee on the Budget
House of Representatives

Dear Mr.  Chairman: 

This report discusses the basis for the Department of Defense's
bomber force requirements and options for reducing planned spending
on bombers.  The information in this report should be useful to your
Committee in its deliberations on future budget levels for the
Department of Defense. 

We are sending copies of this report to other interested
congressional committees; the Secretaries of Defense and the Air
Force; and the Director, Office of Management and Budget.  Copies
will also be made available to others on request. 

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please
call me on (202) 512-3504.  Major contributors to this report are
listed in appendix III. 

Sincerely yours,

Richard Davis
Director, National Security
 Analysis


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
============================================================ Chapter 0


   PURPOSE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:1

Although bombers currently in the force were initially designed and
procured primarily to meet nuclear war-fighting requirements, since
the end of the Cold War the Department of Defense (DOD) has placed
increased emphasis on the role of bombers in future conventional
conflicts.  In recent years, the Congress has expressed numerous
concerns about the size and capabilities of the planned bomber force
and the long-term affordability of DOD's plans to maintain and
modernize airpower assets, including the bomber force.  In response
to a request from the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, GAO
assessed (1) the basis for DOD's bomber force requirements, including
an analysis of recent DOD and Air Force studies supporting the
planned force structure; (2) the Air Force's progress in implementing
the new conventional concept of operations for using bombers; and (3)
the costs to keep bombers in the force and enhance their conventional
capabilities.  As part of this work, GAO also identified and assessed
the potential cost savings and effects on military capability of four
alternatives for reducing bomber costs, including retiring or
reducing the B-1B force, and examined information related to the
issue of procuring additional B-2s. 


   BACKGROUND
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:2

The U.S.  bomber force consists of B-2s, B-1Bs, and B-52Hs.  DOD
plans to retain all three bombers well into the next century. 
Development and production of the B-2 bomber, which relies on stealth
technologies to enhance its survivability, is scheduled to be
completed in 2000.  B-1B bombers entered the force between 1986 and
1988 but have experienced numerous problems over the past decade,
particularly with regard to defensive avionics.  The last B-52H
entered the force in 1962.  The Air Force has upgraded the B-52H
force over the years and, on the basis of engineering studies,
estimates that the B-52H will be structurally sound until about 2030. 

The end of the Cold War has permitted the United States to reduce the
number of bombers significantly from a total of about 360 bombers in
1989.  Since 1990, DOD and the Air Force have conducted four major
studies of heavy bomber requirements that have helped shape DOD's
planned bomber force--the Nuclear Posture Review, the Bottom-Up
Review, the Air Force's Bomber Roadmap, and the congressionally
mandated 1995 DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study.  Largely on the basis of
these studies, DOD plans to retain 187 bombers in its inventory
through the early part of the next century compared with the current
inventory of 202 (as shown in table 1). 



                                Table 1
                
                Current and Planned Inventory of Bombers


                             Total  Operationa
                        inventory\           l       Total  Operationa
                                 a  aircraft\b   inventory  l aircraft
----------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
B-2                             13           6          21          16
B-1B                            95          60          95          82
B-52H                           94          56          71          56
======================================================================
Total                          202         122         187         154
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a "Total inventory" includes aircraft funded for flying, test and
maintenance backup aircraft, and aircraft held in reserve for later
use. 

\b "Operational aircraft" includes only aircraft funded for flying. 

Source:  Department of the Air Force. 

B-2s and B-52Hs will be available for either conventional or nuclear
missions, while B-1B bombers will have a conventional role only.  In
contrast with its practice during the Cold War, the Air Force has
placed some B-1Bs and B-52Hs in the Air National Guard and the Air
Force Reserves.  Also, the Air Force has placed 27 B-1Bs in
reconstitution reserve status for the next few years until B-1Bs are
upgraded to deliver additional conventional weapons.  These aircraft
are rotated through the flight schedule and maintained, but the units
that operate them do not receive funding for aircrews or flying
hours.  Therefore, the Air Force would not have sufficient numbers of
crews to operate them during wartime.  Once the B-1Bs are upgraded,
the Air Force plans to reduce the number of B-1B reconstitution
reserve aircraft by establishing two additional squadrons of
operational B-1Bs and funding additional crews.  This will increase
the number of operational aircraft from 60 to 82. 

In 1992, the Air Force determined that the conventional capabilities
of its bombers were not sufficient to destroy critical ground targets
during the initial stages of a conventional conflict.  Therefore, the
Air Force developed a plan to provide the bomber force with the
capability to drop additional unguided gravity weapons and
precision-guided munitions.  These enhancements are scheduled to be
completed in 2008.  According to the Air Force, bombers are unique in
that they can attack targets anywhere in the world from bases in the
United States and can carry large quantities of weapons. 

In recent years, DOD and the Congress have debated whether to buy
additional B-2s beyond those already funded.  The Congress made
available $493 million in fiscal year 1996 that DOD plans to use to
convert the first B-2 test aircraft into an operational bomber,
providing a total of 21 B-2s.  DOD's position is that procuring
additional B-2s is not cost-effective compared with other
alternatives, such as procuring additional precision-guided munitions
and upgrading the B-1B. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3

Senior DOD officials, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, have stated that DOD cannot afford all of the services' stated
requirements and that difficult decisions must be made on which
investment programs to cancel so that DOD can develop and implement a
long-term, sustainable recapitalization plan.  GAO's analysis shows
that the services have ample capabilities to attack targets that are
likely to be assigned to bombers and plan to expand their
capabilities over the next several years, including improvements to
the B-1Bs.  While DOD needs a level of redundancy to provide
commanders in chief with a safety margin and flexibility, it may not
need to upgrade its capabilities to the extent currently planned. 
GAO's analysis shows that DOD has not made a compelling case that it
needs to retain and upgrade 187 bombers to support future
war-fighting requirements.  While there are a number of ways to
reduce capabilities to strike ground targets, a smaller bomber force
may be one option to reduce overlap that would result in an
acceptable loss to DOD's overall war-fighting capability.\1 In light
of the significant cost savings that could be achieved, reducing the
size of DOD's planned bomber force may be a sound decision that would
help provide DOD with a source of funds to recapitalize its forces. 

DOD and Air Force studies of conventional bomber requirements have
significant limitations in their approach and methodology and, in
some cases, include questionable assumptions that may overstate DOD's
need for bombers.  None of the studies have examined the
cost-effectiveness of bombers versus other alternatives such as
fighter aircraft and sea- and ground-based missiles, even though DOD
has concluded that it currently has sufficient capabilities to attack
ground targets associated with two major regional conflicts and plans
to invest billions of dollars over the next 20 years to improve these
capabilities.  Also, commanders in chief currently would use
significantly fewer bombers than the Bottom-Up Review cites as
necessary for a major regional conflict.  In response to a Roles and
Missions Commission conclusion that DOD may have greater quantities
of strike aircraft and other deep attack weapons systems than its
needs, DOD has initiated a Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study that is
expected to address some of the shortcomings of prior studies and
could identify opportunities to reduce some of the services'
extensive and overlapping capabilities, including bombers. 

The Air Force faces numerous challenges in implementing its new
operational concept for using bombers in conventional conflicts. 
Testing of the B-2 has identified deficiencies in key areas, such as
low observability.  Moreover, Air Force plans to upgrade the B-1B's
defensive avionics suite, which will be critical if the B-1B is to
operate during the early days of a conventional war, have undergone
significant change since 1992 and have not yet been finalized.  In
addition, the Air Force has not resolved issues affecting the
bombers' ability to deploy to and operate from overseas locations. 
Specifically, the Air Force has not ensured that (1) the B-1B fleet
can achieve and sustain a 75-percent mission capable rate, (2) bomber
units have sufficient personnel to sustain expected wartime sortie
rates, and (3) bombers have adequate spares to sustain operations
until an air supply bridge is established. 

For fiscal years 1996 through 2001, DOD has budgeted about $17
billion to modernize and operate its heavy bomber force.  Because
DOD's plans to modernize combat airpower may be prohibitively
expensive, DOD is seeking ways to reduce costs.  With this in mind,
GAO has identified four options to reduce or restructure the bomber
force that would achieve cost savings while retaining extensive
aggregate airpower capabilities.  The option to retire the B-1B force
would save about $5.9 billion in budget authority for fiscal years
1997 to 2001.\2 This option would decrease DOD's inventory of
long-range airpower assets and increase U.S.  forces' dependency on
other capabilities and therefore the risk that some targets might not
be hit as quickly as desired.  However, it is plausible to expect
that the targets could be hit by other aircraft and missiles in light
of (1) analyses by GAO and the Commission on Roles and Missions that
indicate that DOD may have more than ample ground-attack capability
and (2) analyses that most targets in a two major conflict scenario
would be within the range of other forward-based tactical aviation
assets and missiles.  Another option is to place 24 more B-1Bs in the
Air National Guard, which would result in a 50/50 active/reserve
ratio when attrition and backup aircraft are excluded, would preserve
the capabilities of the planned bomber force but would save about $70
million in budget authority over the same 5-year period. 

Although not part of DOD's plan, both DOD and the Congress have
considered the need for additional B-2s in recent years.  Substantial
future costs could be avoided if the size of the B-2 force is capped
at 21 aircraft as DOD currently plans.  Additional B-2 procurements
would exacerbate DOD's efforts to develop and implement a long-term
recapitalization plan. 


--------------------
\1 Other options to reduce ground attack capabilities include
reducing the number of land- or sea-based tactical aircraft and
missiles. 

\2 The Congressional Budget Office estimated the cost savings for
GAO's four options. 


   PRINCIPAL FINDINGS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4


   DOD HAS NOT ADEQUATELY
   SUPPORTED ITS STATED
   REQUIREMENTS FOR USING BOMBERS
   IN CONVENTIONAL CONFLICTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5

GAO believes that DOD has not demonstrated convincingly that it needs
to retain and upgrade 187 bombers to meet war-fighting requirements
in light of (1) the limitations of three key DOD and Air Force
studies that helped determine requirements for using bombers in
conventional conflicts, (2) unified commanders in chief plans for
using bombers, and (3) GAO's analysis of DOD's aggregate
ground-attack capabilities.  According to DOD, less than half of
DOD's planned bomber force--66 B-52Hs and 20 B-2s--will be needed for
the nuclear role. 


      STUDIES SHAPING REQUIREMENTS
      HAVE SIGNIFICANT LIMITATIONS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5.1

DOD's decision to keep 187 bombers in the force, a significantly
larger number than required to meet nuclear requirements, was shaped
largely by the conclusions of the Bottom-Up Review, the Air Force's
Bomber Roadmap, and the 1995 DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study, and
reflects DOD's view that long-range bombers are needed primarily to
supplement the conventional capabilities of other ground-attack
assets such as Air Force and Navy tactical fighters and missiles. 

These three studies have significant limitations in their methodology
and, in some cases, rely on questionable assumptions that may
overstate DOD's requirements for bombers.  None of the studies
addresses the Commission on Roles and Missions concern that DOD may
have more ground-attack capability than it needs when the
contributions of all the services' weapon systems are considered. 
Moreover, the studies did not examine whether other less costly
alternatives exist to accomplish conventional missions that would
likely be assigned to bombers.  DOD's Bottom-Up Review concluded in
late 1993 that 100 bombers were needed for a major regional conflict
and up to 184 bombers should be maintained in the inventory. 
However, this review did not model a range of bomber force sizes and
did not examine whether precision-guided munitions expected to enter
the inventory after 1999 could potentially reduce requirements for
fighters and bombers.  In addition, the Air Force's Bomber Roadmap,
which established a requirement for 210 bombers, assumed that (1)
other assets such as tactical aircraft and cruise missiles would play
a limited role during the initial phases of a major regional
conflict, thereby requiring that bombers strike all of the
time-critical targets during the first 5 days and (2) some bombers
would need to be withheld for a nuclear contingency.  Both of these
assumptions are inconsistent with DOD planning guidance. 

The DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study, completed in May 1995, is the most
comprehensive of the DOD and Air Force studies to date.  The study
assumed that each of the services plays a major role in responding to
major regional conflicts, modeled various scenarios and bomber forces
sizes, and examined how changes in key assumptions such as shorter
warning time and limited tactical aircraft availability would affect
the need for bombers during the early stages of a campaign.  Under
all of the scenarios examined, including one option for a smaller
bomber force based on retiring the B-1B force, modeling showed that
the United States would win two nearly simultaneous major regional
conflicts.  Aircraft attrition in these scenarios varied depending on
the number and types of bombers modeled.  However, this study did not
examine whether fighters or long-range missiles could accomplish the
mission more cost-effectively than bombers. 


      UNIFIED COMMANDS SEE LIMITED
      ROLE FOR BOMBERS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5.2

Although Unified Command officials agreed that bombers would be
valuable in future conflicts, they expect to use significantly fewer
than the 100 bombers cited by the Bottom-Up Review and endorsed by
the other studies.  Commanders in chief might choose to include more
bombers in their plans once they are upgraded.  However, none of the
commanders in chief expressed concern that the smaller number of
bombers included in current war plans is a limiting factor that would
adversely affect the outcome of a future conflict. 

When viewed in the aggregate, the services have numerous, overlapping
ways to attack ground targets in major regional conflicts.  Planned
modernization programs over the next two decades will further add to
already substantial capabilities, leading to questions about whether
DOD needs or can afford all of its planned capabilities.  Commanders
in chief routinely apportion more than 100 percent of the targets to
the services to provide a margin of safety and ensure flexibility. 
Moreover, our analysis of DOD's Capabilities Based Munitions
Requirements database for two major regional conflicts and Air Force
modeling of the air campaign for two major regional conflicts
indicated that almost all of the bombers' planned targets could be
destroyed by other aircraft and missiles.\3

In response to a May 1995 recommendation of the Commission on Roles
and Missions, DOD has initiated a Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study to
determine the appropriate number and mix of deep attack capabilities. 
GAO agrees that this study is needed.  As a result of GAO's review of
the services' overlapping interdiction capabilities, GAO recommended
in May 1996 that (1) DOD should routinely review service
modernization proposals based on how they will enhance DOD's current
aggregate capabilities and (2) such analyses should serve as the
basis for deciding funding priorities.\4 In a subsequent testimony,
GAO concluded that such assessments should (1) assess total joint
war-fighting requirements; (2) inventory aggregate service
capabilities, including the full range of available assets; (3)
compare aggregate capabilities with joint requirements to identify
excesses or deficiencies; (4) assess the relative merits of retiring
alternative assets, reducing procurement quantities, or canceling
acquisition programs where excesses exist or where substantial payoff
is not clear; and (5) determine the most cost-effective means to
satisfy deficiencies.\5


--------------------
\3 The Air Force Studies and Analyses Agency modeling of the two
major regional conflict scenario was provided as input into the Joint
Chiefs of Staff Nimble Dancer II wargame. 

\4 U.S.  Combat Air Power:  Reassessing Plans to Modernize
Interdiction Capabilities Could Save Billions (GAO/NSIAD-96-72, May
13, 1996). 

\5 Combat Air Power:  Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making
Program and Budget Decisions (GAO/T-NSIAD-96-196, June 27, 1996). 


   SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES REMAIN
   IN IMPLEMENTING AIR FORCE
   OPERATIONAL CONCEPT FOR BOMBERS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:6

The Air Force's ability to implement its conventional concept of
operations for bombers depends on its ability to successfully
complete its bomber modernization program and ensure that bombers
have the ability to operate for sustained periods at overseas
locations.  Demonstrating these capabilities poses a significant
challenge for the B-2 and the B-1B, both of which were originally
designed with limited conventional capabilities and deployment
requirements. 

Delays in the B-2 testing program due to late aircraft deliveries and
problems in integrating software create the potential that further
deficiencies that are operationally important or costly to correct
could be identified.  After 15 years of development and evolving
mission requirements, the Air Force has yet to demonstrate that the
B-2 will meet some of its most important mission requirements.  For
example, the Air Force completed radar signature flight testing for
the block 30 B-2 in March 1996 and characterized test results as
generally good.  However, in some cases the radar signatures did not
meet planned essential employment capabilities.  The Air Force is
analyzing signatures that did not meet requirements to determine
whether further design and testing is needed.\6 As of April 1996, the
Air Force had completed about 75 percent of the flight testing. 
Given the amount of flight testing that remains, the Air Force may
not be able to meet its planned flight testing completion date of
July 1, 1997. 

DOD also must equip the B-1B with additional munitions and upgrade
its defensive avionics system and computers.  Air Force plans to
upgrade the B-1B's computers and defensive avionics suite, which will
be critical if the B-1B is to operate as planned during the early
days of a war, have undergone significant change since 1992. 
Although the Air Force considers its most recent plans for upgrading
the defensive avionics system to be low to moderate risk, the details
of the upgrades have yet to be decided.  Moreover, the Air Force will
need to maintain a rigorous commitment to testing to ensure that the
defensive avionics system works as planned and that the computer
upgrades are adequately funded so that the computers can support the
B-1B's conventional requirements. 

Significant challenges also remain to demonstrate that the B-2 and
the B-1B will be able to deploy to, and operate from, overseas
locations for extended periods of time at expected sortie rates. 
Although the Air Force demonstrated during a 6-month operational
readiness test that one squadron of B-1Bs could exceed the required
75-percent mission capable rate if properly funded, the Air Force has
not demonstrated that the overall B-1B force can achieve and sustain
this rate.  The Air Force cannot meet its war-fighting requirement to
support all B-1B and B-52H bombers allocated to war-fighting
commanders in chief because of personnel shortages in some
occupational specialties such as bomb assembly and bomb loading. 
Moreover, the Air Force plans to fund less expensive 14-day mobility
readiness spares packages for B-1 and B-2 units instead of the 30-day
package required for B-52Hs and most fighter units. 


--------------------
\6 The B-2 contractor will deliver B-2s in three configurations
referred to as blocks 10, 20, and 30.  The block 10 aircraft provides
the Air Force with a training aircraft with limited combat
capability.  Subsequent blocks will provide improved capabilities. 


   COSTS TO MODERNIZE AND SUSTAIN
   BOMBER FORCE ARE SIGNIFICANT
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:7

DOD's Fiscal Year 1997 Future Years Defense Program includes about
$17 billion for bombers for the period 1996-2001.  DOD plans to spend
$6.3 billion, or about 37 percent, of these programmed funds for
investment, and $10.7 billion, or 63 percent, for operations and
support costs.  The total cost to modernize DOD's heavy bomber force
is likely to exceed $7 billion by 2008, when B-1B upgrades are
completed.  This total includes $6.3 billion in modernization funds
included in DOD's Fiscal Year 1997 Future Years Defense Program, and
an additional $800 million beyond 2001 to complete B-1B
modifications.  The Air Force is studying options to upgrade the B-2
force beyond the block 30 configuration which, if approved, would
require additional modernization funds. 

The B-1B force will account for the largest portion of future bomber
operations and support costs.  However, the B-2 will be the most
costly aircraft to operate on a per aircraft basis, costing more than
three times as much as the B-1B and more than four times as much as
the B-52H. 


   OPTIONS FOR REDUCING BOMBER
   COSTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:8

Because DOD faces a significant funding challenge to support and
recapitalize its planned force, GAO identified four options to reduce
bomber costs, and, in the context of these options, assessed the need
for additional B-2s.  These options are retiring the B-1B force,
retiring 27 B-1Bs in reconstitution reserve, placing more B-1Bs in
the Air National Guard, and keeping 6 B-1Bs at their current location
rather than moving them to another location as planned.  In
identifying ways to reduce the cost of the bomber force, GAO focused
its analysis on B-1B alternatives because DOD has concluded that the
B-1B is no longer needed for the nuclear mission and costly upgrades
planned for the B-1B will add to DOD's already formidable
ground-attack capabilities.  All four options would allow DOD to
reduce costs while maintaining extensive conventional ground-attack
capabilities and a capable nuclear force.  Retiring or reducing the
number of B-1Bs will achieve the greatest cost savings.  Placing more
B-1Bs in the National Guard or reversing the Air Force's plan to move
six B-1Bs from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to Mountain
Home Air Force Base in Idaho would achieve lower cost savings because
they do not reduce the number of bombers in the planned force. 
Although GAO's options focused on DOD's planned bomber force,
substantial future costs could be avoided if the size of the B-2
force were capped at 21 aircraft as DOD currently plans.  The cost of
procuring 20 additional B-2s, the number proposed by the contractor
and most often debated, would more than offset the potential savings
associated with implementing one or more of GAO's options for
reducing bomber costs. 


      OPTIONS' OPPORTUNITIES FOR
      COST SAVINGS AND EFFECTS ON
      MILITARY CAPABILITY DIFFER
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:8.1

Retiring the B-1B would save about $5.9 billion in budget authority
for fiscal years 1997 to 2001, according to the Congressional Budget
Office.  Retiring the 27 B-1Bs that are in reconstitution reserve
would save about $450 million in budget authority over the same 5
years.  Retiring or reducing the B-1B force would not result in a
significant decrease in DOD's existing capabilities because the B-1B
currently lacks an effective defensive avionics system and is capable
of delivering few types of conventional weapons.  Reducing the B-1B
force would reduce the commanders in chief's ability to attack some
targets as quickly as desired and would reduce DOD's long-range
capabilities.  However, these risks may be acceptable given the level
of redundancy already planned in the commanders in chief's target
allocation process, and the capabilities of existing assets and other
planned improvements.  The loss of long-range capability associated
with retiring the B-1B would have the greatest impact in scenarios in
which Air Force tactical aircraft are assumed to have no access or
limited access to bases in theater.  However, the United States has
agreements with many nations to facilitate access to overseas bases
in times of crisis.  Also, B-2s and B-52Hs will still be available
for missions that require long-range and heavy payload capabilities. 

Placing 24 additional B-1Bs in the Air National Guard would save
approximately $70 million in budget authority for fiscal years 1997
to 2001 because these units have fewer full-time personnel and are
less costly to operate.  According to Air Force officials, the
reserve components' limited experience with bombers is a key reason
the Air Force has not placed more bombers in the reserves.  GAO
examined placing 24 more B-1Bs in the Air National Guard because it
would achieve a 50/50 active/reserve ratio when attrition and backup
aircraft are excluded and the Air Force has placed 50 percent or more
of some refueling and air mobility assets in the reserve component. 

The Air Force would save about $40 million in military construction
costs if it reversed its decision to move B-1Bs currently located at
Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, to Mountain Home Air Force
Base, Idaho.  Although based at Ellsworth, this squadron is currently
assigned to a composite wing at Mountain Home consisting of several
types of aircraft, including F-15s and F-16s and routinely trains
with the wing but does not participate in day-to-day wing operations. 
According to Air Force officials, collocation of the bombers with the
wing will result in enhanced training.  However, GAO has previously
reported that the Air Force has not demonstrated the benefits of
peacetime collocation of different types of aircraft. 


      ADDITIONAL B-2S WOULD
      EXACERBATE DOD'S EFFORTS TO
      DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A
      LONG-TERM RECAPITALIZATION
      PLAN
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:8.2

Although funding for additional B-2s is not included in DOD's plan,
DOD and the Congress have considered the need to procure additional
B-2s in recent years.  DOD has concluded that additional B-2s are not
needed to meet future nuclear war-fighting requirements, particularly
in view of the nuclear weapons carrying capability limit included in
the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty II.  Also, DOD's 1995 Heavy
Bomber Force Study, which used defense planning assumptions, found
that 20 additional B-2s had little effect on the outcome of a
conventional conflict and are not needed to implement the two major
regional conflict strategy.  Most studies that support buying
additional B-2s assume that DOD would have little warning time and
limited availability of tactical aircraft to respond to future
conventional conflicts.  Both assumptions are inconsistent with
current defense planning assumptions. 

Substantial future costs could be avoided if the size of the current
B-2 force is capped at 21 aircraft as DOD currently plans.  Cost
estimates to procure and operate an additional 20 B-2s range from
$18.7 billion to $27 billion over 25 years.  These additional costs
would hinder DOD's efforts to develop and implement an affordable
long-term recapitalization plan unless offsetting cuts in other
programs were realized. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:9

DOD's ongoing Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study is designed to determine
the most cost- effective mix of systems needed for the deep attack
mission.  Given the challenges of long-term recapitalization of the
force, GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense consider options
to retire or reduce the B-1B force as part of this study.  Regarding
the other two B-1B options, GAO recommends that the Secretary of the
Air Force assess the potential to place more bombers in the reserve
component and reexamine the decision to relocate six B-1B bombers to
Mountain Home Air Force Base. 

Bombers that remain in the force will need to be able to deploy and
sustain operations at overseas locations to meet commander in chief
requirements.  Therefore, GAO also recommends that the Secretary of
Defense require the Secretary of the Air Force to (1) provide an
assessment of the risk resulting from shortfalls in meeting
requirements for mobility readiness spares packages and providing
personnel needed to support conventional operations, including the
impact of the shortfalls on the Air Force's ability to meet commander
in chief requirements for bombers and (2) prepare plans and time
frames to eliminate these shortfalls or mitigate the risks associated
with them. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND GAO'S
   EVALUATION
--------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:10

In written comments (see app.  II) on a draft of this report, DOD
partially concurred with three of the recommendations and did not
concur with one.  DOD partially concurred with GAO's recommendation
to include options to retire or reduce the B-1B force in the Deep
Attack Weapons Mix Study but disagreed with some of GAO's analysis
supporting the recommendation.  DOD stated that GAO used the Nimble
Dancer wargame to support conclusions on bomber effectiveness but
that Nimble Dancer was not intended to provide specific information
about weapon system effectiveness.  GAO agrees and did not use the
Nimble Dancer wargame to analyze weapon effectiveness.  Rather, GAO
used Air Force modeling of the air campaign for two major regional
conflicts, which was provided to the Joint Staff as input to Nimble
Dancer, to show that targets assigned to the B-1B are not unique to
the B-1B. 

DOD's comments also state that GAO implied that future precision
munitions will be such a large force multiplier that they justify
retiring the B-1B now.  DOD acknowledges, however, that precision
munitions are a fundamental enhancement to combat effectiveness.  GAO
believes that the capabilities of precision munitions should be
considered in making force structure decisions and notes that the
President, in redirecting the Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study in
February 1996, highlighted the potential that the increasing
capabilities of weapons could allow some consolidation of the
aircraft, ships, and missiles that will deliver these weapons.  GAO
believes that DOD may be able to avoid unnecessarily expending
significant funds to improve ground-attack capabilities that DOD
already considers sufficient.  Although DOD's comments state that
options to retire or reduce the B-1B force will be included in the
study, DOD officials noted at an exit conference that the list of
options has not been finalized and time constraints may require DOD
to reduce the number of options currently on the list.  Consequently,
GAO is still including a recommendation. 

DOD partially concurred with the recommendation that the Secretary of
the Air Force provide the Secretary of Defense with an assessment of
the risk resulting from shortfalls in the B-2 and the B-1B mobility
readiness spares packages and personnel needed to support
conventional operations.  DOD agreed that there is a personnel
shortfall and is currently evaluating several options to address it. 
DOD did not agree that there is a shortfall in the mobility readiness
spares packages for the B-2 and the B-1B and indicated that, after
detailed review and analysis, it decided that a 14-day versus a
30-day package is appropriate for the B-2 and the B-1B based on
logistics initiatives.  During GAO's review, Air Combat Command and
Air Force headquarters officials consistently stated that the
decision to fund a 14-day package was budget driven and that they
were concerned that it would not be sufficient.  DOD and Air Force
officials did not provide documentation that logistics initiatives
were the basis for its decision.  Therefore, GAO still believes that
further analysis is needed to assess the risk associated with 14-day
mobility readiness spares packages. 

DOD did not agree with the recommendation that the Secretary of the
Air Force assess the potential to place more bombers in the reserve
component and reexamine the decision to relocate six B-1Bs to
Mountain Home Air Force Base.  DOD stated that the bombers' mission
of striking targets on the first days of a conflict would stress
reserve units' capacity to respond within timely constraints, due to
call-up and mobilization requirements.  However, in response to
congressional inquiries about the initial assignment of bombers to
reserves, the Air Force stated that there would be no loss of
war-fighting capability with such assignments.  Similarly, RAND
reported in 1993 that the Air Force reserve components train to
readiness standards similar to those for active units.  GAO still
believes that placing additional B-1Bs in the reserves warrants
consideration and could result in significant annual recurring
savings. 

With respect to moving bombers to Mountain Home Air Force Base, GAO
believes that DOD has not demonstrated that the benefits associated
with the composite wing concept outweigh the increased cost to
maintain small numbers of dissimilar aircraft at the same location
compared with traditional basing concepts.  In light of the
construction costs that will be incurred and the constraints that
will affect B-1B operations and maintenance for several years after
the move, GAO still believes the move should be reconsidered. 

DOD also provided GAO with technical comments on the report and where
appropriate, GAO changed and updated information in the report. 


INTRODUCTION
============================================================ Chapter 1

At the height of the Cold War, the United States envisioned a force
of over 400 heavy bombers to deter against the Soviet nuclear threat
and to be prepared to launch long-range nuclear strikes.  The end of
the Cold War, marked by the breakup of the Soviet Union and
negotiation of strategic arms limitations treaties, drastically
reduced requirements for long-range bombers and resulted in a shift
of the bombers' primary role from nuclear to conventional missions. 
Since the early 1990s, Department of Defense (DOD) and the Air Force
have reduced the size of the bomber force, begun to implement a new
concept of operations to use bombers in conventional conflicts, and
embarked on a program to upgrade the bombers' conventional
capabilities. 


   TYPES OF BOMBERS IN DOD'S
   INVENTORY
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:1

The U.S.  heavy bomber force consists of B-2s, B-1Bs, and B-52Hs. 
DOD plans to retain all three types of bombers well into the 21st
century.  Each type has a unique history that has been shaped in part
by significant congressional interest in bomber issues.  We have
issued numerous reports on bomber issues in response to congressional
concerns; these reports are listed at the end of this report. 

In 1978, DOD began to design the B-2 as a stealthy bomber to
penetrate enemy defenses for both nuclear and conventional missions. 
The B-2 is a two-crew aircraft that incorporates stealth
(low-observable) technologies to enhance survivability.  In 1981, the
Air Force planned to buy 132 B-2 aircraft, but the 1994 Defense
Authorization Act limited the procurement to 20 aircraft with a cost
ceiling of $28.968 billion in fiscal year 1981 constant dollars.  The
1996 Defense Authorization Act removed this cost ceiling, and the
Congress made available an additional $493 million that will be used
to convert the first B-2 test aircraft into an operational B-2. 
Today, 21 aircraft are planned at a cost of about $45 billion in
then-year dollars.  The first B-2 was delivered in 1989, and the last
block 30 aircraft is scheduled to be completed in 2000.  The
contractor will deliver the B-2s in three configurations (referred to
as blocks 10, 20, and 30), and each successive block possesses
improved capabilities.  By 2000, the Air Force plans to have 21 B-2s
in the block 30 configuration in its inventory. 

In 1970, the Air Force began to develop the B-1 bomber for strategic
nuclear missions as a high-speed aircraft designed to penetrate
Soviet airspace and evade Soviet radar by flying low to the ground. 
The B-1 program experienced difficulties from its inception, and in
1977, the program was canceled.  But, in 1981, DOD revived the B-1
program, approving production of the B-1B to be part of a two-bomber
program to replace the aging B-52 fleet.  The B-1B was intended to
serve as a penetrating bomber until the B-2 bomber was deployed in
the 1990s, at which time the B-1B was expected to assume a standoff
role.  The first squadron of B-1Bs became operational in October
1986.  The contractor delivered the 100th and final B-1B in May 1988. 
As a result of crashes,
95 B-1Bs remain.  Throughout its existence, the B-1B has had
technical problems, particularly with its defensive avionics system. 

B-52 bombers, which were first introduced in 1954, were produced in
eight configurations (A through H) with the last H aircraft delivered
in October 1962.  While 744 B-52s were built, only 94 remain.  During
the decades of the Cold War, B-52s were dedicated primarily to
deterring nuclear war.  However, B-52Gs were the first
missile-capable B-52 bombers and were used in conventional roles in
Vietnam and the Persian Gulf.  During Operation Desert Storm, B-52Gs
dropped approximately one-third of the total tonnage of bombs
delivered by U.S.  air forces striking wide-area troop
concentrations, fixed installations, and bunkers and are credited
with destroying the morale of Iraq's Republican Guard.  Following
Desert Storm, the Air Force retired the B-52Gs and provided B-52Hs
with enhanced conventional capabilities.  While the 744 B-52s
originally cost a little over $4.5 billion (an average unit cost of
$6.1 million), over $41 billion has been spent over more than 40
years for their development, procurement, modernization, and service
life extension.  On the basis of engineering studies, the Air Force
estimates that the B-52H will be structurally sound until about 2030. 


   PLANNED CHANGES IN BOMBER FORCE
   STRUCTURE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:2

Since 1992, DOD and the Air Force have completed four major studies
that have addressed bomber requirements--the Nuclear Posture Review,
the Bottom-Up Review (BUR), the Air Force Bomber Roadmap, and the
congressionally mandated 1995 Heavy Bomber Force Study.  On the basis
of these studies, DOD plans to make changes (shown in table 1.1) to
the bomber force structure by 2001. 



                               Table 1.1
                
                 Current and Planned (for 2001) Bomber
                                 Force

                                       Current
                                    operationa                 Planned
                           Current           l              operationa
                        inventory\  inventory\     Planned           l
Bomber                           a           b   inventory   inventory
----------------------  ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
B-2                             13           6          21          16
B-1B                            95          60          95          82
B-52H                           94          56          71          56
======================================================================
Total                          202         122         187         154
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a Number of aircraft funded for flying, test and maintenance backup
aircraft, and aircraft held in reserve for later use. 

\b Number of aircraft funded to fly. 

Source:  Department of the Air Force. 

Of the planned operational aircraft, 130 bombers will be available
for conventional and nuclear missions and 24 will be used for
training.  The remaining 33 aircraft are test and backup aircraft. 

The Air Force has chosen to fully fund the operation of only 60 B-1Bs
for the next few years, compared with plans to fund 82 beyond fiscal
year 2000.  In the short term, the Air Force has classified 27 of 95
B-1Bs as "reconstitution aircraft." These aircraft are not funded for
flying hours and lack aircrews, but they are based with B-1B units,
flown on a regular basis, maintained like other B-1Bs, and modified
with the rest of the fleet.  B-1B units will use flying hours and
aircrews that are based on 60 operational aircraft to rotate both the
operational aircraft and the reconstitution aircraft through its
peacetime flying schedule.  However, because the Air Force has chosen
not to fund aircrews for its reconstitution reserve aircraft, placing
aircraft in reconstitution reserve reduces the number of aircraft the
Air Force can support during wartime.  In fiscal year 1997, the Air
Force plans to begin reducing the number of reconstitution reserve
aircraft by establishing two additional squadrons of B-1B aircraft
and funding additional aircrews and flying hours. 

Since the Cold War ended, DOD has transferred some long-range bombers
to the Air Force reserve components for the first time.  In 1994, the
Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard established 1 B-52H
squadron with 8 aircraft and 1 B-1B squadron with 10 aircraft.  The
Air National Guard will establish one additional B-1B squadron of
eight aircraft in the near future. 

All bombers will be based in the continental United States.  The Air
Force plans to expand the number of B-1B bases from three to five
beginning in fiscal year 1996.  Specifically, the Air Force plans to
move six B-1Bs to Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho and establish
a new Air National Guard squadron of B-1Bs at Robins Air Force Base
in Georgia.  Another Air National Guard squadron of B-1Bs is located
at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas.  Figure 1.1 shows the
locations of the future bomber force. 

   Figure 1.1:  Future Locations
   of Bomber Forces

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  Department of the Air Force. 


   B-52H'S AND B-2'S NUCLEAR ROLE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3

In 1991, the President of the United States took the bombers off
nuclear alert status.  Subsequently, in January 1993, the Presidents
of the United States and the Russian Federation signed the Strategic
Arms Reduction Treaty (START) II building on agreements reached in
START I signed July 1991.  The treaty sets equal ceilings on the
number of nuclear weapons that can be deployed by either party.  If
ratified by both countries, the START II treaty would reduce the
deployable nuclear warheads to no more than 3,500 by the year 2003. 
In assessing bomber requirements in light of the new limits, DOD
plans to remove the B-1B from the nuclear role.  The B-2s and B-52Hs
will retain the nuclear mission.  B-52Hs assigned to the Air Force
Reserve remain available for nuclear missions, but they will be flown
by active duty pilots if assigned nuclear missions. 


   AIR FORCE'S CONVENTIONAL
   CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS FOR
   BOMBERS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:4

According to the Air Force Bomber Roadmap, bombers will provide the
majority of the firepower during the initial and sustained operations
phases of major regional conflicts.  From bases in the United States,
the Air Force expects the bombers to fly long duration, round-trip
missions of up to 36 hours to make initial attacks within 24 hours of
being tasked.  Within a few days of the start of a conventional
conflict, bombers will be expected to deploy to forward locations for
sustained operations, flying shorter and more frequent missions.  The
goal of the bomber missions will be to halt invading enemy armored
forces and disrupt the enemy's ability to wage war by attacking
time-critical targets quickly, using a combination of direct attack
and standoff munitions.  Some bombers deployed to a major regional
conflict will be expected to swing to a second regional conflict if
needed. 

Each bomber will play a different role in a major regional conflict. 
The Air Force envisions the B-2 as the leading edge of the initial
response to conflict because of its projected stealthiness and
weapons delivery precision.  The B-2 will be expected to fly into
heavily defended areas to attack highly valued targets as well as
enemy ground troops.  The Air Force will assign both standoff and
penetrating missions to the B-1B in medium-to-high threat
environments and will expect the B-1B to destroy the bulk of the
defended, time-critical targets early in the conflict using direct
attack and standoff munitions.  The B-52H will be primarily a
standoff bomber in the early phases of conflict, using
precision-guided munitions such as conventional air-launched cruise
missiles, and will provide massive firepower by directly attacking
targets in low- to medium-threat environments using munitions such as
the Joint Direct Attack Munition.\1 Figure 1.2 shows the Air Force's
planned employment of the bombers. 

   Figure 1.2:  Planned Bomber
   Employment Based on Threat

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  Department of the Air Force. 


--------------------
\1 The "Joint Direct Attack Munition" is a 2,000-pound MK-84 unitary
warhead bomb modified with a kit that includes steerable fins, a
global positioning system receiver, and an intertial navigation
system to increase the range and accuracy of the weapon. 


   ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT IN
   BOMBERS SPURRED BY BOMBER
   CONCEPT OF OPERATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:5

In addition to defining the new concept of operations for bombers,
the Air Force's 1992 Bomber Roadmap established an investment
strategy to enhance the conventional capabilities of the bombers. 
The study recognized that all three bombers currently have limited
conventional capabilities, the B-1B defensive avionics system needs
to be upgraded, and the B-2 and B-1B bombers lack sufficient mobility
readiness spares packages to meet wartime requirements.  The 1992
Bomber Roadmap estimated B-1B and B-52H upgrades would cost about $3
billion.  The costs to integrate conventional munitions on the B-2
are included in the B-2 program cost.  In 1993, we concluded that
B1-B upgrade costs were underestimated by billions of dollars because
they did not include costs to fix B-1B operational problems, acquire
an effective B-1B defensive avionics system, and acquire adequate
mobility readiness spares packages.\2

B-2 modifications involve integrating conventional munitions on the
aircraft and developing a deployable mission planning system to
accommodate rapid changes in scenarios and mission routes.  The block
10 B-2, currently in the Air Force's inventory, can carry only
gravity bombs, but after all modifications are complete, it will be
able to carry additional gravity weapons and some advanced munitions. 

The B-1B currently can drop only gravity weapons and, because of
problems with its defensive avionics system, would be limited to
low-threat environments.  The Roadmap's B-1B Conventional Munitions
Upgrade Program addresses these shortfalls in a phased approach.  By
1997, the aircraft will be certified to use a family of cluster
munitions, but its capability to employ advanced direct attack and
standoff precision munitions will not be available until after 2000. 
Also, the defensive avionics system upgrade will not be completed
until well into the next decade. 

The B-52H requires the least amount of funding to upgrade its
conventional capabilities and is and will continue to be the most
versatile bomber in the fleet.  It is the only standoff bomber in the
inventory today, and in the future, still will carry more types of
weapons than either the B-1B or the B-2.  Appendix I includes a
description of the munitions planned for the bombers.  Table 1.2
shows the current and future munitions carrying capabilities of the
three bombers. 



                               Table 1.2
                
                Bomber Capability to Carry Conventional
                               Munitions


                              Curre  Futur  Curre  Futur  Curre  Futur
Munition                         nt      e     nt      e     nt      e
----------------------------  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----  -----
Gravity Bombs                     X      X      X      X      X      X
 (unguided)
Cluster Bombs                     X      X      X      X             X
 (unguided)
Sea Mines                         X      X             X             X
HAVE NAP                          X      X
CALCM                             X      X
Harpoon                                  X
JDAM                                     X             X             X
WCMD                                     X             X
JSOW                                                   X
JASSM                                    X             X             X
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Our analyses based on Air Force data. 


--------------------
\2 Strategic Bombers:  Adding Conventional Capabilities Will Be
Complex, Time-Consuming, and Costly (GAO/NSIAD-93-45, Feb.  5, 1993). 


   OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND
   METHODOLOGY
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:6

The Chairman of the House Budget Committee requested that we evaluate
the basis for DOD's bomber force structure requirements, assess Air
Force's progress to implement its new conventional concept of
operations for using bombers, and determine the cost to keep the
bombers in the force and enhance their conventional capabilities.  As
part of this review, we also identified and assessed the potential
cost savings and effects on military capability of four alternatives
for reducing bomber costs, including retiring or reducing the B-1B
force, as well as the need for procuring additional B-2s if the B-1B
force is reduced or retired. 

To assess the basis for the number of bombers in DOD's planned force
structure, we reviewed documents supporting the four major DOD bomber
requirements studies.  We discussed major study assumptions with
Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Air Force,
and Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) officials to understand the
significance to the study conclusions.  We compared the assumptions
with current defense guidance, the new bomber concept of operations,
and information obtained from war-fighting commanders in chief (CINC)
concerning their plans for bomber operations.  Also, we assessed
bomber contributions to two major regional conflicts by analyzing (1)
DOD's database used in the Capabilities Based Munitions Requirements
development process and (2) the results of Air Force modeling of
recent DOD wargaming of the two major regional conflict scenario.  In
evaluating the number of bombers required for the nuclear mission, we
discussed the nuclear force structure options and major study
assumptions included in the Nuclear Posture Review with Office of the
Secretary of Defense, U.S.  Strategic Command officials, and Air
Force officials. 

To assess Air Force progress in implementing the concept of
operations for bombers, we evaluated Air Force documents on a range
of factors that are critical to effective implementation of the
concept, such as the sufficiency of mobility readiness spares
packages and bomber staffing levels, the operational readiness of the
bombers, and technical challenges to modify the bombers for the
conventional mission.  We also reviewed our prior reports and those
of DOD and others addressing these factors, and we discussed them
with CINC staff, Air Force headquarters, Air Combat Command, and
bomber unit officials to understand their significance. 

To determine the cost to keep the bombers in the force and modify
them, we obtained and analyzed investment and operational and support
costs related to the bomber force from DOD's Fiscal Year 1997 Future
Years Defense Program (FYDP).  We obtained and analyzed Air Force
documents on the cost to modernize the bombers beyond the FYDP.  We
compared these costs with those reported in the 1995 DOD Heavy Bomber
Force Study to identify any significant differences. 

On the basis of our assessment of DOD's bomber requirements and force
structure plans, we developed four alternatives to the planned B-1B
bomber force structure and assessed the costs and risks associated
with each one.  In identifying options for smaller bomber forces, we
limited our analysis to B-1B alternatives because the B-1B will play
no role in the nuclear mission and therefore seems a more logical
candidate for downsizing than either the B-52 or the B-2.  Also, we
examined placing 24 more B-1Bs in the Air National Guard because this
would result in a 50/50 active/reserve ratio and the Air Force has
placed 50 percent or more of some refueling and air mobility assets
in the reserve component.  We asked the Congressional Budget Office
to estimate the budgetary savings of the alternatives and discussed
the risks associated with the alternatives with Office of the
Secretary of Defense, U.S.  Strategic Command, and Air Force
officials. 

Because DOD and the Congress have considered the need for additional
B-2s beyond the planned force in recent years and our options to
retire or reduce the B-1B force may raise further questions about the
need for additional B-2s, we assessed their need in light of the
estimated cost of more B-2s and DOD's aggregate conventional and
nuclear war-fighting capabilities.  We reviewed and compared cost
estimates for 20 additional B-2s developed by DOD, the B-2
contractor, the Congressional Budget Office, and IDA.  To assess the
impact of more B-2s on DOD's conventional war-fighting capabilities,
we reviewed studies by IDA, the Congressional Budget Office, and
several private organizations and compared their methodologies and
key assumptions.  We also assessed the contributions of B-2s by
analyzing the types and number of targets assigned to B-2s in DOD's
1995 Heavy Bomber Force Study and DOD's Capabilities Based Munitions
Requirements development process.  To assess the impact of more B-2s
on DOD's nuclear force, we discussed the need for additional B-2s
with U.S.  Strategic Command officials and obtained their assessment
of how additional B-2s would affect compliance with nuclear warhead
carrying capability limits included in the START II. 

We performed our review at the Office of the Secretary of Defense;
Joint Chiefs of Staff; Air Force Headquarters; the National Guard
Bureau; IDA; the United States Central Command; the Central Command
Air Forces; the U.S.  Pacific Command; the U.S.  European Command;
the U.  S.  Strategic Command; the Air Combat Command; the 2nd Bomb
Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana; the 28th Bomb Wing,
Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota; and the 509th Bomb Wing,
Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. 

We conducted this review from November 1994 through May 1996 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


DOD HAS NOT ADEQUATELY SUPPORTED
STATED REQUIREMENTS FOR BOMBERS
============================================================ Chapter 2

DOD has not demonstrated convincingly that it needs to retain 187
bombers to meet war-fighting requirements.  According to a major DOD
study of nuclear requirements completed in 1994, only about 45
percent of DOD's planned bomber force--66 B-52s and 20 B-2s--will be
needed for the nuclear role.  DOD's decision to maintain an overall
force of 187 bombers was shaped largely by three key DOD and Air
Force studies--the BUR, the 1995 Heavy Bomber Force Study, and the
Air Force Bomber Roadmap.  None of the studies fully addresses the
Commission on Roles and Missions concern that DOD may have more
ground-attack capability than it needs or assesses whether other less
costly alternatives exist to accomplish missions that would likely be
assigned to bombers.  Moreover, in concluding that DOD would need up
to 100 bombers for a major regional conflict, the three studies
assume that CINCs will use significantly more bombers in future
conflicts.  In addition, the Air Force's principal study of bomber
requirements--the Bomber Roadmap--appears to have overstated bomber
requirements by assuming that a significant portion of the bomber
force will need to be reserved solely for nuclear missions, although
DOD has taken bombers off nuclear alert and considers all bombers to
be available for conventional operations. 

Our analysis shows that DOD has extensive, overlapping capabilities
to conduct ground attack.  While DOD needs a level of redundancy and
overlap to provide CINCs with a safety margin and flexibility, it may
not need to upgrade its capabilities to the extent currently planned. 
Despite recent downsizing, the services continue to operate about
5,900 advanced fixed-wing combat aircraft and helicopters, as well as
other advanced airpower assets that will be used to attack the same
types of targets as bombers during conventional conflicts.  Although
bombers are unique in that they carry large quantities of munitions
over long distances, they do not provide a unique contribution to
destroy most types of targets they would likely be assigned.  In
response to a finding by the congressionally chartered Commission on
Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces that DOD may have more ground
attack capability than it needs, DOD is reassessing its requirements
for ground attack assets, including bombers, across the services.\1


--------------------
\1 U.S.  Combat Air Power:  Reassessing Plans to Modernize
Interdiction Capabilities Could Save Billions (GAO/NSIAD-96-72, May
13, 1996). 


   NUCLEAR MISSION WILL REQUIRE
   LESS THAN HALF OF DOD'S PLANNED
   BOMBER FORCE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:1

In 1994, DOD conducted the Nuclear Posture Review, the first such
review in 15 years, to determine the number of bombers needed for the
nuclear mission assuming that START I and II agreements would be
implemented by 2003.  The review concluded that the United States
should retain 66 B-52Hs and no more than 20 B-2s for the bomber leg
of the nuclear triad after analyzing several combinations of
ballistic missile submarines, intercontinental ballistic missiles,
and bombers that, together, could carry 3,500 warheads stipulated as
the maximum allowable warhead carrying capability in START II.  DOD
tentatively plans to allocate 1,320 of these warheads to the bomber
force.  The review also concluded that B-1Bs were not needed for the
nuclear role, and according to DOD officials, did not specify that
any bombers be dedicated solely to the nuclear mission. 

In mid-1995, DOD determined that it would reduce its B-52H force from
94 to 66 and limit the number of B-2s to 20, consistent with the
results of the Nuclear Posture Review.  However, DOD subsequently
decided to maintain 71 B-52Hs and convert the first B-2 test aircraft
to an operational aircraft for a total of 21 B-2s.  Although DOD
plans to retain a larger number of B-52Hs and B-2s than previously
planned, the decision to retain more aircraft was not prompted by a
need for a larger nuclear force structure.  According to Air Force
officials, the Air Force decided to increase the B-52H force to
provide a larger attrition reserve force to hedge against potentialfuture losses of B-52Hs.  Moreover, the 21st B-2 is being procured
because the Congress made available an additional $493 million in
fiscal year 1996 for the B-2 program.  Although they may not be
needed for the nuclear mission, the carrying capability of these
additional aircraft will count toward the START II limits.  In order
to stay within treaty limits if the treaty is ratified, the Air Force
plans to modify some B-52Hs so that they can carry fewer than their
maximum capability of 20 warheads. 


   STUDIES' LIMITATIONS MAY HAVE
   CAUSED DOD TO OVERSTATE BOMBER
   REQUIREMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2

Although none of the studies (BUR, the Air Force Bomber Roadmap, and
the 1995 Heavy Bomber Force Study) concluded specifically that DOD
should maintain 187 bombers, taken together, they played a major role
in DOD's decision to keep 187 bombers in the force and modify them
for the conventional role.  However, all three studies have
significant limitations that may overstate DOD's need for bombers. 
For example, none of the studies assessed the cost-effectiveness of
bombers compared with that of other deep attack assets (such as
tactical fighter aircraft and missiles) in DOD's inventory.  In
addition, BUR did not adequately consider the potential contributions
of precision-guided weapons and new weapon systems in development. 
Moreover, the Bomber Roadmap used some questionable assumptions.  For
example, it assumed that (1) bombers would be the only assets
available during the initial days of a conflict to attack
time-critical targets and (2) a significant number of bombers would
need to be dedicated solely to nuclear missions.  In concluding that
about 100 bombers would be needed for the first major regional
conflict, all three studies assumed that CINCs would use
significantly more bombers than they plan to use today and deploy
them earlier in future conflicts.  However, this assumption appears
questionable because DOD currently categorizes its ability to execute
the two major regional conflict strategy as adequate and our analysis
of DOD data shows that the threat is not expected to increase
significantly within the next decade. 


      BUR REQUIREMENT BASED ON
      LIMITED ANALYSIS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.1

BUR, completed in 1993, concluded that 100 bombers would be adequate
for a major regional conflict and that some of these bombers would
shift to a second conflict if needed.  BUR further concluded that a
total inventory of up to 184 bombers was needed to meet nuclear and
conventional requirements.  Joint Chiefs of Staff and Office of the
Secretary of Defense officials told us that BUR's conclusion that 100
bombers would be adequate for a major regional conflict was based on
several factors--including the number of bombers used in Desert Storm
and military judgment.  However, DOD did not conduct detailed
analysis or modeling to determine how a range of alternative bomber
forces would fare in the context of two nearly simultaneous major
regional conflicts.  Moreover, DOD did not examine the
cost-effectiveness of using bombers to destroy ground targets
compared with the cost-effectiveness of using other deep-attack
assets. 

In 1995, we reported on BUR's methodology and concluded that DOD had
not fully analyzed key BUR assumptions about the availability of
forces, supporting capabilities, and force enhancements needed to
execute the two major regional conflict strategy.\2 BUR assumed that
some specialized assets such as bombers would swing to a second major
regional conflict, but as noted in our prior report, DOD did not
analyze the specific types and numbers of assets that would swing,
the timing of the swing, or logistical requirements.  Also, BUR
projected force requirements only to the 1999 time frame, prior to
the completion of bomber modifications and the fielding of many new
precision weapons (such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition and Joint
Standoff Weapon) that should greatly improve fighter and bomber
effectiveness and potentially reduce the number of bombers and
fighters needed to fight two major regional conflicts. 


--------------------
\2 Bottom-Up Review:  Analysis of Key DOD Assumptions
(GAO/NSIAD-95-56, Jan.  31, 1995). 


      BOMBER REQUIREMENTS ASSERTED
      BY THE AIR FORCE BOMBER
      ROADMAP BASED ON
      QUESTIONABLE ASSUMPTIONS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.2

The Air Force Bomber Roadmap--first published in 1992 and updated in
1995--established the Air Force's conventional concept of operations
for bombers to provide initial attacks and sustained firepower for
major regional conflicts and identified and set into a motion a
bomber modernization plan to upgrade the bombers' conventional
capabilities.  The Roadmap established a requirement for 210 bombers,
23 more than DOD plans to retain in the force, through 2004 as shown
in table 2.1. 



                               Table 2.1
                
                 Air Force Bomber Roadmap Requirements

Operational bombers\a
------------------------------------------------------------  --------
Available to deploy to major regional conflict                     100
Dedicated nuclear withhold\b                                        66
Trainers                                                            24
======================================================================
Total operational bombers                                          190
Backup and test bombers                                             20
======================================================================
Total bomber requirement                                           210
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a "Operational bombers" are those funded for flying.  The Air Force
refers to these aircraft as primary authorized inventory and includes
bombers that are combat-capable and designated for training. 

\b Bombers held in reserve for the nuclear mission and unavailable
for conventional missions. 

Source:  Air Combat Command Bomber Roadmap, January 1995. 

DOD has decided to keep only 187 bombers in the force because it
considers other programs that compete with bombers for the Air
Force's share of projected budgets to be higher priority.  However,
in 1995, the Commander of the Air Combat Command, who is responsible
for developing the Roadmap, testified that, on the basis of the Air
Force's analysis, he believed DOD's planned force may be too small. 

Our analysis of the Bomber Roadmap showed that it may overstate
requirements because it included three questionable assumptions. 
First, the Air Force accepted the BUR's conclusion that 100
deployable bombers would be needed for a major regional conflict
without conducting detailed modeling to validate this number. 
Second, the Air Force identified a requirement to dedicate 66 bombers
for the nuclear mission even though DOD has removed bombers from
nuclear alert and considers all bombers available for conventional
missions.  Third, the Air Force assumed that only bombers would be
available to strike a notional set of over 1,250 time-critical target
elements (aim points for about 240 targets) based on the military's
experience in Desert Storm.  The Roadmap analysis showed that the
current bomber force could strike only about 24 percent of the
time-critical target elements in the first days, but, in 2001,
upgraded bombers will be able to strike all of the target elements. 

With respect to the third issue, the Air Force did not take into
account the contributions of other deep attack assets (such as Air
Force and Navy tactical fighters and missiles) that could attack some
of these same targets.  We pointed out this shortcoming in our 1993
report on DOD's bomber modernization plan.\3 In response to our
report, DOD responded that the Bomber Roadmap was not a coordinated
DOD-wide effort, but an Air Force plan for equipping bombers.  The
1995 updated Roadmap again did not address this shortcoming, even
though current DOD planning guidance assumes that Air Force and Navy
tactical aircraft would arrive early enough in theater to attack
targets during the halt phase of a major regional conflict. 


--------------------
\3 Strategic Bombers:  Adding Conventional Capabilities Will Be
Complex, Time-Consuming, and Costly (GAO/NSIAD-93-45, Feb.  5, 1993). 


      DOD'S 1995 HEAVY BOMBER
      FORCE STUDY DID NOT COMPARE
      BOMBERS WITH OTHER DEEP
      ATTACK ASSETS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.3

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 and the
DOD Appropriations Act of 1995 required DOD to study bomber
requirements and provide an independent cost-effectiveness analysis
of Air Force bomber programs.  The overall objective of the study was
to assess bomber force requirements (on the basis of Defense Planning
Guidance) for two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts in
1998, 2006, and 2014, and to analyze the cost-effectiveness of
alternative Air Force bomber forces in achieving U.S.  military
objectives.  DOD contracted with IDA, a Federally Funded Research and
Development Center, for the study.  IDA used DOD's then-projected
force structure of 182 bombers, Defense Planning Guidance scenarios,
and DOD planning factors for force deployments, and weapons
inventories for each of the 3 years as its baseline case to analyze
and compare the cost-effectiveness alternative bomber forces.  The
study also analyzed excursions from the Defense Planning Guidance,
including shorter warning times, delayed arrival times for U.S. 
forces, fewer available tactical aircraft, and improved enemy
threats. 

To assess the cost-effectiveness of alternative bomber force mixes,
IDA modeled five bomber force structures ranging from a small force
of 115 bombers to a large force of 210 as shown in table 2.2.  The
number of bombers shown is the total aircraft inventory.  The actual
number of bombers that DOD assumed would deploy for each alternative
in the study is classified but is less than the total inventory. 



                               Table 2.2
                
                  Bomber Force Structure Alternatives
                Assessed in the Heavy Bomber Force Study


                                            B-
Bomber force structures analyzed          52Hs   B-1Bs   B-2s\   Total
--------------------------------------  ------  ------  ------  ======
Planned force                               66      95      21     182
Increase B-52Hs                             94      95      21     210
Retire B-1Bs                                94       0      21     115
Buy 20 B-2s, retire B-1Bs                   94       0      41     135
Buy 20 B-2s for planned force               66      95      41     202
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  DOD's Heavy Bomber Force Study. 

On the basis of the results of IDA's analysis, DOD concluded that (1)
the planned bomber force can meet the national security requirements
of two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts for anticipated
scenarios and reasonable excursions and (2) planned conventional
mission upgrades to the B-1B force are more cost-effective than
procuring additional B-2s.  IDA's analysis showed that the United
States would win two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts for
all the options modeled.  However, the study concluded that DOD's
planned force of 182 bombers was more cost-effective than other
options, including the two smaller bomber forces modeled. 

While the Heavy Bomber Force Study is the most comprehensive of the
DOD and Air Force studies to date, it has one key shortcoming.  Like
the other studies discussed, this study did not examine whether
tactical fighters or long-range missiles could accomplish the mission
more cost-effectively than bombers.  Bomber force structure size
varied for each of the options, whereas other deep attack forces such
as tactical fighters remained constant. 


      UNIFIED COMMANDERS PLAN TO
      USE FEWER BOMBERS THAN
      SUGGESTED BY STUDIES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.4

Although the three major studies of bomber requirements concluded
that military commanders would need about 100 bombers for a major
regional conflict, the CINCs currently plan to use far fewer than 100
bombers to implement their war plans.  The number of bombers included
in the CINCs' current war plans may be smaller than DOD envisions in
part because DOD has fewer bombers in its inventory today that are
funded for combat operations and because the B-1Bs currently have
limited conventional capabilities.  Once the bombers are upgraded,
the CINCs might choose to include more bombers in their plans than
they would today.  However, none of the CINCs' representatives we
spoke with expressed concern that the smaller number of bombers in
DOD's current inventory was a limiting factor that would adversely
affect the outcome of a campaign. 

Additionally, one CINC's current war plan would not require bombers
to deploy as early as envisioned by DOD and Air Force studies.  How
quick bombers deploy to forward operating locations would depend on
the CINCs' priority for airlift.  In 1995, the Congressional Budget
Office pointed out in its analysis of bomber force options that, even
in a conflict with little warning, it is unlikely that CINCs would
divert airlift to forward deploy bombers in lieu of other forces.\4
The CINCs would likely use available airlift to rush more flexible
tactical aircraft and ground forces to the theater while using
bombers for operations from bases within the United States at reduced
sortie generation rates. 


--------------------
\4 CBO Papers:  Options for Enhancing the Bomber Force (July 1995). 


   SERVICES HAVE NUMEROUS WAYS TO
   ATTACK GROUND TARGETS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3

The services have numerous, overlapping ways to attack ground targets
in major regional conflicts and have concluded that they have enough
capability to carry out the national military strategy.  CINCs plan
for redundant target coverage when assigning targets to the services
and often have many ways to attack targets using various combinations
of weapons and platforms.  Moreover, planned enhancements will
increase DOD's capabilities substantially over the next several
years, particularly its capabilities to attack ground targets.  DOD
has numerous other ways to attack targets that would likely be
assigned to bombers in conventional operations. 

Although DOD has reduced its total combat aircraft by almost 30
percent since the Persian Gulf War, the military services continue to
operate over 5,900 fighter and attack aircraft and helicopters. 
Aircraft are increasingly being supplemented by other advanced combat
airpower assets,\5 such as long-range cruise missiles, unmanned
aerial vehicles, and theater air defense forces.  Many of these
assets will be used to interdict enemy ground targets--one of the
principal missions for which bombers are being maintained and
upgraded.  Table 2.3 identifies other airpower assets that are
assigned the interdiction mission. 



                               Table 2.3
                
                Other DOD Assets Used to Interdict Enemy
                             Ground Targets

                                                                  1996
Airpower assets by service                                   Inventory
--------------------------------------------------------  ------------
Air Force
F-16C/D Fighting Falcon                                          1,450
F-15E Strike Eagle                                                 203
F-117A Stealth Fighter                                              54
A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II                                             369
Navy/Marine Corps
F/A-18 Hornet                                                      806
F-14 Tomcat                                                        323
AV-8B Harrier                                                      184
A-6 Intruder                                                        63
AH-1W Cobra                                                        176
Tomahawk                                                         2,339
Army
AH-64 Apache                                                       798
Cobra/Kiowa Warrior                                                758
ATACMS                                                           1,456
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. 

We reviewed DOD's plans to modernize its numerous combat airpower
assets and concluded that some of DOD's airpower modernization
programs will add only marginally to the already formidable
capabilities and some should be reconsidered from a joint
perspective.\6 We concluded that, although some redundancy is needed
to provide the CINCs with operational flexibility, DOD may have more
than ample capability to perform such missions.  In May 1995, the
congressionally mandated Commission on Roles and Missions of the
Armed Forces also concluded that DOD may have greater quantities of
strike aircraft and other deep attack weapons than it needs.\7

CINCs routinely apportion more than 100 percent of the targets to the
services to provide a safety margin and ensure flexibility.  For
example, we previously reported that one CINC assigned the Army 5 to
10 percent, the Navy 20 to 30 percent, the Marines 15 to 25 percent,
and the Air Force
65 to 75 percent of one target type--a total apportioned range of 105
to 140-percent coverage--even though the CINC's objective was to
destroy only 80 percent of the target quantity.  Therefore, even if
the services can achieve only the low end of the total apportioned
range (105-percent coverage), the 80-percent destruction goal will be
met.  This over-apportionment creates a margin of safety and allows
flexibility to ensure targets will be hit even if some expected
capabilities are not available.  However, it also establishes the
expectation that the services will acquire and maintain sufficient
forces to provide this level of target coverage.  Figure 2.1 shows
the CINC's total apportionment of targets to the services compared
with the CINC's destruction objective for selected targets identified
for one major regional conflict.  (Providing specific target names
would require the figure to be classified.)

   Figure 2.1:  CINC's Total
   Apportioned Percentages for
   Selected Targets in One Major
   Regional Conflict

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  Our analysis of DOD data. 

Our analysis of DOD's Capabilities Based Munitions Requirements
database for two major regional conflicts in 2002 shows that the
services have numerous ways to strike ground targets that may be
assigned to bombers.  This database consists of Defense Intelligence
Agency ground target data for the two major regional conflict
scenario, and in conjunction with CINC allocations of targets to the
services, is used in DOD's computation of munition requirements.  It
includes both strategic and interdiction targets, which are the
bombers' principal targets.  Strategic targets are those vital to the
enemy's war-making capacity and may include manufacturing systems,
communications facilities, and concentrated enemy armed forces. 
Interdiction targets are those ground targets generally beyond the
close battle and commanders interdict these targets to divert,
disrupt, or destroy them before they can effectively be used against
friendly forces. 

We analyzed strategic and interdiction targets assigned to the Air
Force to determine whether there were any bomber-unique target types
(considering all Air Force aircraft but excluding other services'
assets that may also be assigned to hit the same types of targets as
bombers).  We found three bomber-unique targets in the first conflict
and eight in the second conflict as shown in table 2.4.  The B-2 and
B-1B unique targets types were strategic targets.  Most of the B-52H
unique target types also were strategic targets. 



                                              Table 2.4
                               
                                  Number of Target Types Assigned to
                               Bombers and Number of These Targets Also
                               Assigned to Other Air Force Aircraft in
                                                 2002


                                   Number of                                 Number of
                                these target                              these target
                                       types                                     types
                     Number of   assigned to     Number of     Number of   assigned to     Number of
                  target types     other Air       bomber-  target types     other Air       bomber-
                   assigned to         Force        unique   assigned to         Force        unique
Bomber type            bombers      aircraft  target types       bombers      aircraft  target types
----------------  ------------  ------------  ------------  ------------  ------------  ------------
B-2                         15            15             0             9             7             2
B-1B                        11            10             1            11            11             0
B-52H                       11             9             2            21            15             6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Our analysis of DOD's Capabilities Based Munitions
Requirements database. 

However, when considering all of the services' ground attack assets,
Air Force modeling of the two major regional conflict scenario showed
that there were no unique bomber target types. 


--------------------
\5 This includes not only fixed-wing aircraft, but also attack
helicopters, long-range cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles,
and other assets that provide the United States the ability to
maintain air superiority and to project power worldwide through the
air. 

\6 Combat Air Power:  Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making
Program and Budget Decisions (GAO/T-NSIAD-96-196, June 27, 1996). 

\7 Directions for Defense, Report of the Commission on Roles and
Missions of the Armed Forces (Washington, D.C.:  GPO, May 24, 1995). 


   DOD IS ASSESSING DEEP ATTACK
   REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL SERVICES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:4

In response to a May 1995 recommendation from the Commission on the
Roles and Missions,\8 DOD initiated a Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study
to assess deep attack requirements across the services.  The
Commission recommended that DOD conduct a DOD-wide cost-effectiveness
study to determine the appropriate number and mix of deep attack
capabilities currently fielded and under development by all services. 

The President of the United States has directed that the study
examine trade-offs between long-range bombers, land- and sea-based
tactical aircraft, and missiles that are used to strike the enemy's
rear.  The President also directed that it focus on the potential
that the growing inventory and the increasing capabilities of weapons
could allow some consolidation of the ships, aircraft, and missiles
that will deliver them.  The first part of the study, to be completed
in late 1996, will analyze weapons mix requirements for DOD's planned
force in 1998, 2006, and 2014 and determine the impact of force
structure changes on the weapons mix.  The second part of the study
will analyze trade-offs among elements of the force structure, such
as bombers and tactical aircraft, for the same years and is to be
completed in early 1997. 

In May 1996, we recommended that DOD should routinely review service
modernization proposals based on how they will enhance DOD's current
aggregate capabilities and that such analyses should serve as the
basis for deciding funding priorities.\9 Moreover, in a recent
testimony, we concluded that such assessments should (1) assess total
joint war-fighting requirements; (2) inventory aggregate service
capabilities, including the full range of available assets; (3)
compare aggregate capabilities to joint requirements to identify
excesses or deficiencies; (4) assess the relative merits of retiring
alternative assets, reducing procurement quantities, or canceling
acquisition programs where excesses exist or where substantial payoff
is not clear; and (5) determine the most cost-effective means to
satisfy deficiencies.\10


--------------------
\8 The Commission was authorized in the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994
(P.L.  103-160, Nov.  30, 1993). 

\9 U.S.  Combat Air Power:  Reassessing Plans to Modernize
Interdiction Capabilities Could Save Billions (GAO/NSIAD-96-72, May
13, 1996). 

\10 Combat Air Power:  Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making
Program and Budget Decisions (GAO/T-NSIAD-96-196, June 27, 1996). 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:5

DOD has not made a compelling case that it needs to maintain and
upgrade 187 bombers in light of the services' already extensive and
overlapping capabilities to attack ground targets.  Because the
studies do not adequately consider the potential that DOD may need to
reduce its overall ground attack capabilities and other airpower
assets may be more cost-effective in providing ground attack than
bombers, they do not provide a sound basis for DOD's conclusion that
it needs 187 bombers.  Once the bombers are upgraded, their
contribution to conventional conflicts may be smaller than assumed by
the studies if the CINCs maintain their plans to use fewer than 100
bombers for a major regional conflict and do not place higher
priority on airlifting bombers to forward operating locations. 

DOD's Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study will provide DOD with an
opportunity to address the methodological shortcomings of its prior
studies and identify options to reduce some of its extensive ground
attack capabilities, including bombers.  The success of this study
depends on how well DOD components will be able to work together to
produce an objective analysis of DOD's airpower and weapons
requirements that results in a force that is both adequate and
affordable within the context of projected DOD budgets. 


SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES REMAIN TO
IMPLEMENT AIR FORCE'S OPERATIONAL
CONCEPT FOR BOMBERS
============================================================ Chapter 3

The Air Force faces significant challenges in implementing its
conventional concept of operations for bombers established by the
Bomber Roadmap.  The Air Force's ability to implement the concept
depends on its ability to successfully complete its bomber
modernization program, achieve and maintain an acceptable mission
capable rate,\1 and ensure that the bombers can sustain operations
from forward operating locations.  The B-2 has not demonstrated that
it can meet some of its most important conventional mission
requirements, and most B-1B modernization programs will not be
completed until about 2006.  The B-1B, which is expected to be the
backbone of the conventional bomber force, has experienced difficulty
in maintaining acceptable mission capable rates.  Moreover,
demonstrating the capability to operate at overseas locations poses a
significant challenge for the B-2 and the B-1B, both of which were
originally designed with limited conventional capabilities and
deployment requirements.  For example, limited mobility readiness
spares packages for the B-2 and B-1B and shortages in some military
occupations for the B-1B and B-52H may hinder the deployment and
sustainability of these bombers. 


--------------------
\1 The "mission capable rate" is the percentage of time the bombers
are available for missions.  The Air Force considers a bomber to be
mission capable if it can perform at least one of its assigned
peacetime or wartime missions. 


   BOMBER MODERNIZATION EFFORTS
   FACE TECHNICAL AND SCHEDULE
   CHALLENGES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1

The Bomber Roadmap established a plan to upgrade the conventional
capabilities of the bombers to enable them to deliver (1) additional
types of unguided munitions currently in DOD's inventory and (2) new
high-altitude, all-weather precision munitions that DOD is developing
for the bomber force and Air Force and Navy tactical aircraft.  The
plan also provides for defensive system upgrades for better
protection against enemy air defense systems for the B-1B and new
radios for all bombers to allow them to better communicate in the
tactical environment.  The B-52H modification program is almost
completed.  However, the B-2 and B-1B programs will not be completed
until about 2000 and 2008, respectively.  The Air Force faces
significant technical challenges in completing the
21 B-2s authorized by the Congress, modernizing the B-1B, and
demonstrating that they will meet operational requirements. 


      B-2 HAS NOT DEMONSTRATED
      THAT IT CAN MEET SOME
      IMPORTANT MISSION
      REQUIREMENTS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1.1

The B-2's principal mission changed from nuclear to conventional in
late 1992 when the Air Force decided to incorporate precision-guided
munitions on the bomber.  Its operational requirements specify that
the B-2 weapon system have low observable characteristics and
sufficient range and payload to deliver nuclear or conventional
weapons anywhere in the world requiring the blending of conventional
and state-of-the-art technologies.  This blending of aircraft
technologies make the B-2 a complex and costly aircraft to develop
and produce.  In 1987, the Air Force gained approval to procure the
B-2 concurrently with development and testing.  The Air Force is
accepting the B-2 in three configuration blocks with each new block
acquiring additional capabilities that must be demonstrated in flight
testing. 

The first B-2 deliveries are block 10 configurations for which flight
testing has been completed.  The block 10 configuration provides the
Air Force with a training aircraft with limited combat capability. 
The block 20 configuration will include an interim precision strike
capability not available in the block 10, and the block 30 B-2 will
have additional precision strike capability.  By 2000, the Air Force
plans to have 21 block 30 B-2s. 

Since 1990, we have issued several unclassified reports on the Air
Force's progress and problems in fielding the B-2.  In August 1995,
we reported that the Air Force had not yet demonstrated that the B-2
could meet some of its important mission requirements and that the
contractor had experienced difficulties in delivering B-2s that meet
operational requirements.\2 The report noted that B-2s were generally
delivered late with significant deviations and waivers, but that the
Air Force plans to correct all deficiencies as the aircraft undergo
block modifications.  Also, we found that flight testing has been
slower than planned and that the Air Force's projections for
completing testing were optimistic.  We estimated that the Air Force
may need an additional 55 aircraft test months to complete the
planned flight testing.\3 As of April 1996, the Air Force had
completed 75 percent of the flight testing; it plans to complete
flight testing by July 1, 1997.  However, given the amount of flight
testing that remains, the Air Force may not be able to meet this
completion date.  The Air Force has reduced the amount of flight
testing planned and is assessing further reductions in order to meet
the planned completion date. 

Early test results have identified potential problems in the B-2's
ability to meet some important mission requirements.  For example,
achieving acceptable radar signatures, the most critical stealth
feature needed for B-2 operational effectiveness, has been a problem. 
This problem resulted in the redesign and retesting of the test
aircraft, and in redefinition of acceptable radar signatures for the
block 10 configuration.  Subsequently, the Air Force completed radar
signature flight testing for the block 30 B-2 in March 1996, and
characterized test results as generally meeting predictions. 
However, in some cases the radar signatures did not meet planned
essential employment capabilities.  The Air Force is analyzing the
signatures that did not meet requirements to determine whether
further design and testing is needed.  Also, testing revealed
problems with the software and radar system for the terrain-following
and terrain-avoidance system needed for low-level flight.  Additional
problems may be found as the concurrent testing and manufacturing
proceed, potentially resulting in the delivery of B-2s with limited
operational capability or the need for modifications beyond the block
30 configuration, which would require additional funds to correct. 


--------------------
\2 B-2 Bomber:  Status of Cost, Development, and Production
(GAO/NSIAD-95-164, Aug.  4, 1995). 

\3 An "aircraft test month" is the availability of one test aircraft
for 1 month and equates to about
20 flight test hours. 


      MOST B-1B CONVENTIONAL
      UPGRADES NOT COMPLETED UNTIL
      2006 AND DEFENSIVE AVIONICS
      UPGRADES NOT FULLY DEFINED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1.2

The B-1B has had a history of problems and was fielded with some
unproven systems that did not meet user requirements including the
weapon, defensive avionics, and terrain-following systems.  DOD has
embarked on a three-phase Conventional Munitions Upgrade Program for
the B-1B that will incrementally equip it with advanced
precision-guided munitions and upgraded computer and defensive
avionics systems.  Phase I will equip the bomber with three types of
the most modern family of cluster munitions, including the combined
effects munition to attack soft area targets, mines to attack armor
and personnel, and sensor-fuzed weapons to attack armor.  Phase II
will add global positioning system technology; upgrade
communications, computer, and defensive avionics systems; and enable
the B-1B to carry new near-precision, short-range munitions such as
the Joint Direct Attack Munition and Wind-Corrected Munitions
Dispenser.  Phase III will provide the aircraft with standoff
capability by integrating the Joint Standoff Munition.  While most of
the upgrades will be completed about 2006, the defensive avionics
upgrades will not be completed until about 2008 (as shown in fig. 
3.1). 

   Figure 3.1:  Conventional
   Mission Upgrade Program
   Schedule

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  Department of the Air Force. 

The Air Force has changed its plans to upgrade the B-1B computer and
defensive avionics systems, which are crucial for integrating and
employing precision munitions, because the planned computer upgrades
would not fully meet operational requirements and the planned
defensive avionics system was too costly.  Upgrading computers and
software is critical to enhancing the conventional capabilities of
the B-1B.  In 1995, we reviewed the Air Force's plans to upgrade the
B-1B's computer and found that the Air Force had analyzed several
options ranging from simply expanding the current system's memory to
installing new systems and software.\4 Because of funding priorities,
the Air Force initially chose to only upgrade the memory of the
current system.  We concluded that simply upgrading the memory would
be inadequate because it would not fully support the planned
conventional mission upgrades and operational requirements.  In
response to our report, the Air Force decided to increase funding to
replace the existing computer and convert to new software.  We
further concluded that it is extremely important that the Air Force
not revert to a computer upgrade approach for the B-1B based on cost
alone but ensure that sufficient resources are allocated so that the
computers support the planned B-1B conventional capability
enhancements.  The Air Force currently estimates that the computer
upgrade design phase will be completed in January 1997 and the
upgrades will be completed about the middle of fiscal year 2006. 

In 1988, the Air Force determined that the B-1B defensive avionics
system was flawed and could not meet contract specifications.  The
specifications were relaxed to support the B-1B's nuclear role as a
low-altitude penetrator against Soviet air defenses.  In 1992, the
Bomber Roadmap noted that an effective defensive avionics system is
more crucial for conventional missions because of the diversity and
number of threats that the B-1B may encounter.  In 1993, DOD began to
evaluate defensive avionics systems requirements and alternatives and
developed a two-phase approach to upgrade the defensive avionics
system to incrementally add capabilities based on when enemy threat
systems are expected to become operational.  DOD planned for limited
operational capability in 2003 and full operational capability in
2007.  In 1995, the defensive avionics system upgrade was again
redirected to another less costly two-phased approach that
incorporates off-the-shelf components already being used on other
aircraft and technology from other programs.  The Air Force plans for
the first phase to provide capabilities adequate for the threat
expected through 2002 and the second phase to provide full capability
against more advanced threats in 2008. 

The Air Force currently is modifying the operational requirements
documents for the defensive avionics system and has not completed the
required cost and operational effectiveness analysis for it.  This
analysis was initially to be completed in the fall of 1995, and the
Air Force currently expects it to be completed in October 1996.  In a
December 1995 letter to the Secretary of the Air Force commenting on
the conventional upgrade program, we noted that the B-1B was fielded
with a defensive avionics system that did not meet user requirements
in large part because testing was sacrificed to meet the schedule of
fielding the system.  We observed that the Air Force's current plan
appears to include an adequate testing program.  However, we
cautioned that the planned testing program needs to be maintained
even if it means extending the program's completion. 


--------------------
\4 Embedded Computers:  B-1B Computers Must Be Upgraded to Support
Conventional Requirements (GAO/AIMD-96-28, Feb.  27, 1996). 


   B-1B HAS EXPERIENCED
   OPERATIONAL READINESS PROBLEMS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:2

It has historically been difficult for the B-1B force to maintain an
acceptable mission capable rate.  These rates directly impact the
number of sorties that can be flown over a period of time.  In the
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, the Congress
expressed its concern about the low B-1B mission capable rate by
requiring the Air Force to conduct a B-1B Operational Readiness
Assessment to determine whether one B-1B wing could achieve and
maintain the 75-percent mission capable rate for 6 months, if fully
supported with personnel, spare parts, maintenance equipment, and
logistical support.  The Air Force conducted the assessment between
June 1, 1994, and November 30, 1994, and issued its final report to
congressional defense committees on February 28, 1995.  We, at the
direction of the Congress, monitored and reported on the assessment
and found that it was complete and comprehensive and that the data it
generated was credible.  The Air Force reported that during the
assessment, the 28th Bomb Wing achieved an 84- percent mission
capable rate.  At the end of the assessment, the rate for the entire
B-1B fleet was about 65 percent.  The report pointed out that the
assessment showed that the B-1B support structure, if fully funded,
could keep the B-1B in a mission capable status but that it was not a
measure of B-1B's effectiveness in executing assigned missions.  For
the 2 years prior to this assessment, the B-1B fleet mission capable
rate averaged about 57 percent.  The rates have improved over time
and, in the first 6 months of fiscal year 1996, averaged about 72
percent. 

The Air Force concluded that, with an additional $11.2 million for
management actions and reliability and maintainability improvements,
the B-1B fleet has the potential to achieve and sustain a 75-percent
mission capable rate by 2000 if already ongoing initiatives and
continued funding for spare parts are completed.  In response, the
Congress included $11.2 million in the Air Force's fiscal year 1996
budget to improve the B-1B's mission capable rate.  However, on the
basis of our analysis of the operational readiness assessment, we
reported that the $11.2 million estimate was optimistic and that the
Air Force cannot predict how successful the ongoing or planned
initiatives will be.\5 Therefore, the potential cost to achieve and
sustain a 75-percent mission capable rate is unknown. 


--------------------
\5 B-1B Bomber:  Evaluation of Air Force Report on B-1B Operational
Readiness Assessment (GAO/NSIAD-95-151, July 18, 1995). 


   DIFFICULTIES SUPPORTING BOMBERS
   AT FORWARD OPERATING LOCATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3

Significant challenges remain in demonstrating that the numbers of
B-2s and B-1Bs envisioned for use in conventional conflicts will be
able to operate from forward operating locations for sustained
periods of time.  For example, whereas nuclear missions require a
single-sortie penetration of enemy airspace, conventional missions
require repetitive sorties, the ability to deploy to forward
operating locations relatively close to the conflict, and the ability
to sustain operations for an extended period of time.  Mobility
readiness spares packages, which allow the bombers to operate from
remote locations without resupply until a supply line is established,
were not initially authorized for B-2 and B-1B units because they
were not needed for the nuclear mission.  Also, personnel
requirements were geared primarily to nuclear operations. 

Officials at one war-fighting command told us that they raised
concerns to the Air Force about the reliability, deployability, and
supportability of the B-1B in developing their war plans and that
they initially preferred the B-52H.  These concerns related to B-1B's
historically low mission capable rate, insufficient mobility
readiness spares packages, and personnel shortfalls.  But, at the
urging of the Air Force, the war-fighting command has included some
B-1Bs in their war plans. 


      MOBILITY READINESS SPARES
      PACKAGES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.1

Historically, the Air Force has equipped deploying aircraft units
with mobility readiness spares packages that would support them in
combat operations for a 30-day period without the need for resupply. 
This 30-day period allows time for the Air Force to establish a
resupply system as airlift becomes more readily available.  In 1993,
we reported on adding conventional capabilities to the bombers and
noted that 30-day packages were critical to sustaining B-52G
operations in Operation Desert Storm.\6 Currently, tactical fighter
and B-52H units are authorized 30-day packages.  However, the Air
Force plans to provide B-2 and B-1B units with packages that will
support them for only a 14-day period.  Air Combat Command logistics
officials responsible for managing the packages believe that the
14-day kits may not be adequate to sustain combat operations until
resupply systems are in place.  However, the Air Force has not funded
30-day packages because it views other programs as higher priorities. 

The Air Force has budgeted $98.1 million in the fiscal year 1997 FYDP
to procure additional B-1B parts and equipment for the 14-day
packages currently authorized.  According to Air Force officials,
this amount should fully fund these packages.  The 1997 FYDP does not
include funds for additional packages to support the additional B-1B
units that the Air Force will establish with the reconstitution
reserve aircraft. 

The Air Force, also plans to fund 14-day mobility readiness spares
packages for B-2 units, using funds appropriated for the B-2 program. 
According to Air Force officials, the size and cost of the packages
have not been determined yet because the Air Force has limited
experience with the B-2 and cannot yet predict effectively what parts
are likely to break and, therefore, should be included in the
packages.  The Air Force has formed a team of B-2 logisticians and
maintenance personnel to determine the mobility readiness spares
package requirements for the B-2.  By 2000, the Air Force expects to
be able to deploy 16 block 30 B-2s with 14-day packages.  However, it
is not clear that 14-day packages will be adequate, particularly
given that some B-2s will be expected to swing to a second major
regional conflict if the need arose. 


--------------------
\6 Strategic Bombers:  Adding Conventional Capabilities Will Be
Complex, Time-Consuming, and Costly (GAO/NSIAD-93-45, Feb.  5, 1993). 


      PERSONNEL SHORTAGES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.2

The Air Force currently cannot meet its war-fighting requirement to
support the full complement of B-1B and B-52H bombers allocated to
war-fighting CINCs because of personnel shortages in some
occupational specialties, especially bomb assembly and bomb loading. 
The shortages will increase significantly in fiscal years 1999 to
2001 after the Air Force has established additional B-1B squadrons
using the reconstitution reserve aircraft.  By 2003, the Air Force
estimates it will need about 1,600 more personnel than available (as
shown in table 3.1). 



                               Table 3.1
                
                    Initial Air Force Projections of
                  Additional Personnel Needed to Meet
                 Conventional Wartime Bomber Deployment
                              Requirements

                                                                Fiscal
                                                        Fiscal    year
                                                          year   2001-
                                                          1998      03
------------------------------------------------------  ------  ------
B-52 Shortages
Bomb loaders                                                72      72
Bomb assemblers                                            191     191
Others                                                     145     145
======================================================================
B-52 Total                                                 408     408
B-1 Shortages
Bomb loaders                                                69     150
Bomb assemblers                                             67     275
Others                                                      76     742
======================================================================
B-1 Total                                                  212   1,176
======================================================================
Total                                                      620   1,584
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Air Combat Command. 

DOD did not include funding in the fiscal year 1997 FYDP to resolve
these personnel shortages.  Moreover, the Air Force's program
objective memorandum for fiscal year 1998 did not include funding to
alleviate them.  The Air Force has tasked the Air Combat Command to
develop a plan and identify funding requirements to eliminate the
shortages using either active or reserve personnel or a combination
of both.  The numbers in table 3.1 may change somewhat once the Air
Combat Command completes a more detailed review of its requirements. 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4

The Air Force faces significant challenges in successfully
implementing its conventional concept of operations to use bombers in
two major regional conflicts.  The Air Force has not yet demonstrated
that the B-2 can meet some of its most important operational
requirements.  B-2 testing to date has revealed some problems, and
continued testing concurrent with production could result in the
delivery of B-2s with limited conventional capabilities or that
require additional modification.  The B-1B computer and defensive
system upgrades have been recently redirected and will not be fully
completed until 2006 and 2008, respectively.  The Air Force's planned
testing programs for the B-2 and B-1B need to be fully implemented to
ensure that operational requirements are met. 

The Air Force also faces operational challenges in deploying bombers
to forward operating locations early in the conflict and sustaining
their operations.  If the B-1B force cannot achieve and sustain a
75-percent mission capable rate, it will not be able to generate the
number of sorties envisioned by the Bomber Roadmap.  While the B-1B
Operational Readiness Assessment showed that one fully supported wing
of B-1Bs can achieve and sustain at least a 75-percent rate, it is
still not known whether the entire B-1B force can achieve that rate
by 2000.  The Air Force has not resolved the bomber personnel
shortages in order to meet CINCs requirements for deployed bombers. 
Also, the bombers may not be able to sustain operations before a
resupply system is in place because the Air Force plans to fund
14-day mobility readiness spares packages for the B-2 and B-1B
instead of 30-day packages. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:5

Bombers that remain in the force will need to be able to deploy and
sustain operations at overseas locations to meet CINC requirements. 
Therefore, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense require the
Secretary of the Air Force to (1) provide an assessment of the risk
resulting from shortfalls in meeting requirements for mobility
readiness spares packages and providing personnel needed to support
conventional operations overseas, including the impact of the
shortfalls on the Air Force's ability to meet CINC requirements for
bombers and (2) prepare plans and time frames to eliminate these
shortfalls or mitigate the risks associated with them. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:6

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD partially
concurred with the recommendation that the Secretary of Defense
require the Secretary of the Air Force to (1) provide an assessment
of the risk resulting from shortfalls in meeting requirements for
mobility readiness spares packages and providing personnel needed to
support conventional operations, including the impact of the
shortfalls on the Air Force's ability to meet commander in chief
requirements for bombers and (2) prepare plans and time frames to
eliminate these shortfalls or mitigate the risks associated with
them.  DOD agreed that there is a shortfall in personnel impacting
the Air Force's ability to meet requirements.  The Air Force is
evaluating several options to resolve the personnel issue. 

DOD did not agree that there is a shortfall in the mobility readiness
spares packages.  DOD noted that, after careful review and analysis,
it made a conscious decision to field 14-day versus 30-day packages
for the B-1B and B-2.  DOD said that the new logistics emphasis on
rapid transportation versus large and expensive inventories is
consistent with 14-day packages.  Also, DOD noted that it
incorporated DOD's strategic logistics initiative in B-1B and B-2
mobility readiness spares package computations.  Neither Air Force
nor DOD officials provided evidence that the decision was based on
logistics initiatives, however.  Moreover, DOD's position is contrary
to information we obtained from the Air Combat Command and Air Force
headquarters concerning this issue.  Officials at both levels
expressed concern that the 14-day packages were insufficient to meet
requirements and that the decision to fund only the 14-day package
was budget driven. 


COSTS TO OPERATE AND MODERNIZE THE
PLANNED BOMBER FORCE ARE
SIGNIFICANT AND WILL INCREASE
============================================================ Chapter 4

DOD's fiscal year 1997 FYDP includes about $17 billion to operate,
sustain, and modernize the planned bomber force for 1996 through
2001.  As shown in table 4.1, $6.3 billion, or 37 percent, reflect
investment costs,\1 while $10.7 billion (63 percent) reflect amounts
planned to operate and support bombers.\2 Spending on operations and
support funding is expected to increase significantly after 2001,
once the Air Force has established two new squadrons of B-1Bs and has
completed the B-2 program.  Cost estimates developed by IDA for the
1995 Heavy Bomber Force Study show that the B-1B force will account
for the largest portion of future bomber operation and support costs
but that the B-2 will be by far the most costly bomber to operate on
a per aircraft basis, costing over three times as much as the B-1B
and over four times as much as the B-52H. 

The total cost to modernize DOD's heavy bomber force is likely to
exceed $7 billion by 2008.  In addition to spending over $6 billion
between fiscal years 1996 and 2001 to modernize the bomber force, the
Air Force expects to spend almost $800 million beyond 2001 to
complete modifications to the B-1B.  Moreover, the Air Force is
studying options to upgrade the B-2 force beyond the block 30
configuration which, if approved, would result in additional
investment costs beyond those programmed in the fiscal
year 1997 FYDP. 



                               Table 4.1
                
                Fiscal Year 1997 FYDP Funding for Heavy
                                Bombers

                    (Dollars in billions 1996-2001)

                              Operations
Bomber                       and support     Investment          Total
-------------------------  -------------  -------------  =============
B-2                                  2.8            4.1            6.9
B-1B                                 4.7            1.9            6.6
B-52H                                3.2            0.3            3.5
======================================================================
Total                               10.7            6.3           17.0
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Our analysis of the fiscal year 1997 FYDP. 


--------------------
\1 "Investment costs" include funds programmed for research,
development, test, and evaluation; military construction; and
procurement. 

\2 "Operations and support costs" include operations and maintenance
and military personnel funding. 


   OPERATIONS AND SUPPORT COSTS
   WILL GROW
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:1

Operations and support costs included in the fiscal year 1997 FYDP
support a smaller number of operational bombers during the initial
years, then grow to support a larger force once the Air Force
establishes two new B-1B squadrons and additional B-2s enter the
inventory.  For example, in fiscal year 1996, the fiscal year 1997
FYDP reflects funding for only
60 operational B-1Bs because the Air Force has placed 27 B-1Bs in
reconstitution reserve and categorizes the remaining aircraft as test
or backup assets.  Operations and support costs for 2001 reflect
funding for
82 operational B-1Bs.  In addition, the Air Force expects to have
16 operational B-2s by 2000 versus 9 B-2s in fiscal year 1996.  As
more B-2 and B-1B aircraft become operational, costs for personnel,
fuel, general and system support, and depot-level maintenance will
increase. 

According to an analysis conducted by IDA as part of the 1995 DOD
Heavy Bomber Force Study, annual operations costs for DOD's planned
bomber force will continue to increase beyond 2001, until the planned
bomber force reaches its steady state in the year 2007 (when bomber
modifications are nearly completed).  The Air Force does not have as
much experience operating the B-1B and the B-2 as it does operating
the B-52.  Thus, B-1B and B-2 long-term operations and maintenance
costs are somewhat difficult to predict.  However, costs to maintain
the B-1B and B-2 force, particularly for items such as software
maintenance, are expected to increase once these aircraft are
upgraded for the conventional role and gain the capability to deliver
a wider range of unguided and precision-guided weapons.  As part of
the 1995 DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study, IDA estimated steady state
operations and support costs for each of the bombers.  Figure 4.1
compares the average annual operations and support costs for each of
the bombers reflected in DOD's fiscal year 1997 FYDP with IDA's
estimate of annual steady state costs to operate and maintain each of
the bombers. 

   Figure 4.1:  Comparison of
   Average Annual Operations and
   Support Costs by Bomber Type
   (In millions of fiscal year
   1996 constant dollars)

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Note:  Comparison is between costs reflected in DOD's 1997 FYDP and
IDA's estimate of annual costs beginning in 2007. 

Source:  Our analysis of data from the fiscal year 1997 FYDP and IDA
data supporting DOD's Heavy Bomber Force Study. 

The planned bomber program will cost about $337 million more annually
than the average annual costs in fiscal year 1997 FYDP, or about $2
billion more over a 6-year period.  This represents an increase in
costs of 20 percent. 

As shown in figure 4.1, the total B-1B force will cost more than
either the B-52H or the B-2 force to operate and sustain both in the
near term and the more distant future.  This is because DOD plans to
maintain a larger B-1B force compared with the B-52H and the B-2
forces.  As shown in figure 4.2, each B-2 is over three times as
expensive as a B-1B and over four times as expensive as a B-52H. 

   Figure 4.2:  Annual Operations
   and Support Costs per Bomber in
   2007 (In millions of fiscal
   year 1996 dollars)

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  Our analysis of IDA data supporting DOD's Heavy Bomber Force
Study. 


   COSTS TO MODERNIZE THE HEAVY
   BOMBER FORCE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:2

The total cost to modernize DOD's bomber force will be at least $7
billion through 2008.  The fiscal year 1997 FYDP includes about $6.3
billion to modernize the heavy bomber force.  About 95 percent of
these funds will be used to upgrade the conventional capabilities of
the B-1B and complete the B-2 program.  Modifications to the B-52H to
enhance its conventional capabilities and improve safety and
reliability will cost only about $300 million.  DOD plans to spend
almost an additional $800 million beyond 2001 to complete the B-1B
conventional upgrade. 


      B-1B INVESTMENT COSTS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:2.1

The costs to modernize the B-1B force between fiscal years 1996 and
2008 will exceed $2.8 billion.  The Air Force plans to spend about
$2.3 billion to improve the B-1B's conventional capabilities and
about $0.5 billion to improve the B-1B's engine, power system, and
flight safety.  The estimated B-1B investment cost is shown in table
4.2. 



                               Table 4.2
                
                            B-1B Investments

                         (Dollars in millions)

                                                 Beyond
                            Fiscal years         fiscal
                               1996-2001      year 2001          Total
-------------------------  -------------  -------------  =============
Conventional enhancements          1,543            799          2,342
Other modifications and              433             46            479
 support items
======================================================================
Total                              1,976            845          2,821
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Our analysis of Air Force data. 


      B-2 INVESTMENT COSTS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:2.2

The fiscal year 1997 FYDP includes about $4.1 billion in research and
development and procurement funds to complete 21 B-2s.  The 1994
Defense Authorization Act limited B-2 program acquisition costs to
$28.968 billion, expressed in fiscal year 1981 constant dollars.  In
August 1995, we reported that an Air Force cost estimate indicated
the final cost for 20 operational aircraft will be about $28.820
billion in fiscal year 1981 dollars, or about $44.4 billion in
then-year dollars.  Although the legislative cost cap for the first
20 aircraft no longer applies as a result of language included in the
fiscal year 1996 Defense Authorization Act, the Air Force still plans
to complete the first 20 B-2s for about $44.4 billion.  The Air Force
plans to use $493 million in additional B-2 funds made available by
the Congress in fiscal year 1996 to convert a test aircraft, known as
AV-1, into the 21st operational B-2. 

The Air Force is studying several options to upgrade the B-2's
capabilities beyond those included in block 30 that could result in
additional B-2 investments.  In 1994, the Air Force began to explore
options for a B-2 Multi-Stage Improvement Program by contracting with
the B-2 prime contractor to study potential enhancements to the B-2. 
The contractor developed four options to improve the B-2's
conventional capabilities and reduce operations and support costs. 
The Air Force will further assess the options to determine their
cost-effectiveness.  Also, as part of the 1995 DOD Heavy Bomber Force
Study, IDA identified several additional enhancements to the B-2 for
DOD to consider.  The fiscal year 1997 FYDP does not include funding
for any of these options. 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:3

Over the next decade, DOD plans to spend billions of dollars to
operate, sustain, and modernize the bomber force.  In constant
dollars, the costs to operate and sustain the bomber force will
increase as the Air Force funds more bombers for operations and the
bomber force reaches a steady state around 2007.  While the B-1B will
cost more in total operations and support costs on an annual basis
than the other bombers because of its larger numbers, the B-2 will be
by far the most expensive bomber to operate and sustain on a per
aircraft basis, costing over three times as much as the B-1B and over
four times as much as the B-52H. 


OPTIONS FOR REDUCING BOMBER COSTS
============================================================ Chapter 5

On the basis of our analysis of DOD's requirements for bombers and
planned force structure, we identified four options for reducing and
restructuring DOD's bomber force that would achieve cost savings
while retaining extensive aggregate airpower capabilities.  The first
two alternatives--retiring all or a portion of the B-1B fleet--would
result in a smaller bomber force than DOD currently plans.  Retiring
or reducing the B-1B force would not result in a significant decrease
in DOD's existing capabilities given that the B-1B currently lacks an
effective defensive avionics system and is capable of delivering few
types of conventional weapons.  Retiring or reducing the B-1B force
after the conventional upgrades are completed would reduce the CINCs'
ability to attack some targets as quickly as desired and would reduce
DOD's long-range capability.  However, DOD would retain sufficient
airpower capabilities in the aggregate to destroy ground targets
associated with two major regional conflicts.  The third and fourth
options--increasing the number of B-1Bs in the Air National Guard and
reducing the number of planned B-1B bases--offer lower cost savings
because they do not reduce the number of bombers in the planned
force. 

The options we developed, even those that call for a smaller bomber
force, assume that DOD will maintain its planned force of 21 B-2s and
71 B-52Hs.  These aircraft will continue to be needed for the nuclear
role and therefore appear to be less suitable candidates for
retirement or downsizing than the B-1B.  Although both DOD and the
Congress have considered the need for additional B-2s in recent
years, substantial future costs could be avoided if the size of the
B-2 force is capped at 21 aircraft as DOD currently plans.  Procuring
additional B-2s would hinder DOD's efforts to develop an affordable
long-term recapitalization plan unless offsetting cuts in other
programs were realized. 


   RESTRUCTURING OR REDUCING THE
   BOMBER FORCE WOULD GENERATE
   SAVINGS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:1

According to DOD officials, DOD must identify funds for
recapitalization if it is to ensure a modern, ready force for the
future.  For example, many of the tactical aircraft purchased during
the defense buildup in the 1980s will reach their projected
retirement age over the next 10 or more years.  DOD's tactical
aircraft procurement plans call for much greater than expected
resources in the outyears than currently planned.  By the year 2001,
DOD expects procurement funding to increase to $60 billion--over 40
percent higher than the administration's fiscal year 1997 budget
request.  This plan assumes that (1) the defense budget top line will
stop its decline in fiscal year 1997 and begin to rise again, (2) DOD
will achieve significant savings from infrastructure reductions, and
(3) DOD will achieve significant savings through acquisition reform. 

Within the past few years, defense experts have questioned the
realism of DOD's plan for achieving a balanced, modernized force that
assumes no further reductions from force levels established by BUR. 
For example, our analysis of DOD's planned funding for
infrastructure,\1 issued in April 1996, states that DOD will realize
no significant net infrastructure savings between fiscal years 1996
and 2001 that can be applied to modernization.  Moreover, DOD has not
quantified the savings it expects to achieve from acquisition reform. 
In recent months, DOD's leadership has recognized that DOD may need
to identify other sources of funding from within DOD's budget for
high-priority modernization efforts.  Among the options being
considered by DOD are reducing infrastructure below levels assumed in
DOD's fiscal year 1997 FYDP, transferring additional missions to the
reserve component, and identifying opportunities for eliminating
systems that provide redundant capabilities.  DOD's Deep Attack
Weapons Mix Study, which will examine the contributions of each of
the services' airpower assets compared with other assets in DOD's
current and projected inventory, is one such effort that may identify
opportunities for reducing or eliminating redundant airpower
capabilities, according to DOD officials. 


--------------------
\1 Defense Infrastructure:  Budget Estimates for 1996-2001 Offer
Little Savings for Modernization (GAO/NSIAD-96-131, Apr.  4, 1996). 


   OPTIONS DIFFER IN TERMS OF
   OPPORTUNITIES FOR COST SAVINGS
   AND EFFECTS ON MILITARY
   CAPABILITY
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:2

The four options we developed differ in terms of their potential for
achieving cost savings and their effects on DOD's aggregate airpower
capabilities.  The Congressional Budget Office estimated the
potential budget savings associated with the four options, using
DOD's fiscal year 1996 plan as its baseline.  As shown in table 5.1,
option one would yield the greatest cost savings; option four the
least savings.  Options two through four are not mutually exclusive. 
Various combinations of them would save DOD more money. 



                               Table 5.1
                
                 Five-Year Cost Savings of Four Options
                        (fiscal years 1997-2001)

                         (Dollars in millions)

Option                            Budget authority      Budget outlays
------------------------------  ------------------  ------------------
Retire 95                                   $5,890              $5,310
 B-1Bs
Retire 27                                      450                 380
 B-1Bs
Place 24 more                                   70                  70
 B-1Bs in Air National Guard
Consolidate Basing of Active                    40                  39
 B-1Bs
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Congressional Budget Office. 

The first two options would reduce somewhat DOD's aggregate
capability to attack some ground targets and would reduce DOD's
inventory of long-range assets that can attack targets at significant
distances without refueling.  However, because significant redundancy
exists in the services' ability to destroy ground targets, the United
States would still have sufficient airpower capabilities to destroy
ground targets associated with two major regional conflicts.  The
last two options would keep 95 B-1Bs in the force and therefore would
have negligible impact on DOD's conventional capabilities.  Because
the B-1B will be taken out of the nuclear role in the near future,
none of the options will have an effect on DOD's planned nuclear
force, even if START II is not ratified. 


   OPTION 1:  RETIRE DOD'S B-1B
   FORCE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3

As discussed in chapter 2, DOD's principal studies of bomber
requirements have significant limitations in their methodology and in
some cases include questionable assumptions that may overstate DOD's
need for bombers in conventional conflicts.  Moreover, our 1996
review of DOD's air power capabilities and the Commission on Roles
and Missions concluded that DOD appears to have more than ample
capability to destroy ground targets.\2 In October 1995, the Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated that he will challenge the Joint
Requirements Oversight Council to propose innovative recommendations
to maintain U.S.  war-fighting capability without necessarily
maintaining the same number of systems.  The Chairman's report
further stated that DOD cannot afford all of the validated
requirements in the queue and that tough decisions must be made on
which modernization programs to go ahead with and which to cancel so
that DOD can develop and implement a long-term, sustainable
recapitalization plan. 

Retiring the B-1B is one option that would somewhat reduce DOD's
aggregate conventional airpower capabilities and result in
significant cost savings--about $5.9 billion in budget authority for
fiscal years 1997-2001.  Eliminating the B-1B force would decrease
DOD's inventory of long-range airpower assets and increase U.S. 
forces' dependency on other capabilities and, therefore, the risk
that some targets might not be hit as quickly as desired.  However,
it is plausible to expect that the targets could be hit by other U.S. 
military assets.  B-2s and B-52Hs would still be available for
missions requiring long-range and large payload capabilities. 


--------------------
\2 Combat Air Power:  Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making
Program and Budget Decisions (GAO/T-NSIAD-96-196, July 27, 1996). 


      RISK ASSOCIATED WITH
      RETIRING B-1BS MAY BE
      ACCEPTABLE IN LIGHT OF THE
      MULTIPLE WAYS TO STRIKE
      TARGETS ASSIGNED TO B-1BS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3.1

Our analysis of Air Force modeling of the air campaign for two major
regional conflicts in the 2001-2005 time frame showed there are no
unique B-1B targets.  Table 5.2 shows that DOD has numerous ways to
attack the target the B-1B would strike most frequently during the
first 7 days of a conflict. 



                               Table 5.2
                
                    Multiple Ways to Hit B-1B's Most
                Frequent Target During the First 7 Days
                             of a Conflict

                                                     F-
Munition                       B-1B   B-2   B-52    15E   F-16    MLRS
----------------------------  -----  ----  -----  -----  -----  ------
GBU-12                                                X      X
GBU-15                                                X
GBU-24                                                X      X
MK-82                             X     X                    X
MK-82R                                                       X
MK-82R/B-1B                       X
MK-84                                                 X      X
MK-84R                                                       X
M-117                                          X
JDAM/MK-84                        X     X      X      X      X
AGM-65G                                                      X
AGM-130/BLU-109                                       X
ATACMS-Block I                                                       X
ATACMS-Block IA                                                      X
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Our analysis of DOD data. 

In May 1995, DOD's Heavy Bomber Force Study concluded that retiring
the existing 95 B-1Bs would save $20 billion over 25 years but would
not be cost-effective because it would reduce force effectiveness
appreciably.  However, the DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study focused on
comparing the relative cost-effectiveness of alternative bomber
forces.  It did not attempt to evaluate cost-effectiveness trade-offs
between bombers and other force alternatives, such as carrier battle
groups or Air Force tactical aircraft. 

Air Force officials and documents cite several advantages to keeping
B-1Bs in the force.  For example, near-supersonic airspeed and
maneuverability give the B-1 the ability to fly with Air Force
fighter aircraft in force packages much like the F-111 did in the
Gulf War--but instead of four 2000-pound weapons, the B-1 can carry
as many as 24.  Another advantage of using bombers in conventional
conflicts is that they can be based outside the theater of operations
and attack targets at greater ranges than fighter aircraft that
require refueling.  Retiring the B-1B could increase a CINCs' need to
rely on refueling assets in planning an air campaign.  However, DOD
plans to improve its refueling capabilities through greater use of
multi-point refueling and most likely theaters are small enough that,
with available refueling support, all types of aircraft can reach
most targets.  The loss of long-range capability associated with
retiring the B-1B would have the greatest impact in scenarios in
which tactical aircraft are assumed to have no access or limited
access to bases in theater.  However, the United States has
agreements with many nations to facilitate access to overseas bases
in times of crisis.  Another advantage to keeping the B-1B is that it
provides mass--the ability to drop large quantities of weapons to
achieve widespread destruction and, as evidenced by Desert Storm,
with the B-52's psychological effect.  However, even if the B-1Bs
were retired, DOD would still have B-52Hs and B-2s available for this
purpose in numbers comparable to those used during Desert Storm. 

Retiring the B-1B would not degrade U.S.  military capabilities in
mission areas other than ground attack.  The B-1B does not have an
air-to-air capability in contrast to multi-mission platforms such as
F-16s and F/A-18s, which would be assigned many of the same types of
targets as B-1Bs during a conventional conflict.  In addition, as
noted in chapter 3, the B-1B bomber--unlike many other ground-attack
assets in DOD's current inventory--has not yet demonstrated critical
capabilities needed to be effective in conventional operations. 
Retiring the B-1B force also would have no adverse effect on DOD's
nuclear mission.  Unlike the B-52H and the B-2, the B-1B will no
longer have a nuclear mission once B-2s enter the force.  DOD
officials stated that even if START II is not ratified and the United
States decides to maintain a larger nuclear force than the Nuclear
Posture Review recommended, DOD would not reassign B-1Bs a nuclear
role.  Once the B-1B's computers are modified so that the B-1B can
deliver precision conventional weapons, the B-1B will no longer have
the software needed to deliver nuclear weapons.  DOD could modify
B-1B software and recertify personnel for the nuclear mission. 
However, this would require at least
18 months and would be very costly, according to DOD officials. 
Instead, DOD evaluated several other options for maintaining a larger
force structure in the event that START II implementation is delayed,
such as keeping more TRIDENT submarines than if the treaty is
implemented. 


      RETIRING THE B-1B WOULD
      RESULT IN SIGNIFICANT COST
      SAVINGS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3.2

Retiring the B-1B force would save about $5.9 billion in budget
authority and about $5.3 billion in budget outlays for fiscal years
1997-2001. 
Table 5.3 identifies the annual savings for this option. 



                               Table 5.3
                
                  Budget Savings for Retiring the Air
                        Force's 95 B-1B Bombers

                         (Dollars in millions)

                        FY1997  FY1998  FY1999  FY2000  FY2001   Total
----------------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ======
Budget authority          $770  $1,230  $1,240  $1,270  $1,380  $5,890
Outlays                    490   1,040   1,150   1,240   1,390   5,310
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Congressional Budget Office. 

In estimating the cost savings of this option, the Congressional
Budget Office assumed that the B-1B force would be retired over a
1-year period beginning immediately, resulting in smaller savings for
fiscal year 1997. 


   OPTION 2:  RETIRE 27 B-1BS IN
   RECONSTITUTION RESERVE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:4

The Air Force currently has 27 aircraft in reconstitution reserve
that lack aircrews and funding for operations.  Beginning in fiscal
year 1997, the Air Force will begin to reduce the number of unfunded
reconstitution reserve aircraft and will establish two new
operational B-1B squadrons by using the aircraft that are currently
in reconstitution reserve and funding additional aircrews and flying
hours.  The Air Force has included the cost of upgrading
reconstitution reserve aircraft in the B-1B Conventional Munitions
Upgrade Program estimated to cost $2.3 billion from fiscal
years 1996 through 2008. 

If DOD perceives that the risks to retire the entire B-1B fleet
outweigh the savings that could be realized, it could choose to
retire 27 reconstitution reserve B-1Bs and keep 68 B-1Bs in the
force, 60 of which would be funded for combat operations or training. 
Retiring 27 of DOD's 95 B-1Bs would mean that DOD would have to
accept some decrease in long-range capability and may not be able to
strike some of the ground targets DOD planners have identified for
two major regional conflicts as quickly as it could with a larger
bomber force.  However, this option would not result in as much of a
loss in capability as retiring the entire B-1B fleet.  If 27 B-1Bs
were retired, DOD would still have numerous other combinations of
platforms and weapons to attack the types of targets that the B-1B isplanned to destroy, and DOD would retain the ability to attack ground
targets associated with two major regional conflicts.  In comparison
with retiring all 95 B-1Bs, this option would provide the CINCs with
more flexibility in planning air campaigns and basing aircraft in
theater, since B-1Bs would be based somewhat farther away from the
theater of operations and would not require refueling during a
typical wartime mission, unless operating from the United States. 
This option would also provide some B-1Bs that could fly with
tactical aircraft to provide massive firepower during the early phase
of an air campaign.  Retiring 27 B-1Bs would have no impact on DOD's
ability to fulfill its nuclear mission. 

Retiring the 27 B-1Bs in reconstitution reserve would save about $450
million in budget authority for fiscal years 1997-2001, according to
the Congressional Budget Office.  Table 5.4 identifies the annual
savings for this option. 



                               Table 5.4
                
                  Budget Savings for Retiring 27 B-1B
                    Reconstitution Reserve Aircraft

                         (Dollars in millions)

                        FY1997  FY1998  FY1999  FY2000  FY2001   Total
----------------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ======
Budget authority            $2      $4      $4     $80    $360    $450
Outlays                      2       4       4      60     310     380
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Congressional Budget Office. 

Recognizing that reconstitution reserve aircraft place an increased
maintenance workload on the squadron, the Air Force has authorized
and funded four additional maintenance personnel per reconstitution
reserve aircraft.  Savings in the near term reflect the immediate
termination of these positions.  Savings increase significantly in
2000 because DOD would not establish two additional operational
squadrons and could eliminate the personnel and flying-hour costs
associated with these aircraft.  Retiring 27 B-1Bs also would save
procurement funds since DOD would upgrade only 68 B-1Bs for the
conventional mission instead of 95 B-1Bs.  However, the Congressional
Budget Office did not include these savings in its estimate because
the upgrades will occur beyond 2001. 


   OPTION 3:  PLACE ADDITIONAL
   B-1BS IN THE AIR NATIONAL GUARD
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:5

Placing more B-1Bs in the Air National Guard is an option that could
reduce the cost to maintain DOD's bomber force while preserving the
war-fighting capability of DOD's planned bomber force.  By fiscal
year 1998, the Air Force will have 18 B-1Bs fully trained in the
conventional role and able to deploy for wartime operations.  B-1Bs
will no longer have a nuclear role in the near future, thus making
the transfer of B-1Bs to the Air National Guard somewhat easier than
transferring B-52s to the Air Force Reserve.  According to DOD, the
Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard have successfully met the
challenges of operating fighter, transport, and tanker aircraft and
should be able to readily adapt to the bomber mission. 

Placing 24 more B-1Bs in the Air National Guard would save about $70
million in budget authority for fiscal years 1997 to 2001.  We
examined placing 24 more B-1Bs in the Air National Guard because it
would achieve a 50/50 active/reserve ratio when attrition and backup
aircraft are excluded and the Air Force has placed 50 percent or more
of some refueling and air mobility assets in the reserve component. 
Greater cost savings could be achieved by placing a higher percentage
of the B-1B force in the Air National Guard.  However, active Air
Force and Air National Guard officials stated that placing the entire
B-1B force in the National Guard would not be advisable because the
reserve component relies on active-duty units to develop tactics and
provide a pool of trained labor.  For example, more than 98 percent
of the reserve components' pilots and over 70 percent of their
maintenance specialists have prior active service experience,
according to a RAND study on reserves. 


      WAR-FIGHTING CAPABILITY
      WOULD BE MAINTAINED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:5.1

On the basis of our review of DOD analyses and other studies that
have examined the active/reserve mix, we believe that transferring
additional B-1Bs to the Air National Guard is not likely to degrade
combat effectiveness.  In 1993, DOD reported to the Congress that
placing B-1Bs in the Air National Guard would result in no loss of
war-fighting capability.  Moreover, according to RAND, air reserve
combat units appear to have readiness similar to active-duty units. 
For example, during Desert Storm, no post-mobilization validation or
significant additional training was required prior to deploying
reserve component tactical fighter units.  Also, many air reserve
units are required to be ready to deploy within the same time as
active units based in the continental United States. 

Air Force officials cited the Air National Guard's limited experience
with the B-1B mission as one of the key reasons the Air Force decided
to place only 18 B-1B bombers in the Air National Guard instead of
assigning a larger percentage of the force to the Guard.  Also, one
Air Force official stated that one disadvantage of placing more B-1Bs
in the Air National Guard is the risk that presidential call-up of
the reserves could be delayed.  According to this official, this
concern has led CINCs to plan on deploying active combat aircraft
units before reserve units, even though reserve units are often
required to maintain a capability to mobilize within the same number
of days as active units.  For example, during Desert Storm, the Air
Force met most of its requirements for combat aircraft first with
active units, then with reserve units. 


      AIR NATIONAL GUARD UNITS ARE
      LESS EXPENSIVE THAN ACTIVE
      UNITS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:5.2

A major benefit of transferring bombers to the reserve component is
that reserve units have traditionally been less expensive to operate
than their active duty counterparts.  The decision to assign B-1B
bombers to the Air National Guard was supported by cost model
comparisons and cost-benefit analyses.  DOD's analysis, which was
completed in 1993, showed that a B-1B Air National Guard squadron
consisting of 10 aircraft would cost less to operate than a
comparable active squadron.  These savings are attributable to two
factors.  First, DOD expects that an Air National Guard squadron will
require fewer flying hours than an active squadron because Air
National Guard units are able to recruit more experienced pilots who
require less frequent training to maintain their proficiency. 
Personnel costs are the second major factor that account for the Air
National Guard's lower cost.  In comparison with active squadrons
that consist primarily of active military personnel, Air National
Guard units rely heavily on less-costly civilians and part-time guard
personnel. 

Placing an additional 24 B-1Bs in the Air National Guard, thereby
achieving a 50/50 active/reserve ratio when attrition and backup
aircraft are excluded, would result in a cost savings of about $70
million in budget authority for fiscal years 1997-2001, according to
the Congressional Budget Office.  Table 5.5 identifies the annual
savings associated with this option. 



                               Table 5.5
                
                 Budget Savings for Placing 24 More B-
                     1Bs in the Air National Guard

                         (Dollars in millions)

                        FY1997  FY1998  FY1999  FY2000  FY2001   Total
----------------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ======
Budget Authority             0       0       0     $20     $50     $70
Outlays                      0       0       0      20      50      70
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Congressional Budget Office. 

In developing its estimate, the Congressional Budget Office assumed
that one additional Air National Guard unit consisting of eight
aircraft would be started in fiscal year 2000 and two additional
units would be started in 2001.  Savings shown for 2001 would recur
annually beyond the years shown.  Although there would be some costs
associated with starting up new Air National Guard units, these costs
could be kept to a minimum if the units are located at the same bases
as active duty bomber units, as DOD suggested in its 1993 report to
the Congress on transferring bombers to the reserve component.  This
has occurred at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana where the Air
Force has located a B-52H Air Force Reserve squadron alongside active
B-52H units. 


   OPTION 4:  CONSOLIDATE BASING
   OF ACTIVE B-1B BOMBERS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:6

The Air Force plans to move a detachment of six B-1Bs currently
located at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to Mountain Home
Air Force Base in Idaho so that the detachment will be collocated
with the 366th Wing, one of the Air Force's three composite wings. 
Keeping these six aircraft at Ellsworth would result in no measurable
loss of capability and would enable DOD to save about $40 million. 
Leaving these six B-1Bs at Ellsworth also would eliminate potential
difficulties in operating from Mountain Home that could occur over
the next few years if the Air Force moves the aircraft as planned
before construction of permanent facilities has begun. 


      IMPACT ON WAR-FIGHTING
      CAPABILITY WOULD BE MINIMAL
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:6.1

Force projection composite wings are a significant change from the
Air Force's traditional peacetime basing and wartime employment of
aircraft.  Traditionally, the Air Force has based one type of
aircraft in a wing to achieve economies of specialization.  In
wartime, the Air Force assembles the needed mix of aircraft as a
composite force package en route to a target.  By permanently
collocating different types of aircraft under one commander, the Air
Force intends that force projection composite wings can deploy
rapidly and fight autonomously, if necessary.  According to the Air
Force, moving the B-1Bs to Mountain Home Air Force Base will improve
the operational readiness of the 366th Wing by providing more
opportunities for B-1B crews to train with other wing assets,
including F-15s and F-16s. 

However, the Air Force has not demonstrated that composite wings
provide significant benefits over traditional basing schemes.  In
1993, we reported that the Air Force did not conduct sufficient
analysis before deciding to build force projection composite wings in
the United States and that evidence does not exist that these wings
will achieve significant advantages when compared with traditional
peacetime basing concepts.\3 The Air Force's experience in
establishing a wartime composite wing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey,
during the Gulf War demonstrated that the advantages attributed to
force projection composite wings can be achieved without permanent
collocation of aircraft.  In addition, the three force projection
composite wings the Air Force has established still need to train and
deploy with specialized aircraft gained from different bases and
commanders.  Finally, opportunities for composite training by force
projection wings could be limited by competing priorities and range
restrictions.  The Air Force acknowledges that the Mountain Home Air
Force Base training range is incapable of supporting large-scale
composite force training.  Larger ranges are available in Utah and
Nevada that can accommodate these exercises; however, using these
ranges requires additional flying time and fuel. 

The Air Force plans to move the B-1Bs to Mountain Home during fiscal
years 1996 and 1997, before funds to construct permanent facilities
are approved.  The unit will be housed in temporary facilities until
permanent facilities are completed several years later.  During the
intervening years prior to the completion of permanent facilities,
the B-1B squadron at Mountain Home will be dependent on maintenance
and munitions support from Ellsworth Air Force Base.  Turnaround
times for replacement or repairs of spare parts could increase due to
the need to transport reparables between the two locations.  In
addition, the unit at Mountain Home Air Force Base will have very
limited combat munitions loading capability until sometime after the
year 2000 when munitions storage facilities are completed.  If tasked
with a wartime mission during this period, B-1Bs based at Mountain
Home would either deploy to an in-theater forward operating location
without munitions or fly to Ellsworth to be loaded with munitions
before deploying to theater. 


--------------------
\3 Air Force Organization:  More Assessment Needed Before
Implementing Force Projection Composite Wings (GAO/NSIAD-93-44, May
5, 1993). 


      MILITARY CONSTRUCTION COSTS
      COULD BE AVOIDED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:6.2

The Air Force estimates that temporary and permanent facilities at
Mountain Home will cost about $40 million to construct.  The Air
Force has programmed about $6 million in operations and maintenance
funds to provide temporary facilities in fiscal year 1996 and plans
to obligate these funds shortly.  In addition, the Air Force funded
$34 million in the fiscal year 1997 budget for military construction
of permanent facilities for maintenance, operations, and housing.  It
does not expect construction of these facilities to be complete until
sometime after the year 2000.  Table 5.6 identifies the annual
savings for this option. 



                               Table 5.6
                
                  Budget Savings For Reversing the Air
                 Force's Decision to Move Six B-1Bs to
                      Mountain Home Air Force Base

                         (Dollars in millions)

                        FY1997  FY1998  FY1999  FY2000  FY2001   Total
----------------------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ======
Budget authority            $6     $34       0       0       0     $40
Outlays                      5       7      13       9       5      39
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Source:  Congressional Budget Office. 


   ADDITIONAL B-2S WOULD
   EXACERBATE DOD'S EFFORTS TO
   DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A LONG-
   TERM RECAPITALIZATION PLAN
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:7

Although funding for additional B-2s is not included in DOD's plan,
DOD and the Congress have considered the need for additional B-2s
beyond DOD's planned force of 21 B-2s in recent years.  Proponents of
buying additional B-2 bombers perceive that DOD needs more than the
187 bombers it plans to keep in the force because BUR stated that the
United States may need 100 bombers for a major regional conflict and
DOD may need to swing bombers from one theater to another if a second
major regional conflict arose.  However, on the basis of the analysis
conducted during the 1995 DOD Heavy Bomber Force Study and
affordability concerns, DOD determined in May 1995 that it should not
procure additional B-2s.  In early 1996, the President directed that
the issue of more B-2s be reexamined.  DOD will examine the potential
contribution of B-2s further as part of its Deep Attack Weapons Mix
Study, scheduled for completion in early 1997. 

While our options for retiring or reducing the B-1B force would
achieve significant savings, these savings would be eliminated if DOD
procured additional B-2s.  Substantial future costs could be avoided
if the current B-2 force were capped at 21 as DOD currently plans. 
Moreover, additional B-2 procurements would make it more difficult
for DOD to develop and implement a long-term recapitalization plan. 
In October 1995, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated
that he, along with the CINCs and Joint Chiefs, continues to strongly
recommend against congressional action to add additional funding for
more B-2s because the military has much higher priorities on which to
spend limited procurement dollars.  As shown in figure 5.1,
life-cycle cost estimates for 20 additional B-2s developed by
government agencies, IDA, and Northrop Grumman range from $18.7
billion to $26.8 billion. 

   Figure 5.1:  Twenty-Five Year
   Life Cycle Cost Estimates for
   20 Additional B-2s (In billions
   of fiscal year 1996 dollars)

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) and Congressional
Budget Office (CBO). 

Our analysis of DOD's airpower capabilities suggests that DOD may be
able to eliminate some of its planned capabilities, rather than carry
through with all of the planned upgrades or expand beyond its
existing plans by procuring additional systems such as more B-2s. 
For example, our report on interdiction concluded that DOD has ample
capability today to destroy interdiction targets associated with two
major regional conflicts and questioned the need for some planned
improvements to DOD's interdiction capability given the amount of
redundancy that exists today.\4

Some B-2 advocates also argue that procuring 20 more B-2s will save
money because B-2s will be able to penetrate defenses and use
low-cost, short-range attack weapons rather than expensive standoff
weapons.  However, in 1995, the Congressional Budget Office found
that additional B-2s would reduce the cost of weapons expended by the
bomber force by less than $2 billion during the first 2 weeks of a
conflict when the Air Force envisions bombers would make their
greatest contribution.  This is a small fraction of the $26.8-billion
life cycle cost that the Congressional Budget Office projects that an
additional 20 B-2s would cost. 

Within the past few years, several studies sponsored by industry,
independent think tanks, and federally funded research and
development centers have analyzed the need for more B-2s.  Many of
the studies that advocate procuring more B-2s assume that the B-2
will be a highly stealthy aircraft that will be able to find mobile
targets and react quickly to changes in air defenses.  However, as
discussed in chapter 3, the B-2 has not yet demonstrated some of its
essential mission capabilities, including the extent to which it will
be able to evade detection by enemy radar.  Moreover, unless upgraded
beyond the block 30 configuration, B-2s would have to rely on other
sensors to tell them where to look and would have trouble adjusting
to rapid changes in threat. 

Many of these studies also assume that conflicts would happen without
warning and, therefore, tactical aircraft will not be available in
large numbers.  In contrast, DOD's Heavy Bomber Force Study, which
concluded that procuring additional B-2s would not be cost-effective
compared with the planned bomber forces, assumed that significant
numbers of tactical aircraft would be available at the outset of a
conflict, thereby reducing the potential contribution of B-2s.  In
conducting the Heavy Bomber Force Study, IDA reviewed a number of
studies that advocate procuring more B-2s and concluded that the
differences in the studies are due primarily to differences in
assumptions, particularly those regarding warning time and the
availability of tactical aircraft.  The assumptions used by IDA are
generally consistent with those used in DOD's BUR, the Defense
Planning Guidance, and the Joint Staff's Nimble Dancer wargame. 

In addition, DOD has concluded that additional B-2s are not needed to
meet future nuclear war-fighting requirements, particularly in view
of the nuclear weapons carrying capability limits included in START
II.  DOD's Nuclear Posture Review, completed in 1994, concluded that
66 B-52Hs and 20 B-2 bombers would provide sufficient capability for
the nuclear leg of the strategic triad, assuming implementation of
START I and II agreements by 2003.  The START II, once implemented,
will limit the U.S.  nuclear warhead carrying capability to 3,500
warheads, of which about 1,320 are planned for the bomber force. 
Even with DOD's planned force of 21 B-2s and 71 B-52Hs, the Air Force
will be required to modify some B-52Hs so that they can carry fewer
warheads to stay within the 1,320 limit allocated to the bomber
force.  More specifically, some B-52H bombers may be modified so that
they can carry only 12 nuclear weapons under the wings instead of the
maximum of 20 (12 under the wings and 8 inside the bomb bay).  If
START II is implemented, procuring 20 additional B-2s would require
further changes in the B-52H force, which could be achieved either by
reducing the size of the force or modifying more B-52Hs so that they
can carry fewer weapons. 


--------------------
\4 Combat Air Power:  Reassessing Plans to Modernize Interdiction
Capabilities Could Save Billions (GAO/NSIAD-96-72, May 13, 1996). 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:8

Considering the extensive and improving ground-attack capabilities of
U.S.  forces, the numerous other options that DOD has to attack most
targets that the B-1B is likely to be assigned in future conflicts,
and DOD's awareness that it may need to reduce the number of systems
currently planned to ensure a stable, modernized force for the
future, we believe that retiring the B-1B force is an option that
merits consideration in the context of DOD's ongoing assessment of
its future airpower needs.  Retiring the B-1B force would leave DOD
with a bomber force of 71 B-52s and 21 B-2s that seems small by Cold
War standards.  However, DOD's decision about what forces to keep in
the post-Cold War era should be based on keeping the most
cost-effective combination of weapon systems needed for a particular
mission rather than on a separate examination of requirements for
each type of platform in the services' inventory.  When compared with
the B-52H and B-2 bombers (which will continue to have a nuclear role
in the future) and tactical aircraft that contribute ground-attack
capability and air-to-air capability, the B-1B appears to be a
logical candidate for retirement.  Its role will be limited to adding
to DOD's already formidable ground attack capabilities.  For these
reasons, it seems questionable that upgrading the B-1B's capabilities
at a cost of about $2.8 billion and spending close to $1 billion per
year to maintain the B-1B in the force will have a significant
payoff.  If DOD were to retire the B-1B force, it would not be
necessary to procure additional B-2s to offset the loss of the B-1B's
capabilities.  Doing so would only exacerbate DOD's difficulties in
achieving a long-term balance between near-term readiness and
recapitalization. 

If DOD and the Congress determine that the B-1B should not be
retired, other options exist for reducing the costs of the bomber
force that would preserve much or all of DOD's current bomber force
capabilities.  Retiring the 27 B-1Bs currently classified as
reconstitution reserve aircraft, placing more B-1Bs in the Air
National Guard, or canceling the planned move of six B-1Bs to
Mountain Home Air Force Base would result in savings while enabling
DOD to preserve the CINCs capability to draw on a wide range of
assets in planning wartime operations.  In particular, placing more
B-1Bs in the Air National Guard would save significant operations and
support costs but would have little impact on DOD's overall bomber
capabilities.  Moreover, at a time when DOD is seeking to reduce its
infrastructure costs, reversing the Air Force's decision to expand
the number of B-1B bases would assist DOD to reduce infrastructure
costs by avoiding the need for $40 million in military construction. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:9

DOD's ongoing Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study is designed to determine
the most cost- effective mix of systems needed for the deep attack
mission.  Given the challenges of long-term recapitalization of the
force, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense consider options to
retire or reduce the B-1B force as part of this study.  Regarding the
other two B-1B options, GAO recommends that the Secretary of the Air
Force assess the potential to place more bombers in the reserve
component and reexamine the decision to relocate six B-1B bombers to
Mountain Home Air Force Base. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
--------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:10

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD partially
concurred with one recommendation and did not concur with the other
one.  DOD partially concurred with our recommendation to include
options to retire or reduce the B-1B force in the Deep Attack Weapons
Mix Study but disagreed with some of our analysis supporting the
recommendation.  DOD also stated that it plans to consider a number
of force structure options as part of its analysis, including
retiring the B-1Bs.  DOD stated that we used the Nimble Dancer
wargame to support a number of conclusions about bomber effectiveness
but that the wargame was never intended to provide specific
information about the effectiveness of selected weapons systems
across a broad range of scenarios.  We agree that the Nimble Dancer
wargame was not designed to provide a cost-effectiveness comparison
of weapon systems and we did not use it in that manner.  We used Air
Force modeling of the air campaign for two major regional conflicts,
which was provided to the Joint Staff as input to the Nimble Dancer
wargame, to show that targets assigned to the B-lB were not unique to
the B-1B. 

Results from the modeling were only one factor we considered in
reaching our conclusions.  We point out in the report that DOD has
numerous and overlapping capabilities to strike ground targets and
has not adequately supported its stated requirements for bombers. 
Given that DOD has stated that it cannot afford all of its planned
modernization efforts and that the B-1B will require billions of
modernization dollars, we believe that options to retire or reduce
the B-1B force should be included in the Deep Attack Weapons Mix
Study. 

DOD also stated the draft report implied that the next generation of
precision-guided munitions will be such a large force multiplier that
they provide justification for retiring the B-1B now and that there
is insufficient evidence to support this assertion.  DOD
acknowledges, however, that precision munitions are a fundamental
enhancement to combat effectiveness.  We noted that completion of
bomber modifications and fielding of many new precision weapons for
use by all attack aircraft should greatly improve bomber and fighter
effectiveness potentially reducing the number of bombers and fighters
needed to fight two major regional conflicts.  The February 1996
Presidential redirection of the Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study also
highlights the potential of future precision munitions.  The
redirection states that part two of the study will focus on the
potential that the growing inventory and increasing capabilities of
weapons could allow some consolidation of the ships, aircraft, and
missiles that will deliver these weapons.  It also states that the
potential reduction in sorties required for deep attack missions
could produce opportunities for appropriate force structure and
platform tradeoffs.  DOD has recognized that it cannot afford all of
the modernization programs currently planned and must make difficult
decisions on which programs to terminate or reduce.  The Deep Attack
Weapons Mix Study should help DOD with these decisions.  Inclusion of
B-1B options will provide DOD with the opportunity to assess the cost
effectiveness of the B-1B prior to committing billions of dollars to
upgrade the aircraft. 

Although DOD written comments state that B-1B options are already
included in the Deep Attack Weapons Mix Study, DOD officials stated
in an exit conference that the list of options has not been
finalized.  They also told us that time constraints may limit the
number of options that will be considered in the study and therefore
some will probably be eliminated.  Therefore, we still recommend that
the B-1B options be included the study. 

DOD did not agree with the recommendation that the Secretary of the
Air Force assess the potential to place more bombers in the reserve
component and reexamine the decision to relocate six B-1Bs to
Mountain Home Air Force Base.  DOD said that it evaluates the
active/reserve mix annually during the budgetary process and believes
it has the right bomber mix in place.  DOD noted that the majority of
the bomber force will most likely be required to strike targets on
the first days of a conflict and that the call-up and mobilization
requirements for reserves may stress reserve units' capacity to
respond within time constraints. 

RAND reported in 1993 that the Air Force reserve components train to
similar readiness requirements as their active counterparts. 
Additionally, in responding to the congressional inquiries concerning
the initial transfers of bombers to the reserves, the Air Force
stated that such transfers would not adversely impact war-fighting
capability.  DOD already relies heavily on the reserve components to
provide time-critical airlift and refueling aircraft.  The reserve
component operates over 50 percent of some types of these aircraft. 
Given the potential cost savings that could accrue, we continue to
believe that DOD should reassess the potential to place more bombers
in the reserve component. 

With respect to relocating B-1Bs to Mountain Home Air Force Base, DOD
stated that the move would eliminate lost training opportunities,
additional flying hours, and temporary duty expenses incurred with
the bombers stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base.  We still believe
that the Air Force should reexamine the decision to move B-1Bs to
Mountain Home Air Force Base.  We previously reported that DOD has
not demonstrated that the benefits associated with the composite wing
concept outweigh the additional cost to maintain very small numbers
of dissimilar aircraft at the same location compared with the
traditional basing concept.  Also, for several years after the move,
the B-1B unit will be housed in temporary facilities until
construction of permanent facilities are completed; remain dependent
on maintenance support from Ellsworth Air Force Base; incur
additional temporary duty and freight costs to accommodate
maintenance; and remain dependent on other locations for wartime bomb
loading support in the event deployments are necessary. 


DESCRIPTION OF BOMBER MUNITIONS
=========================================================== Appendix I

Heavy bombers can carry a variety of ground-attack munitions,
including unguided gravity bombs, glide bombs, and cruise missiles. 
Gravity bombs can be either unguided or guided.  Unguided bombs are
unpowered and simply fall to the ground.  Their direction and path
are subject to the effects of air resistance and wind.  Unguided
bombs have ranges of
5 to 10 kilometers and are not very accurate, especially when dropped
from high altitudes.  Most gravity bombs in the inventory today are
unguided but some are guided by movable fins that steer them to their
targets and improve accuracy.  Glide bombs have small wings that give
them greater range than gravity bombs--40 to 75 kilometers when
launched from high altitudes.  Some glide bombs are unpowered and
some are propelled by small rockets.  Use of glide bombs versus
gravity bombs increases aircraft survivability because the longer
range of glide bombs allows the aircraft to remain farther away from
enemy air defenses.  Cruise missiles are designed to fly at least
several hundred kilometers, which allows aircraft to avoid enemy air
defense systems.  Cruise missiles are essentially unmanned aircraft
powered by a jet engine. 

All three types of munitions can carry either a unitary warhead or
cluster bombs.  Unitary warheads have a single explosive charge, and
cluster bombs dispense several submunitions or bomblets designed for
specific targets.  Unitary warheads are used for attacking fixed,
hard targets such as bridges, aircraft shelters, and buildings. 
Cluster bombs are used for attacking dispersed targets such as
troops, marshalling yards, broadcast antennas, vehicles, and tanks. 
Submunitions scatter to increase the weapons' area of impact.  Some
types of submunitions contain terminal seekers to guide them to an
individual target such as a tank or truck. 


   GRAVITY BOMBS
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1

Gravity bombs include the MK-82, MK-84, and MK-117; the Joint Direct
Attack Munition (JDAM); the Global Positioning System-Aided Munition;
the Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU)-87, CBU-89, and CBU-97; and the
Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser (WCMD). 


      UNITARY WARHEAD MUNITIONS
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.1

The MK-82, MK-84, and MK-117 are unguided unitary warhead bombs
weighing 500, 2000, and 750 pounds, respectively.  To increase the
effectiveness of the MK-84, DOD is developing JDAM, which is a MK-84
modified with a kit that includes steerable fins, a global
positioning system receiver, and an inertial navigation system to
increase the range and accuracy of the weapon.  Before release, the
weapon will receive information from the aircraft on the target's
location and, once released, will receive signals from satellites
needed to guide it to the target.  Several ground-attack aircraft use
these munitions.  To give the B-2 interim precision capability, the
Air Force is developing the Global Positioning System-Aided Munition. 
This weapon incorporates a tailgate and global positioning system
guidance on a MK-84, and will be replaced when the munition is
fielded. 


      CLUSTER MUNITIONS
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1.2

Cluster munitions include the CBU-87, CBU-89, and CBU-97, and the
WCMD.  The CBU-87 is a 1,000-pound, combined effects munition for
attacking soft target areas with detonating bomblets.  The CBU-89 is
a 1,000-pound cluster munition containing antitank and antipersonnel
mines.  The CBU-97 is also a 1,000-pound, sensor-fuzed weapon
containing sensor-fused submunitions for attacking armor.  Each
submunition contains four armor-penetrating projectiles with infrared
sensors to detect armored targets.  Once a target is detected, a
rocket motor fires the projectile into the target.  If no target is
detected after a period of time, the projectiles automatically fires,
causing damage to material and personnel.  Several U.S.  aircraft
employ these munitions.  To make all three of these cluster munitions
more effective on the B-1B, DOD is developing the WCMD.  Similar to
JDAM, WCMD will add steering fins and an inertial navigation system
to the munitions to guide them to the proper release points. 


   GLIDE BOMBS
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2

Glide bombs include the Joint Stand-off Weapon and the Have Nap. 


      JOINT STAND-OFF WEAPON
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.1

The Joint Stand-off Weapon is an unpowered glide bomb in development
that provides a short-to-medium range standoff capability.  It is a
complete airframe that uses a global positioning system aided
inertial navigation system and will dispense the combined effects
munition and the sensor fuzed weapon.  The range of the weapon allows
the B-1B bomber to attack targets at ranges outside of the enemy's
air defenses.  The weapon will be used by several other U.S. 
aircraft. 


      AIR-TO-GROUND GUIDED
      MISSILE-142 (HAVE NAP)
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:2.2

The air-to-ground guided missile-142, also known as the Have Nap,
provides the Air Force with a precision man-in-the-loop capability
for the B-52H to attack high-value, fixed targets from standoff
ranges.  The B-52H is the only U.S.  aircraft that employs the
missile.  The munitions data link provides for single aircraft
operation or the munition's guidance may be turned over to a second
aircraft allowing the first aircraft to leave the area.  It can be
configured with a 750-pound warhead that breaks into fragments or a
770-pound warhead that penetrates hard surfaces. 


   CRUISE MISSILES
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3

Cruise missiles include the Conventional Air-Launched Cruise Missile,
Harpoon, and the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. 


      CONVENTIONAL AIR LAUNCHED
      CRUISE MISSILE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3.1

The Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile is the only long-range
cruise missile currently available and provides the B-52H with a
capability to attack fixed soft targets while the aircraft remains
outside of threat enemy air defenses.  The missile uses blast
fragmentation warhead and has a range of greater than 350 nautical
miles.  Guidance information on the missile is classified. 


      HARPOON
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3.2

The Harpoon missile provides the B-52H and several naval aircraft
with the capability to attack surface ships at ranges greater than
100 kilometers.  The missile uses a radar seeker to guide itself to
the target. 


      JOINT AIR TO SURFACE
      STANDOFF MISSILE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:3.3

DOD is in the concept development phase for Joint Air-to-Surface
Standoff Missile, which will replace the canceled Tri-Service
Standoff Attack Missile.  DOD plans for several U.S.  aircraft to use
the weapon, including all bombers.  It will be a long-range cruise
missile with autonomous precision guidance used to attack fixed and
movable targets.  It will carry a 1,000-pound penetrating warhead. 




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix II
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
=========================================================== Appendix I



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)

Now on pp.  12 and 75. 

Now on pp.  12 and 75. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

Now on pp.  12 and 52. 

Now on pp.  12 and 52. 



(See figure in printed edition.)


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================= Appendix III


   NATIONAL SECURITY AND
   INTERNATION AFFAIRS DIVISION,
   WASHINGTON, D.C. 
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:1

Janet St.  Laurent, Assistant Director
William J.  Wood, Senior Evaluator
Amy Lowenstein, Evaluator
Mae F.  Jones, Communications Analyst


   NORFOLK FIELD OFFICE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:2

Gaines R.  Hensley, Evaluator-in-Charge
Connie W.  Sawyer, Jr., Senior Evaluator
Paul Gvoth, Operations Research Analyst
Susan J.  Schildkret, Evaluator
Frank M.  Guido, Referencer


   DAYTON FIELD OFFICE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix III:3

Michael J.  Hazard, Senior Evaluator


RELATED GAO PRODUCTS
============================================================ Chapter 1

Embedded Computers:  B-1B Computers Must Be Upgraded to Support
Conventional Requirements (GAO/AIMD-96-28, Feb.  27, 1996). 

B-1B Conventional Upgrades (GAO/NSIAD-96-52R, Dec.  4, 1995). 

B-2 Bomber:  Status of Cost, Development, and Production
(GAO/NSIAD-95-164, Aug.  4, 1995). 

B-1B Bomber:  Evaluation of Air Force Report on B-1B Operational
Readiness Assessment (GAO/NSIAD-95-151, July 18, 1995). 

B-2 Bomber:  Cost to Complete 20 Aircraft Is Uncertain
(GAO/NSIAD-94-217, Sept.  8, 1994). 

Air Force:  Assessment of DOD's Report on Plan and Capabilities for
Evaluating Heavy Bombers (GAO/NSIAD-94-99, Jan.  10, 1994). 

Strategic Bombers:  Issues Relating to the B-1B's Availability and
Ability to Perform Conventional Missions (GAO/NSIAD-94-81, Jan.  10,
1994). 

B-2 Bomber:  Assessment of DOD's Response to Mandated Certifications
and Reports (GAO/NSIAD-94-75, Nov.  3, 1993). 

The U.S.  Nuclear Triad:  GAO's Evaluation of the Strategic
Modernization Program (GAO/T-PEMD-93-5, June 10, 1993). 

Operation Desert Storm:  Limits on the Role and Performance of B-52
Bombers in Conventional Conflicts (GAO/NSIAD-93-138, May 12, 1993). 

Strategic Bombers:  Adding Conventional Capabilities Will Be Complex,
Time-Consuming, and Costly (GAO/NSIAD-93-45, Feb.  5, 1993). 

Strategic Bombers:  Need to Redefine Requirements for B-1B Defensive
Avionics System (GAO/NSIAD-92-272, July 17, 1992). 

Strategic Bombers:  Updated Status of the B-1B Recovery Program
(GAO/NSIAD-91-189, May 9, 1991). 

Strategic Bombers:  Issues Related to the B-1B Aircraft Program
(GAO/T-NSIAD-91-11, Mar.  6, 1991). 

Strategic Bombers:  B-2 Program Status and Current Issues
(GAO/NSIAD-90-120, Feb.  22, 1990). 

*** End of document. ***