AvWeek's Amy Butler thought it was funny how so many industry types seemed to keep saying the same things about the Air Force's beloved next-generation bomber. But, as she learned, there was a simple explanation: Everyone was saying the exact same things. That's because the Air Force put out a list of approved talking points that summed up, as Butler wrote, What We Are Allowed To Know About the Bomber.
Forthwith, per her blog post, here they are:
PURPOSE:So there you have it! Now you run along, little taxpayer -- the grown-ups in the nice blue uniforms are just going to go ahead and take your money while you sit in the dark until they decide whether to show you their new airplane.
• Provide industry executives the unclassified facts on the new penetrating bomber program.
• Based on Secretary of Defense direction, the Air Force (AF) is developing a new penetrating bomber.
• The new penetrating bomber will be a component of the joint portfolio of conventional deep-strike capabilities.
• The new penetrating bomber will be highly survivable, nuclear capable, and designed to accommodate manned or unmanned operations
• The new penetrating bomber will be able to employ a broad mix of stand-off and direct-attack munitions.
• The total annual budget by appropriation (i.e., RDT&E, Production) is unclassified.
• The Air Force plans to deliver the initial capability in the mid-2020s.
• The new program will leverage mature technologies and constrain requirements based on affordability
• The new program will focus on affordability: unit cost target set to inform design/requirement trades and ensure sufficient inventory.
• The Air Force is projecting to build a fleet of 80-100 aircraft.
• The new program will employ enhanced security measures and be protected by a Special Access Program.
• All other details are classified to protect operational advantages and the nation's investment in critical technologies and capabilities.
• For further information, contact the Procuring Contracting Officer (PCO) or the Program Security Officer (PSO)