GAO: Command and control problems increase B-2A Bomber costs

The General Accounting Office reported last week that deficiencies in the command and control systems used aboard the Air Force's B-2A Bomber limit the aircraft's ability to carry out its missions, causing the cost per plane to increase by more than $1.6 billion.

The report outlined problems with the aircraft's automated ground mission-planning system, which is required to rapidly plan and launch B-2A strike missions, as well as problems with the system that is designed to provide pilots with information on enemy threats. Two other deficiencies were identified but are not related to the aircraft's information technology systems.

The Air Force began building the B-2A in 1981, and it estimated development would cost $14.5 billion, according to GAO. However, by 1986, procurement and development costs totaled $438 million per plane. According to the report, 1998 cost estimates totaled more than $2.1 billion per plane.

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