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Project on Government Oversight


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Much-Maligned B-1 Bomber Proves Hard to Kill
August 1, 2001 

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The B-1 Bomber: Less is More

September 25, 2003 


Congress should not tamper with a cost-saving and sensible plan to cut 33 B-1 Bombers from the Air Force's inventory, POGO's Executive Director Danielle Brian said today.


The B-1, a Cold War era bomber originally designed to carry a nuclear payload, has been plagued with serious spare parts shortages, less-than-satisfactory mission readiness rates, and excessive maintenance costs. In addition, its eyes and ears, or avionics, have never worked.

Now, South Dakota Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson are attempting to stop reduction of the B-1 fleet at 83 aircraft - rather than allowing the fleet to shrink to 60 aircraft.

A total of 26 B-1 bombers are currently based at Ellsworth Air Force base in South Dakota, according to a recent GAO report.

"When he ordered the fleet reduction in 2002, Secretary Rumsfeld noted that the aircraft was not stealthy, and that the fleet reduction would cut costs and free up funds for next-generation weapons," Brian said. "It's a travesty for some Members of Congress to play pork-barrel politics at a serious cost to the taxpayers and our nation's fighting men and women."

For more information see POGO's Fighting With Failures on the B-1 Bomber.

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO's investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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