The contract for the Air Force’s B-21 bomber has barely been awarded, and already members of Congress are asking tough questions. Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, states flatly that he will not allow development to go forward so long as it is funded under a “cost-reimbursable” type contract. He says cost overruns always occur when contractors know they will be fully covered for expenses. Now McCain wants to know details on how much the winning bid was. That is probably just the beginning. The Air Force will also have to explain the yawning gap between its cost estimates and the winning bid, what happens when costs exceed the bid amount, how much the winning team proposes to build each production bomber for, and how that compares with Air Force estimates. This program isn’t going anywhere until Senator McCain starts getting some answers. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
Find Archived Articles: