Matthew Donovan, U.S. Air Force undersecretary, has said Congress’ failure to pass a full appropriations bill could potentially delay the B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber program, Military.com reported Thursday.
Donavan, who assumed his post in August 2017, said at an Air Force Association event Thursday in Washington that a long-term continuing resolution that funds programs at current spending levels could impact the B-21 program’s engineering, manufacturing and development phase.
“Our FY 2017 budget is $1.3 billion, but our FY18 request is $2 billion, so if we’re not able to ramp up on our schedule for the acquisition program baseline, then of course it’s going to have an impact on it,” he noted.
His statements came a day after House lawmakers proposed another stopgap measure in an effort to avert a government shutdown and fund federal agencies through Feb. 16.
He said the Air Force expects the first bomber to meet initial operating capability by mid-2020s and cited the need for the service to carry out a “zero-based review” of budget lines, programs and manpower authorizations before it drafts the budget request for fiscal 2020.