August 1, 2013
Senate appropriators took another swipe at the Obama administration’s efforts to begin an extensive overhaul of the B61 nuclear bomb, proposing only $6.2 million for the Air Force to continue development of a new tail kit for the weapon.
The Pentagon had requested $67.8 million for its portion of the B61 program, following the decision late last year to award Boeing Co. a $178 million contract for the tail kit, which will replace parachutes on the decades-old gravity bomb.
Citing “acquisition accountability,” appropriators also slashed $10 million from efforts to make the B61 compatible with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Senior military officials have yet to officially determine whether a later version of the F-35 need to be capable of dropping the nuclear bomb, the committee said in its report on the defense spending bill.
“Therefore, the committee recommends no funding for F-35 dual capable aircraft,” according to the report.