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Friday, August 3, 2012

B61-12 bomb the most expensive ever?

Anonymously contributed: ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Escalating cost estimates for the B61 Life- Extension Program threaten to make the new B61-12 bomb the most expensive ever. . By Hans M. Kristensen The disclosure during yesterday’s Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing that the cost of the B61 Life Extension Program (LEP) is significantly greater that even the most recent cost overruns calls into question the ability of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to manage the program and should call into question the B61 LEP itself. If these cost overruns were in the private sector, heads would roll and the program would probably be canceled. At the hearing yesterday, Senator Dianne Feinstein revealed that NNSA recently told her that the $4 billion cost estimate they provided in the FY2011 Stockpile Stewardship Management Plan was too low and that they would need $4 billion more to complete the program. Two months ago I reported that the cost had increased to $6 billion. NNSA’s new cost estimate is already being challenged, this time by the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office, which only a few days ago increased the estimate by another $2 billion to a whopping $10 billion.


Anonymous said...

Bloated production sites with too little real workload have to spread their cost over the meager workload. Unit cost has been going up ever since the great “Contractor Reform” ploy. With the new contractors NNSA is able to produce75% less workload with only 25% more workforce.

Anonymous said...

Indeed the enterprise is badly bloated, but Congress has not yet had the stomach to medicate the sick patient until it lets go of the excess gas. Having demonstrated over and over again that it is incapable of self control, the patient remains sitting in pain, getting ever larger, moaning ever louder, and rapidly loosing whatever goodwill it has left over from decades ago when it was credible.

Anonymous said...

From Global Security Newswire...

"Many program details are secret, including how many of the modernized versions of the weapon -- dubbed the B-61-12 -- will ultimately emerge from the life-extension process. Nuclear weapons expert Hans Kristensen speculates that roughly 400 will be produced -- suggesting the per-warhead cost, including a new guidance system, would be the most expensive in history at $28 million.

Benjamin Loehrke, a senior policy analyst at the Ploughshares Fund, in a Monday Twitter post and blog quipped that each of the warheads would cost only $16.5 million if instead they were cast in gold."

Anonymous said...

If the production sites' needs are bloated, it's partly by watching how the design labs get away with it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they should consider renaming it the "Limited Cost B61-12" like they did for the B77 (aka B83) when it became the most expensive ever.

Anonymous said...

Huge cost increases are what you get when you demand a CYA "culture of compliance" that must have absolutely no errors or risks of any type. Just look at LANL's CMRR.

This is the sick culture that is slowly killing off the whole NNSA complex. Don't expect it to change no matter how many official reports are created documenting what's going on.

Just as the CMRR was killed at LANL due to huge escalating costs, I expect the B61 refurbishment program to also be killed due to budget constraints. Get use to it.

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