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Thursday, September 26, 2013

B-61 still in the news

B-61 still in the news "The most important takeaway from the JASON report is this: Should schedule problems develop (as they invariably do), the NNSA must focus on what needs to be done, not on what might be desirable." "The more important point that JASON makes is that, to meet its schedule, the NNSA should focus on what has to be done, not what might be desired: “In implementing important and desirable, but not essential, elements in the 3B program, there should be a clear understanding of their cost and impact on the schedule. These elements should be prioritized in the event that unanticipated program delays or cost overruns are encountered that could threaten meeting the FPU [first production unit] deadline.” In other words, a significant portion of the work proposed for the B61 is not essential. It is someone’s wish list, either the NNSA’s or the DOD’s. Yet that wish list, the JASON report notes, could become the reason that the production schedule ends up slipping yet again. That concern is what drives the Senate appropriation committee’s position: A simpler (and less expensive) life extension program would be more likely to be delivered on time and on budget. Particularly given the NNSA’s track record of busting budgets and missing schedules, there is a certain undeniable logic to that train of thought."

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