A Longer Wait for Long Range Strike

Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn warns not to expect a full-blown plan for a new bomber in next year’s defense budget. Speaking Thursday at an Aerospace Industries Association event in the US Capitol, Lynn said the Pentagon is assessing now which companies and which technologies will need sustainment to preserve options in developing a “portfolio” of long range strike capabilities. “There are three main companies that have capabilities, so you’re maintaining those companies with the prospect that you would then compete them,” Lynn said. “We’re in the midst now of a series of studies that are trying to identify programmatically which—and on what schedule—to fund that approach.” There will be “more definition” of LRS technologies in the 2012 budget, but that probably won’t be “the final step.” He emphasized, “We’ll get more definitive as we move on.”