Requirements for the new penetrating bomber have not actually been set yet, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Phillip Breedlove told the Daily Report Thursday, following his speech at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition in Orlando, Fla. Breedlove said he expects a consensus to be reached in “the near term” that will specifically define what the aircraft will need to do. This consensus will include input from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Air Force, the Navy, and other stakeholders, he said. Although such broad involvement by non-experts is unwieldy, Breedlove said the final result—department-wide “buy in”—is worth it. He said once a consensus is achieved, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley will likely make a public presentation explaining at least some of what the new bomber will be able to do, although Breedlove said much of the program is classified. Even though the aircraft will be based on “proven technologies,” he noted that they are technologies that are “decades ahead” of what any other country could field.
While some of the Air Force's newly announced changes will happen quickly, it may take most of Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin's tenure in the job to accomplish the rest, he said in a Brookings Institution event Feb. 28.