Return of the Bomber?

“We will have dollars” for a new bomber in the Fiscal 2011 budget, but it will probably be for research and development only, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley told reporters after his speech at AFA’s Air & Space conference Monday. The bomber program was scuttled for 2010 by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who wasn’t satisfied that USAF had adequately figured out what the bomber should be able to do. Donley said there’s “more work” to be done fleshing out the revised concept for the bomber, and it will be informed by the still-in-progress Nuclear Posture Review and Quadrennial Defense Review. Donley said there may not be production money in Fiscal 2012, either. “The question is, how fast” will the bomber program have to proceed once it’s defined, he added.