Vital for the Future

The Air Force’s future bomber is “vital for the future,” said Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Wednesday. “We actually went through a very, very rigorous debate and review and analysis to get to the conclusion that . . . we should invest in a new penetrating stealth bomber,” he told members of the House Armed Services Committee during testimony on the Pentagon’s Fiscal 2012 spending proposal. Mullen was responding to Guam Delegate Madeleine Bordallo’s question why the Pentagon leadership has opted for a penetrating platform instead of standoff capability. “Certainly there is great focus, obviously, on this with respect to the Pacific,” he continued, noting that the main purpose for which the bomber is employed may change over time. He added that the bomber will not be “exquisite in every way,” but will provide “terrific capabilities that, when combined in the platform, will actually result in a revolutionary capability.” (For more, see USAF Eyes 80 to 100 New Bombers)