Warplanes: July 29, 2001


There is great unhappiness with the Bush Administration's plan to reduce the B-1B bomber fleet from 93 aircraft to 60. The cut would eliminate the 18 aircraft in the hands of the Georgia and Kansas National Guards, and this would mean less defense spending in those states (and is seen as a first move toward closing some Air National Guard bases). While the Air Force says the move will save $163 million a year (which will be plowed into upgrades for the remaining B-1Bs), critics of the move say it will actually cost rather than save money due to more operations by the smaller force and promises to keep the Guard bases open even without their bomber squadrons.--Stephen V Cole




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