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Strategic Bomber: Issues Relating to the B-1B's Availability and Ability
to Perform Conventional Missions (Letter Report, 01/10/94,
GAO/NSIAD-94-81).

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has refocused its
national security strategy from one of deterring the Soviet nuclear
threat to one emphasizing conventional fighting capabilities.  Air Force
efforts to adapt B-1B strategic bombers, once the backbone of the U.S.
nuclear force, for combat missions in conventional warfare have fallen
short, however.  Despite plans to modify 60 of 95 B-1B bombers, the Air
Force has only 40 B-1Bs capable of flying conventional missions, a
number that is not expected to increase significantly during the next
decade.  Further, although the Air Force requires 29 of its 65 spare
B-1B engines to be serviceable at any given time to keep the planes in
operation, only five were serviceable as of September 1993--an
especially troubling situation given the susceptibility of the B-1B
engines to ice damage. Structural cracks in the aircraft are also a
continuing problem

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-94-81
     TITLE:  Strategic Bomber: Issues Relating to the B-1B's 
             Availability and Ability to Perform Conventional Missions
      DATE:  01/10/94
   SUBJECT:  Bomber aircraft
             Military operations
             Tactical air forces
             Defense contingency planning
             Air defense systems
             Combat readiness
             Aircraft engines
             Spare parts
             Military aircraft
             Advanced weapons systems
IDENTIFIER:  B-1B Aircraft
             B-52 Aircraft
             
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