The U.S. Air Force blamed mistaken cost estimates for the new bomber program — one of the most closely watched defense acquisition efforts underway — in part on “human error.”
As Bloomberg News reporter Tony Capaccio noted in a question to officials during a “State of the Air Force” briefing at the Pentagon, the service this year estimated the so-called Long Range Strike Bomber, or LRSB, would cost $58 billion over a decade, up from a previous estimate of just $33 billion — though the correct figure is closer to $42 billion.
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said the following about the discrepancy:
“There has been no change in the costing factors over the last two years,” she said. “It was a mistake. It was a regrettable mistake. It occurred in part because of human error and in part because of process error, meaning a couple of our people got the figures wrong and the process of coordination was not fully carried out in this case. Coordination, of course, means other people are providing a check and balance and looking at the numbers, so that’s typically how something like this would get caught.”
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