Pentagon: B-61 Bomb Update Faces Possible Delays

Defense Department file photo

Defense Department experts see a danger of delays in work on a key nuclear-bomb component under development at multiple federal agencies.

Preparation of the new B-61 gravity bomb "tail kit" is currently proceeding on schedule, but the project's time line faces "risks" from separate work under way at the Defense and Energy departments, according to the Pentagon's Systems Engineering office.

"Interdependencies" involving a range of activities at the two departments "present technical challenges and will require close attention and development," the Pentagon office said in a report last month.

The potential coordination hurdles threaten to bog down progress, says the annual assessment for fiscal 2013.

The developmental component for the bomb's tail section is intended to improve the accuracy of the B-61 bomb's forthcoming Mod 12 variant, which is now in its second year of development. The refurbished bomb would eventually stand in for several earlier versions, some of which are fielded at bases in several European countries.

Ultimately, the possible issues may cause the project to miss a goal date for entering full production, as well as a deadline for delivering the first completed tail kit, the document warns. Both goals were scheduled for 2019, the Pentagon said in a Selected Acquisition Report from December 2012.

The authors of last month's analysis added that a "limited number of developmental test flights" could complicate efforts to ensure that the tail kit meets reliability standards. Project managers are already "mitigating 11 risks related to schedule, performance, production, integration and cost," they noted.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.