DOD Inspector General Reviewing B-21 Secrecy

The Department of Defense Inspector General is currently reviewing the B-21 program to determine if its secrecy levels are too cautious, Bloomberg reported Monday. The IG was directed to perform the review by a provision in the recently signed federal omnibus budget. In the past Congress has challenged the Air Force’s insistence that many details, including the cost, of the B-21 program must remain secret to prevent adversaries from using that information to piece together the capabilities of the aircraft. Last year, the House Armed Services Committee asked the Secretary of the Air Force for a report on how the service determined its B-21 requirement. DODIG spokesman Bruce Anderson told Bloomberg the IG has been instructed “to conduct an evaluation and submit a report” on B-21 secrecy levels. He did not offer more details because “the project and the evaluation are classified.” An Air Force spokesperson said in an emailed statement Monday that the Air Force has “balanced transparency of the program with security concerns, in an effort to prevent our adversaries from gaining access to information that could compromise the effectiveness of the weapon system.” The Air Force also said it is “fully cooperating with the Inspector General’s office as it looks into how we’ve classified the B-21 bomber program.”