The Air Force and the rest of the Defense Department have not yet resolved their differences on what the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program should cost, Air Force uniformed acquisition chief Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch said at an AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast on March 16. “We did have the pretty significant difference in cost estimates that came out of the CAPE (the Pentagon’s Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation shop)” and the Air Force Cost Analysis Agency, Bunch said, referring to a $22 billion discrepancy ?at the time of the GBSD’s last milestone. “What we said then was we’ll fund it to a level, we’ll update those cost estimates as we get those proposals in and we learn more of what the state of the art is, and the art of the possible,” Bunch explained. He noted that GBSD is “now in source selection” and “we haven’t updated anything, and we won’t until we get through the source selection and decide where we’re going to go.” Summing up, Bunch said, the choice “will be informed but it hasn’t happened yet.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.