Senate Appropriators Pull SDB II Production Funds

The Senate Appropriations Committee did not allow any procurement funds in Fiscal 2013 for the Air Force’s Small Diameter Bomb II program. Committee members said it would be “premature” to begin producing the bomb since “significant testing” remains in its development. Further, since SDB II integration with the F-15E and F-35B/F-35C must occur before the bomb may enter full-rate production—and F-35 integration is not scheduled to begin until Fiscal 2017—it does not make sense to award production funding now, said these lawmakers in the report accompanying their version of the Fiscal 2013 defense appropriations bill. The committee approved the bill on Aug. 2. The committee’s action cut $40 million from the Air Force’s funding request. However, the lawmakers did fully fund SDB II research and development next fiscal year. They called on the Air Force to “modify its acquisition strategy to align with F-15E and [F-35] integration and consider an optimal production rate that minimizes individual unit costs.” (SAC report; caution, large-sized file.)