United States Senator John McCain is the Chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee. This is probably one of the most important chairs in the Senate. Our national defense issues are decided there, sometimes. Senator McCain is a no nonsense guy when he asks budget questions. In this case, he is not happy with the Air Force approach to contracting the proposed Long Range Strategic Bomber (LRSB), the B-21. Read Senator McCain’s concerns and threats below.
Committee chair McCain vows to block contract for new Northrop bomber.
U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain on Thursday vowed to block use of a cost-plus type of contract, under which the government would be responsible for cost overruns, for a new long-range bomber to be built by Northrop Grumman Corp.
McCain told reporters he would seek to block authorization of the new U.S. Air Force long-range strike bomber in its current form, arguing that cost-plus deals inevitably lead to cost overruns.
“We can disapprove it … I will not authorize a program that has a cost-plus contract,” McCain said, when asked about the contract, which the U.S. Air Force has already signed with Northrop.
McCain said the military often argued that cost-plus contracts were necessary in cases involving cutting-edge technologies since unknown problems could emerge, but such practices were unheard of in Silicon Valley.
The Air Force said that only the engineering and development phase of the program, valued at $21.4 billion, was structured as a cost-plus contract with incentive fees.