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B-1 Bomber Cost Overruns

May 15, 1986

Your headline (May 3) stated that Rockwell International will exceed the B-1 bomber program target cost by $100 million.

Taken at face value, this would appeal to those defense critics who want everyone to believe that the defense contractors are big-time crooks who milk the government for excessive profits while compiling huge contract overruns.

The facts are, however, that the $100 million over target cost is less than one-half of 1% of the overall program cost of approximately $20 billion. This is equivalent to being charged $100.50 for a $100 estimate you might have received for car repairs at the local gas station.

In addition, it is an established fact and recognized by most government agencies that the B-1 program is one of the best managed programs in the history of the aerospace industry.

As a member of the aerospace industry, I resent the sensational journalism and cheap shots that the press and television level at us at every opportunity. The rank and file in our field are dedicated, loyal, and cost-conscious Americans who pay taxes just like everyone else.

It sure would be refreshing to read something positive about us once in a while.



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