B-2 Program: Trends in Manufacturing
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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During the past several years, GAO has issued a series of reports on the B-2 stealth bomber program identifying causes of instability in the program, including manufacturing problems being encountered by the contractors. The objectives of this review were to determine the B-2 bombers recent manufacturing progress and evaluate whether estimates to produce aircraft at planned production rates can be met. To meet the GAO objectives, GAO evaluated selected manufacturing indicators, including labor efficiency rates, manufacturing defects, changes to engineering drawings, work transferred to final assembly, and programs for production management. The B-2 aircraft combines conventional and state-of-the-art aircraft technology, such as special shaping and radar absorbing materials, and is designed to precise specifications needed to meet stealth requirements.