Discretionary Spending

Function 050 - National Defense

Reduce the Size of the Bomber Force by Retiring the B-1B

CBO periodically issues a compendium of policy options (called Options for Reducing the Deficit) covering a broad range of issues, as well as separate reports that include options for changing federal tax and spending policies in particular areas. This option appears in one of those publications. The options are derived from many sources and reflect a range of possibilities. For each option, CBO presents an estimate of its effects on the budget but makes no recommendations. Inclusion or exclusion of any particular option does not imply an endorsement or rejection by CBO.

Billions of Dollars 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027 2028 2029 2030 2021–
Change in Planned Defense Spending  
  Budget authority 0 -1.7 -1.7 -1.7 -1.7 -1.8 -1.5 -1.4 -1.2 -1.0 -6.8 -13.7
  Outlays 0 -1.1 -1.5 -1.6 -1.7 -1.7 -1.6 -1.4 -1.2 -1.1 -5.9 -12.9

This option would take effect in October 2021.
Estimates of savings displayed in the table are based on cost estimates from the Air Force.

The Air Force uses B-1B bombers for conventional (nonnuclear) missions. Although the Air Force plans to replace them with B-21 bombers that are under development, the potential service life of many B-1B bombers extends well into the 2030s.

This option would retire the entire B-1B bomber fleet in 2022 and eliminate the military personnel positions in the squadrons that would be removed from the force. If the positions were reassigned to other parts of the Air Force rather than eliminated, then the outlay savings would be $3 billion lower.