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Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Sequestration Would Squeeze Air Force Bombers

The U.S. Air Force's strategic bombers are among the aircraft and programs likely to bear the brunt of major looming budget cutbacks, Inside the Air Force reported on Tuesday.

The publication received an Air Force accounting of program areas facing significant budget curbs if Congress cannot approve an alternative to the federal budget sequester by March 1. The deficit-control plan mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act would cut $85 billion in federal spending through the final seven months of this fiscal year.

On the Air Force list were the B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers. Also cited were the U.S. Nuclear Detonation Detection System, the Space-Based Infrared System missile alert program and various other operations.

Radar installations in Alaska and North Dakota, along with the Air Force Space Surveillance System, would be operated eight hours daily rather than the current 24, "significantly impacting national missile defense, space situation awareness and the intelligence community," according to a service memorandum.

The Air Force hopes to provide sustained funding to its developmental Long-Range Strike Bomber project, as well as the KC-46 tanker and F-35 warplane, according to acting Comptroller Marilyn Thomas.

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