THE US HOUSE of Representatives turned down an amendment that would have stripped the $553 million in B-2 funding added by the House National Security Committee, but not requested by the Pentagon.

US defence secretary William Perry opposes building more than 20 B-2 bombers, but the House voted to sustain funding for the bomber production line and allow for procurement beyond the 20 aircraft. It ignored an independent study ordered by the US Congress, which favoured additional precision-guided munitions over more B-2s.

The fate of B-2 production will remain an open question until October, when deliberations on the Pentagon's fiscal year end.

Source: Flight International