A panel ordered by Congress to study the Air Force's long-range bombing requirements said Friday that 21 B-2 bombers are sufficient.

The panel recommended that all $331 million appropriated for B-2s in fiscal 1998 should be used "for upgrades to improve the deployability, survivability and maintainability of the 21 existing B-2 stealth bombers," and not to begin building any more.Some lawmakers, arguing that the nation's long-range bombing needs were lacking, had moved to seek additional funds for the bat-winged aircraft, which had subcontractors in nearly every state. The effort was approved by the House, but failed in the Senate. A compromise was reached by seeking the study.