Air Force and Navy Trainer Aircraft Acquisition Programs

Gao ID: MASAD-83-22 July 5, 1983

GAO reviewed three proposed Navy and Air Force programs to acquire 1,184 trainer aircraft at a cost of about $10.8 billion during the next 20 to 25 years.

The Navy has changed its plan to buy 282 T-45 trainer aircraft which can operate from aircraft carriers. To reduce costs in the early program years, it plans to buy a mixed fleet of 305 aircraft, of which 251 would be carrier-capable. GAO found that a mixed aircraft fleet is feasible, but may be more costly and the Navy might be able to avoid buying a mixed fleet. Despite a congressional desire to have training aircraft meet the needs of both the Navy and the Air Force, the Air Force probably will not procure any T-45's because they do not meet Air Force performance requirements. No periodic reports on the status of this program have been presented to Congress. GAO found that the estimated costs for the full-scale development of the T-46A aircraft increased 5 percent from July 1981 to June 1982 because of inflation and an extended production schedule. GAO found that there is overlap between development and production schedules which may delay the development schedule or result in the need to make post-production changes in the aircraft. The Navy is not interested in acquiring this aircraft due to its cost. Congress failed to appropriate funds for the Tanker-Transport-Bomber Training System in 1983, but the Air Force is requesting 1984 funds to begin development of the system.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Harry R. Finley Team: General Accounting Office: National Security and International Affairs Division Phone: (202) 512-5187

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