F-22 AircraftIssues in Achieving Engineering and Manufacturing Development Goals Gao ID: NSIAD-99-55 March 15, 1999
The Air Force estimates that it can complete the F-22 engineering and manufacturing development program within the nearly $19-billion cost cap set by law. During much of 1998, however, the F-22's contractor cost and schedule plans, as defined in 1997, were not fully accomplished. Program costs were over budget and often behind schedule. The Air Force views the potential for further cost growth as a threat to completing the program within the cost limitation. Although the Air Force has devised ways to avoid and reduce costs, GAO questions whether the program, as planned, can be completed within the cost limitation. GAO summarized this report in testimony before Congress; see: Defense Acquisition: Progress of the F-22 and F/A-18E/F Engineering and Manufacturing Development Programs, by Louis J. Rodrigues, Director of Defense Acquisitions Issues, before the Subcommittee on Airland Forces, Senate Committee on Armed Services. GAO/T-NSIAD-99-113, Mar. 17 (20 pages).
GAO noted that: (1) the Air Force estimates it can complete F-22 EMD within the cost limitation; (2) however, the F-22 contractor cost and schedule plans, as defined in 1997, were not fully accomplished; (3) costs exceeded the budgets established to accomplish planned work, and work planned was not always completed on schedule; (4) the Air Force viewed the potential for further cost growth as a threat to completing EMD within the cost limitation; (5) although the Air Force devised ways to avoid and reduce costs, GAO questions whether EMD, as planned, can be completed within the cost limitation; (6) cost reviews by the Air Force and the contractors in 1998 identified potential program cost growth of $482 million that, if not addressed, could increase program costs above the cost limitation of $18.939 billion; (7) Air Force and contractor plans to address this potential cost growth have not all been finalized; (8) the contractor has notified the Air Force that F-22 EMD program costs may increase if sales of C-130J aircraft, which are manufactured in the same plant as the F-22, are lower than anticipated because the F-22 program will have to absorb a higher share of the plant's overhead costs; (9) deliveries and first flights of the next four flight-test aircraft are expected to be late, reducing flight-testing time available before planned EMD completion; (10) unless the Air Force can successfully compress or reduce the remaining flight tests to complete EMD as scheduled, EMD costs will increase; (11) there have been delays in developing F-22's integrated avionics systems, and the schedule for completing avionics development appears unrealistic; (12) the Air Force estimates that the F-22 will meet or exceed all its required performance parameters; (13) the estimates are based on computer simulations, studies, and flight-test data; (14) the Air Force expects additional flight testing to confirm the estimates; (15) as of December 1998, the Air Force had completed about 200 flight-test hours and the selected performance demonstrations and events required by the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology before F-22 production activities begin; (16) in December 1998, the Secretary of Defense submitted a report about F-22 testing and production risks to Congress, and the Air Force awarded a contract to initiate production activities; and (17) the Air Force and the contractors gave GAO access to sufficient information to make informed judgments on the matters covered in this report.Recommendations
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