FAS | Military Analysis | GAO |||| Index | Search |


Tactical Aircraft: Concurrency in Development and Production of F-22
Aircraft Should Be Reduced (Letter Report, 04/19/95, GAO/NSIAD-95-59).

Because the F-22 fighter plane is not urgently needed and the Defense
Department (DOD) has discovered engine and software problems with the
aircraft, GAO urges that the F-22 be thoroughly tested before large
numbers of these expensive aircraft are acquired.  Concurrency between
the development and production phases of F-22 means that independent
testing of high-tech features of the aircraft will not be completed
before the Air Force makes a significant commitment to producing the
F-22. Among other things, the F-22 boast an advanced architecture for
the integrated avionics system, a propulsion system that will allow
cruising a supersonic speeds without the afterburners that current
fighters needs, and low observable technologies.  The military has
already disclosed engine and stealthiness problems, and the potential
for avionics and software problems underscore the need to demonstrate
the aircraft's capabilities before committing to production.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-95-59
     TITLE:  Tactical Aircraft: Concurrency in Development and 
             Production of F-22 Aircraft Should Be Reduced
      DATE:  04/19/95
   SUBJECT:  Advanced weapons systems
             Military aircraft
             Air Force procurement
             Systems design
             Procurement evaluation
             Testing
             Fighter aircraft
             Defense cost control
             Concurrency
             Product performance evaluation
IDENTIFIER:  F-22 Aircraft
             
**************************************************************************
* This file contains an ASCII representation of the text of a GAO        *
* report.  Delineations within the text indicating chapter titles,       *
* headings, and bullets are preserved.  Major divisions and subdivisions *
* of the text, such as Chapters, Sections, and Appendixes, are           *
* identified by double and single lines.  The numbers on the right end   *
* of these lines indicate the position of each of the subsections in the *
* document outline.  These numbers do NOT correspond with the page       *
* numbers of the printed product.                                        *
*                                                                        *
* No attempt has been made to display graphic images, although figure    *
* captions are reproduced. Tables are included, but may not resemble     *
* those in the printed version.                                          *
*                                                                        *
* A printed copy of this report may be obtained from the GAO Document    *
* Distribution Facility by calling (202) 512-6000, by faxing your        *
* request to (301) 258-4066, or by writing to P.O. Box 6015,             *
* Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015. We are unable to accept electronic orders *
* for printed documents at this time.                                    *
**************************************************************************


Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Committees

April 1995

TACTICAL AIRCRAFT - CONCURRENCY IN
DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION OF F-22
AIRCRAFT SHOULD BE REDUCED

GAO/NSIAD-95-59

Tactical Aircraft


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  DOD - Department of Defense
  DSB - Defense Science Board
  IOT&E - initial operational testing and evaluation
  LRIP - low-rate initial production

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-259204

April 19, 1995

Congressional Committees

As called for by the Senate Armed Services Committee report on the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995, we assessed
the concurrency between the development and production phases of the
Air Force's F-22 fighter program and the risk associated with that
concurrency. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Concurrency is broadly defined as the overlap between development and
production of a system.  The stated rationale for concurrency is to
introduce systems in a more timely manner or to fulfill an urgent
need, to avoid technology obsolescence and/or to maintain an
efficient industrial development/production work force.  For
measuring the degree of concurrency in this report we used a
statutorily required guide issued by the Department of Defense (DOD)
in April 1990 for assessing concurrency and associated risk in major
acquisition programs.  Its measure of concurrency is the amount of
initial operational testing and evaluation (IOT&E) completed before
entering production of a system. 

Initial operational tests are field tests intended to demonstrate a
system's effectiveness and suitability for military use.  IOT&E is a
key internal control to ensure that decisionmakers have objective
information available on a weapon system's performance and to
minimize risks of procuring costly and ineffective systems. 

In the late 1980s, the Congress found that DOD was acquiring a large
portion of total program quantities, using the low-rate initial
production (LRIP) concept, without successfully completing IOT&E.  As
a result, legislation was enacted in 1989 to limit LRIP quantities
for major systems.  The law, 10 U.S.C.  2400, defined LRIP as the
minimum production quantity needed to provide production
representative articles for IOT&E, establish an initial production
base, and permit an orderly increase in the production rate
sufficient to lead to full-rate production after completion of IOT&E. 

In the conference report supporting the National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991 (P.L.  101-189), the
conferees indicated that LRIP quantities should not total a
significant percentage of a total planned procurement.  Later, the
Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 prescribed new controls
for LRIP.  The act states that the Secretary of Defense must
specifically explain to the Congress why any planned LRIP quantities
exceed 10 percent of a planned production quantity of a system, as
defined at the milestone II or development decision.  This provision,
however, was not in effect when the F-22 program reached milestone
II. 

The F-22 passed milestone II in 1991.  At that time, the Air Force
planned to acquire 648 F-22 operational aircraft at a cost of $86.6
billion.  After the Bottom Up Review, completed by DOD in September
1993, the planned quantity of F-22s was reduced to 442 at an
estimated cost of $71.6 billion. 

We recently reported that aircraft systems, including the T-45
trainer aircraft, B-1B bomber, and the C-17 cargo aircraft, as well
as many other smaller systems, entered LRIP before successfully
completing any IOT&E.\1 This resulted in the purchase of systems
requiring significant and sometimes costly modifications to achieve
satisfactory performance, acceptance of less capable systems than
planned, and in some cases deployment of substandard systems to
combat forces. 

The LRIP contract award is scheduled for September 1997.  LRIP
aircraft are those to be procured during the period of concurrency. 


--------------------
\1 Weapons Acquisition:  Low-Rate Initial Production Used to Buy
Weapon Systems Prematurely (GAO/NSIAD-95-18, Nov.  1994). 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

Although the F-22 program involves considerable risk because it
embodies important technological advances that are critical to its
operational success, the F-22 program exhibits a high degree of
concurrency because the program will enter production well before
commencement of IOT&E.  This concurrency will permit procurement of a
significant quantity of F-22s before many of the technology advances
are flight tested and before completion of IOT&E.  Historically,
there have been numerous examples of the adverse consequences of
concurrent development and production, that is, buying weapon systems
before they demonstrate, through testing, that they perform as
required. 

The Air Force plans to procure 80 F-22s under LRIP, or 18 percent of
the total planned procurement, at an estimated cost of $12.4 billion,
before completing IOT&E.  Although the F-22 program entered the
engineering and manufacturing development phase before the Federal
Acquisition and Streamlining Act was passed, the F-22 LRIP quantities
substantially exceed the 10-percent guideline included in the act
which requires the Secretary of Defense to submit a specific
explanation to the Congress.  The percentage of F-22s to be committed
to production before completion of IOT&E is higher than most recent
fighter programs. 

F-22 production rates in the LRIP phase of the program are planned to
accelerate so that 75 percent of the full- production rate, or 36
aircraft a year, will be achieved under the LRIP phase of the
program.  We believe the planned rate of acceleration exceeds the
amount that is needed to successfully complete the LRIP phase of the
program and essentially represents a plan to commit to a full-rate
production schedule before IOT&E is completed.  Limiting LRIP
quantities to about six to eight aircraft a year, or the production
rate that can be supported by the first set of tooling, appears to be
a more prudent approach, given the high degree of concurrency now
incorporated in the program and the potential problems associated
with technological advances. 

Technology advances and innovations that are critical to the F-22's
operational success include an advanced architecture for the
integrated avionics system, a propulsion system that will allow
cruising at supersonic speeds without the afterburners current
fighters need, and low observable (stealth) technologies in an
aircraft that is both highly maneuverable and can travel at
supersonic speeds. 

The need for the F-22, based on our analysis, is not urgent.  Our
recent report concerning planned replacement of F-15s with F-22s
amply demonstrated that the initial operational capability planned
for the F-22 could be deferred.\2 Moreover, engine and stealthiness
problems already disclosed by DOD, and the potential for avionics and
software problems, underscore the need to demonstrate the weapon
system's performance through flight testing before significant
commitments are made to production. 


--------------------
\2 Tactical Aircraft:  F-15 Replacement Is Premature As Currently
Planned (GAO/NSIAD-94-118, Mar.  25, 1994). 


   CONCURRENCY IN THE F-22 PROGRAM
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

In 1990, DOD performed a statutorily required analysis of the
concurrency in acquisition programs partly to define the appropriate
measures for evaluating the degree of concurrency and associated risk
in programs.  The Office of the Secretary of Defense defined a highly
concurrent program\3 as one that proceeds into LRIP before
significant IOT&E is complete. 

Using DOD guidelines, concurrency in the F-22 program is high because
the F-22 program is scheduled to proceed into LRIP well before any
IOT&E is started.  Further, considering the new technology
advancements being developed for use in the aircraft, the level of
concurrency increases the cost, schedule, and technical risks of the
program.  We found that development flight tests of critical F-22
technology advances are not scheduled to begin until about 1 year
after LRIP is scheduled to start and over $2 billion will have been
committed to procure F-22 aircraft. 

According to the F-22 acquisition plan, the Air Force will commit to
LRIP quantities that increase from 4 aircraft a year to 36 a year (an
800-percent increase), totaling 80 aircraft, before completion of
IOT&E.  Production of 36 aircraft a year under LRIP represents 75
percent of the planned full-production rate.  The estimated cost of
those 80 aircraft is $12.4 billion.  Figure 1 shows the planned
schedule of commitments to procurement of F-22 aircraft and the
estimated cumulative costs prior to completion of IOT&E. 

   Figure 1:  Planned Commitments
   to Procure F-22 Aircraft and
   Estimated Cumulative Costs
   Prior to Completion of IOT&E
   (dollars in billions)

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

A first set of hardened tooling is required initially to produce the
developmental aircraft for testing.  Program office officials told us
that the maximum quantity of F-22s that can be produced with the
first set of tooling is about 6 to 8 aircraft a year. 

The concurrency of development, testing and production in the F-22
program is shown in figure 2, which shows concurrent development and
production from September 1997 through February 2002. 

   Figure 2:  Concurrent
   Development and Production of
   the F-22

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Low-rate production of the F-22 is scheduled to begin in September
1997.  However, IOT&E is not scheduled to take place until December
1999 through February 2002.\4 Thus, the testing is not scheduled to
be complete until over 4 years after the start of production and the
commitment at an estimated cost of $12.4 billion to procure 80
aircraft\5 (4 preproduction aircraft and 76 production aircraft), or
18 percent of all 442 aircraft to be procured. 


--------------------
\3 Definition in Report on Guidelines for Determining the Degree of
Risk Appropriate for the Development of Major Defense Acquisitions
Systems, and Assessing the Degree of Risk Associated with Various
Degrees of Concurrency; and Concurrency in Major Acquisition
Programs, April 1990. 

\4 Dedicated IOT&E, which is the independent operational testing and
evaluation made by an Air Force test organization, is not scheduled
to start until March 2001. 

\5 In addition to the 80 aircraft planned under low-rate production,
the Air Force plans to initiate long lead effort on 48 full-rate
production aircraft in September 2001. 


      FLIGHT TESTS OF CRITICAL
      TECHNOLOGY NOT PLANNED UNTIL
      WELL AFTER PRODUCTION START
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.1

Although laboratory tests are underway and simulations of the
avionics are planned, the Air Force does not plan to flight test
several of the critical F-22 technology advances on an F-22 until
well after the start of production in September 1997.  Flight tests
of low observability are not scheduled to begin until September 1998. 
Although the highest risk element of the F-22 program was reported to
be the integrated avionics, the first flight test of an F-22 equipped
with a complete integrated avionics system is not scheduled to begin
until September 1999, 2 years after the start of production.  By the
time that testing begins, the Air Force will have already made
commitments to procure 20 aircraft and long lead materials for an
additional 24. 


   PLAN FOR F-22 LOW-RATE
   PRODUCTION COMPARED WITH 1994
   CONGRESSIONAL GUIDELINES
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

For programs entering the engineering and manufacturing phase of the
acquisition cycle, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994
requires the Secretary of Defense to explain to the Congress any
plans to procure more than 10 percent of the total procurement
quantity in the LRIP phase.  This provision of the act is not
retroactive to the F-22 program. 

In 1991, when milestone II was approved for the F-22 program, the
total aircraft procurement quantity planned was 648.  Accordingly, 10
percent would have been 65 aircraft.  Currently, 442 aircraft are to
be procured, meaning 10 percent would be 44 aircraft.  The number of
F-22 LRIP aircraft currently planned is 80, exceeding 10 percent, in
either case. 


   COMMITMENTS TO PRODUCTION OF
   F-22S PRIOR TO IOT&E COMPLETION
   IS HIGHER THAN MOST PRIOR
   FIGHTER PROGRAMS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

The Air Force's planned commitment to production of F-22's prior to
completion of IOT&E, as a percentage of total production, exceeds the
commitments made for recent fighter programs except the F-15, in
which the percent is about the same as the F-22.  Figure 3 compares
the planned percentage of aircraft committed to production before
completion of IOT&E for the F-22 and percentages committed for other
recent fighter programs.\6

   Figure 3:  Aircraft Committed
   to Production Before Completion
   of IOT&E as a Percentage of
   Total Aircraft

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Although the actual number of F-22 aircraft to be acquired before
completion of IOT&E is lower than in the F-14, F-15, F-16, and
F/A-18, the other fighters were acquired before the end of the Cold
War when a greater degree of urgency existed for procuring aircraft. 


--------------------
\6 The total aircraft for the F/A-18 includes aircraft to be procured
through fiscal year 1997.  Production is complete on all other
aircraft. 


   DEVELOPMENT RISKS WITH HIGH
   TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS AND
   SUBSYSTEMS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

The Air Force plans to use advances in technologies and innovations
to provide high performance and increased reliability and
maintainability for the F-22.  The integrated avionics, engine, and
stealth characteristics are the primary areas that increase the cost,
schedule, and technical risk in the F-22 program.  After reviewing
the program, the DOD Defense Science Board (DSB) concluded that
concurrency was acceptable and risks were readily controllable, but
noted that the F-22 program is very ambitious technically. 
Descriptions of some of the problems that have occurred in the
development program are included below.  The purpose of these
descriptions is to illustrate that there remain important cost,
schedule, and technical risks in the F-22 program. 

The F-22 Program Office has taken a number of steps to reduce the
technical risks of the program, including a 54-month
demonstration/validation phase using an F-22 prototype, and a risk
management program for engineering and manufacturing.  Some
deficiencies associated with the higher risk features of the F-22
have been experienced during ground tests, requiring expensive
redesigns. 


      AVIONICS AND SOFTWARE RISK
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :6.1

The F-22's integrated avionics are expected to provide unprecedented
situational awareness to the pilot.  The F-22 is the first aircraft
to use integrated avionics, that is, critical systems such as the
radar, the weapons management system, and electronic warfare sensors
that work as one unit.  The key to achieving the necessary
performance is the successful development of highly advanced
integrated computer processors, known as the common integrated
processors, and large amounts of software. 

Avionics and software integration has been characterized by the DOD
Defense Acquisition Board as one of the highest risks to the
successful development of the F-22.  The risk assessment was prepared
for the DOD Defense Acquisition Board to evaluate the readiness of
the F-22 to begin the engineering and manufacturing development phase
of the acquisition cycle in 1991.  This report in June 1991 explained
that the estimated 1.3 million single lines of software code needed
for the F-22 represented the largest software task ever for an
attack/fighter onboard software program.  Further, the DSB in 1993
rated the integrated avionics as the highest technical risk in the
F-22 program.  Program managers for the F-22 agreed in October 1994
that the avionics and software integration are the most risky tasks
facing the contractors. 

In a separate report, we concluded in 1994 that although the Air
Force's planned strategy for the F-22 software was generally sound in
concept, some significant features of the strategy were not being
followed.\7 For example, the independent verification and validation
of software products--part of the quality assurance process--was less
rigorous than planned.  In addition, the technical risks being
encountered with the system/software engineering environment and
common integrated processor were not being formally reported to DOD
management.  Finally, we indicated that the Air Force had begun
actions to respond to our concerns. 

DOD responded to that report in February 1995, indicating that the
quality assurance program is now being complied with as planned.  DOD
also stated that common automated tools had matured and would support
completion of the software development effort through the engineering
and manufacturing development phase of the program.  We have not
verified the DOD response. 


--------------------
\7 Air Force F-22 Embedded Computers (GAO/AIMD-94-177R, Sept.  23,
1994). 


      ENGINE PROBLEMS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :6.2

The F-22's engine has not been flight tested, but has experienced
problems during ground tests.  The F-22's engine is expected to be
the first to provide the ability to fly faster than the speed of
sound for an extended period of time without the high fuel
consumption characteristic of aircraft that use afterburners to
achieve supersonic speeds.  It is expected to provide high
performance and high fuel efficiency at slower speeds as well. 

Problems with performance of the F-22's engine first surfaced after
the initial engine ground tests began in December 1992.  The
contractor is conducting a series of interim tests, with a goal of
having a complete engine with a redesigned turbine and other changes
qualified for flight by December 1996 if tests now planned for 1995
are successful.  If not, F-22 flight tests will be started with an
engine that is not fully representative of the current approved
configuration. 

An Executive Independent Review Team was formed to provide advice on
engine development issues, including a turbine problem.  The team
stated that it did not consider the nature and number of engine
problems to be excessive for a highly sophisticated engine at this
stage of development.  They also stated that the proposed solutions
can only be proven by exposing authentic hardware to the full range
of realistic testing. 

Through November 1994, the Air Force had identified engine problems
that may cost as much as $479 million to remedy.  The Air Force
increased the target cost of the engine development contract by $218
million to design and test solutions to the engine problems.  The
incorporation of corrective modifications to future production
engines is expected to increase production costs by $123 million. 
The Air Force believes its current program estimate can cover the
$341 million increase
($218 million plus $123 million), but the Air Force has identified
other potential design changes that may add $138 million to
development and production costs.  The other potential design changes
are not currently part of the planned program. 


      PROBLEMS WITH STEALTHINESS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :6.3

The low observability or stealth characteristics of the F-22 is
another risk area.  The F-22 is to be the first supersonic, highly
maneuverable fighter that uses low observable technologies to reduce
radar, infrared, acoustic and optical signatures of the aircraft,
making it difficult for an adversary to detect. 

An evaluation of the complete F-22 radar signature using computer
models and a scale version of the aircraft concluded that the
aircraft's radar signature did not meet the Air Force's operational
requirement.  Although DOD advised us that these problems were not
considered major, design changes, such as reducing the number of
aircraft maintenance access panels and fuel drain holes, and
reshaping the airframe were evaluated through December 1994 to
determine if these changes were successful in reducing the signature. 
DOD further stated that the contractual specifications are being
revised.  The estimated development cost to resolve these problems is
about $20 million according to the F-22 program office.  Additional
production costs of about $110 million could also be required,
however, program officials told us the total estimated cost ($71.6
billion) of the F-22 program should not be affected. 


      OTHER TECHNICAL RISKS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :6.4

The DSB, in its review of the F-22 program's concurrency and
technical risks, identified a number of other concerns.  Examples of
concerns mentioned by the DSB include

  control of excess aircraft weight;

  use of new materials and fabrication processes;

  uncertain durability of composite materials in the F-22
     application;

  probable inability of the engine to meet performance and durability
     goals before first flight;

  design of certain low observable features and applicable
     manufacturing processes;

  very challenging development of electronic warfare system;

  late scheduling of tests relative to increasing production to 12
     aircraft a year; and

  the need for a long, evolutionary software development. 

Overall, the DSB characterized the F-22 program as very ambitious
technically. 


   RECOMMENDATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense reduce the degree of
concurrency in the program because

  independent testing of technology advances (IOT&E), will not be
     completed before significant commitments are made to produce
     F-22s;

  the percentage of planned F-22s to be committed to production
     before completion of IOT&E is higher than most recent fighter
     programs; and

  the need for the F-22 is not urgent. 

To minimize commitments to production of F-22s until after successful
completion of IOT&E, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense limit
LRIP quantities to that which can be produced using the first set of
hard tooling, about six to eight aircraft a year. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

DOD partially agreed with the findings in this report, but disagreed
with the recommendations.  DOD indicated it believed that the F-22
program had an acceptable degree of concurrency based on the DSB's
evaluation that risks associated with premature entry into
successively higher rates of production were readily controllable
through insistence on meeting certain key events and test criteria
already built into the F-22 plan. 

The record shows, however, that DOD has often been unwilling or
unable to curtail production of other systems after it starts,
despite discovery of significant problems in development or
operational tests.  We believe the degree of concurrency in the
program should be addressed now, because (1) independent testing of
important technology advances is not planned until after commitments
are made to produce F-22s, (2) program concurrency is high according
to DOD's prescribed measure, and (3) the need for the F-22 is not
urgent. 

DOD disagreed with (1) our use of the completion of IOT&E as a
measure of concurrency and risk in the program, (2) our positions on
the level of risk in the F-22 program, and (3) the comparison of the
F-22 to prior fighter programs using the percentage of planned
aircraft procured during LRIP as a measurement. 

We first applied DOD's own guidance for measuring the degree of
concurrency in the program, that is, the amount of IOT&E completed
prior to entering productions.  We also used other metrics, such as
the percent of the total program committed to production before
completion of IOT&E.  Further, DOD's comments appear to discount the
risks in the program identified by the DSB.  Our comparison of the
F-22 to recent fighter programs, although not the same as comparisons
made by the DSB, provides an important historical perspective that
DOD's planned LRIP meets or exceeds the fighter programs undertaken
during the Cold War. 


   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :9

In conducting our work, we obtained information and interviewed
officials from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, DSB, and Air
Force Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; F-22 System Program Office,
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; the Air Force Air Combat
Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia; and the Air Force
Operational Test and Evaluation Center, Kirtland Air Force Base, New
Mexico. 

We interviewed officials in charge of program management, the
operation of tactical fighter aircraft, risk assessment and the
operational testing of Air Force weapon systems.  We reviewed
documents, including program office briefings, program schedules,
test plans and reports, technology risk assessments, requirements
documents and cost reports.  We used these interviews and documents
to determine the program management philosophy, the amount of program
concurrency, the planned flight testing of F-22 technologies, program
technology requirements and program risk assessments. 

We also reviewed DOD instructions, Air Force regulations, Office of
Secretary of Defense guidance, publications from the Defense Systems
Management College, our prior reports, a report of another audit
organization, congressional reports, an Institute for Defense
Analyses report, a DSB report, a report prepared for the Defense
Acquisition Board, executive summaries, and monthly program reports. 

In addition, we interviewed officials from the Air Force's Air Combat
Command and examined the F-22 System Operational Requirements
Document, Statements of Need, and the Mission Element Need Statement
for new fighter aircraft. 

We performed our work from August 1994 through February 1995 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :9.1

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense
and the Air Force and the Director of the Office of Management and
Budget.  Copies will also be made available to others on request. 

Please contact me on (202) 512-4841 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix II. 

Louis J.  Rodrigues
Director, Systems Development
 and Production Issues


List of Congressional Committees

The Honorable Strom Thurmond
Chairman
The Honorable Sam Nunn
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Ted Stevens
Chairman
The Honorable Daniel K.  Inouye
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Floyd Spence
Chairman
The Honorable Ronald V.  Dellums
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

The Honorable C.  W.  Bill Young
Chairman
The Honorable John P.  Murtha
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on National Security
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix I
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
============================================================== Letter 

See comment 1. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

See comment 2. 

See comment 1. 



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)

Now on pp.  1-3 and 7-8. 

See comment 3. 

See comment 4. 

See comment 3. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

Now on pp.  4-8. 

See comment 5. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

See comment 6. 

See comment 7. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

See comment 8. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

Now on pp.  9-12. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

See comment 9. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

See comment 10. 

Now on p.  12. 



(See figure in printed edition.)

See comments 3 and 5. 

See comments 2 and 3. 

Now on p.  12. 

See comment 11. 



(See figure in printed edition.)


The following are GAO's comments on the Department of Defense's (DOD)
letter dated February 24, 1995. 

GAO COMMENTS

1.  These comments are dealt with on pages 12 and 13 of the report
and in our responses to the DOD specific comments that follow. 

2.  For the most part, the risk/concurrency guidelines listed in the
Office of the Secretary of Defense's April 1990 guide are specific
requirements that should be met before a program progresses.  We are
aware of many of those requirements that are incorporated in the F-22
program.  However, the only assessment provided for in the guide for
measuring the degree of concurrency is the amount of initial
operational testing and evaluation (IOT&E) completed at the time
low-rate initial production (LRIP) begins.  By that measure, the F-22
program clearly has a high degree of concurrency.  In our opinion,
the ramp up of production from 4 a year to 36 a year under the LRIP
phase, and initiation of long lead for 48 a year essentially
represents a plan to achieve a full-rate production schedule (now
defined as 48 a year) before IOT&E is completed. 

3.  The F-22 program, as currently planned, schedules procurement of
80 LRIP aircraft at an estimated cost of $12.4 billion.  We believe
that exceeds the minimum needed to successfully complete the LRIP
phase of the program and that the production rates should be
restricted during LRIP.  Although many important F-22 development
tests are scheduled prior to the acceleration of production rates,
many other critical developmental tests and most IOT&E testing are
not scheduled to be complete until after significant commitments are
made to production. 

4.  We adjusted the report to reflect this information.  However, it
should be noted that the total number of each type of aircraft
produced was much higher than planned for the F-22.  This results in
a higher degree of concurrency in the F-22 program when using the
percentage of aircraft procured at completion of IOT&E as a measure
of concurrency. 

5.  Our report does not, either explicitly or implicitly, suggest
"total avoidance" of concurrency. 

6.  The Defense Science Board (DSB) portrayal of the F-22 program as
relatively conservative was based on the amount of development
testing to be completed at early production decision points. 
However, using the measure called for by DOD's own 1990 guidance--the
amount of IOT&E completed at the time LRIP begins--shows that the
F-22 program is far from conservative. 

7.  Production ramp up from 4 aircraft a year to 36 aircraft a year
appears to provide a more rapid acceleration than we believe is
necessary in the LRIP phase of the program.  In our opinion the ramp
up of production from 4 a year to 36 a year under the LRIP phase, and
initiation of long lead to support 48 a year, essentially represents
a plan to achieve a full-rate production schedule before IOT&E is
completed. 

8.  This material has been deleted from the report. 

9.  Additional information concerning this matter has been added to
the body of the report. 

10.  DOD response to our prior report on embedded computers has been
recognized in the body of this report. 

11.  We did not attempt to quantify potential cost growth in the F-22
program that may result from a change in the program schedule. 
However, the thrust of the LRIP legislation is to authorize only
minimum necessary quantities.  DOD acquisition profiles created for
other weapon programs have often proven to be optimistic and are
rarely carried out as initially planned because of technical,
financial, or test problems.  If the baseline against which to
compare potential growth of costs is optimistic, an estimate of cost
growth would have limited meaning at this point because those
problems are likely to occur in highly concurrent programs that
involve substantial advances in technology. 


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix II

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Robert D.  Murphy, Assistant Director

CINCINNATI REGIONAL OFFICE

Richard L.  Strittmatter, Evaluator-in-Charge
Edward R.  Browning, Evaluator
Don M.  Springman, Evaluator

NORFOLK REGIONAL OFFICE

Brenda Waterfield, Evaluator