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F-22 Aircraft: Progress in Achieving Engineering and Manufacturing Development Goals (Letter Report, 03/10/98, GAO/NSIAD-98-67).

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Air Force's F-22
engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) program.

GAO noted that: (1) the Air Force's estimate to complete F-22 EMD is
$18.884 billion, $55 million less than the EMD cost limitation that will
be adjusted to $18.939 billion; (2) however, the F-22 EMD program is not
meeting schedule goals established in response to the Joint Estimating
Team review; (3) the first flight of the F-22 was about 3 months late,
issues have emerged concerning production and delivery of wings and
fuselages for the EMD aircraft, and test schedules have consequently
been delayed; (4) Lockheed Martin has indicated that negotiated costs
should not be exceeded because of these issues; (5) the Air Force,
however, is further assessing the impact of these issues on EMD cost,
the schedule upon which test data is produced, and the schedule upon
which the EMD program is to be completed; (6) the Air Force expects to
complete this assessment at the end of February 1998; (7) the Air Force
is estimating that the F-22 will meet or exceed its performance goals;
(8) however, less flight test data have been accumulated through January
1998 than were expected because the beginning of the flight test program
was delayed from May 1997 to September 1997 and flight tests have been
suspended to accomplish planned ground tests and minor structural
additions to the airframe; (9) flight testing will not resume until
April 1998; and (10) delayed tests reduce the amount of actual F-22
performance information that will be available to support Air Force
plans to begin production in fiscal year 1999.

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

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-98-67
     TITLE:  F-22 Aircraft: Progress in Achieving Engineering and 
             Manufacturing Development Goals
      DATE:  03/10/98
   SUBJECT:  Fighter aircraft
             Defense cost control
             Defense capabilities
             Department of Defense contractors
             Contract costs
             Contract modifications
             Military budgets
             Projections
             Concurrency
             Air Force procurement
IDENTIFIER:  F-22 Aircraft
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Committees

March 1998

F-22 AIRCRAFT - PROGRESS IN
ACHIEVING ENGINEERING AND
MANUFACTURING DEVELOPMENT GOALS

GAO/NSIAD-98-67

F-22 Development Program

(707275)


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

  DOD - Department of Defense
  EMD - engineering and manufacturing development
  JET - Joint Estimating Team
  RCS - radar cross section

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


B-278307

March 10, 1998

Congressional Committees

As required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year
1998 (P.  L.  105-85), we reviewed the Air Force's F-22 engineering
and manufacturing development (EMD) program.  This report presents
our conclusions regarding whether the EMD program is likely to be
completed at a total cost that does not exceed the cost limitation
established in the act.  The report also discusses the extent to
which the cost, schedule, and performance goals for the F-22 EMD
program are being met and identifies contract modifications expected
to have a significant effect on cost or performance of F-22 aircraft. 
The act requires us to certify whether we had access to sufficient
information to make judgments on the matters covered by this report. 


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

The F-22 is an air superiority aircraft with the capability to
deliver air-to-ground weapons.  The most significant advanced
technology features include supercruise, the ability to fly
efficiently at supersonic speeds without using fuel-consuming
afterburners; low observability to adversary systems; and integrated
avionics to significantly improve the pilot's situational awareness. 

The objectives of the F-22 EMD program, begun in 1991, are to (1)
design, fabricate, test, and deliver 9 F-22 flight test vehicles, 2
ground test articles, and 26 flight qualified engines; (2) design,
fabricate, integrate, and test the avionics suite; and (3) design,
develop, and test the F-22 system support and training systems. 

In June 1996, because of indications of potential cost growth on the
F-22 program, the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for
Acquisition chartered a Joint Estimating Team (JET) consisting of
personnel from the Air Force, the Department of Defense (DOD), and
private industry.  The objectives of the JET were to estimate the
most probable cost of the F-22 program and to identify realistic
initiatives that could be implemented to lower program costs.  In
January 1997, the JET estimated the F-22 EMD program would cost
$18.688 billion, an increase of about $1.45 billion\1 over the
previous Air Force estimate.  The JET also reported that additional
time would be required to complete the EMD program and recommended
changes to the EMD schedule. 

The Air Force and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and
Technology adopted the JET's recommendations, including its cost
estimate for the EMD program.  Other JET recommendations included
slowing the manufacturing of the EMD aircraft to ensure an efficient
transition from development to low-rate initial production and
increasing the time available to develop and integrate avionics
software.\2 In August and September 1997, the Air Force negotiated
changes with the prime contractors\3 to more closely align the
cost-plus-award-fee contracts with the JET cost estimate and revised
schedule.  However, as of January 1998, many substantial planned
changes recommended by the JET had not been incorporated into the
Lockheed Martin contract, such as changes to the avionics estimated
to cost $221 million. 

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998, enacted
on November 18, 1997, imposed cost limitations of $18.688 billion on
the F-22 EMD program and $43.4 billion on the production program. 
The limitation on production cost did not specify a quantity of
aircraft to be procured.  The act instructed the Secretary of the Air
Force to adjust the cost limitations for (1) the amounts of increases
or decreases in costs attributable to economic inflation after
September 30, 1997, and (2) the amounts of increases or decreases in
costs attributable to compliance with changes in federal, state, or
local laws enacted after September 30, 1997. 

Conferees for the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1998,
enacted October 8, 1997, provided direction to the Secretary of the
Air Force regarding out-of-production parts on the F-22 program. 
Because it is not economical for some component manufacturers to keep
production lines open to produce old technology parts with low
demand, they have discontinued making parts, some of which are used
on the F-22 EMD aircraft, and will discontinue making others.  To
minimize cost and schedule impacts on the F-22 EMD and production
programs, the Air Force plans to redesign these out-of-production
parts or buy sufficient quantities of them for the first five lots of
production aircraft.  The appropriations conferees directed the
Secretary of the Air Force to fund the cost of redesigning
out-of-production parts from the Research, Development, Test and
Evaluation appropriation.  The effect of following that direction
would be to add that effort, expected by the Air Force to cost $353
million, to the EMD program. 

In January 1998, the Air Force notified the Congress that it
increased the EMD cost limitation by $353 million, to respond to
direction from the conferees, and decreased the production cost
limitation by the same amount.  As adjusted, the EMD cost limitation
increased to $19.041 billion.  In addition, the Air Force plans to
adjust the cost limitation downward by $102 million to $18.939
billion, to recognize revisions to inflation assumptions by the
Office of the Secretary of Defense. 


--------------------
\1 JET estimated the increase at $2.16 billion; however, a decision
to delete preproduction aircraft, estimated to cost $0.71 billion,
reduced the estimated increase to $1.45 billion. 

\2 For more information on the JET's recommendations see Tactical
Aircraft:  Restructuring of the Air Force F-22 Fighter Program
(GAO/NSIAD-97-156, June 4, 1997). 

\3 The major prime contractors are Lockheed Martin Aeronautical
Systems for the aircraft and United Technologies Corporation (Pratt &
Whitney) for the engines. 


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

The Air Force's estimate to complete F-22 EMD is $18.884 billion, $55
million less than the EMD cost limitation that will be adjusted to
$18.939 billion.  However, the F-22 EMD program is not meeting
schedule goals established in response to the JET review.  The first
flight of the F-22 was about 3 months late, issues have emerged
concerning production and delivery of wings and fuselages for the EMD
aircraft, and test schedules have consequently been delayed. 
Lockheed Martin has indicated that negotiated costs should not be
exceeded because of these issues.  The Air Force, however, is further
assessing the impact of these issues on EMD cost, the schedule upon
which test data is produced, and the schedule upon which the EMD
program is to be completed.  The Air Force expects to complete this
assessment at the end of February 1998. 

The Air Force is estimating that the F-22 will meet or exceed its
performance goals.  However, less flight test data have been
accumulated through January 1998 than were expected because the
beginning of the flight test program was delayed from May 1997 to
September 1997 and flight tests have been suspended to accomplish
planned ground tests and minor structural additions to the airframe. 
Flight testing will not resume until April 1998.  Delayed tests
reduce the amount of actual F-22 performance information that will be
available to support Air Force plans to begin production in fiscal
year 1999. 

The Air Force and contractors provided us access to sufficient
information to make informed judgments on the matters covered by this
report.  This is discussed further in appendix II. 


   EXTENT TO WHICH THE F-22
   PROGRAM IS MEETING THE COST
   GOAL FOR THE EMD PROGRAM
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

In the fiscal year 1999 President's budget, the Air Force's estimate
to complete the EMD program was $18.884 billion.  The estimated cost
to complete EMD includes the negotiated prices of the major prime
contracts, estimated costs of significant planned contract
modifications, other government costs, and a margin to accommodate
future cost growth. 

Although contractor reports through December 1997 project that the
efforts on contract are expected to be completed within the
negotiated contract prices, manufacturing problems with the wings and
the aft fuselage could change those projections for Lockheed Martin. 


      ESTIMATED COST OF EMD
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.1

The Air Force contracts with Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney,
after being restructured, had negotiated prices of $16.003 billion. 
The Air Force, as of December 1997, planned to add modifications to
the contracts totaling about $1.546 billion.  The Air Force's
estimated costs for F-22 EMD are shown in table 1. 



                                Table 1
                
                  Air Force Estimated Cost of F-22 EMD

                         (Dollars in billions)

Element of cost                                                 Amount
----------------------------------------  ----------------------------
Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney                            $16.003
 contracts
Planned modifications to contracts                               1.546
Other government costs                                           1.184
Margin for cost growth                                           0.151
======================================================================
Total costs                                                    $18.884
----------------------------------------------------------------------

      MODIFICATIONS PLANNED TO EMD
      CONTRACTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.2

Air Force officials provided us a list of planned and budgeted
modifications that will increase the contract prices.  The list is
consistent with the JET findings.  Modifications planned relate to

  -- efforts directed by the conferees on the Department of Defense
     Appropriations Act, 1998, to redesign out-of-production parts
     ($353 million);

  -- award fees to be paid to the contractor based on evaluations of
     contractor performance ($262 million);

  -- extending the time period for F-22 testing ($230 million);

  -- addition of changes (Block IV) to the avionics, including
     interface capability with the newly developed AIM-9X air-to-air
     missile ($221 million);

  -- extending the time period for keeping an active laboratory
     infrastructure ($158 million);

  -- efforts to provide the capability to perform air combat
     simulation and ground testing of avionics prior to its delivery
     ($65 million);

  -- provision for contractor resources to conduct initial
     operational test and evaluation ($60 million);

  -- efforts to test and approve the F-22 for supersonic launch of
     external missiles ($51 million);

  -- implementation of aircraft battle damage repair capability ($29
     million); and

  -- other changes ($117 million). 


      LIMITED COST EXPERIENCE
      INDICATES CONTRACT COST
      GOALS ARE BEING MET
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :3.3

Since the contracts were restructured in August and September 1997,
limited experience has been accumulated to indicate the extent to
which contractors are completing scheduled work at the planned cost. 
Contractor reports reflecting experience through December 1997,
however, indicate the contractors are predicting they will be able to
complete efforts now covered by the contract within the negotiated
costs. 

Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney report to the Air Force monthly
concerning their progress compared to contract costs and schedules. 
These reports define the cost and schedule variances from the
contract plans.  When the contracts were restructured, the
contractors rebaselined their cost control systems that measure the
cost and schedule progress and calculate how the actual costs and
schedules vary from the goals.  Prior to restructuring the contracts,
the Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney reports indicated unfavorable
variances at completion of EMD totaling about $1.2 billion. 

Both Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin reports showed variances of
less than 1 percent from the negotiated contract cost and planned
schedule through December 1997.  The most significant variance
identified in the contractor reports was about a $54 million
unfavorable schedule variance for Lockheed Martin.  The contractors'
reports showed that the negotiated costs include about $194 million
for management reserves.  Management reserves are amounts set aside
to react to cost increases due to unplanned efforts or cost growth in
planned efforts.  Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney December 1997
reports indicate they plan to complete the contract efforts within
the negotiated costs.  However, the impact of delays in the delivery
of wing and aft fuselage assemblies and the flight test program have
not been reflected in those reports.  Lockheed Martin has advised the
Air Force that it can execute the revised schedule caused by the late
deliveries at no increased cost to the EMD contract.  At the time of
our review, the Air Force was assessing the impact of these delays
and whether it agrees that the changes can be accomplished with no
cost increase to the EMD contract. 


   EXTENT TO WHICH THE F-22
   PROGRAM IS MEETING THE SCHEDULE
   GOALS FOR THE EMD PROGRAM
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

In January 1998, the F-22 program was not meeting its schedule goals. 
The first flight of an F-22 did not occur on time and resumption of
its flight test program will be delayed by at least 2 to 3 weeks to
correct a problem discovered in the horizontal tail of the aircraft. 
Also, the late delivery of aft fuselage assemblies and wing
assemblies is expected to cause delays in delivery of other EMD
aircraft.  These problems will also delay the progress of the flight
test program.  The Air Force has revised its schedule to reflect the
late first flight.  However, it had not determined how the late
deliveries of aft fuselage assemblies and wing assemblies will impact
the overall F-22 EMD schedule.  The Air Force planned to complete its
evaluation of the impact on the schedule by the end of February 1998. 


      FIRST F-22 FLIGHT OVER
      3 MONTHS LATE
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.1

Because of a number of technical problems with the aircraft, the
first flight of the first F-22 EMD aircraft was delayed over 3
months, until September 7, 1997.  According to the Air Force, the
problems were not caused by the design of the aircraft but involved a
fuel tank leak, failure of an auxiliary power unit resulting from
faulty installation, a software defect, incorrect installation of the
electrical connector to a fuel tank probe, and foreign object damage
from debris being ingested into an engine.  After making two flights,
the aircraft flight test program was suspended to accomplish planned
ground tests and minor structural additions to the airframe. 
Resumption of the flight test program, planned for March 1998, is
expected to be delayed until at least April 17, 1998, because
materials in the horizontal tail of the aircraft became disbonded, or
separated.  Air Force officials said a solution to this problem has
been identified and it will not impact other EMD aircraft schedules. 


      IMPACT OF LATE AIRCRAFT
      DELIVERIES ON TEST PLANS FOR
      FISCAL YEARS 1998 AND 1999
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.2

The flight test schedule was updated in May 1997 based on the review
of the program by the JET, with first flight planned to occur in late
May 1997.  However, because first flight did not occur as scheduled,
the beginning of the flight test program was delayed.  Flight tests
are also expected to be delayed because of problems with
manufacturing wings and aft fuselages and expected late delivery of
the third through sixth EMD flight test aircraft. 

Because of the delay in first flight and expected delays in delivery
of several later EMD aircraft, a number of flight test hours planned
for fiscal years 1998 and 1999 have been deferred until later in the
test program.  About 55 percent (120 of 217 hours) of the flight test
hours planned for fiscal year 1998 and about 11 percent (51 of 449
hours) of the flight test hours planned for fiscal year 1999 have
been deferred until later in the test program.  Although test hours
planned for the early stages of the flight test program are now
planned to be accumulated more slowly, Air Force officials said the
total number of flight test hours planned, the number of flight test
months planned, and the completion date for the F-22 EMD program
remain about the same. 


      WINGS AND AFT FUSELAGES ARE
      EXPECTED TO BE LATE FOR MOST
      EMD AIRCRAFT
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.3

Wing deliveries are behind schedule because of problems with the
development and manufacturing of large titanium wing castings, the
foundation upon which the wing is built.  As of January 1998, the
contractor and the Air Force were still working to resolve the
casting problem.  The wings for the next four flight test aircraft
and the two ground test articles are expected to be delivered about 2
weeks to over
4 months late to Lockheed Martin. 

Delivery of the F-22 aft fuselage--the rear aircraft body section--is
expected to be late for the next four flight test aircraft and the
two ground test articles because of late parts deliveries and
difficulties with the welding process caused by tight tolerances when
fitting the many pieces of the fuselage together.  An Air Force and
contractor team has been formed to evaluate potential cost, schedule,
testing, and production impacts associated with this problem.  This
team plans to complete its assessment by the end of February 1998. 

As a result of the late deliveries of the wings and aft fuselages,
the first flights of the third through the sixth EMD aircraft are
expected to be from about 2 weeks to over 5 months late.  Air Force
officials said first flight of the second EMD aircraft is expected to
occur on schedule because the time available between production of
the first and second EMD aircraft is expected to be sufficient to
allow the manufacturing problems to be corrected.  Since there was
significantly less time scheduled between the second EMD aircraft and
subsequent EMD aircraft, first flight of later EMD aircraft will be
delayed.  Table 2 compares the May 1997 scheduled first flights to
the expected dates of first flights as of January 1998. 



                                Table 2
                
                   Comparison of Schedules for First
                        Flights of EMD Aircraft

                           Scheduled      Expected
                           first flight   first flight       Months of
                           as of May      as of January       delay in
EMD aircraft               1997           1998            first flight
-------------------------  -------------  -------------  -------------
4001                       May 29, 1997   September 7,             3.3
                                          1997\a

4002                       July 9, 1998   July 9, 1998               0

4003                       June 16, 1999  November 22,             5.2
                                          1999

4004                       August 17,     February 3,              5.6
                           1999           2000

4005                       January 11,    March 31,                2.7
                           2000           2000

4006                       May 18, 2000   May 30, 2000             0.4

4007                       September 25,  September 25,              0
                           2000           2000

4008                       February 2,    February 2,                0
                           2001           2001

4009                       June 1, 2001   June 1, 2001               0
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a Actual date of first flight. 


   EXTENT TO WHICH THE F-22
   PROGRAM IS MEETING THE
   PERFORMANCE GOALS FOR THE EMD
   PROGRAM
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

The Air Force estimates that the F-22 will meet or exceed the goals
for the major performance parameters.  These include 10 parameters\4
for which the Air Force reports regularly to DOD, and two additional
performance features GAO reviewed that relate to other critical
characteristics of the F-22 aircraft.  The Air Force estimates how
performance is expected to compare to specific goals for each
parameter by estimating and summarizing the performance of relevant
subparameters.  The estimates are engineering judgments based on
computer and other models, tests of some components in flying test
beds, ground tests, analyses, and, to a limited extent, flight tests. 
The goal for each parameter is based on the EMD contract
specifications.  Goals for the many subparameters (about 160) are
established to ensure that the goal for each parameter can be met. 

Although the Air Force has not included them in the 10 parameters for
regular reporting, we identified and reviewed two additional
features--situational awareness and low observability--that are an
integral part of the F-22 being able to operate as intended.\5 The
F-22 sensors, advanced aircraft electronics, and cockpit display
screens are required to provide the pilot improved situational
awareness of potential enemy threats and targets.  This increased
awareness is to improve pilot response time to the threats, thus
increasing the lethality and survivability of the aircraft.  The
aircraft's low observable or "stealthy" features allow it to evade
detection by enemy aircraft and surface-to-air missiles.  We believe
the situational awareness and low observability features are critical
to the success of the F-22 program and, therefore, we reviewed them
and are reporting on the Air Force's progress in achieving them along
with the 10 parameters the Air Force established.  The Air Force's
10 parameters and the 2 additional features we identified and
reviewed are described in appendix I. 


--------------------
\4 The 10 parameters are radar cross section from the front sector of
the aircraft, supercruise, acceleration, maneuverability, payload,
combat radius, radar detection range, airlift support, sortie
generation rate, and mean time between maintenance. 

\5 Although these additional features are not official performance
parameters, the Air Force does consider them critical system
characteristics, which it describes as generic characteristics that
do not lend themselves as well to measurement and reporting. 


      AIR FORCE ESTIMATES OF F-22
      PERFORMANCE
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1

As of January 1998, the Air Force estimated that, at the end of the
EMD program, the F-22's performance will meet or exceed the goals for
all
10 established parameters.  Table 3 shows the goal (contract
specification) for each parameter; the estimated performance achieved
for each parameter based on computer models, analyses, or testing;
and the Air Force's current estimate of the performance each
parameter is expected to achieve by the end of EMD.  Most of the
goals and related performance information are classified and are
therefore shown as percentages instead of actual numbers.  To
interpret the table, it is constructed so that estimated performance
greater than the goal is better than the goal, except for airlift
support where using fewer assets is better.  Table 3 also shows the
two additional features that we included (situational awareness and
aircraft low observability) because of their importance to the
success of the F-22 program. 



                                Table 3
                
                 Estimates of Performance for Selected
                Parameters and Additional GAO Identified
                                Features

                                                         Air Force
                           Goal           Estimated      current
                           (contract      performance    estimate at
Key performance            specification  achieved to    EMD
parameters                 )              date           completion
-------------------------  -------------  -------------  -------------
Supercruise                100%           114%           114%

Acceleration               100%           108%           107%

Maneuverability            100%           100%           100%

Airlift support            8              7 to 9         Less than 8
(C-141 equivalents)

Sortie generation rate     100%           104%           103%

Radar cross section,       100%           Favorable      Favorable
front sector only

Mean time between          3.0 hours      3.1 hours      3.1 hours
maintenance

Payload (missiles)         6 medium-      6 medium-      6 medium-
                           range          range          range
                           2 short-       2 short-       2 short-
                           range          range          range

Combat radius              100%           127%           127%

Radar detection range      100%           117%           117%

                                          Estimated
Additional features                       performance    Current
reviewed by GAO            Goal\a         achieved to    estimate at
                                          date           EMD
                                                         completion

Situational                100%           Favorable      Favorable
awareness

Low observability          100%           Favorable      Favorable
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a These goals are not contract specifications.  We assigned a value
of 100% to evaluate the features. 


      BASIS FOR AIR FORCE
      ESTIMATES
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.2

We evaluated the basis for the Air Force's current performance
estimates by reviewing and analyzing performance information and
estimates for subparameters that are the components of each
parameter.  We reviewed selected analyses, test reports, and plans
the Air Force used to formulate its estimated performance achieved to
date and projected estimates for the end of EMD. 

As of January 1998, estimated performance concerning two
subparameters, aircraft weight and fuel usage, was not expected to
achieve goals established for those subparameters.  However, the Air
Force's analysis indicates that failure to achieve those goals will
not cause the associated parameters to fail to meet their established
goals.  For example, aircraft empty weight is a subparameter that
affects the supercruise, acceleration, maneuverability, and combat
radius performance parameters.  Although the aircraft's empty weight
is currently expected to be 2 percent higher than the established
goal for that subparameter, Air Force analyses indicate that the
increased weight is not significant enough to cause the estimates for
the affected parameters to not meet their goals.  A more extensive
discussion of our analysis and a chart listing the major performance
subparameters are included in appendix II. 


   CONCLUSION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

The Air Force's estimate to complete F-22 EMD is $18.884 billion, $55
million less than the EMD cost limitation that will be adjusted to
$18.939 billion.  However, issues have emerged concerning production
and delivery of wings and fuselages for the EMD aircraft, and test
schedules have consequently been delayed.  The Air Force is further
assessing the impact of these issues on EMD cost, the schedule upon
which test data is produced, and the schedule upon which the EMD
program is to be completed. 

The Air Force is estimating that the F-22 will meet or exceed its
performance goals.  However, less flight test data have been
accumulated through January 1998 than were expected because the
flight test program was delayed and flight tests have been suspended
to accomplish planned ground tests and minor structural additions to
the test aircraft airframe.  Delayed tests reduce the amount of
actual F-22 performance information that will be available to support
Air Force plans to begin production in fiscal year 1999. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD generally concurred with
it and advised us the Air Force has notified the Congress about
changing the EMD and production cost limitations to recognize
direction from the conferees on the fiscal year 1998 Defense
Appropriations Act.  As a result of this additional information, we
have removed a matter for congressional consideration that had been
included in the draft report.  DOD's comments are included in
appendix III to this report. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :7.1

We performed our review between July 1997 and February 1998 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.  A
description of our objectives, scope, and methodology is included in
appendix II. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretaries of Defense
and the Air Force; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; and
other interested parties. 

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

Louis J.  Rodrigues
Director, Defense Acquisitions Issues


List of Congressional Committees

The Honorable Strom Thurmond
Chairman
The Honorable Carl Levin
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 Ike Skelton
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


DESCRIPTION OF F-22 PERFORMANCE
PARAMETERS
=========================================================== Appendix I


      SUPERCRUISE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.1

Supercruise means the aircraft can sustain supersonic or mach\1 speed
without using its afterburners.  Supercruise saves fuel and helps
reduce the aircraft's infrared signature by not using afterburners
that produce a high infrared signature.  A reduced infrared
signature, in turn, helps make the F-22 low observable and harder for
enemy aircraft and missiles to detect.  The measurement used for
supercruise is the highest mach obtainable in a stable, level flight
at 40,000 feet altitude. 

The Air Force estimated the F-22 will exceed the supercruise goal by
about 14 percent.  This estimate was determined by analysis of
computer models using the latest data available on aspects such as
the engines' thrust and fuel flow characteristics.  Propulsion flight
testing is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 1998 and end in
the second quarter of 2000. 


--------------------
\1 The ratio of the speed of the aircraft to the speed of sound,
which is about 738 miles per hour. 


      ACCELERATION
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.2

Acceleration is a key parameter because the F-22 must be able to
outrun enemy aircraft and exit an area after it employs air-to-air or
air-to-ground munitions.  The acceleration parameter refers to the
amount of time it takes the aircraft to go from 0.8 mach to 1.5 mach
at 30,000 feet altitude. 

The Air Force estimated that the F-22 will be faster than the
acceleration goal.  This estimate was determined by analysis of
computer models and ground test data using the latest data available
on the major subparameters affecting acceleration.  Propulsion flight
testing is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 1998 and end in
the second quarter of 2000 and flight performance testing is
scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 1998 and end in the third
quarter of 2001. 


      MANEUVERABILITY
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.3

The maneuverability parameter is a measurement of the maximum force
the aircraft can generate during a turn at 0.9 mach at 30,000 feet
altitude without losing speed or altitude.  Many additional measures
that relate to the maneuverability of an aircraft exist, but the Air
Force has determined that this measurement is the most appropriate to
demonstrate the general F-22 maneuverability at key flight
conditions. 

The Air Force estimated the F-22 will meet its maneuverability goal. 
The Air Force estimate was determined by analysis of computer models
using the latest data available on the major subparameters affecting
maneuverability.  Flight performance testing is scheduled to begin in
the fourth quarter of 1998 and end in the third quarter of 2001. 


      AIRLIFT SUPPORT
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.4

This parameter measures the number of C-141B transport aircraft
equivalents required to deploy and maintain a squadron of 24 F-22
aircraft for 30 days without resupply.  The goal is to be able to
provide this support with eight C-141 equivalents, thereby reducing
the assets needed to deploy and the cost of deployment. 

The Air Force estimated it will require less than eight C-141
equivalents to transport a squadron of 24 F-22s.  This estimate was
based on a recent study.  A mobility demonstration to verify the
estimate, which cannot be done until a full squadron of 24 F-22
aircraft is activated, is scheduled for 2004 upon delivery of the
24th production aircraft.  A squadron of 24 F-15s requires 19 C-141
equivalents. 


      SORTIE GENERATION RATE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.5

Sortie generation rate is defined as the average number of sorties or
missions flown per aircraft per day for the first 6 days of a
potential conflict.  This parameter measures the degree to which the
F-22 will be available during the first few days of a potential
conflict to achieve and maintain air superiority. 

The Air Force estimated the F-22 will exceed the sortie generation
rate goal.  This estimate was based on the results of a 6-day surge
analysis done on a computer model using many statistics such as
maintenance characteristics, support equipment and resource
availability, and aircraft maintenance policy.  F-22 maintainability
demonstrations are scheduled to be accomplished by 2002 to verify the
sortie generation rate estimates. 


      RADAR CROSS SECTION
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.6

The radar cross section (RCS) parameter essentially refers to how
large the F-22 should appear to enemy radar.  The smaller an
aircraft's RCS, the harder it is for enemy radar to detect and track. 
A small RCS, along with several other factors,\2 contributes to an
aircraft's low observability or "stealthy" nature.  This particular
parameter is called front sector RCS, which means it is the RCS when
the F-22 is viewed from the front by enemy radar.  While there are
over 200 F-22 RCS measurement points, the Air Force considers the
front sector RCS the most important measure of the aircraft's ability
to avoid detection by an enemy. 

The Air Force estimated the F-22's front sector RCS will be smaller
or better than its goal.  Air Force RCS estimates were based on
component models that predict the RCS of major components, such as
engine inlets and wings, and then use this data to predict the RCS of
an entire aircraft.  There are 27 major subparameters of this RCS
parameter.  RCS design validation and specification compliance are
also being conducted with a full-scale F-22 mounted on a pole
enabling testers to take RCS measurements.  This testing will
continue into 1999.  In-flight RCS measurements will begin in 1999
and continue into 2002. 


--------------------
\2 Other factors contributing to an aircraft's low observability
include low (1) infrared signature, (2) electromagnetic signature,
(3) acoustic level, and (4) visibility. 


      MEAN TIME BETWEEN
      MAINTENANCE
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.7

Mean time between maintenance is a measure of aircraft reliability
defined as the total number of aircraft flight hours divided by the
total number of aircraft maintenance actions in the same period.  The
F-22 goal is 3 flight hours between maintenance actions by the time
the F-22 reaches system maturity. 

The Air Force estimated that by the time the F-22 reaches system
maturity (100,000 flight hours, or about year 2008), the F-22 will
only require maintenance every 3.1 flight hours.  A reliability
computer model was used to develop this estimate by using factors
like the design of systems on the aircraft and scheduled maintenance
activities.  Throughout development and operational flight testing,
maintenance data is to be collected from the 500th through the
5,000th hour of flight testing to update the maintenance estimate. 
Data will continue to be collected about operational usage of the
aircraft through system maturity to verify requirements. 


      PAYLOAD
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.8

The payload parameter is the number of air-to-air missiles, medium
and short range, the F-22 is to carry when conducting an air
superiority mission and not attacking enemy ground targets.  Payload
is a key parameter because the F-22 is designed to carry missiles in
its internal weapons bay, not externally.  Carrying weapons
externally increases an aircraft's radar cross section and can allow
easier detection by enemy radar. 

The Air Force estimated that the F-22 will meet the payload goal of
carrying six AIM-120C medium-range missiles and two AIM-9X
short-range missiles internally.  Weapons bay testing is scheduled
for mid-2000 to determine how well the missiles can exit the weapons
bay when launched. 


      COMBAT RADIUS
------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:0.9

The combat radius parameter refers to the nautical miles the F-22 is
required to fly to achieve its primary mission of air superiority. 
This mission requires the F-22 to be able to fly a certain distance
subsonically and a certain distance supersonically to achieve the
mission. 

The Air Force estimated the F-22 will exceed its combat radius goal
by 23 percent.  Unfavorable estimates for two of three major
subparameters--fuel usage and aircraft weight--are not unfavorable
enough to prevent the F-22 from meeting its combat radius goal. 
Performance flight testing to help compute the aircraft's combat
radius performance, as well as other aerodynamic capabilities, is
scheduled to begin in late 1998 and end the third quarter of 2001. 


      RADAR DETECTION RANGE
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix I:0.10

The radar detection range parameter refers to the number of nautical
miles at which the F-22 radar should be able to detect enemy threats
or potential targets.  The radar needs to be able to detect enemy
targets with small radar signatures at sufficient distance to ensure
the F-22 can engage the enemy first. 

The Air Force estimated that the F-22 radar will exceed the
established radar goal by 17 percent.  This estimate was based
primarily on digital simulations and models used to develop
confidence in the tactical functions of radar search and detection
capabilities.  Radar detection performance is scheduled to be
verified against the simulations and models in an aviation
electronics laboratory from the first quarter of 1998 to the third
quarter of 1999.  Actual flight testing of the radar in F-22 EMD
aircraft is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 1999 and
continue to at least the second quarter of 2001. 


      SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix I:0.11

The situational awareness parameter refers to the extent the F-22
sensors and aviation electronics systems are able to make pilots
aware of the situation around them.  The planned integration of the
many aviation electronics systems and sensors is meant to (1)
minimize pilot workload of managing and interpreting sensors and (2)
provide previously unmatched awareness of potential F-22 threats and
targets. 

Air Force data indicated the F-22 will meet the pilot situational
awareness goal based on its performance estimates of the major
aviation electronics subparameters affecting situational awareness
including the radar system, the electronic warfare systems, and the
communications, navigation, and identification systems.  Sixty-three
major aviation electronics functions contribute to these three major
subparameters. 

Development of the integrated aviation electronics, however, is in
the early stages.  For example, the Air Force provided us information
on
10 major milestones that must be completed before integrated avionics
development will be complete and the first milestone is not scheduled
until October 1998.  The last of these milestones is scheduled for
November 2001. 


      LOW OBSERVABILITY
------------------------------------------------------ Appendix I:0.12

The low observability parameter refers to the aircraft's "stealthy"
nature or ability to evade detection by enemy radar long enough for
it to detect the enemy and shoot first.  Five features of an aircraft
contribute to its degree of low observability or "stealthiness"
including radar cross section, infrared signature, electromagnetic
signature, visual signature, and acoustic signature.  However, the
F-22 does not have a requirement for an acoustic signature. 

Air Force information indicated it expects the F-22 to meet the
performance goals established for the various aspects of low
observability.  Specification compliance on the most critical
feature, radar cross section, is being checked with a full-scale F-22
mounted on a pole and will continue into 1999.  In-flight radar cross
section measurements will begin in 1999 and continue into 2002. 
Flight testing to help predict the F-22 infrared signature, another
critical aspect of low observability, is scheduled for the third
quarter of 1999. 


OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND METHODOLOGY
========================================================== Appendix II

Our objective was to determine whether the F-22 EMD program can be
completed within the cost limitation established by the Congress.  We
also reviewed the extent to which the F-22 EMD program was achieving
cost, schedule, and performance goals, including major modifications. 

To determine whether the program was expected to meet the cost
limitation, we obtained the current cost estimate, which served as a
basis for the fiscal year 1999 budget request.  We compared that
estimate to the estimate supporting the cost limitation and discussed
the reasons for the differences with F-22 financial management
officials.  We made several analyses, including comparing the
estimated cost at completion for the prime contracts with planned
amounts, and evaluating cost variances identified in the earned value
management system. 

We obtained and reviewed information on the cost and schedule goals
for the F-22 EMD program established by the JET during its review of
the F-22 program.  Since the JET did not revise F-22 performance
requirements, we defined the performance goals as those performance
requirements on contract at the time the JET reviewed the program. 
To assist us in determining the goals, we also reviewed overall
program documents such as Selected Acquisition Reports, Monthly
Acquisition Reports, Defense Acquisition Executive Summaries, Program
Management Reviews, contracts with the prime contractors, Test and
Evaluation Master Plans, and Program Management Directives. 

To determine whether the program was expected to meet schedule goals,
we obtained the current approved program schedule, which incorporated
the latest restructured plans for the F-22 EMD program.  We discussed
the schedule and potential changes to it with F-22 program officials. 
We also reviewed the planned flight test schedule and the changes to
it as a result of the late first flight of the first EMD aircraft. 
In addition, we discussed technical problems in assembling subsequent
EMD aircraft.  We evaluated schedule variances in the earned value
management system and compared planned milestone accomplishment dates
with actual dates of accomplishments.  We also assessed the impact
the late first flight may have on the overall EMD schedule. 

To determine whether the program was expected to meet the F-22
performance goals, we analyzed information on the performance of key
performance parameters and of those important subparameters that are
measured.  We compared the Air Force's current estimate for these
parameters to previous estimates to determine whether estimated
performance had changed.  We determined whether the current estimates
were based on actual tests, engineering models, or engineering
judgment.  We discussed each of the key performance parameters with
program officials and determined the basis for the current estimates. 
We also reviewed past program documentation to determine the basis
for the required performance and discussed the reasons for
differences between required performance and estimated performance. 

To evaluate the bases for the Air Force's current performance
estimates, we collected information on the goals established for the
major performance subparameters that are critical components of the
performance parameters.  We collected and analyzed information on Air
Force estimates, as of January 1998, toward meeting the goals of
these subparameters to determine whether the Air Force estimates
seemed reasonable.  For example, the major subparameters of the
airlift support parameter are the number of aircraft support
equipment items, the airlift loads necessary to transport aircraft
support equipment items, and the maintenance manpower required for a
squadron of F-22s.  Each of these subparameters has a performance
goal just as the overall parameter has a performance goal.  The
performance parameters and their associated major subparameters are
shown in table II.1. 



                               Table II.1
                
                List of F-22 Performance Parameters and
                         Critical Subparameters

                                          Major subparameter
Performance parameter                     ----------------------------
Supercruise                               Engine thrust

Acceleration                              Aircraft weight

Maneuverability                           Airframe drag

Airlift support                           Number of support equipment
                                          items

                                          Airlift loads required to
                                          deploy support equipment

                                          Maintenance manpower
                                          required

Sortie generation rate                    Mean time between
                                          maintenance

                                          Maintenance manhours/flying
                                          hour

                                          Number of support equipment
                                          items

                                          Maintenance manpower
                                          required

Radar cross section                       (27 individual
                                          subparameters)

Mean time between maintenance             Airframe

                                          Avionics

                                          Engines

Payload                                   (No subparameters)

Combat radius                             Fuel usage

                                          Aircraft weight

                                          Airframe drag

Radar detection range                     Range in searching for
                                          targets

                                          Range in searching for
                                          targets by tracking target
                                          speed

                                          Time taken to search for
                                          targets

                                          Time taken to search for
                                          targets by tracking target
                                          speed

Additional features identified by GAO     Major subparameter

Situational awareness                     Radar function

                                          Electronic warfare function

                                          Communication, navigation,
                                          identification function

Low observability                         Infrared signature

                                          Electromagnetic emissions
                                          signature

                                          Visual signature

                                          Radar cross section
----------------------------------------------------------------------

To determine the status of contract modifications expected to have a
significant effect on F-22 cost or performance, we reviewed the Air
Force's process for receiving, reviewing, approving, and monitoring
engineering change proposals.  We obtained a list of the proposals
received and determined which had been approved.  For those proposals
that were approved, we reviewed the related documentation to
determine their status and their estimated impact on aircraft
performance and on the cost of the EMD program. 

To be able to certify whether we had access to sufficient data to
make informed judgments on the matters covered in our report, we
maintained a log of our requests and the Air Force responses.  We
numbered and tracked each request we made for documents and for
meetings to determine how long it took to receive responses from the
Air Force.  As a result of this tracking, we were able to certify
that we had access to sufficient information to make informed
judgements on the cost, schedule, and performance matters covered in
this report. 




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



(See figure in printed edition.)


The following is GAO's comment on the Department of Defense's letter
dated February 12, 1998. 

GAO COMMENT

1.  Our draft report was submitted to DOD for comment at about the
same time as the Air Force notified the Congress that the EMD cost
limitation was being increased and the production cost limitation was
being decreased to recognize direction from the conferees on the
Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1998.  Although direction
from the conferees is technically not a change in federal, state, or
local law defined as a criteria for changing the cost limitations, we
believe the intent of the conferees' direction is clear and that the
types of adjustments the Air Force made to the cost limitations are
appropriate. 


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix IV

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

David E.  Cooper
Robert D.  Murphy

ATLANTA FIELD OFFICE

Christopher T.  Brannon

CHICAGO FIELD OFFICE

Leonard L.  Benson
Edward R.  Browning
Don M.  Springman

OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNSEL,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

William T.  Woods

RELATED GAO PRODUCTS

Tactical Aircraft:  Restructuring of the Air Force F-22 Fighter
Program (GAO/NSIAD-97-156, June 4, 1997). 

Defense Aircraft Investments:  Major Program Commitments Based on
Optimistic Budget Projections (GAO/T-NSIAD-97-103, Mar.  5, 1997). 

F-22 Restructuring (GAO/NSIAD-97-100R, Feb.  28, 1997). 

Tactical Aircraft:  Concurrency in Development and Production of F-22
Aircraft Should Be Reduced (GAO/NSIAD-95-59, Apr.  19, 1995). 

Air Force F-22 Embedded Computers (GAO/AIMD-94-177R, Sept.  20,
1994). 

Tactical Aircraft:  F-15 Replacement Issues (GAO/T-NSIAD-94-176, May
5, 1994). 

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

Aircraft Development:  Reasons for Recent Cost Growth in the Advanced
Tactical Fighter Program (GAO/NSIAD-91-138, Feb.  1, 1991). 

Aircraft Development:  Navy's Participation in Air Force's Advanced
Tactical Fighter Program (GAO/NSIAD-90-54, Mar.  7, 1990). 

Aircraft Development:  The Advanced Tactical Fighter's Costs,
Schedule, and Performance Goals (GAO/NSIAD-88-76, Jan.  13, 1988). 

Aircraft Procurement:  Status and Cost of Air Force Fighter
Procurement (GAO/NSIAD-87-121, Apr.  14, 1987). 

DOD Acquisition:  Case Study of the Air Force Advanced Tactical
Fighter Program (GAO/NSIAD-86-45S-12, Aug.  25, 1986). 

*** End of document. ***




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