Tactical Aircraft: DOD Should Present a New F-22A Business Case before Making Further Investments

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The F-22A is the Air Force's next generation air superiority fighter aircraft. It incorporates a low observable (stealth) and highly maneuverable airframe, advanced integrated avionics, and a new engine capable of sustained supersonic flight without the use of afterburners. It was originally designed to counter threats posed by the Soviet Union and was intended to replace the F-15 fighter in the air-to-air combat role. However, the Air Force now plans to add a more robust ground attack and intelligence- gathering capability not previously envisioned but now considered "necessary" ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. June 20, 2006.

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The F-22A is the Air Force's next generation air superiority fighter aircraft. It incorporates a low observable (stealth) and highly maneuverable airframe, advanced integrated avionics, and a new engine capable of sustained supersonic flight without the use of afterburners. It was originally designed to counter threats posed by the Soviet Union and was intended to replace the F-15 fighter in the air-to-air combat role. However, the Air Force now plans to add a more robust ground attack and intelligence- gathering capability not previously envisioned but now considered "necessary" to increase the utility of the aircraft. In December 2005, the Air Force changed designations from the F/A-22 to the F-22A. The aircraft maintained all current capabilities as well as the expanded ground attack capabilities. Officials have initiated a modernization program to develop and integrate these new capabilities. In March 2005, we reported that despite substantial changes to the F-22A program since it started in 1986, Air Force leaders have not developed a new business case for investing billions more dollars to modernize the aircraft. Over time quantities have been reduced, and in recent years both funding and quantities have been in a state of flux. Given significant changes in quantities and planned capabilities, the large investments still planned, and the potential for further changes, Congress requested that we review the F-22A program. Specifically, we assessed the need for a new business case before further investments are made in the F-22A program and statutory criteria the Air Force is required to meet to enter a multiyear contract for the remaining aircraft. To assess the Air Force's business case for further investments in the F-22A program, we reviewed recent Office of the Secretary of Defense Program Budget Decisions (PBDs) and F-22A requirements documents. We also reviewed F-22A planned modernization schedules and documents and interviewed program officials from the F-22A program office, Air Combat Command, and the Air Force Program Executive Officer for Tactical Air. To assess the Air Force's proposed use of a multiyear contract for the remaining F-22As, we compared program documentation on cost, schedule, and performance with statutory criteria for entering into a multiyear contract. We conducted our review between August 2005 and April 2006 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • June 20, 2006

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Tactical Aircraft: DOD Should Present a New F-22A Business Case before Making Further Investments, text, June 20, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298331/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.