Opportunities Exist To Achieve Greater Standardization of Aircraft and Helicopter Seats

MASAD-82-22: Published: Feb 26, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the efforts of the Department of Defense and the services to standardize flight life-support equipment.

While formal management structures and informal agreements have resulted in several standardized life-support items, GAO found a proliferation of tactical aircraft and helicopter seat systems, the most expensive items of life-support equipment. GAO stated that greater standardization of aircraft seating systems could substantially lower acquisition and support costs of modern aircraft. To accomplish greater standardization and realize the savings, increased emphasis by the officials involved and the services is required. This includes defining activities and developing master plans, insisting that life-support equipment plans for each aircraft be coordinated with the service life-support program office, assigning responsibility for the development and acquisition of standard equipment, and supporting funding when development of standard items is determined appropriate. Finally, a current assessment of planned ejection and crashworthy seat use in ongoing or emerging aircraft or helicopter programs may provide opportunities to achieve near-term standardization or use of existing seats.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should emphasize the need for service support of development programs that may be initiated for standard items.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should determine if use of an existing or standard seat design would be cost effective on a life-cycle basis for those aircraft in which the service is planning to develop or procure a peculiar seat.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should review aircraft programs near the completion of development, or in early production, to determine if existing or standard seats have been or could be incorporated.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that the Tri-Service Committee define the opportunities and prepare plans for standardization of tactical aircraft seats, to be approved by the Under Secretary for Research and Engineering, before submission of the fiscal year 1984 budget to Congress.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that the Secretaries of the Navy and the Army provide for mandatory coordination of life-support equipment plans with the services' life-support program office.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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