Review of the Alternate Fighter Engine Competition

NSIAD-84-104: Published: Apr 27, 1984. Publicly Released: Apr 27, 1984.

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Pursuant to congressional interest, GAO reviewed an Air Force decision to split a contract award for aircraft engines between the General Electric Company and the Pratt and Whitney Aircraft Group of United Technologies. The Air Force split the award for fiscal year 1985, with General Electric to produce engines for F-16 aircraft and Pratt and Whitney to produce engines for F-15 aircraft.

GAO found that the Air Force adhered to its regulations, prepared a source selection plan, and properly evaluated the proposals submitted. Based on a 100-percent award, the two proposals were comparable but, based on a split award, General Electric's proposal was superior. The main difference was that General Electric offered more favorable warranty terms under a split award. GAO found that the cost of making the split award was higher than the cost of a 100-percent award to either contractor, but the Air Force cited benefits resulting from the split award, including: (1) additional savings in future competition; (2) increased contractor responsiveness; (3) an enlarged mobilization production base; and (4) protection from production disruption. GAO concluded that the Air Force acted properly and reasonably in making the split award.

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