Military Airlift:

Status of C-17 Aircraft Development Program

NSIAD-92-205BR: Published: Apr 20, 1992. Publicly Released: May 5, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the status of the development, production, and testing of the C-17 military transport aircraft.

GAO found that: (1) costs incurred by the contractor for development have exceeded the contract ceiling of $6.6 billion; (2) in December 1991, the completion cost estimate increased to $7.4 billion; (3) the constractor reports spending $1 to accomplish $.69 of planned work; (4) in July 1991, the Air Force modified the development contract to adjust the aircraft delivery schedule because both delivery and test aircraft were experiencing problems; (5) C-17 flight testing is behind schedule due to fuel leaks that caused the loss of 50 days of flight testing; (6) contractor program data showed that production efficiency is improving with each successive aircraft, but the rate of improvement has not increased; (7) the contractor claimed that the level of quality on the C-17 program improved because the dollar value of rework and repair decreased on each successive aircraft; and (8) off-standard hours account for about 40 percent of the work hours spent on each of the first two aircraft and trends on subsequent aircraft showed that the percentage of off-standard hours is increasing.

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