F-22 Aircraft:

Progress in Achieving Engineering and Manufacturing Development Goals

NSIAD-98-67: Published: Mar 10, 1998. Publicly Released: Mar 10, 1998.

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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.

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