The Air Force Has Not Compared Costs of Alternative Ways To Replace CT-39 Aircraft

PLRD-83-18: Published: Nov 22, 1982. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO attempted to verify: (1) the projected cost savings associated with the lease of replacements for CT-39 aircraft, (2) the cost to phase out the existing CT-39 fleet, and (3) the personnel savings from converting to contract maintenance. Further, GAO commented on the prudence of leasing replacement aircraft in lieu of purchase.

GAO found that the Air Force has not established that its CT-39 aircraft must be replaced in 1983 nor demonstrated that its lease proposal is the least costly alternative to replace the CT-39 support airlift services. Although the Air Force projects savings of over $100 million for the first year of leasing the aircraft, GAO believes this figure to be inaccurate because of erroneous assumptions during its computation. Since the Air Force has not yet decided whether or when to phase out the existing CT-39 aircraft, no basis is available to identify phase-out costs. Further, personnel savings cannot be determined because the Air Force estimate for the cost of replacement parts did not include data needed to figure out potential personnel savings. GAO also found that the Air Force did not compare lease versus purchase costs for a CT-39 replacement, and it did not provide other justifications for proposing to lease the aircraft. Because of the many questions prompted by the Air Force proposal and the deficiencies in its cost analyses, GAO was unable to conclude that the proposal is the least costly alternative for meeting future needs for operational support airlift.

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