Status of the Public-Private Partnership for Repair of the Dual-Mode Transmitter in the F-16 Fire-Control Radar
GAO-15-249R: Published: Jan 27, 2015. Publicly Released: Jan 27, 2015.
What GAO Found
GAO found that, according to U.S. Air Force officials, the public-private partnership for repair of the F-16 fire-control radar has not resulted in repair activity since its implementing agreement was established in August 2011; therefore, the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Air Force have no cost savings to report. In August 2011, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex—the complex that repairs some F-16 fighter aircraft components for the Air Force—entered into an implementation agreement under an existing partnership with Lockheed Martin for the repair of certain foreign military sales customers’ dual-mode transmitters—a key component of the radar—in their F-16s. Officials at Ogden Air Logistics Complex stated that foreign military customers have not yet taken advantage of the partnership because (1) they are loyal to other existing repair arrangements, and (2) some countries have lengthy processes for procurement and funding for repairs that discourage them from seeking new repair arrangements under the partnership. However, officials stated that one country may utilize the partnership and send workload in fiscal year 2015.
Further, GAO found that the type of partnership used by the Ogden Air Logistics Complex for repair of the dual-mode transmitter has been used for other services and for other commodities including aircraft radars. DOD has formed such direct-sale public-private partnerships for the maintenance of the fire-control radar of at least two other fleets of U.S. aircraft and, according to officials, is considering forming a new partnership for a third type of aircraft. For example, in 2002, the Navy established a public-private partnership for, among other things, repair of an older version of its F/A-18 fire-control radar.
Why GAO Did This Study
DOD Instruction 4151.21 directs that public-private partnerships for depot level maintenance shall be employed whenever cost effective in providing improved support to the warfighter, and to maximize the utilization of the government's facilities, equipment and personnel at DOD depot-level maintenance activities. In August 2011, the Ogden Air Logistics Complex entered into an agreement under an existing partnership with Lockheed Martin for the repair of certain foreign military sales customers' dual-mode transmitters in their F-16s.
Senate Report 113-176, accompanying S. 2410, a proposed bill for The Carl Levin National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, mandated that GAO examine the Air Force’s public-private partnership program for the repair of the dual-mode transmitter in the F-16 fire-control radar to determine the cost savings from the program and the feasibility and advisability of other services adopting similar programs. The report also mandated that not later than 45 days after the bill it accompanies is enacted, GAO is to submit a report to the defense committee describing the findings.
This report describes (1) the status, including any cost savings, of the Air Force’s public-private partnership program for repair of the dual-mode transmitter in the F-16 fire-control radar; and (2) how, if at all, this type of partnership is applicable to the maintenance of the fire-control radar for other military services’ aircraft. GAO reviewed and analyzed DOD policy and guidance on public-private partnerships, the 2008 partnering agreement and its 2011 implementing agreement and interviewed DOD officials about the status of the agreement and the applicability of this type of partnership to other services’ aircraft.
What GAO Recommends
GAO is not making any recommendations.
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