Unnecessary Procurement of A-10 Aircraft for Depot Maintenance Floats

LCD-79-431: Published: Sep 6, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1979.

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There is a need to reduce the number of F-14 and F-15 aircraft the Department of Defense (DOD) plans to procure. Concern is based on inconsistent and imprecise criteria to forecast requirements for support aircraft. The Defense Audit Service similarly concluded that the number of F-14s and F-15s needed for training, peacetime attrition, and substitution for aircraft undergoing overhaul were overstated. Current work on reducing DOD aircraft time in maintenance further demonstrates the necessity to reevaluate aircraft needs for depot maintenance floats.

The review focused on the potential procurement of 61 A-10 aircraft as substitutes for aircraft undergoing depot maintenance. Even though the A-10 is being procured under a concept designed to eliminate the need for depot overhaul, the Air Force is still using a 10-percent factor to justify the purchase of 61 A-10 aircraft for maintenance float purchases. While Air Force criteria also allow substitutes for aircraft undergoing modifications, the full extent of the modification program for the A-10 is not known. In developing the 10-percent maintenance float factor, DOD has not systematically determined how quickly aircraft in the depot could be "buttoned up" and returned to their units under a wartime compressed work schedule and the influence of this rapid return on the requirements for maintenance float aircraft. Current Air Force planning documents show that, in addition to the A-10 and F-15, substitutes for the F-16 aircraft are scheduled for procurement. Therefore, the type of analysis suggested could apply to these aircraft as well.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct that the Air Force develop more precise justifications for maintenance float aircraft for the new Air Force systems and that meaningful data be systematically accumulated, tracked, and updated to properly justify these aircraft requests to the appropriate oversight and appropriations committees. In addition, no procurements of aircraft, such as A-10 maintenance floats, should be authorized, unless they can be adequately justified.

    Agency Affected:


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