Operational and Support Costs of the Navy's F/A-18 Can Be Substantially Reduced

LCD-80-65: Published: Jun 6, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 6, 1980.

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The Navy is planning to buy 1,366 F/A-18 Aircraft which are being developed to replace the Navy F-4 and A-7 aircraft, the Marine F-4 aircraft, and possibly the Marine A-4 and AV-8A aircraft. In response to broad congressional interest in reducing life cycle costs of major weapon systems, a review was made of the Navy's logistics support planning for the F/A-18 and how substantial reductions in its ownership costs can be achieved.

The Navy's logistics support planning for the F/A-18 is comprehensive and should provide adequate support. However, like any new weapon system, there are still unknowns which could affect the system's readiness and logistics support costs. Introduction of the system and logistics support costs are highly dependent on the Navy receiving peculiar automatic test equipment on schedule; any delays will cause costs to rise. Operational and support costs will be higher than expected and alternative concepts should be considered to reduce them. GAO identified several alternatives which could potentially reduce the F/A-18 operational and maintenance costs by as much as $4 billion.

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