Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:

Progress Toward Meeting High Altitude Endurance Aircraft Price Goals

NSIAD-99-29: Published: Dec 15, 1998. Publicly Released: Dec 15, 1998.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) High Altitude Endurance (HAE) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program to determine whether the average flyaway cost for the Global Hawk and Darkstar HAE air vehicles will be within DOD's cost goal of $10 million.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD does not expect to be able to produce Darkstar or Global Hawk HAE vehicles within its goal of $10 million per unit in fiscal year 1994 dollars; (2) DOD's price projections, that updated the original estimates of $10 million, are $13.7 million for Darkstar and $14.8 million for Global Hawk; (3) in addition, these projections may understate the actual amount by which the UAV's unit price will exceed $10 million because in their agreements with the HAE contractors, program officials used a definition of unit flyaway price that excludes several cost categories that are traditionally included in determining unit flyaway cost; and (4) including these costs will increase the average unit price of each air vehicle.

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