Are Management Problems in the Acquisition of Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines Being Corrected?

PSAD-80-72: Published: Sep 30, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1980.

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GAO examined the Department of Defense's management approach to the acquisition of gas turbine engines for fighter/attack aircraft.

GAO found that recent problems with fighter/attack aircraft engines have been primarily due to development concepts, procedures, and practices that did not provide the time and money to adequately develop the engines before production and use, and did not bring promising technology to the point that it was ready for applications in new engines. Other major factors that adversely affected engine development were: (1) an inadequate definition of the engines' usage and, consequently, the inability to design engines to their expected usage and to verify the design by testing to that usage; (2) emphasis on performance requirements with a resulting lack of standards, database, and analytical procedures to achieve a balance among performance, operability, reliability, durability, and costs; and (3) inadequate flight testing of engines. Incomplete development has resulted in extensive Component Improvement Programs, increased spare parts costs, reduced operational readiness, and expensive retrofits.

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