F-22 Aircraft:

Progress of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Program

T-NSIAD-98-137: Published: Mar 25, 1998. Publicly Released: Mar 25, 1998.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Office of Public Affairs
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GAO discussed the F-22 program, focusing on the extent to which it is meeting planned cost, schedule, and performance goals.

GAO noted that: (1) the Air Force's cost estimate supporting the fiscal year (FY) 1999 budget request indicates that the F-22 engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) program can be completed within the adjusted statutory costs; (2) however, the F-22 EMD program has been hindered in achieving schedule goals by several technical and manufacturing problems, which caused the delay of the first flight and projected late deliveries of other flight test aircraft; (3) the Air Force is studying the potential impact of schedule delays to determine if the cost estimate includes sufficient amounts to complete the EMD program; (4) the Air Force expects that the F-22 will meet or exceed all of its established performance requirements; (5) however, the amount of flight testing planned in May 1997 has not been achieved; (6) the Air Force plans to enter production having completed significantly fewer flight test hours than they had planned to have done; (7) the Department of Defense has previously indicated that if major problems exist, they usually occur within the first 10 to 20 percent of flight testing; and (8) if the Air Force awards the contract for the first two F-22 production aircraft in December 1998, it will have accomplished only 183 flight test hours, or 4 percent of the total flight test hours planned, instead of 601 flight test hours, or 14 percent of the total flight test hours planned in May 1997.

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