Defense Acquisitions: Progress of the F/A-18E/F Engineering and Manufacturing Development Program.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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The FA-18EF program began, in 1992 to increase the operational capabilfties of the current fleet of FA-18 aircraft. The objectives of the program are to provide Improved capabilities over current FA-18s in five key areas-range, payload, carrier recovery payload, growth capacity and survivability. Congress capped the development effort at 4.88 billion in fiscal year 1990 dollars and directed that the ElF unit procurement cost not exceed 125 percent of current CID model costs. The FA-18EF development flight test program began in February 1996. The Integrated Test Team, using five single-seat E models and two 2-seat F models, is conducting the tests. Two early operational assessments of the ElF aircraft, using wind tunnel data and analytical models, were made in early 1996 and 1997. Two operational assessments of the EF aircraft, based on data obtained during test flights using the engineering and manufacturing development aircraft, were conducted in November 1997 OT-IlA and in June through August 1998 OT-llB. The Navys Operational Test and Evaluation Force OPTEVFOR conducted these assessments.
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