TACTICAL AIRCRAFT: F-22 Delays Indicate Initial Production Rates Should Be Lower to Reduce Risks
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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The Air Force is developing the F-22 aircraft to replace its fleet of F-15 aircraft. The F-22 is to be superior to the F-15 by being less detectable, capable of flying at higher speeds for longer distances,and able to provide the pilot with substantially improved awareness of the surrounding situation. The Air Force began the F-22 development program in 1991 and plans to complete it by March 2004. In 1998,following repeated increases in the program s estimated development cost,the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 1 limited the cost of F-22 development to 20.443 billion. 2 The act also required us to assess the Air Force s F-22 development program annually and determine whether key cost, schedule, and performance goals are being met. 3 This is our fifth report. In our last report,issued in March 2001, 4 we stated that the Air Force had not met its schedule goals for 2000 and that flight-testing delays coupled with prior years delays made it unlikely that the development program could be completed as scheduled within the 20.443 billion congressional cost limitation.
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