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Defense Management: DOD Needs Better Information and Guidance to More Effectively Manage and Reduce Operating and Support Costs of Major Weapon Systems

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The Department of Defense DoD spends billions of dollars each year to sustain its weapon systems. These operating and support OS costs can account for a significant portion of a systems total life-cycle costs and include costs for repair parts, maintenance, and personnel. The Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 directs GAO to review the growth in OS costs of major systems. GAOs report addresses the following 1 the extent to which life-cycle OS cost estimates developed during acquisition and actual OS costs are available for program management and decision making 2 the extent to which DoD uses life-cycle OS cost estimates after systems are fielded to quantify cost growth and identify its causes and 3 the efforts taken by DoD to reduce OS costs for major systems. GAO selected seven aviation systems that reflected varied characteristics and have been fielded at least several years. These systems were the FA-18EF, F-22A, B-1B, F-15E, AH-64D, CH-47D, and UH-60L. GAO recommends that DoD take steps to retain life-cycle OS cost estimates for major systems, collect additional OS cost elements in its visibility systems, update life-cycle OS cost estimates periodically after systems are fielded, and retain documentation of program changes affecting OS costs for use in cost analysis. DoD concurred with GAOs recommendations.

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  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
  • Helicopters
  • Bombers
  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Transport Aircraft

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