F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: Program Performance Has Improved in Some Areas, but Affordability Challenges and Other Risks Remain
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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The F-35 Lightning II, the Joint Strike Fighter, is DOD s most costly and ambitious aircraft acquisition. The program is developing and fielding three aircraft variants for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight international partners. The F-35 is critical to long-term recapitalization plans as it is intended to replace hundreds of existing aircraft. This will require a long-term sustained funding commitment. Total U.S. investment is nearing 400 billion to develop and procure 2,457 aircraft through 2037. Fifty-two aircraft have been delivered through 2012. The F-35 program has been extensively restructured over the last 3 years to address prior cost, schedule, and performance problems. DOD approved a new acquisition program baseline in March 2012. GAO s prior reviews of the F-35 made numerous recommendations to improve outcomes, such as increasing test resources and reducing annual procurement quantities. This testimony is largely based on GAO s recently released report, GAO- 13-309. This testimony discusses 1 progress the F-35 program made in 2012, and 2 major risks that program faces going forward. GAO s work included analyses of a wide range of program documents and interviews with defense and contractor officials.
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft
- Economics and Cost Analysis