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Coast Guard Aircraft: Transfer of Fixed-Wing C-27J Aircraft Is Complex and Further Fleet Purchases Should Coincide with Study Results

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Congressional rept.

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The Air Force is transferring 14 C-27J aircraft to the Coast Guard. Once modified into surveillance aircraft, the C-27Js will be a part of the Coast Guard s fixed-wing aircraft fleet. In 2007, the Coast Guard established a baseline of aircraft quantities and costs known as the program of record. This baseline established the cost and quantity of aircraft necessary to achieve its goal of 52,400 flight hours per year. The Coast Guard s aircraft, including the HC-144 and HC-130JH, are integral to its missions, such as counterdrug and search and rescue. GAO was asked to review the transfer of the C-27J to the Coast Guard. This report assesses 1 the status of the transfer and risks the Coast Guard faces in fielding the transferred aircraft and 2 the extent to which acquiring the C-27J affects the overall cost and performance of the Coast Guard s fixed-wing aviation fleet. GAO analyzed program documents and maintenance records for the C- 27J. GAO interviewed Coast Guard and Air Force officials and private contractors. GAO also analyzed the Coast Guard s C-27J business case. The Department of Homeland Security DHS and the Coast Guard should advise Congress of the time frames for the Coast Guard s fleet analysis and to modify the provision of additional HC- 130Js, as appropriate, in the interim. DHS agreed with the first recommendation, but did not agree with the second recommendation. If the Coast Guard accepts additional HC-130Js before completing the fleet mix study, the aircraft may be in excess of the Coast Guard s need.

Subject Categories:

  • Transport Aircraft
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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