DefenseTech points out yet again what joke the Air Force’s F-22 fighter project is. The General Accounting Office issued a report entitled “Changing Conditions Drive Need for New F/A-22 Business Case“. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it looks like a doozy.
The F/A-22 program has experienced several significant changes since it
began development in 1986. First, the Air Force cannot afford to
purchase the quantities of aircraft that were planned 18 years ago. The
Air Force had originally planned to buy 750 aircraft, but it now
estimates it can only afford 218 aircraft. Second, in order to develop
the expanded air-to-ground attack capability, the Office of Secretary
of Defense estimates that the Air Force will need $11.7 billion in
modernization funding. Lastly, the Air Force has determined that new
avionics computer processors and architecture are needed to support
most planned enhancements, which will further increase program costs
Further, the development test program continues to experience problems
and risks further delays. The F/A-22’s avionics continue to experience
shutdowns and failures. Moreover, the F/A-22 has not met its
reliability requirements and has experienced failures in its
computerized maintenance support system. This has led to aircraft
spending more time on the ground undergoing maintenance.
Due to the risks of future cost increases and schedule delays, a
congressional subcommittee requested that DOD provide business case
information on the F/A-22. However, the information DOD provided did
not address why this aircraft is needed given current and projected
threats. (emphasis added)
Hmmm. Sounds familiar. I will do some more reading and post about this again soon. I’ve been saving a special trick a friend came up with, and this seems like the appropriate time to spring it.