oversight

Status of the F-18 Naval Strike Fighter Program

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-03-01.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                          DOCUMENT RESUME
01167 -   A08916113 (Restricted/

Status of the F-18 Naval Strike Fighter Program. B-163058;
PSAD-77-24. March 1, 1977.
Report to thi Congress; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General.

Issue Area: Federal Procurement of Goods and Services: Notifying
    the Congress of Status of Important Procurement Programs
    (1905); Science and Technology (2000).
Contact: Procurement and Systems Acquisition Div.
Budget Function: National Defense (050); National Defense:
    Weapon Systems (057).
Organization Concerned: Department of the Air Furce; Department
    of the Navy; Department of Defense.
Congressional Relevance: Congress; House Committee on Armed
    Services; Senate Committee on Armed Services.
         The P-18 is a Department of the Navy fighter/attack
aircraft being developed by the McDonnell-Douglas Corporation,
with engines developed by the General Electric Ccrporation. The
F-18 fighter aircraft's prisary mission will be fighter escort,
and its secondary mission will be fleet air defense. The attack
aircraft's ission will be interdiction and close air support.
The Navy plans to produce 800 F-18 aircraft: 430 fighters, 310
attack aircraft, and 60 two-seat trainers. The program will cost
about $13 billion for development and production. Unit
procurement cost was estimated at $13.7 illion on September 0,
1976. Findings/Conclusions: The F-18 development program
appears to be on schedule. However program changes could occur
because (1) letter contracts with McDonnell-Douglas and General
Electric were not definitized as planned due to cost problems;
(2) cost could increase $86 to $196 illion if electronic
countermeasures are replaced by new systems; (3) program cost
could increase if the Navy decides to develo a reconnaissance
version of the F-18; and () procurement costs may be reduced if
a land version of the F-18 is developed for sale to foreign
governments. (RRS)
        This is an uncssifed diest funished in lieu of
        a eport
             coniining ct1aifd secnrit informaortio.'AR         1197


COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S                       STATUS OF THE F-18 NAVAL
REPORT TO THE CONGRESS                      STRIKE FIGHTER PROGRAM
                                            Department of the Navy


        DIGEST

       The F-18 is a new Department of the Navy
       fighter/attack aircraft being developed to
       replace the aging F-4 and eventually, the
       A-7 aircrafts. The McDonnell-Douglas Cor-
       poration is developing the single-seat,
       carrier-suitable F-18 that can be configured
       as a fighter or attack aircraft. The engines
       for the F-18 will be developed by the General
       Electric Corporation.
        The F-18 fighter aircraft's primary mission
        will be fighter escort and its secondary
        mission, fleet air defense. The F-18 attack
        aircraft's mission will be interdiction and
        close air support.
        The Navy plans to produce 800 F-18 aircraft--
        430 will be fighters, 310 will be attack
        aircraft, and the balance, 60 aircraft, will be
        two-seat trainers. The Navy will use 178
        fighters with the remaining 252 going to the
        Marine Corps.
        The F-18 program is estimated to cost a total
        of about $13 billion (then year dollars) for
        development and production. Unit procurement
        cost was estimated at September 30, 1976, at
        $13.7 million (then year dollars).
        GAO's review of the system included an evalua-
        tion of its current status in terms of cost,
        schedule, and performance.
        No major problems were noted during the review.
        The F-18 development program appears to be on
        schedule. However, program changes could occur
        due to the following:
        -- Letter contracts with McDonnell-Douglas and
           General Electric were not definitized as
           planned because of cost problems. The con-
           tracts were definitized in December 1976,


                                      i                  PSAD-77-24
 but the details of the negotiations were
 not available for inclusion in this report.
 GAO was told that the Navy was prepared to
 accept reduced performance and/or schedule
 revision to keep within approved program cost.
 (See p. 12.)

-- Cost could increase $86 to $196 million if
   electronic countermeasure systems planned for
   the F-18 are replaced by new systems.  (See
   p. 13.)

-- Program cost could increase if the Navy
   decides to develop a reconnaissance version
   of the F-18. Eighty additional F-18s may be
   built for this purpose.  (See p. 13.)

-- F-18 procurement costs may be reduced if
   Northrop proceeds with development of a land
   version of the F-18 (F-18L) for sale to
   foreign governments.  (See p. 13.)

A draft of this report was reviewed by agency
officials and their comments were incorporated
as appropriate.




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