DOCURBIT RBSUlE 01122 - &0891453 1 Status of the tility Tactical Transport Aircraft System Program. WSAD-77-31; B-163058. February 25, 1977. 12 pp. Report tc the Congress; by Robert . Keller, acting Comptroller Generai. issue Area: ederal Procurement of Goods and Services (1900); Federal Procurement of oods and Services: otifying the congress of Status of Iaprtant Procureent Programs (1905). Contacts Procurement and Systems Acquisition Div. Budget Fenction: ational Defense (050); ational Defense: ger.ipon SIu 'bi (057). C'anination . ncerned: Department of Defense; Department of the Arsy. Congressional Relevances ouse Committee on Armed Services; Senate Comittee on Armed Services; Congress. The Utility Tactical Transport System Program is a twin-engined elicopter cheduled to replace the Army's current utilite helicopter, the -1, in air assault, air cavalry, and medical support units. fininlos/conclusions: Imaroved :eliability, maintainability, availability, survivability, and performance were primary factors in the justification for this development. competitive development program has been substantially completed at a cost of about $463 million, and production contrtc?ft£r 15 of the aircraft was awarded in December 1976. The eliability and maintainability results demonstrated during:competitise testing are questionable and may not be valid. GAO is uncertain whether the Army has met the objective of developing an aircraft with major improvements in reliability and maintainability, as the OR-1 demacnstrated uch better reliability and maintainability than the competing prototypes during overnment competitive testing. Recent life cycle cost estiates indicate that the cost of a fleet of new aircraft will be ore expensive than a comparable fleet of new al-1 helicopters. This is contrary to the figures used to lustify the development program. Recommendations: The Secretary of Defense hould ake sure that reliability nd maintainability goals have been achieved before the Arry exercises contract options for follow-on production. (&uthor/SC) V eV REPORT TO THE CONGRESS , -: BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL s, OF THE UNITED STATES Status Of The Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System Program Department of the Army The Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft Sys- tem is being purchased to replace the Army's current utility helicopter, the UH-1. The Armv has completed the competitive develop- ment phase and awarded a production con- tract in December 1976. GAO is uncertain whether the Army has met the objective of developing an aircraft with major improvements in reliability and main- tainability. The Secretarv of Defense should make sure that reliability and maintainability goals have been echieved before the Army exercises con- tract options for follow-on production. PSAD-77-31 FE . 25, 1977 F B. 2 i5, 9 7 7 COMPTRLLR olNL''L OF THE UNITI SrATl WASHINTON. D.C. MO B-163038 To the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives This report presents our views on the major issues of the Utility Tactical Transport Sstem Program. For the past several years we have annually reported to the Congress on the status of selected major weapons systems. This report is one of a series of 29 reports that we are furnishing this year to the Congress for their use in reviewing fiscal year 1978 requests for funds. A draft of this report was reviewed by agency officialg associated with the program and their comments are incorpor- ated as appropriate. We made our review pursuant to the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting and Auditing Act of 950 (31 U.S.C. 67). We are sending copies of this report to the Director, Office of Management and Budget, and the Secretary of Defense. ACTING Comptroller General of the United States COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S STATUS OF THE UTILITY TACTICAL REPORT TO THE CONGRESS TRANSPORT AIRCRAFT SYSTEM Department of the Army D I G E S T The Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System is being developed to replace the Army's current utility helicopter, the UH-1, in air assault, air cvalry, and medical support units. It is a twin- engined helicopt?.r that will provide the Army with increased operational capabilitylift because of its greater internal size and capability. Design improvements and increased performance make the aircraft less vulner- able to enemy fire. Improved reliability, maintainability, availability, survivability, and performance were primary factors in the justification for this development. A competitive development .program has been substantially completed a a cost of about the $463 million, and on December 23, 1976, 15 Army awarded a production contract for aircraft to Sikorsky Aircraft Division of United Technologies Corporation. (See pp. 1, 5, and 6) The following important matters were roted during our review: -- Government competitive testing of the Prototypes and the UH-i completed in September 1976 at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, shows the new helicopter has met its interim reliability and maintainability goals. The UH-1, which is a mature system, demonstrated much better reliability and maintainability than the competing Prototypes. (See ch. 3.) -- Recent life cycle cost estimates indicate the cost of a fleet of new eircraft will be more expensive than a comparable fleet of new UH-1 helicopters. This is contrary to estimates used to justify the new helicopter development. (See p. 4 .) i PSAD-77-31 r.B . Upon ruroval, the report calr dte should be noted hereon. -- An August 1976 independent cost estimate indicates the design-tc-cost goal will be exceeded by about 6 percent. The Army now believes the goal may be slightly exceeded. (See p. 4 .) Sikorsky's prototypes generally met aircraft performance requirements except for vertical flight performance. Excessive weight of the prototypes resulted in less vertical rate of climb than anticipated. However, production models are expected to improve because of a 350-pound weight reduction. The prototypes also substantially exceeded the allowable vibration levels, and the vibration specifi- cations for the production model have been relaxed. (See pp. 6-7 .) GAO believes that reliability and aintain- ability results demonstrated during competitive testing are questionable and may not be valid. GAO is uncertain whether the Army has met the objective of developing an aircraft with major improvements in reliability and main- tainability. The Army advised that the new helicopter is expected to be better than the UH-1 as it becomes a mature system. GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense make sure reliability and maintainability goals have been achieved before the Army exercises contract options for follow-on pro- duction. A draft of this report was reviewed by agency officials associated with management of the program and their comments have been in- corporated das appropriate. ii C o n t e n't s Page DIGEST i CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1 Relationship to other systems 2 Scope of review 2 2 SYSTEM STATUS 3 Cost 3 Design-to-cost goal 4 Life cycle costs 4 Schedule 5 Performance 6 Conclusions 8 3 GOVERNMENT COMPETITIVE TESTING 9 Mean time between failures 9 Maintenance man-hours 11 Conclusions and recommendation 11 APPENDIX I Government competitive test results 12 ABBREVIATIONS GAO General Accounting Office UTTAS Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System ;trl~i ~P I~I ~1 I I a f-s QI)·I~~~~~Ta··ll - ~ 7 r CHAPTER-1 INTRODUCTION The Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System (UTTAS) is a new twin-engined helicopter that is scheduled to re- place the Army's current utility helicopter, the UH-1 in air assault, air cavalry, and medical evacuation missions. It is planned to be the Army's first true squad assault helicopter, designed to transport 11 fully-equipped combat troops. The UTTAb is to perform the missions of trans- porting troops and equipment into combat, resupplying the troops while in combat, and performing associated functions of aeromedical evacuation, repositioning of reserves, and ',ther combat support missions. a. AI objective for UTTAS is to achieve increased cost effectiveness through substantially improved maintainability, availability, re]i- ability, survivability, and performance. UTTAS development was approved by the Deputy Secretary of Defense in June 1971. In March 172 he General Electric Company was awarded a cost-plus-incentive fee contract to develop, furnish, and support ground and flight test engines for the UTTAS. A contract for further development of the engine, issued in March 1975, is scheduled to run until Decem- ber 1979. Cost-plus-incentive fee contracts were awarded for airframe prototype design and fabrication in August 1972 to the Boeing Vertol Company, division of Boeing Company, and to Sikorsky Aircraft, division of the United Technologies Cor- poration. Initial Army plans called for 16 developmental air- craft; however, the Congress provided funds for only 10--1 static test article, 1 ground test vehicle, and 3 flying pro- totypes per contractor. In October and November 1974 the air- frame contractors accomplished first flight with their air- craft and began prototype flight tests. Each contractor's flight testing consisted of about 700 flight hours. The test- ing was completed in March 1976, and the aircraft were turned over to the Army for competitive testing. The development program is substa ttially completed at a cost of about $463 million. On December 23, 1976, a pro- duction contract for 15 aircraft was awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft for $83.4 million. The contract contains options for 56 aircraft in v.he second year, 129 in the third year, and 168 to 185 in the fourth year. The Decision Cooldinating Paper requires the Army to demonstrate that reliability and maintainability goals for the mature aircraft have been 1 achieved prior to the full-scale production decision. The Army does not plan to demonstrate the attainment goals until 200 aircraft are on contract. of these The total po- gram acquisition cost is currently estimated $3.4 billion for 10 development and 1,107 to be about production air- craft. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER SYSTEMS Both UTTAS competitior's prototypes are being for the Navy'i Light Airborne Multi-Purpose considered System. The Navy plans to obtain competition in the selection for tis program rather than automatically of an airframe accepting the winner of UTTAS competition. The Navy has for proposals which were to be received by issued requests Eight contractors have expressed interest November 5, 1976. in gram. Three airframe contractors including the Navy's pro- Boeing and Sikorsky bOve responded to the Navy's request for proposal. The UTTAS is also being considered for the Navy's carrier antisubmarine warfare helicopter and as a arine Corps troop transport helicopter. Marine Corps officials due to differences in squad size and distance told us that the Marine Corps may need a larger helicopter requirements, than UTTAS. with more speed SCOPE OF REVIEW Our review primarily dealt with UTTAS program cost, schedule, performance testing, and related technical matters at the UTTAS project manager's office and Systems Command, St. Louis, Missouri. We the Army Aviation reviewed testing data at a test site at Fort Campbell, Government discussed procedures with testing personnel. Kentucky, and We discussed program results with Department of Army officials officials of the Army Materiel Systems Analysis and with Activity at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. 2 CEAPTE 2 SYSTEM STATUS Cost, schedule, and technical performance goals have generally been met during the UTTAS development program. Program cost has increased about $1 billion over the fiscal year 1971 estimate, primarily because of inflation. We believe the design-to-cost goal for the UTTAS will be ex- ceeded. However, the Army advised that any increase would be slight. The scheduled milestones for the development program have generally been met, on a timely basis, with the production contract awarded only 1 month behind schedule. The Army has considered several changes to the initial produc- tion quantities. Current plans call for 200 aircraft to be purchased during the first 3 years of production with a fourth year op' .on for 168 to 185 additional aircraft. Pre- vious plans to t,'rchasae 85 arcraft dring the first 3 years were changed because of cost considerations. (ee p. 4 .) Perfcrmance goals for UTTAS have generally been demon- strated except for the prototype helicopters exceeding weight limitations which affect hover and climb capabilities and excessive vibration in the cabin-and cockpit areas. COST The Army estimates the verage program unit acquisition cost for developmental and production helicopters is about $3 million. The average -rii' cost in the Army's planning estimate was about $2 million. The following chart lists the program development and procurement acquisition cost estimates: Sel ected Acquist ionRepor t Csts Planning Current estimate estimate FY 1971 9-30-75 (millions) Development $ 409.9 $ 463.0 Procurement 1,897.4 2s963.6 Program cost $2,307.3 $3,366;6 3 Inflation has increased the 1971 planning estimate by Riire than $50 million for development and $1.2 billion for procurement. The net increase of about $1 billion in procurement also included decreases for deletion of program requirements, removal of replenishment spare parts from the estimate, and application of revised estimating techniques. The estimated price overrun at completion for the research and development contracts for both contractors amounted to $57 million. Design-to-cost goal The Army Aviation Systems Command's independent cost estimate for the UTTAS prepared in August 1976 indicated the UTTAS cost would exceed the design-to-cost goal by 6 percent. Design-to-cost goals are stated in terms of the flyaway cost which includes the unit cost of the airframe, engines, a ion- ics, and Government-furnished equipment. Stated in 1977 dol- lars, the unit design-to-cost goal is $1.44 million. The independent cost estimate for the UTTAS is $1.52 million or about $80,000 more than the goal. This estimate was based on an initial production of 85 aircraft over a 3-year period. We were advised by an Army official that increasing the ini- tial production quantity from 85 aircraft to 200 resulted in substantial savings which reduced the average flyaway cost of the aircraft. The Army advised that the design-to-cost goal may be slightly exceeded. Life cycle costs The rmy Deputy Chief of Staff for Operati ns and Plans directed a cost and operational effectiveness analysis be performed to determine the ranking of alternative systems in performing the UTTAS missions. The Aviation Systems Com- mand was assigned the responsibility of providing lfe cycle cost estimates of alternative aircraft systems fr the analysis. The Aviation Systems Command's study, prepared in September 1976, showed that UTTAS life cycle costs will be about $319 million more than a new UH-1 fleet. The following are the comparisons of the life cycle cost estimates in 1977 dollars for these systems. 4 Life Cycle Cost Summary System UH-i UTTAS (billions) Development $ - $ .112 Investment 1.058 2.249 Operating and support 10.625 9.632 Total life cycle cost $11.683 $11.993 The investment cost in the above table is based on the procurement of sufficient numbers of aircraft to perform the UTTAS mission--1,587 UH-ls and 1,107 UTTASs. The quantity of UTTAS is lower because of its improved operational effec- tiveness. The operating and support costs are based on a 20-year aircraft life and 27 flying hours per month. De- velopment costs were not included in the UH-1 cost because development has been completed. The Army's Decision Coordinating Paper, dated May ';4, 1971, stressed several fundamental. considerations which required the UTTAS development. One consideration was that an airfkeet composed of UH-1 helicopters would be $600 mil- lion to $850 million (1971 dollars) more expensive to own and operate than a comparable UTTAS fleet. The life cycle cost estimate above shows that the UTTAS will be about $300 million (l77 dollars) more expensive than the UH-i. Based on the Aviation Systems Command's study, it appears that te antic- ipated cost savings will not be achieved and the consider- ation is no longer valid. The Army advised that the most recent life cycle cost estimate shows the UTTAS will be about $236 million (1977 dollars) move expensive than a comparable fleet of new UH-1 aircraft. SCHEDULE minor slippages in program schedule milestones have occurred. Government competitive testing was completed 4 months behind schedule because icing tests were not com- pleted until December 1976. However, the initial production 5 contract for 15 aircraft was awarded to Sikorsky Aircraft in December 1976, only 1 month bhind schedule. A follow-on development effort to correct deficiencies disclosed during competitive testing and to continue reliability and main- tainability testing will run concurrently with initial production. Except for this effort, which is estimated to cost about $61 million, the basic engineering evelopment phase is complete. Scheduled major milestones are shown below. Scheduled aor Progam ilesto es Producibility engineering planning contract completion--engine September 1977 Exercise second year option for 56 aircraft October 1977 Deliver first limited production aircraft August 1978 Completion of follow-on engineer- ing development testing September 1978 Exercise third year option for 129 aircraft October 1978 Phase III development and oper- ational test completion April 1979 Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council IIA August ,979 (note a) Exercise fourth year option for 168 to 185 aircraft October 1979 a/Replaced by Army Systems Review Council IIIA in August 1979. PERFORMANCE There have been no changes to the performance require- ments since the competitive contracts were awarded. Follow- ing are the performance requirements reported in the September 30, 1976, Selected Acquisition Report. 6 Characteristics Requirements Basic mission payload (n,Ue a) 11 combat-equipped troops Mission endurance (note a) 2.3 hours Mission reliability .986909 (probability ,f completing a mission) Cruise speed (note a) 145 t 175 knots Vertical flight performance (note a) 450 :o 550 feet per minute at 95-percent intermediate (military) rated power Maintenance man-hours per flight-hour (note b) 3.8 hours a/Performance at 4,000 feet/95 degrees Fahrenheit. b/1.0 hour preventive and 2.8 hours fault corrective. Sikorsky generally met the performance character- istics listed above except vertical flight performance. The weight of the prototypes was above the weight originally esti- mated in the contractors' specifications. As a esult, the prototypes demonstrated lees hover out of ground effect/ vertical rate of climb performance than required of the pro- duction aircraft. The production specifications were estab- lished at 480 feet per minute rate of climb. The Army advised the production helicopter is expected to be within the required weight tolerances, and should achieve the required rate of climb. Sikorsky's prototypes exceeded the specifications for allovable vibration levels in the cockpit and cabin areas by about 100 percent. The development specifications allowed a vibration level of .05g. Sikorsky's prototypes demonstrated appr'inmately .10g. The production specifications have been relaxed to .10g for the cockpit and .12g for the cabin. 'he Army advised that this is better than the .20g normally specified for helicopters. 7 As of October 6, 1976, General Electric and the airfrae contractors have accomplished about 29,000 total test hours on the development engines. Project officials advised that the production configuration engine successfully completed the 150-hour military qualification test in March 1976 and is ready to go into production. CONCLUSIONS Cost, schedule, and technical erformance goals of the UTTAS have generally been met during the basic engineering development phase. Excessive weight of the prototypes and excessive vibration in the cabin and cockpit areas were en- countered during the development phase. n our opinion, air- craft weight and vibration levels should be closely watched during initial production when further refinement and develop- ment testing will be conducted. 8 CHAPTER 3 GOVERNMENT COPPETITIE TESTING Government competitive tests ahow that the UTTAS contractors' prototypes have exceeded the Army's interim re- liability and maintainability goals of 2.6 hour, mean time between failures and 4.3 hours fault corrective .iaintenance man-hours per flight hour. However, test results also show that the UH-1 demonstrated much better reliability and main- tainability than the UTTAS. As shown in appendix , Govern- ment test results are questionable in view of the results of the UH-1 helicopter, and may not be valid Government competitive tests for rliability and main- tainability were conducted from March through September 1976. The purpose of the testing was to establish a reliability, maintainability, logistics, and operational ffectiveness data base for se in evaluation of the UTTAS evelopment pro- gram. The testing was comprised of two major phases-- developmental esting and operational testing. The dvelop- mental testing was conducted by the Army Test and Evaluation Command at Fort Rucker, Alabama; the Aviation Systems Commad, Aviation Engineering Flight Activity at Edwards Air Force Base, California; and at Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Operational testing was conducted by the Army Operational Test and Evalua- tion Agency at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The contractors provided six aircraft for competitive testing. The three aircraft from each contractor were flown about 750 hours during Government testing. Two aircraft were utilized for engineering flight testing and four were utilized during the developmental and operational testing. U-1 air- craft were also flown about 540 hours during testing to ob- tain reliability and maintainability data for comparison purposes. The final 200 hours of operational testing was established as the time frame to demonstrate the attainment of reliability goals. MEAN TIME BETWEEN FAILURES Simply stated, mean time between failures indicates the length of time aircraft will fly without a failure. The Army's UTTAS goal for this development phase was 2.6 hours with an eventual goal of 4.0 hours by full production. The Army ex- pected the UTTAS prototypes to demonstrate a mean time between failure rate of 2.3 hours by the end of the competitive tests. 9 During the last 200 hours Boeing demonstrated 3.59 hours and Sikorsky 2.97 hours for mean time between failures, while the UH-1 demonstrated significantly better performance-- 6.29 hours. Testing disclosed differences in mean time between failures between each contractor's prototypes. For example, during the last 200 hours of testing, one of Boeing's two prototypes demonstrated 5.0 hours mean time between failures and the other prototype only 3.4 hours. The prototype demon- strating the highest reliability crashed in November 1975 before Government competitive testing. Army official s in- dicated some of the repairs made to the damaged helicopter resulted in new parts and general refurbishment of the aircraft which could account for some of the differences. The Army advised us that the refurbished helicopter did not incur the same vibration problems experienced by the other prototype. Sikorsky experienced a similar difference with its pro- totypes. During the last 200 hours of testing, one of its prototypes demonstrated mean time between failures of 4.2 hours, while the other demonstrated 2.8 hours. Project of- ficials were unable to explain the differences on the Sikorsky prototypes. The UH-1 achieved 6.29 hour- for mean time between fail- ures during the last 200 hours of Government testing. Army officials have said that the UH-1, based on historical data, demonstrates 2.6 hours for mean time between failures. When the 6.3 hours is compared to the 2.6 hours, the validity of Government test results becomes somewhat questionable. There are several possible reasons why reliability achieved by the UTTAS prototypes during Government competitive testing was better than anticipated: -- Improvements were incorporated by the contractors during the testing. -- Major components had few failures because of the relatively low number of flying hours on the system. -- The failure criteria was changed, with certain maintenance actions being reclassified as preventive maintenance and therefore not chargeable. 10 MAINTENANCE MAN-HOUPS An Aiay objective during the UTTAS development was to obtain low maintenance man-hours per flight hour. The interim goal at the end of competitive development was 4.8 hours for fault corrective maintenance with it being reduced to 2.8 hours before October 1979. During the last 200 hours of Government competitive testing Boeing end Sikorsky both de- monstrated their aircraft reqhuired less fault corrective main- tenance than the goal for the mature aircraft. However, the UH-1 fault corrective maintenance was at least three times better than either UTTAS contractor demon- strated during the last 200 hours of Government testing. We believe and project officials agreed that the demonstrated maintenance values are not representative of what will be experienced on the UTTAS. Some possible reasons for the un- realistically low maintenance hours were: -- Maintenance tat could have been performed was deterred because of design change considerations. -- Some items that could have been repaired in the field were repaired at the contractors' plants and not charged to the contractor. Army officials advised that they elected to rely on contractor support where feasible to minimize costs associated with training of personnel and parts stockage. -- The low number of flight hours on the prototypes and allowing contractors to incorporate improvements during Government competitive tests may have resulted in fewer failures. Although maintenance man-hours per flight hour demonstrated we.e much better than anticipated, project officials believe required maintenance will increase. However, they estimate it will not exceed the 2.8 hour goal for the UTTAS. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATION Government test results show that the UTTAS prototypes have exceeded the interim reliability and maintainability goals. However, we believe that reliability and maintainability test results are questionable and may not be valid. Therefore, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense make sure the relia- bility and maintainability goals have been achieved before the Army exercises contract options for fellow-on production. 11 APPENDIX I APPENDIX I GOVERNMENT COMPETITIVE TEST RESULTS UTTAS Development interim Develop- Opera- and Last 200 goals Development tional oeraional hours Boeing (note a): Mean tia. between 2.6 2.35 3.60 2.82 3.59 failures Mission reliability b/.90 .954 .973 .963 .967 Fault corrective main- tenance man-hours per 4.3 .819 .447 .643 .466 flight hour Operational availability d/.75 .838 .859 .n.9 .855 (note c) Sikorsky (note a): Mean time between failures 2.6 2.37 3.11 2.65 2.97 Mission reliability .90 .940 .965 .952 .967 Fault corrective main- tenance an-hours per 4 .3 .703 .589 .646 .632 flight hour Operational availability d/.75 .850 .854 .853 .849 (nott c) UH-1: Mean time between failures 5.2 6.29 Mission reliability .993 .990 Fault corrective main- tenance man-hours per ,177 .148 flight hour Operational availability .853 .850 (note c) a/Figures include assumed failure rates for Government-furnished equipment. b/Figure represents mrinimum acceptable values to be demonstrated during Government competitive testing. No interim goal was established for this parameter. c/No interim goal was established for this parameter. However, .75 is to be demons- trated during Developmental/Operational Test III, which is to take place October 1978 through March 1979. d/Operational availability test results were computed using a 10-percent factor for aircraft not operational because of supply parts. (Not operationally ready- supply. ) 12
Status of the Utility Tactical Transport Aircraft System Program
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-02-25.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)