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Aircraft Inventory Levels (1991 and 1996)
Note: This table only includes aircraft which were in the scope of our review.
Major Combat Air Power Program Funding
Then-year dollars in millions
Fiscal year 1997
Cost through fiscal and balance to Weapon system
complete Total program cost Combat aircraft F/A-18 E/F fighter/attack
$80,958.7 F-22 fighter
70,093.1 Comanche helicopter
44,782.4 Longbow Apache helicopter
8,275.2 B-1 bomber mods
3,777.9 AV-8B remanufacture
2,318.3 Weapon Tomahawk cruise missile
13,847.1 Advanced medium range air-to-air missile
5,059.0 Army tactical missile system - brilliant antitank
4,992.9 Joint air-to-surface standoff missile
3,297.2 Longbow Hellfire missile
2,470.6 Army tactical missile system-antipersonnel/ antimaterial
2,458.3 Sensor fused weapon
1,947.6 Combat Support Joint surveillance target attack radar system aircraft
9,351.6 E2C airborne early warning aircraft
3331.1 Cooperative engagement capability
2,587.8 Joint surveillance target attack radar system ground station module
1,387.1 Other Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missile
7,252.5 Navys sea-based area (lower tier) theater ballistic missile defense
5,567.3 Theater high altitude air defense system
12,664.0 Crusader (advanced field artillery system)
Data on the Crusader includes only research, development, test, and evaluation costs.
Source: DOD's Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) Summary Tables, December 31, 1995, except for the Comanche, joint air-to-surface standoff missile, Patriot, Navy (lower tier) theater ballistic missile defense, and theater high altitude air defense programs. The figures for these programs are based on data we acquired during our reviews of the programs.
This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the General Accounting Office (GAO) draft report, “Combat Air Power: Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making Program and Budget Decisions", dated June 20, 1996 (GAO Code 701040), OSD Case 1175. The Department disagrees with many of the draft report's findings and partially concurs with the draft's recommendations; thus, overall, the Department partially concurs with the draft report. The Department disagrees in particular with the draft report's finding that ongoing major combat aircraft acquisition programs lack “sufficient analysis of needs and capabilities” (see p. 9 of the report). The Department also disagrees that the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense are receiving inadequate advice, in particular inadequate joint military advice, to support decision-making on combat air power programs.
The draft report stresses the need to improve the process by which joint military
The Department agrees that analytical support for overall decision-making can be improved and has included funding for such improvements in the FY 1997 President's Budget now being considered by the Congress. The Department is continually seeking ways to improve its decision-making processes to deal with the greater uncertainties in long-term defense planning that have followed the end of the Cold War. These improvements are being made to an existing set of processes that the Department considers to be robust; they do not reflect a judgment that the current basis for decisionmaking is inadequate.
Comments From the Department of Defense
All three of the Deparment's major combat aircraft acquisition programs will face careful scrutiny before they proceed past the next acquisition milestone. A review of F/A-18E/F capabilities and quantities will be carried out early next year when the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) decision is considered by the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB). A DAB review of the F-22 will be held prior to commitment to production. A comprehensive Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) is being designed now for the Milestone II review of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).
Comments From the Department of Defense
GAO DRAFT REPORT-DATED JUNE 20, 1996
(GAO CODE 701040) OSD CASE 1175
“COMBAT AIR POWER: JOINT MISSION ASSESSMENTS NEEDED BEFORE
MAKING PROGRAM AND BUDGET DECISIONS”
DoD COMMENTS TO THE GAO RECOMMENDATIONS
o RECOMMENDATION 1: The GAO asserted that the future viability of U.S. air power
Now on pp. 13, 75-76.
DoD RESPONSE: Partially concur. The DoD considers that adequate information is available to the Secretary of Defense to make decisions on U.S. combat air force programs. The Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense receive comprehensive advice on combat air power programs through two parallel processes: the PlanningProgramming-and-Budgeting System (PPBS) and the systems acquisition process. Joint military force assessments and recommendations are provided in both processes. The quality of analytical support could be improved, but the extent of support available has not been insufficient for decision-making.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff provides advice to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Chairman's Program Recommendations at the outset of each year's PPBS process. Later in the year, when final decisions are being made on priorities for that year's update of the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), he provides the Chairman's Program Assessment to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary. These documents draw from the work of the Joint Warfighting Capabilities Assessment (JWCA) analyses as well as from consultations with the Commanders-in-Chief of the Unified and Specified Commands (CINCs) and their staffs. The JWCA process is very broad in scope and incorporates both quantitative analyses and integrating military judgment concering capabilities, limitations, and risks.
The PPBS process was expanded significantly during the 1980s to offer full participation by the Joint Staff and CINC staffs in all phases of FYDP development. The major program review issue process that takes place each summer includes full Joint Staff representation on issue teams. Further, CINC representatives in the Pentagon can participate as they choose and copies of draft issue presentations have been made available to CINC staffs electronically on a timely basis since the 1980s for their participation as