Holding the Government Accountable

Air Force Tactical Aircraft Programs in a Mess, GAO says

In what seems to have become an annual event, the Government Accountability Office today released a scathing report on the condition of the F/A-22 Raptor and the Joint Strike Fighter programs.

Will the latest GAO report be another tree falling in the forest but nobody hears episode? With some members of Congress wondering if there's enough money for both the F/A-22 and the JSF, this year could be pivotal for both programs.

More budget cuts are coming for the F/A-22 program and the buy number has decreased now to 180, from an original plan to purchase 750. GAO says the $10 billion in cuts in President Bush's 2006 budget proposal would “have significant implications for the program's viability and modernization efforts.”

“JSF's original business case, established when the program began in 1996, is unexecutable,” the new report said. The program is already two years behind schedule and the expected acquisition quantities have been cut by 535 aircraft.