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[H.N.S.C. No. 1063]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2000H.R. 1401
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCMILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
TITLE IIRESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION
MARCH 3, 1999
SERVICE AVIATION MODERNIZATION PLANS
House of Representatives, Committee on Armed Services, Military Procurement Subcommittee, Meeting Jointly with Military Research and Development Subcommmittee, Washington, DC, Wednesday, March 3, 1999.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 1:05 p.m. in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Duncan Hunter (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DUNCAN HUNTER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM CALIFORNIA, CHAIRMAN, MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. HUNTER. The subcommittees will come to order. This afternoon, we welcome witnesses from the four services, as well as the program executive officer of the Joint Strike Fighter program to give testimony on the Service Aviation Modernization program. This is a joint hearing of both the Procurement and the Research and Development Subcommittees. As we did last year and continue to do this year, my good friend Curt Weldon and I share the chair in our series of joint hearings. My ranking member and good friend Norm Sisisky and I look forward to working with you, Chairman WeldonI know he is not here yet, but will be here shortlyand with the ranking member; and also to our good friend Owen Pickett and the rest of our colleagues on the Research and Development Subcommittee.
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As most of you know, I have been consistently critical of the inadequate levels of procurement funding by this administration, and believe that the defense budget should be increased $20 to $25 billion a year on a sustained basis. Here's why.
One week ago today we conducted a hearing on aging equipment. Lieutenant General John Coburn, the Army's Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, told us that the Army's only heavy-lift helicopter, the CH47 Chinook, has been in the inventory for 37 years and the Army expects to keep it for another 30 years, further driving up operating costs. Dr. Lauren Thompson of the Lexington Institute said, as a result of aging aircraft, the Nation spends more and more money on a less and less capable air fleet.
Lieutenant General Martin Steele, the Marine Corps Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Operations, reported that as a result of its aging aircraft, the average cost per flight hour has risen 43 percent over the last 3 years and the Marine Corps fixed-wing mission capable rates have declined from 81 percent to 70 percent between fiscal years 1994 and 1998.
General Martin, here with us today, stated for the record that, and I quote, ''While it is difficult to quantify the exact impact aging has on Air Force readiness, we are confident it has significantly contributed to the declining mission-capable rates and increasing operations and support costs.''
Lane Perot of the Congressional Budget Office warned that even if future administrations in Congress increased funding to the $62 billion that is the Department of Defense's procurement goal, that may still not be enough for DOD to achieve steady-state quantities of equipment that would, over the long run, halt aging and support forces of today's sizes indefinitely.
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Last Friday I attended a Readiness Subcommittee field hearing at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and I want to thank incidentallyHerb Bateman is not here, but Chairman Bateman really conducted an excellent hearing. I want to commend him on the series of hearings that he has held that have brought out the manifestations of this declining lack of readiness and lack of modernization.
But that hearing once again confirmed a fact that diminished levels of procurement funding over the last 6 years have taken their toll. Where Admiral Timothy Beard told us that 14 of his 23 aircraft at the naval air station in Fallon, Nevada, the top gun training center, were grounded with mechanical problems. Eight of his aircraft could not fly at all because they were missing whole engines and maintenance crews were waiting for 137 parts.
An F16 Aggressor pilot with the 414th Combat Training Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base told us that young pilots are flying half as many training sortie raids these days because not enough aircraft are available, usually because of maintenance problems. It is no surprise that the chiefs of the military services have advised this committee about increasing amounts of unfunded requirements.
Today's hearing will address how the Department plans to improve these conditions through modernization over aviation programs. Unfortunately, we are likely to hear that near-term readiness and personnel pressures on the defense budget continue to force a migration of funds out of procurement accounts. The result is that acquisition objectives are not being met, production quantities are being reduced to less economical levels and Band-Aid fixes, such as service life extension programs, are being funded instead. These actions push aviation modernization farther into the future, raising the height of the so-called ''bow wave.'' It is getting more and more difficult for us to catch up should we ever decide to catch up.
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With us today for what I hope will be a candid discussion of Service Aviation Modernization programs are Lieutenant General Gregory S. Martin, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition; Lieutenant General Frederick McCorkle, Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps; Major General Peter C. Franklin, Deputy for Systems Management and Horizontal Technology Integration, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Research, Development and Acquisition; Rear Admiral John B. Nathman, Director for Air Warfare, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; and Major General Leslie F. Kenneor is it Kenne, excuse meProgram Executive Officer, Joint Strike Fighter program.
We thank you all for being here.
General Martin, before we turn the floor over to you, I first want to call upon the other members of our subcommittees for any remarks that they might want to make. I notice that Curt Weldon, my good colleague who chairs Research and Development is not here. So let's turn to Norm Sisisky, ranking Democrat on Procurement and then to Owen Pickett, Ranking Member on Research and Development.
STATEMENT OF HON. NORMAN SISISKY, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY PROCUREMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SISISKY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am pleased to join you in welcoming our witnesses this afternoon as we consider the aviation component of the Department's budget request.
Mr. Chairman, in my opinion, there are three programs and there are some others too, that drive the Department's budget request for aviation modernizationthe F/A18E/F Hornet, the F22 Raptor and the Joint Strike Fighter. And because they are projected to claim as much as $16 billion per year, they will continue to drive the budget request for aviation and challenge the Department's ability to afford a comprehensive aviation modernization plan that is needed to meet all the needs of the services.
Also, I want to note that we have critically reviewed the F/A18E/F and the JSF programs in the past. Although not perfect, both are performing reasonably well at this time from what I can discern. The F22, however, has not been subjected to the same critical review by the subcommittees. Not surprisingly, the budget request includes about a $312 million in procurement cost growth since last year. Worse, a recent Government Accounting Office draft report indicates that the Air Force has acknowledged an additional $667 million in cost growth for engineering and manufacturing development yet to come.
If true, if trueand I usually await the testimonytoday, that is nearly $1 billion in cost growth since last year. To put this in perspective, the $1 billion cost growth in the F22 program nearly equals the entire aviation request for the Army this year. It is enough to fix the Army's Aviation Modernization program across the entire future year's defense plan, a program we all know is in shambles mostly for the want of money.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, I am concerned that budgetary decisionmaking for so-called ''high-priority programs,'' such as the F22, may be sendingI repeat, may be sending the wrong message, a message that says this is such a high priority, there is no cost too great, and we will starve other deserving programs to cover the cost.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward with great anticipation to today's testimony.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Norman.
STATEMENT OF OWEN PICKETT, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM VIRGINIA, RANKING MEMBER, MILITARY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to join my two colleagues here in welcoming the witnesses before us today. Mr. Chairman, I want to join you in emphasizing the critical nature of the overall tactical aircraft modernization effort in this era of budget uncertainty, our main concern about our Nation's ability to field a capable and affordable military air component.
I am troubled with projected TACAIR budgetary levels amounting to as much as $14 to $16 billion per year throughout the future year's defense plan, and wonder about their collective affordability. This becomes even more troublesome given the recent experience of cost overruns in some of these programs. Briefly, I want to mention a few areas of concern that warrant attention by members of our committee.
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First, the multiyear procurement proposal for the Navy's F18E/F. Although multiyear purchases effectively commit the government to specific budget obligation in the outyears, a multiyear buy in the case of the Super Hornet appears prudent, considering the program is on time, under budget and the multi-year procurement will save money. I hope the committee will give this proposal favorable consideration.
Second, the Army Aircraft Modernization Plan deserves considerable scrutiny. As an example, I understand that the Comanche helicopter program is hard-pressed to field two flying prototypes in fiscal year 2000 as, apparently, only 5 hours of flight time have been budgeted for this second aircraft.
Further, when I review the Army's unfunded requirement list for this year, I note a $56 million shortfall item for Comanche. I understand this figure may be somewhat higher in order to make this program healthy. In fact, the overall Army shortfall list identifies almost $300 million needed to address their aviation deficiency items.
Finally, as we proceed with our oversight responsibilities, I want to remind everyone of the importance of maintaining robust development designs, particularly with regard to the proposed Joint Strike Fighter. Given the fact that the Marine Corps has decided to skip one generation of advanced aircraft, the Super Hornet, and wait for the next, the JSF, it is imperative that the vertical launch variant of this program be successfully developed early on. Existing Marine Corps aircraft have a limited life span and will require replacement soon enough.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for calling this hearing, which I think will be very informative for the committee, and I look forward to hearing our witnesses' testimony today.
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Mr. HUNTER. I thank the distinguished gentleman from Virginia.
If any other members have a statement they would like to make before we take off on this hearing, that would be fine.
Bob, do you have anything you would like toyou want to talk about, the GD merger with Newport News maybe.
Mr. STUMP. It is a very interesting subject, and I have some very strong views on that matter, but I am here to listen today.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you. I think that is going to be a hot one for all of us.
General Martin, thank you for being with us again. The floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. GREGORY S. MARTIN, PRINCIPAL DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE FOR ACQUISITION, U.S. AIR FORCE
General MARTIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. We have a prepared statement that I would ask be submitted for the record.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Without objection, all written statements will be taken into the record, and you can go right ahead and summarize your remarks and prepare for action.
General MARTIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Although I have an oral statement that is written, in the interest of getting right to these questions, particularly some of the questions that Congressman Sisisky brought up, I will summarize this informally if that is all right.
First of all, and probably most important, is to realize that the Air Force is undergoing a very significant transformation as it moves from a force that was designed to operate out of overseas bases that were fixed and relatively well known by our total force into an expeditionary aerospace force which I think recognizes the need for us to remain engaged throughout the world to prevent the occurrence of conflicts that might put our troops in harm's way. But with that has come a fairly significant increase in our overall operations tempo.
As a result of that, I think you will find and have seen in the announcements that the Air Force has made that we are undergoing a fairly significant restructure in the way we package our forces to train them, prepare them, and then deploy them on a regular basis overseas, and it is that change that I think is important for us to keep in mind as we focus on the priorities for our overall modernization.
With respect to the application of air power in all of its aspects throughout the world, we have found that having to write a mix of platforms is absolutely critical. We also know that based on previous opportunities and our current engagement philosophy, that having a right balance between our air superiority forces, our attack forces and our multirole forces is critical to be able to cover the full spectrum of conflict. In general, our analyses both from the Bottom Up Review quadrant of the defense role, as well as previous use of air power, shows that in general we need about 20 to 25 percent of our force structure that applies force to be in the air superiority role; about that same amount in the dedicated air-to-ground role; and then the balance, usually about 50 percent or slightly more, in the multirole. That comes about from the normal conduct of operations.
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Early on, the need to establish air superiority requires not only your dedicated superiority assets, but also contributions of your multirole to assure success in protecting the skies for all joint forces that will operate in and under that umbrella. Once the air superiority has been assured, then the majority of those multirole forces will begin to swing in the air to ground role.
Now, the dedicated air-to-ground forces are striking targets from strategic to tactical level throughout this process, so we need about 20, 25 percent dedicated in that role, and the multirole then begins to roll into that to continue to service the kinds of targets that will help the Joint Force commander pursue his objectives.
When we talk about employing the expeditionary Air Force in air expeditionary force packages, it is probably important for me to talk about oursome of our modernization programs with respect to the way we actually employ those forces. The first thing we worry about and are concerned with is information superiority. It is important for us to know where and when we should as a nation apply the appropriate amount of influence. Our force is not only in the space environment, but also our day-to-day intelligence surveillance reconnaissance platforms. Many of you know them as low-density, high-demand assets such as Rivet Joint, U2 and others that the other services contribute as well providing us the eyes and the ears to keep our wits about us as some contingency develops. So we must pay close attention to those ISR assets, and we have modernization programs that are under way for those aircraft.
Additionally, once we do become engaged, assets such as the Joint Surveillance and Target Attack Radar System or the Airborne Warning and Control System become very critical not only to application of air force or air power, but also in providing information to each of our other services with respect to incoming threats or threats that are on the ground.
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We are proud of these systems. They are progressing well, but they do need upgrading and completion of the original procurement schedule. Once we know what is going on and once we have a clear understanding of where the threats are gaining, air superiority becomes very important.
We have relied heavily in the United States Air Force on the F15 for years. It is old. We are updating it to keep it as viable as we can while the F22 comes on board. We believe the F22 is a revolutionary aircraft with the attributes of super-cruise stealth, and most important, we think the information fusion and sensor integration will be very important in allowing us the opportunity
Mr. HUNTER. General, while you are talking about F22s. I know Norman brought that up with respect to cost increases. Why don't you address those, so we can get that taken care of?
General MARTIN. Yes, sir. First of all, Mr. Congressman, the numbers that you quote are numbers we are aware of and are correct. They aren't necessarily the numbers that will be executed, and particularly the $667 million that you are talking about. But first let me address the $312 million that you discussed.
When we put the fiscal year 1999 President's Budget together, the 2000 column was listed at $312 million less than what it is listed at today. That was based on models and our best guess as to what the cost would be for Lockheed Martin to deal with its subvendors and produce the early aircraft.
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We are now basing that number on the actual vendor agreements that have occurred with Lockheed Martin and all of the subvendorsBoeing, and Pratt & Whitney and all of those. That cost growth is understood. We don't like it, but, in fact, with the knowledge of how much that is, along with that $667 million potential cost growth and the cost mitigation efforts that both the United States Air Force and the contractor are taking, we intend to remain within the caps.
I must tell you that that is a challenge. We have our work cut out for us.
The caps are the dollar amounts that we relayed to you last year for what we felt the EMDwhat we were programing for Engineering and Manufacturing Development and what we were programming for the 339 aircraft. That does not allow much flexibility. Management reserve is about all the money you have in there.
We are dedicated to those cost caps. We plan on maintaining ourselves within them and so does the contractor. I will not tell you that that does not have its challenges.
To this point, the aircraft has performed exactly as we would have expected from our modeling analysis. We think we may be able to find some offsets within our overall flight test because the performance is spot on to those predictions.
We are also mitigating some costs through several means, but one of them is, we will not require the program to complete its external carriageweapons carriage certification within the program; the Air Combat Command has agreed to that. The majority of the work that will be done with the F22 will be air superiority work, not the external air-to-ground weapons, and we will be able to do that after the program delivers, although I will tell you right now, with the cost mitigation efforts that the program officer has projected, they think they might still be able to get that within the cost cap. But if not, we will defer that and do it under the Sea Eagle program, not an unusual technique and one that may cost less than the actual EMD and test force that we dedicate to our flight test program. We will, however, receive full certification on all of the aircraft or all of the weapons systems that are carried within the aircraft internally, which is the preferred method that we will use and operate the F22 in its air superiority role.
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Does that answer your question, sir?
Mr. SISISKY. You have got a challenge.
General MARTIN. Yes, sir, it is a challenge.
Mr. SISISKY. What does the overhead costthe Lockheed plant with the C130 Js, how does that involve -
General MARTIN. Sir, we are estimating there could be a small increase to the production aircraft, but not in the early stages. We have both the Protection Representative Test Vehicle, lot 1 and through lot 4, the target price curve agreements with Lockheed Martin for the cost per aircraft, and we expect them to maintain the ability to produce the aircraft at that cost.
First, let me just say this about the C130J. There has been lots of press and lots of discussion back and forth on that issue. I think it important to realize that the venerable Hercules is a critical asset to the United States Air Force and the C130J is an appropriate and, we think, very, very fine upgrade to that program that will sustain us well into the next century. The difficulty is size of budget and need for the aircraft.
With the age of the aircraft and the performance of the C130 as we have them today, the C130J production is slightly ahead of need. We have been lucky in that there has been an FMS demand for it. We support that aircraft fully, would love to see that Foreign Military Sales demand continue to bridge the gap between where we are now and when we can afford to buy more C130's starting in the 2002 timeframe. A great airplane, great plan.
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Now, if in fact they go into a position where their overhead costs are so great that we start to see a problem with the F22, I think we have to remember that reasonable overhead is something that the Air Force would be expected to pay. The rest of the C130 problem becomes an issue for Lockheed Martin to deal with in terms of their normal corporate structuring and downsizing.
With any luck, we will find that there will be work to be done in that plan. There are many, many opportunities out there, I think, for that plant to do productive aerospace work on Air Force aircraft or other service aircraft or international aircraft other than just producing C130's. So with any hope, we will work very closely with Lockheed Martin who has been a terrific partner, particularly in this latest last 11/2 to 2 years with the F22 to solve that problem without rolling the cost forward to the F22.
Mr. SISISKY. I will be submitting a list of questions that you can do for the record.
General MARTIN. We will look forward to that and we will get those answers to you.
Sir, as I was mentioning, the F22 will replace the F15. We know from current flight comparisons with adversary aircraft that the F15 in the hands of a capable aviator is the best in the world. However, we also know that other aircraft in capable hands haveare able to threaten it, particularly with some of the weapon systems such as the ISR missiles that are available elsewhere in the world. So we are dedicated to making sure we are able to provide job one, which is an umbrella of air superiority for our services. Once we have achieved that, it becomes very important for us to use those ISR assets, take advantage of that air superiority to pursue the global attack.
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We don't talk about global attack in terms of fighters and bombers anymore; we talk about it in terms of global attack, which includes them both. You will begin to see our road maps and our discussion of global attack include both aircraft; as indeed the most recent engagements that we have had in Southwest Asia have shown, we use a combination of assets to carry out the mission. Of course, the bomber force is underpinned by the B52 for both conventional and nuclear roles. The B1, which is coming on strong now as the multirole bomber, if you will, one that will be able to when it completes its upgrades, will go into low-to-moderate risk areas with both direct overflight and standoff weapons; and of course the B2, which is able to hold an enemy's most prized targets at risk due to its stealth and very, very capable precision capabilities.
As we begin to watch our F16, which is the balance of our multirole force, and our global attack dedicated assets, such as the F15E and the F117 begin to mature and age out, the JSF becomes a very, very important aircraft for us to do the attack mission, and it will have based on its stealth characteristics and its air-to-air weapons array, along with sensor fusion, a very capable air-to-air mission capability as well. So what we will see is our global attack mission and our multirole mission begin to see the JSF replace our F16s.
We have not yet decided on whether there will be a follow-on bomber or a follow-on fighter aircraft. The bomber road map which has just been released talks about the future strike aircraft study that Air Combat Command is working now to determine the characteristics to achieve the correct effect in striking air-to-ground. Of course, all of that is underpinned by our ability to get the force to the theater in a rapid and capable way.
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Our C17 that is coming on is a very, very strong and capable aircraft. The services that it supports have much laudatory, or have many laudatory comments about that aircraft. The C5, of course, in its unique ability to carry outsized and oversized cargo is aging, and we are in the process of looking at an analysis of alternatives to determine the best way to either sustain or begin to augment that capability in the future. And, of course, within the theater the C130 I talked about earlier is an absolute workhorse that we think is critical.
Underneath all of that comes our very important science and technology effort. I would tell you that the ABL to augment our air superiority in the theater missile defense area respond from the kind of work our S&T folks do day in and day out. We are totally dependent on them, and you will notice in our program that we are beginning to migrate more and more of our focus on S&T into the space arena where we think the Air Space Force of the future will be. So all in all, we believe we have a very balanced and time-phased modernization program.
When asked if we could use more, of course we could. But where we are right now, we believe is affordable. It falls within our standard average procurement share of the budget. It has been phased to do that.
We are excited by the opportunities that those aircraft will bring to us. And we believe that we are still today building the world's most respected air and space future. I lookair and space force. I look forward to your questions.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, General.
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[The prepared statement of General Martin can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. General McCorkle?
STATEMENT OF LT. GEN. FREDERICK McCORKLE, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR AVIATION, U.S. MARINE CORPS
General MCCORKLE. Thank you, Congressman Hunter, distinguished members. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to talk to you about Marine aviation. I will make my opening comments brief by saying that I truly believe that we, the Marine Corps, remain most ready only through the dedicated work of all our young Marines out there, but this is also because of the support from Congress, from this body here. And the Marine Corps quite frankly would be down the tubes if it weren't for all of you.
My testimony is submitted for the record and I stand by to answer your questions.
[The prepared statement of General McCorkle can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, General.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. PETER C. FRANKLIN, DEPUTY FOR SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT AND HORIZONTAL TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION, OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY FOR ACQUISITION, LOGISTICS AND TECHNOLOGY, U.S. ARMY
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General FRANKLIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members. It is a pleasure for me to be here today. Before I begin, though, I would like to introduce my backup witness, Brigadier General Tony Stricklin, who represents the operations side of the Army. The Army aviation and modernization plan priorities are, one, to solve the aviation's most critical battlefield deficiency, tactical reconnaissance and security; No. 2, to maintain combat overmatch in the 21st century; No. 3, to enhance command, control, and communication and intelligence and interoperability in a digitized force; No. 4, to recapitalize an aging fleet; and, No. 5, to develop the technology underpinnings for Joint Vision 2010 and Army After Next.
The physical year 1900 budget represents $1.894 billion for modernization, aviation modernization programs, while the FYDP includes $16.524 billion.
I would like to focus on four aircraft. The first is the Comanche aircraft, which solves the No. 1 deficiency in our modernization priorities for aviation. It enhances the information dominance through armed reconnaissance and its ability to tie into the digitized force. It is faster, stealthier, more agile, and more easily sustainable than any other rotary aircraft that we have in the fleet. An example of this is, to maintain the engine on this aircraft, on our other aircraft would take what we would call a general mechanic's tool box. It is about this big by this big by this big, weighs about 40 to 50 pounds. It is replaced by this tool kit.
The aircraft has a level flight speed of 175 knots
Mr. HUNTER. I used to have a tool kit like that. Couldn't do too much with it, but I had a tool kit about that size.
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General FRANKLIN. You would be happier to carry this around in your Basic Terminal Unit pocket, I think. Sir, it has a level flight speed of 175 knots, which is 40 knots faster than the H64D, and it can fly sideways and backwards at 75 knots. Its acoustic signature is six times smaller than the Apache, its infrared signature is three times smaller than the Apache and the radar signature is almost 300 times smaller than the Apache.
The Apache, H64D, while it looks similar to the model that we had in Desert Storm, the H64A is significantly different. If you look at the model, you will see a radar at the top of it. It is a millimeter wave radar that gives us capability that we never had before, and that is to fight in all weather and at night conditions. The millimeter wave radar that you see on fronts can classify, detect 128 targets. It can prioritize 16 of those targets. It can send those targets to other aircraft and to ground forces within 30 seconds.
This aircraft, because of its capability, is three to four times more lethal than the H64 Alpha that we have in the fleet. It also has a radar inferometer that can pick out enemy air defense systems and, combined with its millimeter wave radar, it can attack those air defense systems. It provides about seven times more survivability than the current fleet we have with the H64 Alphas.
The Army modernization strategy requires recapitalization of the utility and cargo fleets also. The UH60 provides general support, air assault, MEDEVAC, and command and control capabilities. First fielded two decades ago, suffering from operational support costs that are beginning to creep, we have decided that we will SLEP the program, which is a Service Life Extension Program, beginning in 1902. This will upgrade the lift, the range and digitization capabilities.
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The CH47 Delta is the Army's only cargo helicopter. Average age of the fleet is over 30 years old. It has been brought up before, and it requires an immediate engine upgrade to recapture lift and range capabilities lost through prior structural modifications. The CH47F, which is our improved cargo helicopter, will extend the life of the CH47 fleet until development of the Joint Transport Rotorcraft. It will do this through vibration reductions, structural modifications and increased digitization compatibility.
Together, these Army aviation modernization efforts will provide our soldiers with the equipment and technology needed to fight and win in the joint battle space of the 21st century. Our efforts, as they have in the past, can only succeed with your continued help and your support. I look forward to your questions.
[The prepared statement of General Franklin can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, General.
Rear Admiral Nathman.
Admiral NATHMAN. It is Nathman, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Excuse me. The floor is yours, sir.
STATEMENT OF REAR ADM. JOHN B. NATHMAN, DIRECTOR, AIR WARFARE DIVISION, OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, U.S. NAVY
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Admiral NATHMAN. Thank you. I appreciate the opportunity to be here this afternoon to testify.
Today we have the Kitty Hawk Battle Group in the Western Pacific, we have the Carl Vinson Battle Group in the Persian Gulf, and the Enterprise Battle Group in the Adriatic. It is clear that those battle groups are there to provide air presence in Bosnia for potential strikes against Serbia in support of the European command, to provide continual support as we diminish the capability of Iraq and southern Iraq for their air defense system, and to provide support for contingency missions in the Western Pacific, specifically against Korea. Our forces are there and our forces are ready.
To me there is an increasing need for these forces and their relevance, a relevance they bring due to their presence, the dominating force and the power projection capability that we get from those carrier battle groups. The centerpiece for those carrier battle groups in terms of power projection comes from those air wings and aircraft on those flight decks, those four and a half acres of American sovereign territory forward deployed. These air wings bring the sustained power projection, they bring the lethality, the precision and the coherence of the way we train and fight.
Now, the centerpiece of those carrier wings right now are our strike fighters, the F14, the EA6 B and the F18, in terms of the capability that they bring. As a task force commander last year in the Persian Gulf with two carrier battle groups and some 20 other ships, I had an opportunity to watch us plan and develop Desert Thunder, and I understand clearly the power and capability that we bring to the warfighting CINCs with our presence and the unique power projection capability that we bring and the capability to get there.
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I would like to take a few minutes to talk about what I think is the future for those air wings in terms of their power projection capability, and that is the F18E/F Super Hornet. The Super Hornet program in my view, as you heard earlier, is a model program. It is on time. It is at or under cost. It is clearly underway. We already have some 4,290 flight hours on the aircraft and some 3,800 flights.
It is delivering exactly what we have asked it to deliver, from range, weapons carriage, survivability, bring-back, not only for it to carry those very sophisticated weapons but also to provide extra pilot safety and the growth against potential and future threats. It is a superb strike fighter. It fits perfectly into our concept of options for power projection. Right now the airplane is ready for OPEVAL. We have completed some 98 percent of our testing. It begins sea trials, carrier tests on the U.S.S. Truman today on the Virginia Capes.
One of the keys in procuring this particular aircraft in terms of savings and the ability to take advantage of the money that we have in terms of our aircraft modernization procurement programs is the multiyear procurement for the Super Hornet. Frankly, the multiyear procurement is everything you would expect it to be, and you would expect the naval service and the Department of Defense to come forward with this type of presentation.
Our multiyear procurement program will save Congress and the American taxpayer some $704 million over the FYDP. It will save this year alone some $147 million. The Navy literally gets 220 aircraft for the price of 200. It meets all the criteria for multiyear: substantial savings, great warfighting capability, a stable requirement, stable funding, and most importantly, stable configuration.
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Before we commit funds to any type of multiyear, we will have the opportunity to complete the operational evaluation of that aircraft, which completes in October of this year. The multiyear is fully supported by the Secretary of the Navy as well as the Secretary of Defense.
Let me conclude by saying the purpose of my being here is an opportunity to make sure that our young men and women, our pilots, our maintenance crews, our officers, men and women, are provided with the most cost effective, combat efficient and safe aircraft and equipment to support their needs at the tip of the spear. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Admiral Nathman can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Admiral Nathman.
And General Kenne.
STATEMENT OF MAJ. GEN. LESLIE F. KENNE, JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER PROGRAM EXECUTIVE OFFICER, U.S. AIR FORCE
General KENNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Good afternoon, distinguished Congressman. I am Leslie Kenne, director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program and I appreciate the opportunity to be here today to testify. I have a brief statement now and a more detailed one for the record.
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The primary focus of Joint Strike Fighter has been, from the inception of the program, affordability. That is what our warfighters want, is an affordable weapons system that meets their needs.
There are three key drivers, in my opinion, to affordability. One is jointness. There was a study done in 1996 that said if each service did the program, each unique aircraft, and developed it separately, there would be a certain cost; if they did it jointly, the cost would be almost half. The cost avoidance was in the order of $16 billion by jointly developing a family of aircraft. Joint Strike Fighter is doing that.
A second aspect that is a key driver is commonality. In this program there is a family of aircraft being developed that have a tremendously high degree of commonality across the designs, 70 to 80 percent commonality. Joint Strike Fighter is taking every advantage of that to keep the weapons system affordable, not only in its manufacturing but over 30 to 40 years of supporting it among three services and allies. You have a tremendous number of common parts of the weapons system.
The third aspect is affordable requirements. It is hard to have an affordable weapons system if you don't start with a requirement that is affordable. Our warfighters have been involved in the last three to three and a half years integrally with us and industry, understanding the cost of what they are asking for and doing trades between performance and the cost of the weapons system. An example is, they have chosen a single-engine versus a two-engine aircraft, a significant cost saving over the life cycle of this system, and that was not a trivial trade on their part.
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The rest of the program, the engines that are being developed right now were developed in record time. They cranked up and ran the very first time. There are two separate engines for each of the designs that are being proposed by our two contractors, Boeing and Lockheed, and these are both engines, both derivatives of the F119 engine that is in the F22. That engine is performing exceedingly well. We are very, very pleased with the progress that we see in the propulsion area.
The demonstration aircraft that are being developed are being built as we speak in Seattle, St. Louis, and in Palmdale, California, and we expect to fly them next spring.
Not all is perfect in the program. We are 2 years into a 12-year development for the Joint Strike Fighter and we are experiencing some cost growth. We are dialoguing currently with the contractors to come to some resolution on how to handle those issues, and we will do that. We have skinned our knee. There are ways to fix it. We should have resolution by mid to late March, and we prebriefed the committee staff on the issues. We plan to come back to the committee staff once we have resolution and tell them, share with them how we plan to solve the problem, but it is not insurmountable.
Whatever we do to solve the problem, the program is generally very healthy in its maturing technology, in its getting the aircraft built, in designing the final proposed design that will be given to the government, and we anticipate that anything that we do, we will be able to still deliver the aircraft on schedule withinfor the needs of the services.
This is also an international program. We have six partners in the program. Our largest investor is the United Kingdom, but we have five other partners in Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Canada, and Italy, all of whom have representatives working with us and participating in our program office here in Washington.
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So my message to you today, Mr. Chairman, is that as we prepare to meet the fiscal and threat demands of the 21st century, Joint Strike Fighter is focused on reducing the cost of the manufacturing and production of the Joint Strike Fighter and also, very significantly, its support costs over the life of the system. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of General Kenne can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you very much, General Kenne. I want to askfirst, we have the Ranking Member of the full committee, Mr. Skelton, and the chairman of the full committee, Mr. Spence, with us. Floyd, do you have any questions you would like to ask?
The CHAIRMAN. No, I don't. I just appreciate your having this hearing and appreciate all the participants today. Thank you for coming.
Mr. HUNTER. Ike?
Mr. SKELTON. General, what was the name of that aircraft carrier from which you did the test flights?
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, the airplane is going out right now on the Truman.
Mr. SKELTON. That is what I thought you said.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral NATHMAN. That is right.
Mr. HUNTER. Thank you, Mr. Skelton. I have got to step out for just a second. Mr. Bateman is next up for questions. So Herb, I would ask you to take the chair if you could for us, and go ahead with your questions.
Mr. BATEMAN. [Presiding.] I certainly have been playing a game of musical chairs this afternoon, for which I apologize to my colleagues.
The principal question I wanted to ask is a generic one, not dealing with a specific program, but we are generally concerned here today with modernization. We have had any number of witnesses from the secretariat and members of the Joint Chiefs who indicated that in recent past years we have been sacrificing modernization in order to sustain our readiness. I don't challenge doing that if that is what you are forced to do. But I would like your comment on why is it that we are continuing, it seems, to defer modernization and reequipment which is equally as important, and we are still encountering very significant concerns and degradation in readiness. It seems the strategy isn't working, if it was supposed to be sustaining our readiness capability. You all have any comments on that?
General MARTIN. Congressman Bateman, I would say that is a difficult question with many faces, but perhaps a couple of thoughts on that. First of all, the cost of readiness varies according to the mode of operating, but from an Air Force perspective, we have changed our mode of operating since the Desert Storm conflict.
I don't think that we knew as we went into that what the true costs were, particularly given all the moving parts, in terms of force structure reduction and the continuing modernization that we had under way at that time. But as we began to realizeand the budgets came down significantly, so we did everything we could to keep everything going as best we could, and I think we put the load of performance on the troops, on the backs of the troops that are engaged and being heavily used each day.
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When we understood that and it became apparent about 3 years ago, we began to work the spares accounts and the O&M accounts very hard. That did cause fairly significant reductions, or at least a continued flat line on the procurement. I think we had about a 2-year point of flat line after a rather dramatic reduction.
The near-term readiness may be the most critical thing to sustaining a force that will have the opportunity to use the modernization product, which is ouror the product that is our long-term readiness. And as we have gone through a period of fairly significant attrition and retention issues, I think that deserves our closest and most important attention, particularly in the environment we find ourselves internationally, where most people will tell you if there is a chance to take a risk, you can probably do that here.
So we have tried to keep a balanced program, meaning that we were still pushing forward with modernization, albeit at a slow rate, one; two, a stretched out and more expensive rate in the long term, but nonetheless deferring those bills while we understood and took care of the people that are doing the mission that we ask of them. And the people need to know that someone cares about them today and tomorrow, someone cares about the facilities they are operating in and living in and, last but not least in priority, but the equipment and job that they are asked to do has the attention and the resources so that they can be successful.
Those are the measures, I think, that an individual uses to determine whether the job that he or she is being asked to do is worth it. And we may have slipped below their expectations for a while, but I think they are seeing we are serious about fixing that first, and we will handle the new stuff as best we can within that top line allowance.
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General MCCORKLE. As we started this budget progress, Marine Corps aviation we felt we were about $5 billion short of being where we wanted to be, thanks to the top line increase from Congress. That still leaves us about $3 billion over the Future Year Defense Plan. When you look at that and when you look at it from a Marine Corps perspective in balancing the legacy systems, as you know, with modernization or whatever, it really does put us in a bind.
I said before I came up here I was an aircraft wing commander, Third Marine Aircraft Wing, for 2 years with 17,000 Marines, and I watched over the last 4 years our mission capable rates slide about 10 percent. I think it was mentioned that General Still had talked to this group. Their flight hours rose over the last 4 years 43 percent, from $3,300 dollars and some change and now to $3,337 an hour, which is really significant when you are sitting out there as an aircraft wing commander and you are trying to decide whether to buy parts or whatever else you are going to do.
We have also seen the mission capable rates, because of supply, go down because of parts, as was mentioned early on. And this has been put on the backs of the young Marines, sailors, airmen, soldiers, or whoever, and speaking, I think, for all of us up here.
Mr. BATEMAN. General Franklin, you have any observations?
General FRANKLIN. Just one point to add, and that is, it is a delicate balance between near-term readiness and between far-term readiness. We are expected to be able to fight the Nation's wars at any time, anywhere in the world. And to do that, we have to have the trained and ready forces and we have to retain the right type of forces to do that.
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And so I would just echo that we do take some risk in the modernization accounts and it does cause programs to be stretched out. It does cause those programs to rise in cost.
Mr. BATEMAN. Admiral?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. I would say there has been a great deal of focus on readiness by naval aviation and naval service. Inside of our interdeployment training cycle we are very concerned about our decline in readiness for nondeployed forces, and the ability to get them ready for the end of their training and to deploy them, because our forces are on scene.
I think we have made significant investments over the last several years in flight hours, in spares, in outfitting, in trying to expend money on depot, to repair aircraft, to make up for some aircraft inventory shortfalls, and to go after some engine problems that we have. We have made those investments with a great deal of pressure, of course, on our modernization, our ability to keep our force new.
As a result of that, we have seen some higher operational and support costs as our airplanes continue to age. We certainly have seen a lot higher flight hour costs as we try to put more money into that so pilots can fly. That certainly aggravates our readiness issues, and we have to watch very carefully the readiness of our nondeployed forces because of that.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Chief of Naval Operations has an above core list that I think outlines our needs in terms of the modernization accounts that we would like to invest in. So I appreciate the opportunity. I think that is part of the record. Thank you, sir.
Mr. BATEMAN. Thank you, Admiral.
General Kenne, do you have any comments you want to add?
General KENNE. No.
Mr. BATEMAN. Mr. Pickett.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Franklin, last year when this committee was holding a hearing on attack air issues, we heard from the chief Comanche test pilot who told us that the helmet-mounted display, such as the electroptic sight system and the helmet integrated display sight system added tremendously to the capability of the aircraft overall, because it allowed the pilot to devote more attention and time to warfighting as opposed to operating the aircraft. At that time I think the Army expressed support for that system, and I would just like to know how you feel about that now.
Sir, we think both the electrooptical site system that the pilot mentioned in the meetingor in the testimony last year along with other things, such as liquid crystal device, helmet mounted displays, and we are looking at also miniaturized FCRs, fire control radars, for the Comanche that we are looking at, we are bringing those in. We would like to bring them in faster if we could. But right now we do have those planned as part of the program.
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Mr. PICKETT. Would you support some additional funding for that if it became available? I notice on one of your priority lists if you get additional funding for the Army air program.
General FRANKLIN. Sir, the No. 1 priority in the hardware part of the one to end list that was sent over by General Lander was the Comanche for $56 million, which would address that Extended Operation Systems as well as allow us to put some more fly dollars on the second prototype.
Mr. PICKETT. OK, thank you. Admiral Nathman, I know you have talked a bit about F18 E and F program, but the Navy has a lot of support aircraft, and they are in inventory, and I don't think that an assessment and review has been made recently about the future of these different aircraft systems that you are going to be required to maintain into the future.
So I am speaking now about airborne early warnings, sea based theatre missile defense and surveillance and targeting and the carry onboard delivery, those kind of support aircraft. Is it the Navy's intention to conduct a study on your requirements in the 8 years for these kind of aircraft, and are you doing it now? Do you plan to do it?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. Sir, to answer your question specifically, we are funding a study right now internal to naval aviation to look at where these missions should reside. We believe that the missionswe support the surveillance missions. We need the airborne early warning capability. We need the precision strike and targeting mission.
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We need the intelligence and warning mission. What we need to understand clearly is where we need to go with these missions and what airframes to put them into. We clearly intend to ask for funding in the future, to fund a study to look at where are these requirements, where these missions should migrate to and what particular airframes are on.
To answer some of the things specifically that we are doing right now, we are funding right now a demonstration for an upgrade to the radar for the E2 that will help us specifically with supporting lodgments of shore against overland cruise missile defense, as well as very precise targeting.
We are looking at the capabilities that we have right now and the investments we are making in the P3 in its anti-circuitous warfare improvement program to provide that capability to look into the littoral, to find out how we can target these types of targets. And we are upgrading slowly the S3 to keep it from becoming more obsolescent. It is a concern. But we need to understand this so we intend, sir, in the future to ask for money to study where these missions ought to be and what these airframes ought to look at.
We still have some capacity in the airframe life and in the P3 and the C2 and the S3 and in the E2 to wait some time, wait some time before we have to make that decision. I think we need a well-founded analysis before we make that decision, sir.
Mr. PICKETT. Have you established a timeframe as to when you expect to commence and conclude that study?
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I think our intent would be to ask for the money in the upcoming FYDP, and that would probably take a couple of years to do that and then we can make the decisions about where those missions should reside and how we should upgrade, should we provide a new start, should we just transfer the mission to another airframe, or should we upgrade the capability in the airframes that we have now.
Mr. PICKETT. Finally, in the test and evaluation of the F18 E and F, it seems to have gotten more publicity than most other aircraft programs. I don't know the reason for that. But maybe I can use some of your publicity people myself sometimes because they do a good job of getting publicity on this issue.
But one of the things that is being talked about are the so-called deficiencies in the program. Would you care to comment where you are on that and how do you expect to dispose of those?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, I would, sir. I think it is important to understand that right now the airplane is ready for OPEVAL. Right now the airplane is meeting all its critical performance parameters that were approved by the Joint Resource Council inside the Chairman. We conduct specifically about the deficiencies. You may be talking about the O2T BRAVO test report.
I would like to comment on a couple of those right now to give you an example. First of all, the OT2 BRAVO test was a series of three operational tests to develop the airplane. It is kind of how you want toyou have an operational test and a development test to get this airplane for OPEVAL. Operational Evaluation is the final exam for the airplane. So you would expect in the development of this airplane right now that you would have some deficiencies, but here is some examples of what we have done.
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Some of the deficiencies noted was that we had weak brakes in the airplane. We have fixed the brakes. There was a discussion about the fact that there was a concern about pilots climbing aboard this leading edge extension on the airplane. The Super Hornet has a much larger extension. I had the opportunity to fly the airplane last week, it is a much larger Leading Edge Extension, you have to be careful. But it is not a safety issue. It is just a matter of a pilot understanding that it is a larger piece of extension that he has got to climb over to get into his ejection seat of the airplane.
We had some real criticisms in the airplane, but this goes with developing the airplane, about the maneuvering performance of the airplane. One of our concerns which we saw in the F18 C was the stability of the airplane, that we have been losing airplanes to spin in departures. And in fact one of our goals was to make sure we had a very stable airplane.
We may in fact have made it too stable. But recently we have corrected that with software changes to the flight control computers in the airplane. I flew the airplane last week. It is a wonderful airplane. It is a wonderful strike fighter. Now it has got great maneuvering performance.
We fixed the ability to slice the nose off, to rate the airplane around, we are going to keep it, I think, as an airplane that will not only bethat meets the threat today, it is an airplane that we can grow to challenge any type of threat in the future with the right type of architecture in that airplane, which would include a helmet mounted cueing site, very agile weapons like the A9X and an electronically scanned radar.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. PICKETT. How many hours did you say that thisthese test models have been flown now today, sir?
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, we have flown about 3800 and I think 3850 flights. And we have about 4,300 test hours right now in the airplane. So it is very mature. Our configuration is very stable. The airplanes that we approve for LRIP 3 this year are the same configurations that we propose for the multiyear.
Mr. PICKETT. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes, sir. I thank you, Mr. Pickett.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Gentleman, thank you for your service to this Nation. General McCorkle, I just have a quick question with you on the Marine aviation side. You have 18 squadrons of Hornets today; 6 of which, 6 squadrons have no capability of employing the AIM20, the AMRAAM missile. Six of those squadrons as well have no capability of employing self designating target selection.
Do you intend to maintain those 6 squadrons in that configuration or do you intend to modernize them? If you do, what is going to be the cost of modernization of those 6 squadrons of Hornets?
General MCCORKLE. Well, as we transition into the Marine Corps to the joint strike fighter, we felt like, as you know, that skipping and going straight to the joint strike fighter from the C and D and also from the AV8 was a way to go to the Marine Corps, and that was the cheapest and that would provide us with the best strategy.
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There are some things that we need to do to the F18, particularly to the early models that will take us out to the joint strike fighter. And we believe right now that the ECP, engineering change proposal, 583 will get us there. This proposal allows the early model F18s to be as capable in the avionic system as the lot 17 F18s are right now, and that is a total cost of approximately $4.5 million per aircraft.
This engineering change proposal, which Admiral Nathman and I have both worked on will allow this aircraft to do JDAM, AMRAAM, it will put the R210 suite in there also and will make this aircraft capable to be invited to the fight. And it will also give us the APG73, the radar upgrade, which is in the later model Hornets, so the young captains that are flying this thing out there in the year 2010, or whatever, will be as capable in that aircraft as they are in the late model F18s.
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you. General, one final question to you. You heard your colleague there to your right describe the fact that the C130J model is already ahead of production. Knowing the Marine situation with C130's, the need for the air refueling capability of the C130 that is going to replace much of the old 130's now being operated by the Marines, do you agree with your colleague that you can afford to put off till the year 2002 the C130J model?
General MCCORKLE. No, sir, I can't. As you know, KC130J has not been in the Marine Corps' budget and the Commandant has written a letter to the Hill saying that the MV22 and some other things took precedence over there. We do have two aircraft right now in the budget, thanks to Congress, we currently have 7 KC130's that have been given us by the Congress, and this aircraft, which I have flown, I can tell you is light years ahead of the old KC130. Our current F models, the average age is 37 years, and next year our first one will be 40 years of age, almost as old as me.
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So they are getting old. We are having problems with them. We just recentlythis nation was going to do a mission in Africa, it ended up taking 5 KC130's out of the Marine Corps to get 2 of them over to do a non-combatant Evaluation Operation and two engine failures on the way, another aircraft had to carry the engines over. KC130J we think is great.
We are working real hard with the Navy to get some of those in the budget, and we would appreciate any of the help that we can get from Congress. If the Air Force don't want them, the Marine Corps will be happy to take them.
Mr. GIBBONS. I understand. And there is a few others out there in the inventory of 130 markets, including the Guard and Reserves, which are far different in their needs as well than the active Duty.
Mr. Chairman, I will have some additional questions on this 130 production, the road map plans for all of that for the witnesses later. Thank you very much.
The CHAIRMAN. Certainly. I thank you, Mr. Gibbons. Mr. Snyder.
Mr. SNYDER. I don't think I have any questions. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Spratt.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SPRATT. Thank you all for your testimony, and I have had the pleasure of being briefed by several of you in recent weeks, and they were good briefings and encouraging. I hope the positive signs continue, particularly Major General Kenne, interested to see what you are doing with the JSF, it brings together things we have been talking about for a long time, the services have been talking about, the joint fighter, which lots of people felt never could be accomplished, particularly with three services participating and the technology you are trying to bring together at affordable prices.
I think it is a challenge and a revolution. If you can pull it off, it will be quite an accomplishment. And I am just reading quickly your testimony because I didn't get to hear all of it. What struck me is that everybody comes back to this theme of the technical overmatch. We clearly want to outpace and outclass our competitor in the foreseeable future, but there is a price to pay for that. When we push the envelope sometimes, the margin cost of getting themthe final marginal benefit of pushing the envelope hard can run the system up considerably.
As you look at the systems you are developing, just take them one by one, what are you really concerned about, what are you watching for likely cost growth, and what sort of program management have you set up in order to be attendant for that early on so you can take steps either to stop it, abate it or nip it in the bud?
General MARTIN. Congressman Spratt, I think that when you take a look at many of the Air Force's modernization programs, whether they be in the air or in space, they are very high tech and state-of-the-art systems. The F22 is certainly one of those systems. It looks like we have had very reasonable success with the engine development, the concept of being able to sustain supersonic flight without use of after burner for extended periods of time at various substantial market numbers is revolutionary and the folks at Pratt and Whitney have done a superb job on that engine.
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And we look forward to seeing that engine roll into the JSF and also the General Electric, intoadd competition to that which will help us drive the price down. So from an engine perspective, I think we have some challenges. Every now and then we will find a fatigue failure or a difficulty in the fan section that we have not anticipated, and so we will go through some maturation and growth in the next few years.
I think what is important though is that the system is attuned to that and there are no chances being taken when a system or one of those difficulties pops up. So a lot of effort there and of course our Integrated High Performance Turbine Engine Technology program is working very hard at technological insertion into that activity.
But although we have no reason to be seriously concerned about where the engine is, what we are asking that engine to do is very challenging, and we are watching very carefully. I think IHPTET will help us in that area.
Mr. SPRATT. What about the integration of your avionics and the one screen on the balance? It is kind of a low profile issue, but it is a real technical change as I understand.
General MARTIN. It turns out thatI would just say that, for whatever reason, the Sleeper, in terms of being able to provide our modern forces, and I think this is true in all services, the capability or the activity that will give them the greatest punch for their effort tends to be now in the integration of information, the assessment of that information, the modeling simulation and analysis of the circumstances, the development of courses of action and likely outcomes.
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We have become used to watching the television channel show what the weather not only has been, is, but pretty reliably tell you what it will be. That is why we run out of milk in 1996 when the snowstorm hit here, everybody believed the snowstorm was coming because the model analysis simulation was clear to everyone. That is the kind of integration we are looking for on an airplane like the F22, where we are taking every electron that is out there of significance, pulling it together and displaying it in a way that gives our crew members the information they need to understand the situation and understand the consequences of their actions.
What we are doing to mitigate the costs of that doesn't sound very revolutionary, but it is fairly significant and that is the flying test bed being operated at Boeing where we have the radar on the nose and now we have the wind sweep attached above the cockpit section. That aircraft has just finished its flight certification profile and will now put somewhere between 15 and 30 engineers on board for 5 to 6-hour flights, each to be able to do the software assessment, integration and oftentimes changes on the spot to gather that information and to display it in an appropriate manner.
We will also have crew members as a part of that force to make sure the information that is being displayed will be displayed in a manner that is useful to the decisionmaker. When it comes to stealth, we are in what I would consider to be a fairly significant evolutionary growth in our ability to apply, to understand the types of coatings that will make the biggest difference, and then pay very close attention to the application and maintenance of those coatings so we will reduce the maintenance costs per flying hour.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The JSF I think will be the largest beneficiary of the learning curves we have gone through. We are not out of the woods with that. The work we are doing with the B2 and the high frequency materials will be very useful to us and, of course, the work that we are doing with the F22 will be significant, but still behind where we expect the JSF to be.
So when it comes to the F22, several areas that we are working on. I alluded to the B2. I would say in addition to the observability feature, one of the areas that we are paying very, very, close attention to is the planning and avionic system integration. There are risks there when you are talking about being able to fuse the information to properly display the enemy order of battle, understand its effect on the platform that would be penetrating it and then put that into a useful format quickly to be able to do near real-time mission planning.
We have come a long way, it would take somewhere between 50 and 60 hours to plan those missions just 2 years ago. We are into the 8-hour ballpark now. That is not good enough, we are working it down further. So that kind of integration is important.
When it comes to our cargo systems, I would just say that the C17, as you know, has just been a magnificent performer recently. But interestingly enough as new as it is, the software and computer systems and avionic systems on those aircraft are of the 1980's design and at the pace that we are moving through those types of technologies, they are out of date and maxed out.
So we are having to redo some of those even on a new aircraft in order to be able to accommodate some of the mission planning capability and the global air traffic management or access to navigation space. So ultimately I think the comments that you are making are absolutely critical. We have focused on them and are beginning to, we think, make some fairly significant progress.
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Mr. SPRATT. General McCorkle, it is unique enough for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps all to be buying the same airplane but in your case it is going to be reconfigured for a vertical takeoff capability and that requires changes in the airframe and the engine. Are you comfortable with this, or do you see it as a significant area of risk?
General MCCORKLE. I can tell you that the joint strike fighter is absolutely critical to the Marine Corps and to our future, since it is replacing the F18 and the AV8. Right now we don't, and I have visited both factories and looked at what both companies have to offer, we don't see anything as a great risk. Our greatest challenge we see in there, and I think the greatest challenge to the aircraft is the STOVL variant and putting the integrated flight control system and propulsion system together.
When I look at this aircraft and look at what you said with all the services coming together and making it a joint, I think that it is probably going to be the most affordable and most capable aircraft that this country has ever bought, and the Marine Corps is really looking forward to it. I think a lot of the risk that was there in the program has gone away in the last 2 years.
We still have challenges, as my colleague said, but we are getting a great deal out of what has happened on the F22 and other aircraft, and we are really happy with the way the program is going.
I would add, since I am kind of on the stage here for a couple more seconds, on another aircraft that a lot of people had talked about on risk, the MV22, for this distinguished body I got to fly that aircraft about a month ago. And when I looked at the jet engine and the invention of the jet engine, the invention of the helicopter, I put the MV22 right there with it. At the end of the runway, I could take the fastest helo that the Marine Corps has, one that I lost five of in Vietnam, this H46 and 120 knots and I was pulling back on the power to stay below 250 knots; 46 will carry 3,000 pounds, MV22s 10,000 pounds, and we have put 20,000 pounds in it.
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And we are supposed to go 2100 nautical miles with one air-to-air refueling and we are capable of 2600. So that is a real success story. Hopefully the joint strike fighter will be as good.
Mr. SPRATT. General Franklin, there have been concerns for a long time maybe the Army was asking the Comanche to do too many things, be a scout helicopter, an attack helicopter, have a stealth airframe, and seeing your testimony you call it the quarterback of the battlefield of the future. Are you concerned about bringing all of these capabilities onto one airframe?
General FRANKLIN. Well, certainly, sir, of the four aircraft, that is the one that is in the premilestone two decision point right now, so we are into risk reduction. We understand the capability of being able to add the stealth, being able to reduce the Infrared signatures, being able to reduce the acoustic signature, and being able to do the types of mission that that aircraft has.
Now to handle that risk, we have done several things. First of all, while we only have one prototype flying, it has accomplished more in its early stages of flying 129 hours than we have in other previous prototype. It has already expanded the envelope to 175 knots forward speed, 75 knots side and backwards speeds. It has gone to 9600 feet altitude.
In the first 12 hours that we had that helicopter, we had a military pilot flying. To reduce the risk in the program, we have accelerated the bringing in of the mission equipment package, and we have also had some breakthroughs in the fire control radar so that we can miniaturize that and put that on the Comanche up to 5 years earlier than what we were planning.
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It is one of the best run programs in the Department of Defense. It has shown about less than 2 to 3 percent in costs and schedule variance, which is six times less than a normal program in this area. So while the technologies are challenging, I believe that we have a sufficient program to address those challenges.
Mr. SPRATT. Fine. Admiral Nathman, and, General Kenne, you have both answered my questions, Admiral Nathman in your case through somebody else, but they gave us a very good briefing on F/A18 and General Kenne, good luck JSF. Truly a revolutionary program acquisition. And we hope you pull it off, but it looks like you are succeeding so far.
Thank you very much for your testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. Mr. Saxton. And Mr. Jones will be right with you. See, you started this thing by letting Mr. Gibbons go in front of you, because he had to leave, now everybody knows they can prey on you like this. Mr. Saxton.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to ask General Franklin a couple of questions if I may. General, it has been brought to my attention that the Army has an unfunded requirement for the Apache amounting to some $45 million involving the Apache Longbow systems processor, apparently relating to obsolescence. I also understand that obsolescence has a serious impact on the future of the Apache multiyear two program.
What do you contemplate or what steps are you taking to solve this issue and how important is the production program, how important is the $45 million to this program?
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General FRANKLIN. Sir, as you are aware, we are embarking on a multiyear, we are going to be requesting a multiyear starting in 2001 year to buy the rest of the 298 aircraft. What we have now recognized, and we did not recognize this until January, is that we have an obsolescence problem because the other aircraft were built on 1990's technology. We have performances spec. We are moving away from the mil specs, many of the parts are obsolete. We cannot buy those.
So we recognize that we will have to fix this before we go into the next multiyear production. We have several ways that we are looking at that. We are going to explore that over the next proof of manufacture bill, but what we are doing immediately is to address that within the program office to see how they can fund that now, and then we can look at replacing that money in 2001.
Mr. SAXTON. Is there anything that our committee needs to do to be helpful to you?
General FRANKLIN. Sir, if there was $45 million available above the top line, then that certainly would help this problem.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. With regard to the Chinook, one of the Army top's unfunded priorities for fiscal year 2000 is 56.1 million to ramp up the CH47 F engine conversions I believe to a number of 120 a year.
General FRANKLIN. That is correct, sir.
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Mr. SAXTON. I understand that the same problem exists for 2001. Just speaking from my side of the table, it doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to ramp up and then immediately in 2001 ramp back down. And so if Congress provides the additional funds for 2000, will the Army commit to fund 120 engines for 2001?
General FRANKLIN. Sir, I will take that question for the record and get back to you on that. I do recognize that that would provide a ramp up and a lessor amount in 2000. But I have to tell you that CH47 is very important to the Army. We recognize that, and we recognize that we will need to address that as we build this next budget.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. Let me return to Apache Longbow for just a minute. This question involving 530 Apache Longbows or 740. I am confused frankly. I guess the question is this, which costs more 530 Apache Longbow, a program with 500 radars, or 740 Apache Longbow programs of 227 radars? Apparently those are two options that you are looking at. And how muchwhat is the difference in the cost, which costs more and what is the difference in the costs?
General FRANKLIN. Sir, the Army isduring the development of the last year's POM, the Army recognized that we had an issue in the 2006 and 2008 timeframe. And that was being able to build both the Comanche and the A64 deltas at the same time. We also knew that the objective force for the A64 delta would be 475, and that we would meet that objective force in 2005. So we made a very tough decision that we would stop production of the Longbow Apache at 530.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The requirement was still to upgrade all of our Apaches, which we have 746 of those on hand right now. The program as listed right now funds in the POM 530 aircraft and 241 radars. It also funds 79 radars in Advanced Procurement Plan, which is not the full 500 radars. And so right now if you compared the plans, the 530 is cheaper, but we are not buying the full 500 radars.
What we are doing now, though, is assessing those radars to determine how many of those radars we need and we hope to have that assessment completed by 1 October.
Mr. SAXTON. I am still confused, and I am sure it is not your fault, it is probably just me. But let me ask you, are we spending more for 530 Apache Longbows with 500 radars, or would it cost more forto convert 748 Apache Longbows with 227 radars?
General FRANKLIN. Yes, sir. The costs would be very close to each other, but the issue was being able to afford to buy Longbow Apaches at the same time we were buying Comanches, and Comanche is our No. 1 priority.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman. Mr. Maloney.
Mr. MALONEY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your testimony. Thank you for your dedication for aviation modernization, it really is critical to us. Let me follow up a little bit. We were talking about rotary aircraft. Let me follow up a little bit, particularly General Franklin, if I could, on the issue of the Chinooks that we were just talking about.
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If the additional priority money was made available, the unfunded requirement, could you just give us an idea of the impact on deployment? What would happen on the ground in forward areas like Korea, and what would happen in regard to the Guard and Reserve units if we could in fact provide this additional funding?
General FRANKLIN. Sir, if we could ramp up to 120 going up to 180 engines per year, we would be able to accelerate the fielding of this to Korea by about 30 months, and we would be able to accelerate the Guard and Reserve between 18 and 24 months.
Mr. MALONEY. Very good. Well, I think that is an important consideration, and I know we will work on that during this session. And then let me do one other rotary aircraft, which is also, General Franklin, in your purview, which is the Blackhawk, if you could just give us a little summary of where we stand on the modernization program and, if I could just direct your attention, I know you know about it, in the Army fiscal year 2000 unfunded priorities list, the fifth priority on modernization band 1 is the Blackhawk service life extension program and the L/Q procurement.
Could you just talk to us about that, bring us up to date a little bit and comment on, if you would, the fact thatI know you have a plan and a program, but in fiscal year 2000 we have no money set out.
General FRANKLIN. Yes, sir. First of all, we recognized last year and we reported to you last year in order to complete all the UH60's that we need for the war fight that we needed to procure an additional 90 aircraft to support the National Guard. At that time we had only had 50 of those funded. I would say even despite very big pressure to bring down some of our modernization programs last year, we were able to find enough money to fund 89 of those.
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So we are one short on that. So now that will take ourthe UH60's out for several years of procurement. We also would like to be able to produce or procure the kits to make some UH60 Q models for the medical people. So those are our priorities in those unfunded requirements.
The other one is that last UH60 helicopter will get us up to 90. I will also say in the emergency supplemental, we had in the Johnson City, Tennessee tornado destroyed two of our UH1s and two of our UH60 Blackhawks. And we will be looking to replace those in the supplemental for about 3.8 million.
Mr. MALONEY. Very good gentlemen. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. And now Mr. Jones.
Mr. JONES OF NORTH CAROLINA. Mr. Chairman, I think you were showing this distinguished panel as to how you treat PFCs on the committee. No, I am just joking. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and to the distinguished panel, thank you, as many of my colleagues have done, for your service to our Nation and your leadership also.
Mr. Chairman, I am going a little bit different direction, because I want to talk about readiness and also about our aviator suit. If I might start, as most on this committee know, I have four military bases in my district Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro and Cherry Point Marine Air Station, and also the Navy Depo at Cherry Point, and then the Coast Guard base in Elizabeth City, which again as you know is on the transportation.
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General McCorkle, I will start this by asking you a question, but I want to read some comments. I wrote an editorial for a paper, and I want you to if you will respond, give me a chance to read and then make a comment. Then I want to ask you. In this editorial that I wrote I said, since 1994, AV8B full mission capability rates have steadily declined from nearly 80 percent in 1994 to a low point of 48 percent in 1998, where the average Harrier pilot flew 242 hours in 1992; in 1998, the average dropped to 105, barely sufficient to maintain official flight status.
I bring that up, Mr. Chairman, because in January 1998, I was asked by a former Air Force Colonel Jack Trabuko, who flew during the Vietnam war in F4 and won the Civil Star because of a night mission to meet with two Harrier pilots at his little airport. He has about 8 planes that he teaches flying and also maintains a flying service. And these pilots from Cherry Point, General McCorkle, one was a captain, the other a major. And they asked to meet with me out of uniform at the Jack Trabuko's hangar office.
And we talked and I think I listened for an hour and a half. And I was somewhat spellbound by these two men that were telling me that basically they verified these figures that I gave you, and both of them said that they were not getting adequate flying time in the Harrier. They were not getting the same combat training, fewer hours. In fact, they told me that many times on the weekend they were going to Mr. Trabuko's to rent planes just to get up in the air.
And I realize with all the effort to balance the budget, which we all agree needs to be done and the military trying to get as much as it can out of the dollar, I was somewhat taken aback by the story. And I can tell this committee today that we lost a captain and a major that retired. In fact, one of them has a flying service in Greenville, North Carolina which is in my district.
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And I guess what I am saying if these numbers which I hope, because I used them in an editorial, are correct, my concern is how in the world can we expect whether it be the Air Force, General Martin, or Admiral of the Navy, how can we expect our men and women in many cases that are combat pilots to be ready, combat ready to be able to defend this Nation and take care of themselves quite frankly?
So I guess my question on that, General McCorkle, would be if my numbers are correct that I used, will you please tell me and then I think I will ask General Martin, because of the F15 pilots I have had similar conversations with from Goldsboro, will you tell me what we are going to do to give these pilots the adequate time in that cockpit that they need to defend this Nation's interests?
General MCCORKLE. Well, when you are talking about the AV8first of all and as you know, since you own the district down there, this is an aircraft that is very difficult to fly. And, in my opinion, an AV8 pilot needs to get 20 to 25 hours minimum a month in order to be ready to go to war for this great Nation.
With the engine problems that we have had in the past in the AV8 and the other things in there, we are about now to where MEUs and our deployed debts are averaging about 20 to 25 hours. The latest MEU that came back averaged about 23 hours. In order to do that, because of parts, individuals back home and the young captains that you are talking about are getting about 10 to 12 hours a month, which is DCS for aviation. For the Marine Corps I consider that to be unsatisfactory.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If you look, and your figures are pretty close, in 1994, we were 77.2 percent as far as mission capable, and in 1998, we ended up with 60.6 percent, a drop of over 16 percent over a 4-year period, which is unsatisfactory. At the same time, the nonmission capable supply, which is parts of DLR, we went from 10.4 percent running to 19.9 percent. So almost 100 percent increase and that is parts. And both MAG 13 and MAG 14, which is at Cherry Point, most of the young guys tell me if they had parts they could get these aircraft up and flying and, therefore, the pilots would get more time.
Mr. JONES OF NORTH CAROLINA. Mr. Chairman, excuse me
The CHAIRMAN. If the gentleman would yield. You say they need 20 to 25 hours a month for AV8B proficiency to maintain proficiency. What are they getting?
General MCCORKLE. Our deployed units, sir, the last couple that came back were getting right at 23 hours a month; however, once captain and majors that are in the squadrons right now in the States are getting between 10 and 12 hours a month, and I do consider that to be unsatisfactory.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead.
Mr. JONES. Mr. Chairman, I want to ask General Martin also, because again, off base, I don't always make this clear, I had conversations with some F15 pilots from Seymour Johnson, and I am hearing basically the same thing that General McCorkle has said from some of the aviators in the Air Force. They are telling me they are not getting the adequate flying time to do what needs to be done in a war combat situation. So, General Martin, would you please respond the best you can to the same type of question?
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General MARTIN. Yes, sir. I would say that the same indicators that General McCorkle is talking about, we have experienced, but not quite to as great an extent. As you know, aviation is our business. So we work that very, very hard. Our numbers are about a 10 percent mission capable rate reduction during that same period of time, a little bit less than the other services have experienced.
But what was difficult and challenging for us was our readiness rates in the deployed aircraft were not showing us those trends, but the stateside units were. Our combat capable C1, C2 units in the States suffered, depending on which month you are looking at, somewhere between a 50 and 55 percent reduction compared to a very small reduction to our overseas units, in the neighborhood of 8 to 10 percent.
So the priority was going forward to our either forward based or our deployed based units and, therefore, the people remaining behind were sucking up the shortages, and that has gone up for a few years. And that trend has come down over the past 5 years. And then on top of that, with respect to the comments I made earlier, we created tremendous turbulence and instability in the lives of our people, both the rated force and the nonrated force in the way we were deploying our forces, very capable, fine young men and women overseas to do the Nation's work.
We had seen that we canthat is an anaerobic way of operating. We are running out of air. So we have got to get into an aerobic exercise here and we can sustain forever and the restructuring that we are doing with respect to the air expeditionary forces is designed to do that. Additionally, as we went into an accounting system that we all had heard of called Defense Business Operating Fund in the early 1990's and Depot-Level Repairable and ultimately the working capital fund, we had a good understanding of our Petroleum Oils and Lubricants and expendable costs, and funded that.
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And that began to take on the term flying hours. On the other hand, our depot repairs were kind of in a separate pot. And as we watched the forestructure come down and us use the spares and the parts of the aircraft that we are phasing out, our depot level repair money came down. We went to the point of funding our depot level repairs to about 83 percent of need, yet spending 110 percent of what we were funding, which means the minimum we can get by even in this deterioration was about 92 percent.
In this budget that is on the Hill, our depot level repairs are funded to 100 percent. Our flying hours are funded to 100 percent. In the Unfunded Priority List that we have sent over, the first 5 items in our request deal with engine spares, spares and training munitions so that we can hopefully stem the tide of the frustration that our stateside pilots are experiencing and then add some stability in their life.
At that point, we hope that we will prove to this very capable force that they are important, their readiness is important and we are serious about their readiness. The last point I would make, and this is one small data point, but within the first half of this year, the take rate on the aviation incentive pay has gone up significantly from where we were last year, and an indication that the people are believing that we are serious and that we are working for them.
And that comes from a result of our leadership, of the recognition of this concern by the President and as important as anything the support that you have provided to us, not only in the modernization, but in your sensitivity to the troops and their needs.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. JONES. Mr. Chairman, I believe I have a couple more questions, but because there are other members that have not had that opportunity, and I don't want to bump themno, I am just joking, I would like to say that I appreciate the response, I know I didn't give the Navy, the Army a chance to talk about the helicopter pilots or any other.
But this to me is a sad, sad situation, because I am 56 years of age, and when I see these young captains and I see these young men that areand women that are willing to go give their life for this country and we can't give them adequate training, then I think it is a sad, sad time in this country. I really do.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Jones, let me just tell you, you are one of the most valuable members of this committee. Those are great questions, and I find it a tragedy too not only have we cut our forces almost in half since Desert Storm, but the half we got left is being starved. And this is very consistent, the testimony we have heard today is very consistent with what we heard at theon the hearing just a few days ago with Mr. Bateman's committee at Nellis from the National Training Commands, and it is interesting, we are pulling these people in so many different directions. Spare parts problems aside, it is like having students who are pulled out of school 2 days a week and they are expected to get good grades when the finals comes around.
We are undertrained with comparison to what we had when we had a full force structure. So thank you for your very important questions. And I think the real test of this committee is going to be in this Congress, is if we can push thatat least give the services what they have asked for, which if you add the pay and the 1.8 million for Bosnia is right at 22 billion a year. If we don't do that, I think we are becoming irrelevant. Thank you for your questions.
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Mr. REYES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I would like to associate myself with the remarks of my colleague, Mr. Jones, because I too feel the same way. I just have a couple of quick questions regarding the Comanche for General Franklin. And it is my understanding that while this helicopter has been under development for about 15 years, and it is designated the quarterback of the digital battlefield, yet we have only had one prototype, irrespective of the fact that you commented this afternoon of the many successes and the many positives with that one prototype.
Next month we are set to accept the second prototype, and it is our understanding that it is only going to fly for I believe it is 5 or 6 hours, then it is going to be parked for an 18-month period. My question is, having had an opportunity to go down there and observe it and having a background in helicopters from my experience as a veteran, I am curious to know what kind of commitment the Army, first of all, has to the Comanche? And then second, can you tell me how much money would be needed in order to make the second prototype fully functional, so it wouldn't have to be parked?
General FRANKLIN. Yes, sir. Sir, the Army is very committed to Comanche. It is our top materiel program that we have. And I think in the way that you described this, this we went through our budget cut that we went through last year to bring in 2004, 2005 timeframe where we took a significant amount of dollars out of those years. Comanche remained untouched. So we have continued to fund that program throughout development.
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC As to your second question, we have an unfunded requirement, General Reimer said over on his wanted list, it is our No. 1 hardware unfunded requirement. It is for $56 million and of that $12 million is to be able to fly that second prototype.
Mr. REYES. Is there any concern that because of the inordinate amount of time that we have been in the development stage with this helicopter that once it is completed and goes into production that it would be obsolete or outdated or even halfway toward that end, even though you designated it as a quarterback of the digital battleground? And I say that based on the fact that I am a Cowboys fan, and I am seeing the same things with the Cowboys.
General FRANKLIN. Sir, I think one thing you will be very pleased, and I know you have seen the helicopter, is that we have been able to keep up with technology as technology has grown and put that into the helicopter. Things like Special Electronics Mission Aircraft, things like taking full account of the building test equipment, the byte, the parts I have talked about on equipping the helicopter, being able to take advantage of what the Air Force has done in some of the stealth technology, the Navy, Marine Corps, being able to take advantage of what we have learned of how to down drive acoustic signatures, how to down drive infrared signatures.
I think what you are seeing, even though this has been a long time in development, that we have been able to keep this up with the technology, and we fully intend to take advantage of technology as it grows.
Mr. REYES. OK, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The CHAIRMAN. I thank the gentleman and thank him for the expertise in the background that he brings to this subcommittee.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
General Kenne, just to jump on the bandwagon for a second. I know you realize that the JSF program has a lot of importance beyond just the military capability that it will bring. Mr. Spratt talked about having several services working together on similar aircraft with some variations for their purposes. Mr. Pickett in his opening statement made reference to the decision that the Marine Corps made to forego the E and F, F18 E and F and wait for the joint strike fighter.
That is the kind of decision that we are going to have more of, I think, as we look at budgets that are limited and needs that are great. That was not an easy decision to make. And if we punish them, in effect, by pushing off the joint strike fighter, I don't think we will ever have a service defer an improvement again, because they won't know that the follow-on is ever really going to get there.
And so there are a lots of reasons this program needs to be successful, and that a lot of us want to do everything we can to make it successful. And at the same time, I suspect that on both sides of the table, there is a number of folks that get frustrated and discouraged about cost overruns and continuing delays and the length of time it takes to field technology. That is going to hurt us more in the future than it has in the past.
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Certainly from your unique perspective, if you have suggestions on things that we need to do, changes in the law or whatever, that can help overcome some of the difficulties that you run into, the delays and the overruns and so forth, to the extent we can help, I know that I, for one, and I think others would like to hear from you on those suggestions, things that we can do to get the best technology possible into the field where it counts as soon as possible. So that is my soap box and thanks for listening.
General McCorkle, on V22, it has been mentioned a time or two, but in the past, I know it has been the top priority of the Commandant, and I think he has suggested that if there are extra funds this year that an additional three aircraft would make sense. No. 1, is that right? No. 2, based upon the operations that are going on today, the things that you all are planning on today, how would the MV22 fit into that? I mean is it something that you could use now if you had it?
General MCCORKLE. Yes, sir, that is correct. We could really, really use three additional aircraft in the upcoming year. And that would really help us with the standup to support the MEUs. And if you looked as the world as we operate today andor men in the Navy who take the old class ships out and you take this MV22, we have done NEOs in Mogadishu where we have had to fly 53s, 400 miles over the water.
Here is an aircraft that you could take about any distance that you want up to 2100 miles. It can also be self-deployed if you don't have the capability, and we are short on airlift right now to get to the fight, to get to where we want to go. But if you take any scenario from a Grenada to a Southwest Asia to a Somalia or whatever else, here is an aircraft that has already had a top speed of 326 knots. That is the one that we have got out at Pax River right now. It cruises at 250 knots, carries an incredible amount and will go the distance.
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Yes, sir, that would fit any scenario that you could come up with today, and the Marine Corps is really looking forward to it.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you. General Martin, let me ask you briefly, this committee has attempted to put a number of F16s into the budget over the past few years and have not had a lot of support from the Air Force. And then this year, we have 10 show up in the budget. I think we can understand that we need some additional aircraft to make up for the ones we are losing for one reason or another, but what happened?
General MARTIN. Sir, two things have happened; one, I think you have known and you have been very supportive of the need for our attrition reserve in order to keep the fleet health satisfactory as we transition the F16 out and the JSF in the late decade of the first decade of the 21st century.
We have had that requirement changed somewhat from over 100 down to about 40, and in the past you all have helped and procured 15 of those. We had not asked for them, not because we didn't want them, but we flat could not afford them within the budget priorities we had and particularly, as I mentioned earlier, with some of our serious readiness concerns over the last 2 or 3 years.
The last time I think we asked for F16s was in this 1997 President's budget. But the need was there, the requirement was there. This year, however, another thing happened, and that is as we restructured ourin the process of restructuring into the expeditionary Air Force and the building of our 10 expeditionary or air expeditionary forces so that we would have the appropriate capabilities, we came up a bit short in the HARM targeting capable aircraft, so in order to provide the appropriate suppression of enemy defenses for any one of those wings we needed some more block 50, 52-type of aircraft for suppression of enemy air defenses.
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Also, at the same time, you had asked us to take a look at the SLEPing of our older F16s, those within the air reserve component. We have done that. The costs for SLEPing that aircraft, not only in terms of improving its fatigue life from 4,000 hours, many of which are over that 4,000 hours now, to 8,000 hours, along with some of the capability upgrades that we would need was in the neighborhood of $16 million per aircraft.
We felt that for a 4,000-hour gain, we would be better served by beginning to replaybeginning to buy those aircraft that were needed for the HARM targeting capability and trickle down some precision capable F16s to replace those oldest A models that some of our Guard and Reserve Forces have. So the attrition reserve problem has not gone away. We still have that need.
But in addition to that, we have the need to maintain not only our Guard force structure with aircraft that are capable and able to come to the battle ready to fight with precision weapons, but also the need to outfit our air expeditionary force. So this proposal you see is really a win, win, win and it is not over.
We are looking very hard at trying to continue that to at least get the attrition reserve numbers that we need in addition to what we have put in the budget that you are referring to now.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you. Let me ask if any of you who would like to comment on one other issue finally about this. Most everyone believes that in the future we are going to have to have systems that are interoperable, so if an incoming aircraft, for example, is picked up on a censure by one service, another service's aircraft or missile can be able to hit that target. We have to be able to talk with one another.
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I understand that there are some systems in the pipeline that do not have that capability, that, in fact, have very unique kinds of communication systems that are not as interoperable as they need to be. From your standpoint, is it an absolute requirement, and, you know, some of these are legacy systems where we are simply adding more, but for new systems, is it an absolute requirement that they be fully interoperable with the other services so that we can operate as one unified fighting force on a battlefield?
General MCCORKLE. Yes, sir.
Mr. THORNBERRY. We are going to make sure we are not going to buy anything that is not interoperable.
Admiral NATHMAN. I would be worried about the word ''fully,'' what that means. But I can tell you there is a lot of experimentation right now, there is a lot of demonstrations right now that are seekingI can give you examples right now both under Third Fleet and the Second Fleet, the fleet battle experiments that look at interoperability in what we call the ring of fire, which is to bring any type of fire, whether it be from aircraft, come from a gun off of a ship that would deconflict, rounds that would come from the Army or the Air Force to support the maneuver scheme, and that is an example of how you build an interoperability. That is an example of how you vet the problems that you have with that.
As you know, one of the real issues that we struggle with all the time is our technology changes very fast. You find out 6 months later you could have done it a certain way. There is a real challenge to that. But there is a certain I would call it a disciplined focus inside the Services on getting and maintaining and achieving a very high level of interoperability.
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General KENNE. Sir, I would add to that, on joint strike fighter one of our focuses is that joint strike fighter will be a system of systems. And as our war fighters have done their cost of operational performance trades, they have considered that as part of their deliberations. We are the first program to have a major C4 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance plan put together that puts joint fighter in that context this early in the program as we develop it.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Well, I appreciate that. I think that is essential. Admiral, we have had testimony just last week on how some of these experiments have gone, some of the advantage to be gained from that, but the key is they have got to be there when you buy the system because we won't ever go back and retrofit or look for ways to go back.
General MARTIN. Mr. Congressman, one point that I agree with fully with Admiral Nathman, the need of the Services for information is somewhat different. I think you would find in a digitized battlefield in the Army a need for information at the soldier level that would be different than the need for that information at the airmen level. The challenge that we have is in developing systems that can interoperate but not saturate.
And that sounds easy, but the challenge that I address has caused the Department some consternation because we are migrating very, very strongly toward Link 16 as the standard datalink system, but there are some applications within each of the Services that need to be able to flow back and forth, but we don't necessarily need to have every function compatible, and that is a very difficult technical challenge that we sort through every day.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. THORNBERRY. I agree, General. As a matter of fact, ACOM had a display here yesterday that talked aboutand one of their points was sorting through the information and getting survivable information out, other kinds of information for plans would be held back and used in another context. But you have got to have the hardware systems in there first to be able to talk to one another and then you can have these filtering systems which I think will be there.
General MARTIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. THORNBERRY. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you. And Mr. Taylor.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to thank our panel for sticking around this long.
General McCorkle, in reading your statement about the need for the V22, I do not doubt anything that you have said. I am, however, very concerned about what the Marine Corps does between now and 2014 when the system is fully operational. And every day you have got young people flying around in some very old helicopters. I have got to believe the cost of maintaining those helicopters is extremely high, not to mention the threat to those young people's live.
Has the Marine Corps given any thought of using either the Apache, Comanche or the Blackhawk in the short term until the V22 is operational?
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General MCCORKLE. As you know, sir, the one thing that the Marine Corps has tried to do, and particularly with our marine aviation campaign plan, is to neckdown. We tried to do that on the fixed wing side of the house with the Joint Strike Fighter. We tried to do that on the helicopter side of the house with the MV22.
We see right now with this aircraft, is here Congress has been kind enough to plus the Marine Corps up. We would like to go to 36 a year. We feel like that would bring us in 2 years earlier and would probably save the taxpayers $1 billion. Any other route that we look at, we found, and there have been a lot of studies that have been done over the years, I think five different COEAs have been had on the MV22 and what would be better, or if you looked at something else down the line, and all of them were found to cost the taxpayer more money and would bring another top model series into the Marine Corps.
Mr. TAYLOR. General, I appreciate your concern for the taxpayers, but we also have to have a concern for those kids riding in those helicopters. And if you, we, I, anyone had an absolute certainty nothing was going to happen that involved the use of young Marines for the next 15 years, I would say it was a great plan, but none of us have that guarantee.
General MCCORKLE. I couldn't agree more with you. That is the only reason I stuck around this outfit for 32 years, is because of the young kid out there that turns a wrench and supports me. The MV22, like I said, I just flew it, coming in in the budget right now, and I don't think that there is anything that this great Nation could come up with that would compare it to the V22, that they could get to the Marine Corps in the time that we are getting the V22 there right now.
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Mr. TAYLOR. What do you havein your budget estimates, what is the price tag that you have on the V22?
General MCCORKLE. The V22 has gone down and costs a little over $1 million a copy, with a plus up of three aircraft from the Congress, and also with some changes that we have made in the map displays and other things that we have taken from the F18, and it will gothis is without the multiyear or anything else in there. I don't know of very many aircraft that have gone down $1 million a copy, you know, from the 1994 budget until now and looking at 1994 dollars.
Mr. TAYLOR. But that price tag is general?
General MCCORKLE. I believe it is $39.2 million a copy.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am told by staff your Blackhawks are going for about $7 or $8 million as we speak. Again, I am not questioning the long-term goal. I am very much concerned about the short-term goal. Something could happenI am told if anything is going to happen in Korea, it is going to happen in February or March when the rice paddies are frozen. I would just hate the thought of having to explain to any mom or dad back home that some kid died in a 30-year-old helicopter while we are waiting another 10 years for its replacement to come along.
General MCCORKLE. I certainly would agree with you, if the Blackhawkand I have flown the Blackhawk. In fact, I gave my Army friends all their check rides when I was commanding officer out at Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron. It is an absolutely great helicopter for the Army.
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We are looking, with the number of people that we have and everything else, for an aircraft that will carry 24 combat loaded troops. I flew around in CAPSTONE in a coat and tie and my briefcase, and we had seven Generals on board in the seats. If you put crashworthy seats in there, it just won't carry the cube or whatever that we need in the Marine Corps.
Now, there have been studies that have been done and we said $800 million or whatever, and that don't even count the additional people that it would take to turn the wrenches for another top model series, a new type of engine, new blades, transmission systems and everything else. Like I said, the MV22 is there now. I think the Blackhawk is a great aircraft but it just doesn't do the mission for the Marine Corps.
Mr. TAYLOR. You mentioned in your testimony that you were going to do some upgrades to the CH46s. What is the price per copy of that upgrade?
General MCCORKLE. On the
Mr. TAYLOR. It sounds pretty extensive. You are talking engines, rotors, avionics. I have got to believe there is $3 or $4 million right there.
General MCCORKLE. On the CH46s, I believe all those upgrades have been done, where the transmissions have been upgraded and the heads and so on to carry us out. That has been done several years ago. It has been finished up right now. The only thing that I know of additional that has gone into the budget, and I am a CH46 pilot from the time of Vietnam, have almost 4,000 hours in that aircraft, is the ARC210 radio which will make us compatible to be able to talk on the battlefield to everybody else, and I think that total, I will submit that for the record, but it is somewhere around $10 million or so.
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Mr. TAYLOR. Per copy?
General MCCORKLE. Oh, no, sir, that is total.
Mr. TAYLOR. With the radios?
General MCCORKLE. For the radios.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, you are going to have a hard time convincing me we are well served for the next 10 years. I have some concerns. I sure wish the Marines would come upagain, I am not trying to sabotage the V22 program. I think it is a great program, but since we have no certainty in this world, I think we need something better than that as a bridge for the next 10 years. I will just leave it at that.
General MCCORKLE. My bridge, sir, would be to get rid of the old aircraft and bring new aircraft in as quick as possible for that one type model series, which I think would be best for the Marine Corps and best for the Nation.
Mr. TAYLOR. One last question, Mr. Chairman. How many of the V22 will the Marine Corps procure this year?
General MCCORKLE. I believe the number is seven for this year, sir.
Page 71 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. TAYLOR. Is that based on budgetary restraints or on the ability of the manufacturer to turn them out?
General MCCORKLE. That is in thethey can do three more this year as they are ratcheting up to the 30 which we have right now in the outyears, 30 a year.
Mr. TAYLOR. So the most the manufacturer could make this year, though, would be 10?
General MCCORKLE. That is correct.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Kuykendall.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. I have had several of my predecessors here ask similar questions. I guess I would ask the Marine Corps, jump up and down, scream and shout, you ought to have more V22s instantly, as quick as you can get them. I was in those same H46s in Vietnam and I thought they were crappy then. They were brand new. Now they haul half as many people half as fast and we are still fixing them.
So that airplane is dead, gone. It is justto me I think it is a travesty we are still flying them. It is 40-year-old technology at least, maybe more, and a lot of the planes are 40 years old, it seems like. So V22s, you guys ought to shout louder and I will help you shout, but you need more of them and you need them quicker and you need to get them in the fleet faster, because I would have mission requirements that I don't think you could pull off with your helicopters now if you got pushed to the limit on it.
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The area that I was more interested in, and it started earlier, and General McCorkle and also General Martin spoke some to it; maybe Admiral Nathman can comment on it as well. One of the areas that is veryand I don'tI just need you to talk me through some of it, because if we upgrade our aircraft, for instance, we buy V22s faster, MV22s faster, we buy E/F18sF18E/Fs faster, those aircraft have much lower maintenance signatures, they have much lower requirements to man the squadrons to fly them because you don't have as much maintenance requirement in many cases. Same thing would apply to Air Force aircraft if they are newer. You get much higher reliability.
And therefore I would like you to talk me through a little bit of the process of how you are making your judgment calls to defer buying versus O&M money. I just haven't had anybody talk specifically about that kind of thing. F14s are a good example in the Navy. It is just a maintenance hog and it takes all kinds of time, compared to rolling that F18 out, you just pop a compartment out, stick one in, and the guy goes and flies again.
I followed those programs, and we have now got an average age of our fleet, that it isI think these same issues are part of the root causes of our retention issues. Whether we pay these young people any more money or not, they are just fed up with the work. They are fed up with the inability to complete the work in a timely fashion. They are fed up with the inability to do it in a work week that makes sense when you are not at war. And I think some of those questions fold into it.
Maybe, Admiral, if you could start, and if General McCorkle or General Martin, General Franklin would like to comment on, it. I would like to hear some of your thought processes of how you are trading off this O&M to buy stuff, the savings and personnel and everything else when you go to new equipment.
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Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I think your description of the problems is very accurate. In the past several years, let me just tell you about some things that I think we are doing. It is clearly an affordability issue for us. We can only afford to modernize so quickly or to recapitalize so quickly based on our readiness needs, because there are real readiness needs in the fleet.
You pull out some good examples. You have F14's right now on scene in three significant parts of the world. They have to be maintained. It takes a tremendous amount of effort by the maintenance crews. I think everybody works a little bit extra hard around that airplane. It has got great capability. We obviously need to replace it.
Not to give you the advertisement but an example, if you get the multiyear in the F18, you are going to replace those airplanes at a significant savings, of course, not only as we buy them, but we can use that money theoretically for some other
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Let's use the F18E/F model, the Navy version of that aircraft as it replaces the F14 in the inventory. What is the tradeoff in the amount of maintenance manpower needed per squadron? How much manpower doman and woman power can we shrink and still maintain the same capability of aircraft?
Admiral NATHMAN. I would like to get back with you on the exact answers, but in the order of magnitude I think we have around 280 to 290 group nine or maintenance folks on an F14 squadron, and an F18E/F squadronyou know, we have recently gone down to 10 F14 per squadron and we kept basically the same men because of the requirements for that particular aircraft. We are going back to 14 F18E/Fs when we replace those squadrons. I think we are going to be on the order of 240, 250 maintenance folks in those particular squadrons.
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Mr. KUYKENDALL. In rough numbers we can add four aircraft and reduce the maintenance people by 40 out of one squadron, and get the same squadron still in business
Admiral NATHMAN. Actually a much better squadron. A much more capable squadron and power projection.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Are there similar kinds of issues like that, and how do you factor that into your budget request?
Admiral NATHMAN. I might take you through a couple of initiatives and concerns and show you how we are trying to handle those particular areas, but it ultimately gets down to affordability on how you decide where you put your money. We have a number of initiatives and efforts that we are looking at right now, but one of the things that is really a concern to us, of course, is our flight hour cost and our support costs, of course in some cases directly tied to our flight hour costs.
We have had a discussion already about trying to keep our young men and women flying because we think that is not only a retention tool but, more importantly, it keeps them combat ready. We have got to invest in our flight hours, and the naval service has invested fully in flight hours and spares, consumables, in depot, in engine mods to try and make the airplanes we have on the ramp right now more capable, more ready.
The Chairman pointed out some aggravation we have right now and as a Navy air strike and air warfare center, which in some ways is a result of our ability, when we make those investments, there is a certain time lag before those parts come on scene. We have recently had a problem with a cooling plate on the F404 engine in the F18 which aggravates the shortfalls that we have right now. We didn't anticipate that. We didn't have the supplies in place to fix that. We had to go out and manufacture those and provide those to our mechs to repair those engines and replace them.
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But some of the initiatives we have right now to go after those, as we continue to pay the readiness bill which we must pay, we have this review called the Aviation Maintenance and Supply Readiness Review which is being led by our systems command, NAVAIR, which is to look at the cost: Why do we have expanding cost on our inventories? Why do our spares and repairables cost more money? What can we do to take the cost out of that? What type of warning do we have in those particular areas that we could buy those parts smarter? What is the capability we have to repair them more quickly and therefore at lower cost? What are the initiatives we need to do that?
We are also trying to look at how we can distribute costs more evenly, and we have a problem right now in looking at how we outfit our aircraft in terms of how we provide spares. Now, spares directly affect readiness, but we would like to know inside of the study the best way to distribute our money, whether it is for consumables or flight hours or spares, so we buy readiness level loaded across the FYDP. And that is an important piece for us.
We have recently validated our training and readiness maintenance for our pilots, and that goes back to our flight hours. The reason why is we wanted to make suremany of these airplanes have grown in capability. You know, the F14 when I flew it was a fighter, and we did this thing calledwe couldn't figure out how to drop a bomb if we wanted to. Now this is one of our premiere strikers out there. That airplane does something every day in southern Iraq and Bosnia to contribute to the Commander in Chief warfighting mission. We have seen a growth in that particular airplane.
We obviously have great capability in the Super Hornet. We have done a validation of our training readiness matrix to make sure we are flying the right flight hours and that we are funding at the right level to keep the readiness that we want in our pilots. We fund the readiness in a tiered sort of way over the interdeployment training cycles, so by the time our pilots enter the last 6 months of that, they are flying basically at 100 percent flight hours. Typically when they go overseas they fly through 115 percent to 125 percent in terms of the actual execution of the total flight hours they are typically allocated per month. We have pilots now that are starting to see the impact of that with more and more investments made in the readiness account.
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We are trying to mitigate our cost, and you go back to thishow you pay the readiness bill. One of the ways we are trying to answer that, we are trying to neckdown. We are necking down in our master helicopter plan. We are going from eight type model series of helicopters to two. We are going to get down to the CH60 on and SH60R. That will do an awful lot for support costs, do an awful lot to answer our obsolescence issues, and that I think goes directly after trying to maintain these airplanes, and the older they get, the more logistics costs, the more engineering support to provide for the readiness of that particular air frame.
We have a number of initiatives now called total ownership cost, which is an initiative inside the secretariat, the Navy secretariat, to look at how can we incentivize our programs to find savings that they could reinvest and to do the right thing. We have several examples of that, but we are just now looking at total ownership cost in an incentive sort of way to get our programs, to get our NAVAIR, NAVSEA to come forward with programs so we have additional money that we can reinvest in our programs, whether it is for our organization or whether it is for readiness.
Finally, I think we have a very significant effort in the E/F. A way of showing you how to save in that particular airplane is not only the things I have outlined earlier, but what I see is we have provided for growth in that airplane, so we don't have to necessarily buy everything right now but as we see the threat grow, we put in the right type of electronically scanned radar, we put in the right type of electronic protect, the right type of systems in the airplane, and we can grow that airplane so we keep it not only viable but we control at the beginning, we control in the very beginning the logistics and engineering footprint to keep the cost of the airplane down.
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But ultimately the decisions that we have made in terms of how we choose to recapitalize our readiness, our priorities, have been readiness and to look at our future and to recapitalize so we have paid the bill, sir, with our modernization account.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Anybody else?
General FRANKLIN. I had a couple of things. I think Admiral Nathman accurately described what happens. A couple other things, though, is we recognize that 60 percent of the life cycle cost of a system occurs after the system is fielded. Because of that, we have had an initiative to empower our program managers to look at the life cycle cost to see if there is something they can do up front to save money in the long run.
So those are efforts that are ongoing, just like the Navy has similar efforts. We also look at upgrading our aircraft to make sure that we take advantage of some of the newer technologies that are out there. An example is, the UH60 costs usor UH60 Alpha model costs us a $1,488 per flying hour. The UH60L model costs us $900 per flying hour. Much of that was because of the
Mr. KUYKENDALL. Is that to operate it or capital cost?
General FRANKLIN. To operate it. So we were able to reduce that, primarily in the engine area.
The other thing that we are looking at are initiatives like prime vendor support for the Apache, which looks at the capability of bringing in a contractor to provide sort of a ''power by the hour'' capability. And the idea is to reduce the cost of flying an Apache, which costs about $4,400 per flight hour, to be able to reduce that and at the same time be able to recoup some of that money to be able to perhaps modernize that aircraft, bring in second gen FLIR earlier to that aircraft.
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Mr. KUYKENDALL. None of these figures we are talking about the amount of the weapons system they will fire off of them or anything; we are just talking about the gas, parts, and that kind of thing?
General FRANKLIN. Actually just the parts and maintenance, sir.
General MCCORKLE. I might just add to that that I think over the next 10 years a lot of the aviation logistics squadrons are probably going to disappear out of the Marine Corps with the Joint Strike Fighter and the MV22. I also think since Congress is very interested in privatization, that this body, the more that they push the just in time supply, which I haven't heard from these individuals, to push this supply where it comes from the big companies, probably ends up in some military warehouse, that is going to save one heck of a lot of money and I think readiness is actually going to go up.
General MARTIN. Sir, if I recall, the gist of your question was if we are going to be building new aircraft that are going to cost less to operate, use fewer people, less footprint to get there, why in the heck wouldn't we just buy them faster and get rid of the legacy stuff?
Mr. KUYKENDALL. That is a short way of putting it.
General MARTIN. We would love to. I am a geography major, not a finance guy, but it is the closing costs. So we have got a couple of areas we are in a kind of a compromise on.
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F16s, what we found is that we don't really needuntil the JSF with stealth and some integration capabilities comes along, we don't necessarily need a new airframe with greater aerodynamic capabilities and speed and all that, but rather a bloc approach allows us to achieve much of what you are talking about incrementally. We have been building the airplane now for 25 years. I can't think of an airplane in the history of aviation that we have built and done what I would consider to be bloc upgrades.
The C130 is another example, the same thing. In other words, we are able to inject and gain some of the benefits that you speak of without necessarily having to go back and start over again on a platform.
There are some systems, however, that you need to sort of throw away the canvas and start over. That is when you get into in revolutionary things such as what we will find, we hope, with stealth, supercruise, sensor integration, those kinds of things that we are pursuing and of course will work in the JSF as well. But despite that, we do in our Reliability and Maintainability upgrades focus very heavily on maintenance man-hours per flying hour, on the footprint, on the support equipment.
But when I refer to the support costs of a new system or the closing costs, I meant nonrecurring. I meant the engineering, manufacturing, development cost, the procuring support equipment, the new Tactical Operations System, all of those kinds of things that require time to mature and time to get on board, and the early introduction of a new system doesn't achieve the kinds of savings that we hope to get early on. They come over a period of years of experience.
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In the F22 what we hope to gain is about 37 percent cheaper cost per flying hour than what we experience today in our F15s with 40 percent less people and about 50 percent less airlift. Where we achieve those, they aren't key performance parameters but they are those we are keeping our eye on, and are held accountable to our OT&E and OEVAL folks.
So the things that you are referring to I think are absolutely critical. We are working them, but it is difficult to inject them immediately without the proofing and the kit proofing, the tails, if you will, that go with it. So we have to be careful when we decide we are going to do a flipover like that, and it takes a little longer than we would like.
Mr. KUYKENDALL. One last thing for General Kenne. Are you the only one here mostly talking about a developmental project that hadn't gone to production yet? Most of these others are production. The shorter we can make the development cycle, it is always cheaper.
I was telling Congressman Bartlett here, at the end of World War II the Lockheed ''skunk works'' was given a jet engine and told to make a fighter plane, and they did in 6 months. That was the predecessor of the jet fighters that we used in the Korean War. I think we considered it fast if we got it in six or 7 years or 10 or 15, because all the aircraft take so long to develop.
How do you all in the development cycle look at if you shorten the cycle? It gets a whole lot cheaper real fast, because a lot of that development is just paying engineers to stay on the payroll for year after year after year after year, and you can work a lot 1 year and then they have to drag it out because they don't have quite enough money. How do you focus on that, or is it always just push it out, worry about funding it next year?
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General KENNE. No, sir. I agree, that is not the way to do it. The way Joint Strike Fighter is tackling this is the way commercial enterprise does. Commercial enterprises don't even think about full development and production of a product unless they understand everything about the materials and the technology and that it is well proven. Otherwise, they don't make the major investment to go to a full detailed design of it and go to production, because it will not yield them profits if they do that.
One of the major aspects of this program was and has been since its inception, an early upfront investment in maturing technology, so that when we enter that next phase of development that goes to final design, you are at a much, much reduced risk. You ought to be able to go to what we call a critical design review within 24 months after you select your design and fly within 42 months, and start producing your first aircraft in 2005, start the process so the first one comes off the line in 2008. That is the intent of this program. Now, we have to stay disciplined in keeping our investment in procuring those technologies
Mr. HUNTER. Looks like we have got to stay alive mainly. That is a long time.
General KENNE. Yes, sir. Actually, the next phase of development is seven and a half years. When we arewe will have three variants in a family of aircraft, a brand new developmental engine, a full set of new avionics in seven and a half years, which is the same timeframe that my colleagues' F18E/F is being developed.
They have led the way and shown that, using models and simulations and a lot of advanced manufacturing techniques, that you can stay on schedule and under budget. We are taking that yet one step further in Joint Strike Fighter and are going to be able to do three variants of the propulsion system and the avionics in the same time that you can normally do a single weapons system. So it is aggressive and we mean it to be.
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Mr. HUNTER. Just to follow up, that is a great question from Mr. Kuykendall. I know the great Johnny Foster who is probably on the Defense Science Board longer than anybody else, and used to personally design our nuclear weapons when he was about 25 and head of the Livermore Laboratory, and who largely built the world we live in today in terms of systems, when he was head of Defense Research and Engineering many years ago, the way we got the F16 is he told the Air Force they had to build a fighter aircraft for under $6 million, and they protested mightily but he made them do it and they got the F16, and they did it in a fairly short period of time.
I think Mr. Kuykendall's question is well stated in the sense that we have never had more computing power, literally millions of times of computing power than we had when the ''skunk works'' boys did their magic in a fairly short period of time, and yet it takes decades to develop systems. And we would think at some point we would be able to translate that great new high-tech capability into one element that we heretofore haven't achieved, and that is speed of development.
General KENNE. Yes, sir. And you will find that if you compare the engineering and manufacturing development cycle with the Joint Strike Fighter, it is the same amount of time.
Mr. HUNTER. The F16?
General KENNE. Yes, sir.
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. OK. Mr. Rodriguez.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As I look at the Air Force recommendations, I was seeing that last year we fought a recommendation by the Air Force to cut science and technology and still went with about a $116 million cut. This year again you come back with a $95 million cut. This is despite the fact that the administration has stressed the importance of science and technology, despite the fact that the Department of Defense has also stressed this, as far as I am concerned, and the Congress.
In fact, if you look at section 214 from Strom Thurmond's National Defense Authorization Act of 1999, he talked about from the year 2000 to 2008, that at least the minimum that we would increase it by 2 percent, but it seems that the Air Force has gone around that and has added some additional items that were not traditionally part of science and technology so that you could come back and tell me, ''No, we haven't cut it,'' but we can see the cuts as they occur.
Right now I think you requested a $95 million cut in science and technology. I wanted to ask in terms of specifically just some items as you move to the F22, high performing, you know, types of aircraft, and you cut back on the research on effects of high altitude and acceleration on the individual, what kind of ramifications are we going to have?
Second, as the Air Force looks at cutting the technology development, we also reduced large numbers of class A mishaps currently attributed to spatial disorientation, and yet the Air Force at the present time in the science and technology reduction is going to reduce and eliminate spatial disorientation research.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And third, you look at, you know, the improvements and the fact that you are also recommending some cuts in the area of the new onboard oxygen generation systems, and you can go on and on.
As you look at high technology, we cannot lose sight of the fact that part of that, it is one thing to have the technology here but you have got to have the individual to be able to operate it. I think that we cannot lose sight of that, and I am hoping we can come back to that budget on science and technology and beef it up. So I am hoping that that will occur.
General MARTIN. Congressman Rodriguez, I must tell you that as the Assistant Secretary, the principal deputy, the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, with the S&T account in my crosscheck and area of responsibility along with General Paul as commander of the Air Force Research Lab, that we are not happy about the S&T cuts that you speak of. First of all
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. How can we help you, then? If you are not happy, how can we help you, because you have already gone out there and given people pink slips almost. You have already started that process. Even if we decide as a committee to add resources, you are going to lose those people by October, and those are high caliber individuals that you are not going to be able to replace that quickly.
You have already movedmy impression, Mr. Chairman, is that we have several branches of government, one executive, the other is legislative. When you make a proposal, until it is a fact, it is not until we vote on it that you ought to consider that.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MARTIN. Yes, sir. We have, but first I would say the $94 million that will come out of what has been in our lab programs is on our unfunded priority list. It is an area that the Air Force would certainly like to see an opportunity for money to be placed against. We have made that statement clear.
Second, that those reductions in personnel, primarily in the 62 accounts, are supposed to take place in the 1900 timeframe. In order to do that, you have to go through the appropriate notification process to allow opportunities for the voluntary separations first; second, then the flowdown to which jobs are most likely to be eliminated as a result of the cuts, so that people have adequate time to plan without being forced out.
Any time between now and the time that it is clear that there would be a restoration of the funding, that process can be stopped, and with the exception of those who voluntarily choose to leave and leave before we have put anything in place, it can be stopped and those people will not be lost.
General Paul, who is the commander of the Air Force Research Lab, has gone through a very significant reduction and streamlining of his organization in the past 3 years. He has done a superb job of focusing the S&T funds on those areas that are most critical to the Air Force as we know it today and where we are going in the future. The technologies are the S&T for the programs that you speak about, if they will continue to be important to the Air Force, are being done in other laboratories.
As an example, with the F22 we are not expecting to put any more Gs or do any more, from an aviation physiological standpoint, more demanding mission on those people than we have already done with previous aircraft. Yes, there are some human factors, integration activities, that we are concerned about. That part of the account has remained, but many of the other areas where we have done the S&T work are things that are not as important to us as we begin to push the envelope into our space environment, where the shift of our focus in S&T has been or is going. From approximately 13 to 15 percent of our S&T budget today to about 30 percent of our budget over the FYDP, S&T budget, we will see those funds being applied toward where the Air Force believes it needs to push the envelope in the area of science and technology.
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As I stated earlier, these are not choices that we made in a light or willy nilly fashion. They were hard, difficult choices, but unlike previous years where we didn't have the matrix or the knowledge of where that money was going, General Paul laid out a program that showed where the money was going, what we were getting for it, and the Air Force corporate structure was able to make a reasoned and rational decision as opposed to a level-of-effort cut.
I must tell you throughout that process from last September until today, there was great hand-wringing and gnashing of the teeth over this because the SECOR of your United States Air Force has been S&T. It is an area that we would love to see money rolled back to. We believe we have started a process that will notify people in a humane way of a potential cut and if there is an opportunity to restore them, we will do so without watching them leave us.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. I am glad you mentioned the word humane in a way because you notify them a year in advance, before you even know what your budget is, so you have already seemed to have made a decision. And I understand you have an obligation to notify the Congress in the process, but beyond that, you have already gone beyond that. I would presume that in the process of a Reduction in Force, that you would notify but then you don't have to make the RIFs until way down the road. That has to occur. But you seem to have moved on that a lot quicker, before, you know, even before, almost before we even got the budget, before the Congress got the budget. Because I mean, that is the feeling that I am getting.
And second, if you look at assessing, you know, the whole process, I don't know if you have maneuvered some other items into research and technology that were not there previously in order to, you know, to make some cuts in certain areas. But I would hope that as you get engineers involved, that you also get individuals there, you know, besides General Paul, because I have had a chance to talk to him. In all honesty, I have been very disappointed in terms of what he foresees in terms of some of the priorities. I think that some of that needs to be looked at a lot closer, and I would hope that somebody assesses that beyond General Paul in terms of
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General MARTIN. General Paulso that we put the monkey squarely on the back where it belongsGeneral Paul did not make those decisions. Those decisions were made at the Air Force level.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. He was told to do it?
General MARTIN. No. General Paul was told to develop the process by which we could understand where our science and technology funding was going and what programs were involved. He was the facilitator in understanding that. We at the air staff and the secretariat were the people who, as we do with the entire budget process, review those activities against all of our other priorities and make the decisions on the Science and Technology budget with respect to their apparent value, to where the Air Force's needs are in the S&T area.
You also mentioned a concern about the fact that we put some in things in S&T. So that there is no quibbling and no thought of deceit here, there are two programs that have been moved into the S&T account. They are Discover II and the space-based laser.
In viewing the entire Air Force budget and in thinking through the types of funding that go into the different programs, it was clear that both the Discover II, which is a joint partnership between National Reconnaissance Office, Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Program [DARP], and Air Force IV, a moving target indicator, space-based systems, that that was a technology effort, not a program, not a prototype but a technology effort, and that it rightfully belonged in the S&T account.
Page 88 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Second, the same is true on the space-based laser, where the majority of that leading to an experiment which is really below the advanced technology demonstration level was clearly in the S&T area. That again is being shared between the ballistic missile defense organization and the United States Air Force.
So what you will find is that the overall top line of S&T did not change much, but in fact those two programs had the effect of an S&T reduction of $94 million or so. We are now in the process of making sure that the people understand that. The announcement to those people will be made on Friday. They will be given the layout and the options, and at that point the details will be discussed.
Mr. RODRIGUEZ. I am supportive of those two programs. I think that is important but I think that you put the situation and you have addedcreated a problem, in that apparently there is a need for more resources in science and technology. And when you add other things, then you have to take away and soand those other areas are critical also, when you look at in terms of human effectiveness training that is required. I think that there is a need for us, you know, to really look at that real seriously, and I would hope that you would come and ask for some additional resources in the science and technology.
General MARTIN. Yes, sir. I don't disagree with your comments.
Mr. HUNTER. Mr. Bartlett.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. Your endurance is admirable, and thank you for your patience.
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General Franklin, a number of questions have been asked relative to the Comanche. I am not sure I have got an answer to the specific question I had. I understand the Army would support additional funding by Congress in fiscal year 1900 for the RAH66 Comanche reconnaissance helicopter, including funds for a Longbow radar demonstration. What amount of funding would be required for this demonstration, and what would be the impact on accelerating the fielding of fully equipped Comanche aircraft with front line deployable Army units, was the specific question.
General FRANKLIN. Sir, of the $61 million we are looking at as an unfunded requirement, $4 million would be required for the acceleration of the miniaturized fire control radar. What I intend to do is, because of breakthroughs in the radar, we intend to bring that forward and actually have it available for the first Comanche flights as they go through NIOC and 06.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much. I have another question I would like to ask, and before you answer it, I would defer to my friend Congressman Weldon for any comments he would like to make relative to this, because I know this is a major concern of us.
Both the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office have expressed doubts about the Department of Defense ability to afford even the three major tactical aircraft programs, the F22, the F18E/F and the Joint Strike Fighter, which could cost between $14 billion and $16 billion per year for as many as seven consecutive years. And compounding this problem, the procurement budget has actually declined since last year's forecast. With increasing needs, the budget is down.
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Now, my question is, there are a number of ongoing programs that require funding. You know, from the little statement here, the Army has the AH64A Apache with the Longbow variant; utility fleet modernization, including the UH60 Blackhawk, the UH1 Huey upgrade, the CH48, the Chinook heavy lift helicopter; the CF47F variant. The Navy has the CH60B helicopter, the SH60R remanufactured helicopter, the EA6B Prowler. The Air Force has the B1 bomber enhancement; B2 bomber enhancements and maybe more B2 bomber procurements; the F16; the JSTARS radio. The Marine Corps has the H1 upgrade, AV8B vertical short takeoff expenses; the KC130Js, we need a lot of additional ones; the MV22.
And my question is, how are we going to do this? How are we going to get there, to support all of these very necessary ongoing programs, and as well support these three major procurements?
I would defer to my friend Congressman Weldon, because I know he has major concerns in this area, before you answer the question.
Mr. WELDON. I thank my colleague for yielding. He has summed it up very yell. Gentlemen, we don't have any problem with the programs individually. I think you find this committee supports the concepts, the tac air needs, the services, and wants to fund them, but you can't get to there from here with the budget projections that we have been given.
I mean, the numbers are the numbers, and in the outyears when some of you may be on to bigger and better things in the Pentagon, and when some of us may be on to either bigger or better things or lesser and worse things, somebody is going to have to face the fact that we laid out a plan in this budget year to fund three new tac air programs that Mr. Bartlett has singled out and suggested both the GAO and the CBO have estimated it would cost four or five times what we are spending on tactical aviation.
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We are spending $2.5 billion this year on buying tac air in the 1999 budget. The estimates are we have to go to $14 or $16 billion. Where is that money going to come from? Because besides just looking at aviation, the Navy wants a new aircraft carrier. The Navy wants more ships. We are building a 200-ship Navy right now. I mean, you look at the Army's digitization program for the battlefield. This doesn't even talk about missile defense.
It is just impossible, and I would rather see us be more upfront and let the American people know that not only are we going to see some of the problems that were just said by Mr. Rodriguez, there are going to be a lot more problems if we don't address this issue in a substantive way. Rather than just keep painting this rosy picture, ''Everything is going to be OK because the next person is going to take care of all of this,'' it ain't going to happen.
I don't care who is elected president and which party controls the Congress. To plus up the funding we need to meet all of these program requirements over the next 10 years would take some real heavy lifting or a major confrontation, for which we saw that we were willfully unprepared. So I think what I am asking for is what Mr. Bartlett is asking for, is just some candor in terms of where are we supposed to get this money? Base closings? Is that going to give us all this money?
Maybe that is a point that you all don't have to necessarily worry about, because your job is to try to meet the requirements to meet the threats. We do have to worry about that. And what keeps staring us in the face is what the budget people tell us are going to be the numbers that are going to be required to support the long-term acquisition of these programs.
Page 92 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am offended we have slipped the V22. That is costing that program $6 billion or $5 billion more than it should have cost. The Comanche is going to cost us $9 billion more than it should have cost us. All that is going to be eaten up or eating into the modernization. And when I get my time to ask questions, I am going to focus on the whole R&D line because we are killing ourselves for the future by what we are doing in the short term.
I would rather see us bite the bullet, cancel a program or two, shake the country to its roots, let the American people see what is being caused here, rather than string everything along and instead of buying 12 or 24 or 36 a year, buy five or buy four, and then to have all of them become targets because those who are against defense say, see, there you go, wasteful spending. Where we are spending $40 million a copy, why are we spending $80 million a copy? I would rather have us bite the bullet and face the facts now and have a serious debate in this country, which we are not having, on how to fund all of these needs.
So thank you for yielding, and I look forward to your responses.
General MARTIN. Sir, when I made my opening statement, I mentioned that the Air Force modernization program is time phased and balanced. If we take a look at procurement history, we take a look at the percent of the budget that we typically give to both the procurement and modernization or RDT&E and modernization accounts, what you will find is, and we are held accountable to in not only the FYDP but also in the defense projection, the defense program projection which takes us into the outyears, we are held accountable to a top line in our modernization plans.
In the late 1970's and early 1980's we modernized our fighters. In the mid 1980's, early 1990's we modernized our bombers. In the late 1990's we are modernizing our airlifters. And as the airlifters begin to complete, the ramp up of the F22 will be in full swing, followed by the JSF.
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If we take a look at the projections from an Air Force perspective, we are within the average modernization account with the exception of one small blip above it in the 2012 to 2015 timeframe which we are working on now. That is not to say that the money that we are experiencing today will be exactly that and those shares will be there, but in terms of a planning effort, our game plan is set up to do that. It is a wave of modernization, and then following that would be our KCs or the tankers with the follow-on activities for bombers and ICBMs.
So the structure we set up is intended to make the modernization of our major weapons systems affordable. Clearly the challenge before us is to hold those accounts stable and to not raid them. Our difficulty has been, we have gone through a period of the last seven to 9 years of tremendous cost in an area that had been unforecast, the O&M accounts and readiness accounts, while we were in a drawdown and a push forward mode.
I think we understand those now. We are working those. I am not trying to be Pollyanna-ish about this and saying there aren't challenges, but if we take a look at what we are anticipating our costs to be and what we are anticipating our budgets to be, they are within the guidance that we have provided not only to our leadership in Office of the Secretary of Defense but our own rules that we use for Operations and Maintenance, people, and modernization.
Mr. BARTLETT. Is this a problem with the other services?
General MARTIN. We have to take a look and see, when they talk about that, whether they are talking about individual services or talking about DOD in general. I can't speak for the rest of the numbers. Clearly tac air is very expensive. But tac air was very expensive in the 1980's. So were bombers in the 1980's.
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Mr. BARTLETT. We spent a whole lot more money in the 1980's.
General MARTIN. Yes, sir, but we are not buying as many. We reduced the force structure.
Mr. BARTLETT. The less you buy, the more they cost you each.
General MARTIN. There is that relationship. We are not saying these aircraft are cheap, but if you plot out what we plan to spend at the 339 F22s and 1,763 JSFs that we plan on buying, they will fit within our historical procurement amounts for aircraft modernization.
Mr. BARTLETT. Then why the concern of CBO and GAO? They don't understand, or what?
General MARTIN. Part of the concern isthey have got history on their side. They have watched the price of aircraft over the years, and the estimates that we are using for our cost for these aircraft they believe are understated for what the cost will actually be. We are working that problem very hard with the techniques that General Kenne talks about in terms of producability and affordability.
We are clearly working those in each of our areas. I will not try and tell you that we are going to make all of those cost goals, but we are doing our damndest to bring those costs under control and hold them to what we are anticipating the cost to be versus the historical growth of older technologies and older production capability.
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Mr. BARTLETT. What we are being told and I think what we believe is that with the budget projections for future years, that we just can't get there from here and support all of these programs. And our concern is that the longer we gowe are heading down a track with a big train wreck at the end, is the way we see it. The longer we go, the more difficult it is going to be to correct the situation.
Let me just close and thank you all for your comments and the rest of you for thinking about this, because I know that my colleague Congressman Weldon is going to explore this in some detail, so your other comments can be deferred to answers to his questions because I know he has a major concern. You need to help us. I don't think GAO and CBO are wrong. I think we are headed for a train wreck and you need to help us, and I think what Congressman Weldon mentions is really what we need. We need to just, you know, cancel some major programs, tell the American people that we are not going to be ready for some future contingencies because the money is just not there. What are you going to do about that?
I think the American people want the money there. I think they want us to be prepared, and I think we don't have the major support because we have not been truthful and honest with them. That is what we would like to be, and for us to be there, we have got to have your help because we plus upped your budget in the last couple of years. We were criticized for saying we were giving the Pentagon things they didn't want, a bunch of fools here, and the Congress giving things that they don't want. I don't think you believe that because everything you got, I think you will tell us, ''Gee, we really needed it and more. We wish you could have done more for us.''
Page 96 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But we need to face the future realistically and we just don't think we can get there from here. We need your help in conveying that to the American people so that we are going to have their support to change what happens in this city. Thank you all very much.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank my friend.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you, Chairman Hunter.
I want to just simply ask you, I don't see anything, Lieutenant General Martin, in your report with regard to the need or the future thoughts about the A10 Thunderbolts or Wart Hogs. I know they played a critical role in Desert Storm. And also Pope Air Force Base which is on the edge of my district, and with some redistricting now Congressman Hayes has that part of Pope, but I was out at Pope Air Force Base recently, and we know the strategic support they provide for Fort Bragg and C130's.
I am interested right now with the A10 Thunderbolts they have, and what your projections are for the need of that aircraft.
General MARTIN. Yes, sir. A great airplane, an airplane that has done superb work for our Air Force and for our other services. As you know, the projection is that both the F16 and the A10 will eventually be replaced by the JSF. The question is whether any will remain afterwards as OA10's perhaps or as A10 forces. At this point the game plan would be in the outyears, the 2015 timeframe, that you would see the A10's begin to be retired and replaced by the JSF after the JSF has replaced the F16.
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In the meantime, then, that airplane will continue to go through modification and upgrade in terms of satlinks, the situation awareness display links to our Army counterpart, so that we can see the picture of the ground and provide close air support for them in a much more effective and capable way. We will see upgrades to their computer capability and their ability to gather not only information but then deliver ordnance in a precision way, night vision goggles, those sorts of things, but nothing radical or huge for that aircraft that is very capable in doing that job today.
Mr. MCINTYRE. So you don't sese the need to purchase additional ones in the interim. You think the number we have currently is sufficient. They just need to be upgraded. Is that what you are saying?
General MARTIN. Yes, sir. We need to keep them connected to the rest of the force through the comm and link upgrades, and we need to make sure their avionics and weapons delivering capabilities are kept up to date. That is the plan with the A10, but not to buy more of them, and at this point we envision that being at the tail end of the replacement with the JSF coming on board, to give us the hedge we need for what that airplane does so well.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman.
Page 98 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And my friend Mr. Weldon, who had a couple other pressing things early on when we started, but is co-running this operation with his Research and Development Subcommittee, Mr. Weldon, take all the time you want.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. Hunter. Let me apologize for not being here for the first hour or so of the hearing. This is our fourth hearing that I have been involved with since chairing the R&D subcommittee on this issue, and we first surfaced the problems that we see coming back in 1996, when we saw the Pentagon sliding into some major procurement programs without the appropriate process that we thought was necessary to get into, major acquisition buys.
And we saw that because we saw a continuing rapid decline in defense spending that we have to deal with. Let me say to start off that I am really concerned about what is happening to our R&D account lines. As the R&D chairman, and Mr. Rodriquez hit on this, people don't realize what we are doing here, and just a couple of points that I want to make.
The billionthe couple of billion dollar increase that we are seeing supposedly in procurement this year is to be funded by cutting our R&D by $3 billion. We don't hear anybody talking about that. Next year's budget calls for a $3 billion decrease in R&D spending, so we are simply shifting money. There is no increase in dollars here. It is simply shifting money out of where we do our seed corn technology work into an immediate need that is here today.
We have got to be honest and talk about that, not give the appearance that somehow we are putting more money into defense. We also, when we define modernization, it is procurement. We don't define modernization as research, and that is partly I guess our fault in the Congress, but that certainly is what the administration has been talking about.
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There was no mention made in any of the Department budget briefings about the 8 percent decline in R&D. We talk in terms of modernization when we talk about buying new systems or buying new platforms. With the exception of the Air Force, the service chiefs' unfunded priority lists include an average of less than 10 percent of those priorities as being R&D needs. And in the case of the Air Force, the R&D request was at 20th, I'm sorry, no, but I mean what was on the list ofit was Item Number 20 on the list of 20 of unfunded requests. So it wasn't exactly on the top of the list. It was the last of 20 items on the list.
I am very concerned about where we are today and where we are going. We are eating up not just the capability of our troops to respond to deployments. We are eating up the future of preparation of the investment in research necessary to have those technologies available for the next century. This is at a time when we see huge threats emerging in cyberterrorism, where we have to invest our money significantly greater than what we have been in antiterrorism dealing with weapons of mass destruction and in missile defense.
And we are underfunding all of those. In fact, in missile defense we are now seeing what probably should occur across the board. We are seeing some realism. The administration wants to cancel the MEADs program. They want to combine the Navy efforts here and Navy areawide and the THAAD program, at least they are being candid, but to keep all of these programs stringing along while starving all of them and driving up the per copy costs and keeping the workers somewhat satisfied because we will keep this plane open, but it will be 20 percent fewer workers.
We are only prolonging what is going to be a massive, massive negative situation a few years down the road. Now in a perfect world, General, I would agree with you, you have done some good plans and so has the Pentagon. But we don't live in a perfect world. Is the next President going to commit to not do what this President did and not commit our troops to 33 deployments in 6 years, is that President going to do that?
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Because if that President doesn't commit to that, we spent $19 billion in unfunded contingencies to pay for the deployments of this President, all of which came out of programs that were planned to be funded. So is the next President going to tell us he is not going to do that? We don't know that answer. And the budget assumptions that you are giving us and that we are working with are based upon a perfect world, where the budgets, increasing exactly the way we think they will, we will have saved the money from base closings, we will realize the savings from reform, all of which are questionable at best and I would think are probably not going to be realized.
So my point and I think the point that Roscoe was mentioning earlier, I think we got to bite the bullet. I think we got to start being realistic and have more members begin to feel the pain; cancel some programs. In fact, I get offended when we get into programs like this and which unions are involved in working on the F18 right now? Can you tell me which ones they are? Who knows that program? Do you know?
Admiral NATHMAN. I know the program.
Mr. WELDON. You don't know what unions?
Admiral NATHMAN. No, sir.
Mr. WELDON. We have not engaged the people who are building these platforms, so the very people and their national leadership for these unions building programs like the F/A18 are the ones coming up here telling us to cut more, and until somebody makes the connect, the jobs are going to continue to be lost, because of what we are doing for our Nation's security. And this is not a jobs program, and I am not arguing that, but they are going to be negatively impacted. You are going to see more of this continued decrease as opposed to a stabilization of the requirements to fund these programs.
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But as push comes to shove and the appropriators have to do their work each year, they are going to take the across-the-board cuts to fund the big ticket programs, because they are so visible, and each year it gets worse and it gets worse and it gets worse. So the reason why we in the House have focused so much on tac air is just because we feel that this is probably a prime example of a pipe dream of this administration for the next century that we can't meet, and we ought to be honest about it.
You know, we ought to be up front. I took a lot of heat when I opposed the B2 bomber. My colleagues on this side of the aisle, including my good friend here, liked to strung me up. Why? It wasn't because I didn't like the Stealth technology. I thought it was great technology. But I could not see how could fund the B2 bomber and fund all the other stuff.
And so our question and our point is, more than a question because it is in some cases above your pay grade to deal with these issues, but you have to sense the frustration that we feel on this side. We think we are only playing games. And, unfortunately, we are playing games with the men and women who are serving our country and that is not fair. I would rather see a national scandal and have every member raising Cain because their companies are being closed or their plants are being shut down, and be honest with them, rather than just string along everybody, and just instead of building seven this year we will build four, or maybe we will build five.
We have lost a million union workers in the past 8 years from defense and air space cuts. We haven't heard a word out of the AFLCIO about the negative impact on the jobs of those workers, and we are partly to blame for that because while we fund defense for national security purposes, we didn't make the connect that we are talking about jobs for real people that will help us bring in some people who respond to the jobs question more than they do to the national security of our country, which is unfortunate. But, in fact, it is a reality.
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So the reason why we have continued our concerns is that until we get some resolution of the differences between what GAO told us and what the CBO told us about the programs that you are working in we don't feel comfortable. Now I know you have differences with them, you say they haven't considered all the right numbers and in some cases you say their numbers are wrong. And in fact last year at our hearing we had the two sides sit together and go back and forth because I have confidence in the work that GAO and the CBO have done.
They think you are going to have some slips that we are not dealing with up front. They think our projections are overly optimistic, and I think in the scheme of things, and again history is always 100 percent correct, I think looking at history, we are probably going to have the same thing occur here.
And so, therefore, as the chairman of the R&D Subcommittee, I can tell you that your programs are continually going to be scrutinized very closely, just because we are not confident that the leaders above you, and certainly those in the White House, are really committed to putting dollars on the table to take care of those needs. And it is not meant to cast any negative feelings about any of you personally or the jobs you are doing but we are just not happy.
And I look at the programs that, you know, the V22, which has been brought up a couple of times, a program that we should have been in full production by now. We should have been building 24 aircraft a year. That was the original projection. My colleague asked a question, we should have been in a production of 24 a year right now. And we are struggling to get above seven or eight a year. You know, we are going to be flying the CH46 when it is 55 years old.
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We are asking pilots to test in the 46 carrying eight troops, when they are asked to carry 24 in combat. We are asking them to do evasive training maneuversor not to do that in training, yet in combat they have to do that. And we are asking them to do night flying, and they have to tape over the instrumentation panels with tape because of the antiquated aircraft that we are flying.
I mean these are realities. And the maintenance rates on these aircraft, as you have pointed out, are just absolutely overwhelming. And the Commanche, I mean, it is amazing we have one aircraft, one aircraft, in terms of the Commanche test program. That is a national disgrace.
My question for you gentlemen in terms of the Commanche is, I understand it has not been flying for 6 months, amazingly as the Phoenix arose yesterday and started flying again right before our hearing, which is great, and I am all for that and I am happy.
The CHAIRMAN. We are going to hold one tomorrow.
Mr. WELDON. Let me ask the question, General, how much does it cost the Army to pay for the 6 months of R&D with no testing going on for the Commanche, because it only had one test aircraft?
Mr. FRANKLIN. Sir, I don't know those numbers. I will have to get back for the record on that.
Page 104 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC [The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. WELDON. For the record, thank you. It is absolutely ridiculous, and that program which we should be in production on right now, or soon to be in production, is going to bethe last numbers I saw were $9 billion over the original cost, and all of this money is increasing in the outyears, when all of these other programs are going to need to be funded, when we are trying to ramp up the production of our ships, which is woefully inadequate, when we are going to ramp up production of the tac air of our needs to fund missile defense, and we are just beginning all of those programs now.
They are all getting ready to go into full production. Where is all that money going to come from? And we are going to fund the Army digitized battlefield. Where is all that money going to come from? We are going to spend all of this new money that the President has called for to help Russia stabilize their nuclear arsenal. Where is that $1.8 billion going to come from?
And where is the money they requested for cyberterrorism, the $4 billion in additional funds the Defense Science Board asked for and when President Clinton talked about in January, where is that money going to come from? Especially, when you look at our quality of life costs increasing and when you look at the deployment rates we are in, I don't know. I don't see any movement to bring our troops back home from Bosnia or to bring our troops back home from Haiti or our troops back home from Somalia.
All I see is a president that keeps committing us for more deployments, yet not being factored into the budget. And so while we have all of these costs and they are recurring costs, we have a situation where we have got to stand up, and I know it is tough, when you are in uniform, but we have got to start being honest with the American people in terms of the bigger picture.
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Each of you have programs that, in my opinion, need to be pursued. But I am still convinced we don't have the wherewithal to pursue them. And I would rather be up front with you now and tell you that and tell the people working these programs and the union people working on the ones that are in production now, look, you are not going to have a job 5 years from now, because we don't have the dollars to pay for this program, rather than let everything slip along and let it become one big fist fight in the Congress about who has the most political muscle to outmaneuver the other service to get the dollars to fund this priority or that priority.
And that is really where we are right now. It is a very troubling situation for us. And, unfortunately, I think tactical aviation stands out like a lightening rod because you are a rapidly growing portion of our budget in a time where the budget is at best trying to be stabilized and where the optimistic rosy scenario painted by the President of $110 billion increase is all for the most part smoking mirrors.
In fact, the $11 billion he projected for next year is more like one $1.8 to $3 billion when you get beyond the shifting of money back and forth between the accounts. So I would just say, I am not really asking a question because I don't think you want to respond to what I am asking you. But you need to understand as the program managers and as the leaders that we are in an impossible situation, and we are going to keep asking the very difficult questions of you all, because we have problems with those above you who are trying to do things that we think right now are impossible given the budgets that are being projected this next year and beyond to fund the Services.
And it is very offensive to us when we saw unfunded deployments time and time again. We are now in our 33rd deployment with Kosovo over the last 8 years, none of them budgeted for, and then we in the Congress put money back into the Services to help replenish some of that $19 billion of unfunded contingency and the White House accuses us of giving you all money that you didn't ask for when it was simply refunding money that was siphoned out the back door to pay for the costs associated with the deployments.
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That is basically what we did over the past 4 years. We plused up the defense budget by 10, 6, 3, and then the reconciliation bill last year, the supplemental, by over $20 billion to offset the $19 billion of unfunded deployments over the past 8 years that we got ourselves involved in at an unbelievable rate. I don't see that changing.
I don't see the administration saying in their budget message the next President had better look to either fund those deployments when they are committed to or cut down the rate of deployments that we are requiring our Services to get involved in. Unless we take those kinds of measures, we are not going to be able to fund the programs that you all are managing. I am convinced of that.
And it is unfortunate that I have to publicly keep saying this. But if I had my way we would make a tough decision and we would cancel one or more of your programs this year and I know that would be tough. It will be tough for the Navy because they need the F/A18E/F. It would be tough for the Air Force because they desperately want the F22.
And I don't know what the Marine Corps would do without a replacement for the Harrier, but I think until we do something dramatic like that and really be honest with the American people we are not going to get the attention. And we are simply going to starve and increase the costs and prolong the problem until some other group has to deal with this in a more up front and honest way.
General MARTIN. Mr. Congressman, if I could respond.
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Mr. WELDON. Sure.
General MARTIN. I must tell you I understand that argument. I deal with it every day. I think we need to understand the value of the programs. We are not creating programs down here that this Nation does not need. Now, whether they are needed today or needed a little bit further out is a question we can deal with and what those costs will be depending on whether we hold the line, stable funding, and keep the program on track or not, we can debate.
But the fact is these programs are necessary, the value they add to combat deployment is critical. So to cancel one for the purpose of trying to make the rest of the budget whole does not usually work. When that money is gone, it is gone. Now, we will try and make this program whole with it, and for a year or two it might work, but the bottom line is the budget will come down and we will have gotten used to not having that capability, and we will leave our troops unprotected in a world that is unfriendly and advancing at a great rate.
We must be very careful about the programs we choose to fund and programs we choose to kill. They must be done based on value, not just costs.
Mr. WELDON. General, I agree with you, and I wish you would give that same speech to the man sitting in the White House, because if you give that speechif you give the speech to the man sitting in the White House, who would commit our troops to deployment 33 times, instead of not funding the costs of those deployments, and take it out of the back door of the defense budget because he doesn't want to come down here and ask for the approval of getting that funding and have us have an up and down vote in committing our troops and paying for it. I would vote to pay for it, as we did in Desert Storm. There are allies to pay the bill.
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We back into the defense budget, take the money out because we will always pay for the costs of our deployments around the world, and then we are forced into positions where we don't have the dollars to fund the kinds of priorities that you and I both know are necessary. And until we are going to be realistic and honest about what is happening, we are only playing a game, and you are forcing us to do an impossible situation.
And I am not saying Congress is without fault. If I had my way, this President would not commit troops unless we put the money on the table to pay for it up front, not back door it and then try to find a way to replenish that after the fact and then get criticized for it because you all didn't ask for it. And that is the way it has been for the past 8 years.
And we are now facing a situation that by doing this continuously, you drive up the costs of these programs that you rightfully pointed out are absolutely essential to the point where they could be pointed out to be unaffordable, where instead of paying whatever it would be for the Commanche, we are going to pay $9 billion for, instead of paying what it would be for our ships and for our cruisers and destroyers we are going to paying X billions of dollars more for them, because we haven't had a consistent funding base.
So I agree with you. But I think we have had a lack of candor, not from you all, but in this country in discussions between the Congress and the White House about what our defense budget numbers should be. That is why I am saying there should be a more open, honest debate in this country. Or if we can't do that, the only way to get the attention of the people is to make it hurt, and that is unfortunate. I mean, you know it is just unfortunate that we lost those 28 young troops over in Desert Storm when that Scud missile hit them.
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Should we have had a system in place? Absolutely. Have we been spending the money on that? Absolutely. Should we be spending more? Absolutely. But it is coming to a time where the dollars are becoming increasingly, increasingly scarce because of our lack of modernization and our lack of R&D. And what really concerns me as the chairman of the R&D is that this 1 year the administration has proposed a $3 billion cut in the R&D account lines, and yet that is being considered as an increase in procurement. That is a joke.
It is not even worthy of legitimate discussion here, that we would simply see a transfer of $3 billion out of R&D and say that we are really increasing our procurement account line by $3 billion. That is not an increase in funding, yet that is what is being proposed to us. And so I am just trying to give you some sensitivity. My colleagues on this committee have heard this many times before. And as my colleagues on the other side know, I am willing to have the Congress accept an equal blame with the White House.
I am just saying it is about time that we be honest in this discussion with the American people and instead of each of us squirming when a plant in our district is going to be closed or a company is going to have to cut back, we ought to have a legitimate and open ended debate about these issues, and we ought to involve those people who work on these programs.
I mean, you know, I am one that says I think all the labor unions ought to be involved in this, and I am somewhat offended that we don't bring them in. If the International Brotherhood of Electronics Workers and the UAW and the IM who are building our ships and planes aren't involved in this process then they have no right to complain to their members when we cut the programs. And if we don't get them involved, that is our fault. To some extent I think it is the fault of the Services. I don't mean being political. These are the workers that build your programs, and they do vote and they do have the ability to access members who are on this committee, and my point is that we need to bring them into the fight. If we don't do that, we are going to continue to see the kind of pressures that are going to ultimatelyand I predict ultimately cause one or more of your programs to go down the tubes.
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That is my prediction. I summarized enough, Mr. Hunter. I will turn it back over to you.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank my friend. Norm, did you have something you wanted to add?
Mr. SISISKY. I want to tell my friend he knows I agree with him on most of the things, and I should not be the protector of the White House, because God knows he can protect himself pretty good. But I just want to remind him that where we are sending troops today wasn't the only place that we ever sent troops over the years, like in Grenada and Panama, Honduras and other places. And you know that I agree with you about getting more money, but
Mr. WELDON. And the gentleman makes an excellent point. The only thing I was trying to point out, and you all know this better than I do, from World War II until 1991, the Republican and Democrat commanders in chief of this country committed our countries to 10 deployments at home and abroad, 10 times. From 1991 to this year, we have 33 deployments. That is a significant change at a time where a defense budget is being cut, unlike any other time in this country, along with the fact, I would point this out for the record, the largest deployment in this decade was Desert Storm, which was a Republican president.
My understanding of the facts, and I stand to be corrected on the record, was Desert Storm cost this country $52 billion. President Bush got the allies to cough up their portion of the costs so that we actually got reimbursed $53 billion. If this administration wants to keep the deployment rate what it is, fine. But I say to them let them go out and bring the money in from our allies to pay the fort instead of raiding the defense accounts to pay for those deployments. That is my point and that is my criticism. And most of these deployments, as my friend knows, I would support the President on.
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But I would also support him on paying for them and havingKosovo, if it is worth paying for it, we should have an up or other down vote on Kosovo, an up or down vote on paying for Kosovo. But we don't do that, just like the Wye River agreement. What in the world is the Defense Department doing having to eat the costs of the Wye River agreement if it is going to be reimbursed supposedly by the next President in the year 2001? Why is the Wye River agreement $230 million coming out of our defense budget this year? Can somebody tell me that? I don't know. But that is not being proposed, that is what is being done, and that is the problem we have to deal with.
Mr. SISISKY. Do you want me to tell you?
Mr. WELDON. Yes, tell me.
Mr. SISISKY. You know the problem with the Middle East. Why are we giving lessons around here? This is probably the most dangerous time in the Middle East in the last 50 years, and mainly because of the age and the condition of leaders over there. And I think that is the real reason that we had to get them talking again. I went over there to the Middle East with the President, and I will tell you this, if he hadn't gone over there, forget about the Wye River, it would have all been going down, it still is because of the elections in Israel. I am here to tell you that this is to our interest whether we like it or not.
Mr. WELDON. I agree.
Mr. SISISKY. It is to our interest.
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Mr. WELDON. To my friend and colleague I would join him in a positive vote on the House floor in support of the Wye River agreement and to pay for it.
Mr. SISISKY. But the gentleman knows why we don't vote for those things. When is the last time that we had a foreign
Mr. TAYLOR. Can we dismiss the witnesses?
Mr. SISISKY. You are right. This is bad for them.
Mr. WELDON. The gentleman had his time, I want to continue with my time. The point is, this is a very valid issue to the discussion at hand today. The point is not whether we support the Wye River agreement, I support it, and I am willing to vote to fund it. The point is, why is the Defense Department and their budget the pot of money that is being taken to fund the Wye River agreement? That is the question.
Take it out of Madeleine Albright's overhead, let her pay the bill for Wye River, take it out of State Department's budget. Why is it coming out of the defense budget? That is the point. That is because that is what hurts the ability for us to fund programs like yours.
The CHAIRMAN. I thank my friend and I thank all my friends. I think we will all stipulate that probably none of the witnesses here are in position to retrieve the Wye River money at this point. Let me turn to the very talented gentleman from Missouri. Mr. Talent.
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Mr. TALENT. I thank the chairman. And I really appreciate it today, as I often have, the passion of my friend from Pennsylvania, and I think when we look back on this era people will appreciate his voice on behalf of these basic truths. And I am also going to say, Mr. Chairman, that I think, and this may be where I disagree with my friend, the Congress bears an equal share of the responsibility. I think he maybe should have been a little more precise.
I don't think this committee does. I have been proud to be on this committee. We have been telling people year after year after year after year, and I think the answer is to do what isI certainly am and I think everybody else here is trying to do, and that is to get a whole lot more money in this year's budget for defense, and then I think we can stop having to pick at programs that we all agree are good programs.
And we believe what we are saying, and I know you do, and the two chairmen do, I know Mr. Sisisky does. We can't send any better signal to the world and to the country than to put more into defense, as we did in the defense agreement last year. I think that is going to happen.
Admiral Nathman, everybody here on the committee knows I have a passing interest in the E and F, and I wondered if you would enlighten the committee as to the status of the flight test program at Pax River and also just take a minute or two and tell us what operational capabilities that aircraft is going to give us when it comes on-line that the C and D doesn't have right now.
Page 114 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. As you know, one of thelet me talk to you about the status of the program. I mentioned earlier, but we are now under 4,300 flight hours for those airplanes. I think we have 11 aircraft flying. We have just approved the third low rate production for 30 aircraft. Those aircraft are a production example of what we are asking for in the multiyear. We completed all of our operational tests. We, of course, have an ongoing developmental test.
The aircraft is being embarked today on the U.S.S. Truman to commence the suitability trials. I think the best way to characterize it besides whatwe call it the model program in terms of on cost, on time, and meeting all of our critical performance characteristics for Operational Evaluation is that we have an airplane that we think is going to be a superb war fighter, will answer the needs for our air wings in the future, not only in its ability, one, to take care of some shortfalls that we saw in the airplanes that we have right now.
The obvious things of increased range, increased water time, a tremendous growth in combat payload capability, in terms of striking power. And this is what it is we think the naval forces are going to do, we are going to be on scene. We are going to have to project powers into a shore, either in support of a maneuver scheme for the Marine Corps or in support of shaving the battle space for a joint forces commander.
We also think we have the right shaping of the airplane in terms of survivability. We have the right maneuverability in the airplane, the right cross-sectional reduction in terms of detection of that particular aircraft. We can grow the right kind of weapons, whether it be in an ESA or a helmet mounted cueing system site or A9X to provide the right type of lethality and capability that we want, not only for the fighting mission, but the striking mission itself.
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Those are the kinds of things we see the great value that we have in this airplane, and I think it is important for the chair to know that we are procuring this airplane. What we were proposing in the multiyear is the minimum procurement rate. It fits the Quadrennial Defense Review rate, but it is also the minimum procurement rate to fit the requirement that we have for the airplane. This will help alleviate some of the problems that we have right now in trying to support the Marine Corps with F18 transition. Both General McCorkle and I are working very earnestly on that program right now to alleviate, of course, and replace the F14.
Mr. TALENT. By doing the multiyear, we will save money, which we have an opportunity not to make the mistake we made with some other programs by so strangulating the buy early that it costs more in the end, and I agree with you on that.
Just take a minute, and this will be my last question, Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the committee's indulgence and the witnesses' patience, talk about what all of those things means in terms of survivability? I think that is one of the keys to this aircraft.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir, we have three independent studies, the Center for Naval Analysis, which have campaign studies, and these vary on threat levels from what you might see in Iraq to Korea, to something you might see in other parts of the world, but they vary from a very low to a high threat level. Typically what we see out of all of these three independent studies, these airplanes are two and a half to three times more survivable and at least three times more effective.
Page 116 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I will give you an example of that. The example would be typically, when you fly the way we fly with current fleet aircraft, we will launch F18s or F14s on strike. They will typically be flagged for a single mission, like strike or interdiction. One airplane, several airplanes will be tasked to provide HARM suppression and will fly with the EA6B to provide electronic attack.
When you add those airplanes up, typically you might see a package. My experience last year as a task force commander in the Gulf was we would typically fly a package of eight planes against a particular target. That would takethat obviously takes a great dealthat is a level of effort.
The type of level of effort we are talking now with the E/F, as you would probably do the same things in terms of capability, you might do it with five or four F18E/F Super Hornets. You could double flag those airplanes. They could provide the suppression with HARMs. They could also drop a number of standoff weapons like JDAM or JSOW.
You can effectively shape the battle space three to five times more effectively than we can do right now with the air wings we have. And as I said earlier, we see an increasing need for our presence and for our battle space shaping requirements. We think the Super Hornet is the answer to that question.
The CHAIRMAN. Would the gentleman yield on that multiyear procurement?
Mr. TALENT. Of course.
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The CHAIRMAN. I wanted to ask you these questions while Mr. Talent has you on this issue.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. As you know, one of the criteria that you need for multiconsideration is the so-called stable configuration. The OT2B report listed 29 major deficiencies with the aircraft and stated that these deficiencies should be corrected prior to operational test and evaluation, which is scheduled to begin in May 1999. Design changes to correct these could affect, to some degree, the production configuration.
So first, will the correction of these deficiencies from OT2B impact the final decision on the aircraft? And second, since the OPEVAL won't begin until May of this year, we won't know the results until I presume after October
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. [continuing]. Why is the aircraft configuration considered stable enough to enter this 5-year multiyear contract?
Admiral NATHMAN. That is a multifaceted question. I will try and take it on a part-by-part. The LRIP3 production which was approved this year is the stable configuration which we are proposing for our multiyear procurement. We will have completed OPEVAL in October; it starts in May, we intend to complete it in October. The airplane is ready for OPEVAL now. 98 percent of the testing is complete, and it is meeting all of its critical performance factors to get ready for OPEVAL.
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We will know the results of that and we will know clearly if there are any changes required. We see no changes right now to the production stability of these airplanes as a result of OT2 BRAVO or as OPEVAL, so we will have a stable configuration. We are convinced of that. As a hedge or a wedge, we will know the results of that before we commit funds for the multiyear, because that I believe is a March decision.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. Admiral, now are you aware that 29 deficiencies were listed?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, I am.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you evaluated them?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir, I have. I would like to discuss that a little bit.
The CHAIRMAN. Go ahead.
Admiral NATHMAN. Let me give you a couple of examples. They talked about some of the concerns about the effectiveness of the airplane on air-to-air, and they talked about its ability to do this pirouette maneuver. If I could useI am a fighter pilot, so if I can use my hands, it is ability to basically pirouette the airplane back either in a defensive situation, but most logically in an offensive situation, to pirouette back and bring the nose to bear on a target aircraft.
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That was a clear deficiency in the airplane in terms of what the pilot saw, the operational test pilot saw, and the ability to use the air-to-air capability of the airplane, because we have given it great maneuvering performance, both instantaneous and sustained maneuvering performance. It is comparable or better than the F18C. And in the mock dog fights that we did with a brand new airplane, pilots still trying to figure out how to use it, it still enjoyed an advantage of 3 to 1 against that particular aircraft that was trying to simulate the MiG 29 in terms of a threat.
Now, what they criticized there in terms of configuration is that it did not have the joint helmet mounted cueing system or the agile weapons installed in the airplane, but that is part of the stability that we have in the airplane. That is part of the procurement profile of the airplane. We are puttingthe joint helmet mounted cueing system and A9X are part of the airplane, the way it is profiled and the way that we will purchase it. But they didn't have it to test with it because we are still in the operational test period at this time. That is what we intend to have on the airplane.
That is an example of the criticism. There is criticism of the brakes, the brakes weren't strong enough. We fixed those. There is some criticism of the ability to get in and out of the cockpit safely.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you a question. You speak of these things as criticism. That is like an author in a book writing a critique on a play. They are listed in our report as major, 29 major deficiencies.
Page 120 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are we playing on words or are you?
Admiral NATHMAN. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Are these deficiencies or are they just things where people didn't get their druthers? How do you describe them?
Admiral NATHMAN. Part of it is, I will describe it both ways. Part of it they didn't get their druthers. We did not have the joint mounted helmet cueing system in the airplane and we did not have the A9X in the airplane when they did the initial testing. That is what you do operational testing for
The CHAIRMAN. I understand.
Admiral NATHMAN [continuing]. To find that out.
The CHAIRMAN. Nobody is saying we didn't expect to have deficiencies. My question is are they real deficiencies, are they substantive in nature, are they merely criticisms of the plane? And, second, are youare they deep enough that they should be considered toas critical enough that they should be worked out before you go into a multiyear or laid to rest before you go into a multiyear, or are you satisfied that they are shallow enough they can be taken care of and presuming that you have looked at all of these 29 deficiencies?
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Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. I think part of it is, there is several phases, the way to answer this question. Part of it is this is a new airplane, and I think what comes along with every new airplane is an understanding of how best to operationally employ it. We haven't gone into the operational deployment that we typically see at VX9. We haven't fully gone through that sort of development to look at the best type of tactics to use and fly that airplane.
So we will develop this airplane tactically as we put it into the fleet and we put it into the VX9. That is what VX9 is charged to do. We will develop this airplane more completely tactically. And that was some of the criticisms we had about climb rate where at that time we were looking at tactics for the towed decoy, whether or not we could use that after burner or not.
We made great strides recently on protecting that cable so that we can use the envelope of the aircraft while we had the towed decoyed deployed.
The CHAIRMAN. Are you saying some of the deficiencies here aren't deficiencies with the plane, they are deficiencies with respect to the tactics with which we employ the plane?
Admiral NATHMAN. In some cases, yes, sir. I will give you an example, there was criticisms of the maneuvering capability of the airplane and the buffet and the feedback that the pilots got. I had a chance to fly the airplane last week. I have had experience, extensive experience in teaching air-to-air combat. I was an instructor at Top Gun for several years in the late 1970's. And part of this is an understanding of the best way to use the maneuvering performance of that airplane. It has exceptional maneuvering performance.
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We have corrected a deficiency, a major deficiency in that airplane which was we have slightlydestabilized is probably not a good word to use, but I will use that word, we want to make sure that the airplane had great stability in it so we don't stall or spin it. But in developing those flight control wall software POMs, as it were, for the airplane, we actually probably made the airplane too stable.
And that is why the pilots felt they couldn't rate the airplane very rapidly. We have corrected that. The airplane I flew last week, which has the latest POMs, it has the POMs that we have in LRIP3 and has the POM we will take in OPEVAL. That airplane has absolutely no problem.
I was flying the airplane last week at 40,000-some feet full back stick, full ailerons and spoilers into the turn, full rudder and full forward stick. And I will tell you that airplane has exceptional maneuvering performance. We have corrected that.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. So from your professional perspective, the plane has now reached what you would call stable configuration?
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. We do not anticipate those changesthe criticisms or the discrepancies changing the production stability of that airplane for the multiyear.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. Now, the wing drop problem has been solved, but you have what was stated to be some lateral activity.
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Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. What is that?
Admiral NATHMAN. That lateral activity is still there. By the way, it is in the F4, it is in the F14, it is in the A7, it is big time in the A4. I know you personally haven't had a chance to fly the A4, but if we talked about wing drop, anyone who has flown on a A4 with slats would know what wing drop is all about.
There is no longer wing drop in the airplane. The lateral activity that we are talking about occurs at a very particular part of the envelope, typically at around 9 degrees angular attack, which is probably at around 4 Gs at 450 knots, and it is a very small what I call bobble, sir. That is what we call activity. It kind of looks like this.
And you will get it for a very short period of time, duration typically over a second. It has no mission degradation that I can see, either on the ability to track with the gun system or to deploy or use the airplane in strike. So we see no mission degradation in that particular flying quality, degradation that we have in the airplane.
The CHAIRMAN. Just one more, then I will hand it back to Mr. Talent here. You have hadyou received approval for multiyear for the E2C and AV8B, and the multiyear contract may be considered for the V22 in the future.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir.
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The CHAIRMAN. Understanding that commitment that is involved inand the constraints that that places on budgetary moneys that are free to do other things, do you have any idea how much , what percent of the Navy's programs, if we went ahead with multiyear for the E/F, will be tied up in multiyears?
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, I would like to take that one for the record to make sure I am accurate on that. I think you are aware of the savings we have talked about. $704 million. I think it is aroundit is around 7.4 percent.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
Mr. HUNTER. I am a veteran of many sales. It would intend to save me money.
Admiral NATHMAN. I will avoid the sales pitch. We see it as the savings to be applied elsewhere, because we have to buy to that particular rate.
The CHAIRMAN. The one thing you do lose when you get a much larger piece of your budget tied up in multiyear is flexibility. If you have to go in a different direction, you are facing significant penalties when you have to cancel.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean, you understand that there is a risk involved in multiyear.
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Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir, I do. There is some flexibility. The flexibility occurs formally when we make the decision. There is also flexibility in the outyears, I think, after 1900. There is a plus or minus six aircraft flexibility in that multiyear.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. Jim, did you have any more questions on this?
Mr. TALENT. Well, Mr. Chairman, just to thank you for your very fair and thorough questions, and I think they were excellent ones. I hope they have been answered. Let me just summarize, Admiral Nathman, because I don't know that youthe Chairman has squarely put this to you, and you explained it. Sometimes we do the same thing, we explain it before we answer it.
There is nothing in this aircraft with regard to these deficiencies or the lateral activity or anything like that which in your judgment would prevent it from being a ripe candidate for multiyear procurement, is that correct, for the record?
Admiral NATHMAN. That is correct, sir.
Mr. TALENT. OK. Thank you again, Mr. Chairman. And you know Iwe have waxed, all of us, and have had a few things to say in this hearing. I was reading the other day a speech Churchill gave in the late 1930's, and he talked about the years the locusts had eaten with regard to the early years of the 1930's, years he said were vital to Britain's greatness. And I think we have had some years that the locusts have eaten, but there have been no locusts on this committee.
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And that has been because of your leadership and Mr. Skelton's and Mr. Sisisky's, Mr. Weldon and Mr. Spence. I wanted to say that for the record. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, my friend, you are very kind. And since you have asked, since you have talked about the need, critical need for additional dollars, all of the Services have very candidly come forth and requested extra dollars per year. The Air Force, $5 billion a year in order to meet their unfunded requirements; Marines $1.75 billion; the Army, $5 billion; the Navy, $6 billion. And all of that on top of the pay fix, which is about $2.5 billion. If you add that up and you add the $1.8 billion that is not funded for Bosnia, you get to $22 billion.
And do all of you agree that those additional dollars that were testified to by the Chiefs are in fact critical and crucial to your programs?
General MARTIN. Yes.
General MCCORKLE. Yes, sir, very much so.
General FRANKLIN. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. General Kenne, let me just go back to the Marines. One concern that has been voiced by a number of my colleagues, and my own concern with respect to Joint Strike Fighter is that I think we need Joint Strike Fighter very quickly because I think we need to get stealth in as many aircraft as possible. Even if it is going to take four, five, six, 7 years, one fear I think thatI think a number of folks and the Marines have had, and possibly justified fears, that they did decide to forego the E/F. They wanted to have a system that had more stealth capability in it and add the other characteristics that are important, at least all of characteristics that are important to the Marines.
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Do you have a system which is going to discipline the development of the Joint Strike Fighter in terms of bringing design to a conclusion and at a point where beforeyou know, our fears in the past have been the systems have started simple, like our tax bills, and when they finish up, they end up, they have a lot of whistles and bells on them and they have been designed to cost more than we intended to them to cost.
Do you have a discipline built into this program that you think is going to avoid that, and what do you think the JSF is going to come out costing per unit cost in today's dollars?
General KENNE. Sir, we do have a discipline process in which the warfighters, the technologists in the program office and industry have been integrally involved for almost 3 years now in understanding the design of the Joint Strike Fighter and the costs associated with all of the major attributes of that design.
The warfighters have, in fact, made trades to do things like reduce the top speed of the aircraft. They have very carefully crafted their initial avionics package in the program. They have relaxed some, in the case of one particular service, the number of Gs that the aircraft will structurally be able to pull, all to save costs. They were very hard decisions to make.
Now, we just last week had a review by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, the Joint Staff, a preliminary look at some of these attributes, and I think that review went very well. The Joint Staff is continuing to keep the pressure on all the Services to, right here as we go toward the final requirements document at the end of this year, to keep the pressure on to keep those requirements in the box and the costs down and not let them blossom here at the very end. So there is a concerted effort to do that, but I think it is a disciplined and rigorous process.
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The CHAIRMAN. Unit costs?
General KENNE. Yes, sir. The cost goal for the program for the Air Force is a $28 million cost goal. For the Navy it is $31 to $38 million. These are in 1994 dollars. And for the Marine Corps it is $30 to $35 million. I think these are aggressive goals. I think our industry has gotten the message and are tackling the advanced manufacturing techniques and design and supportability that will allow us to achieve not only unit recurring flyaway cost goals but life cycle cost goals.
Now, I will tell you, and the Services understand that the toughest ones to make are the $28 million cost goals for the Air Force. That was a tough one. We are working really, really hard at it. We think we are really sort of on the bubble on that one right now, as far as cost estimates go, as we look at the designs. Likewise, for the Marine Corps, that is the most complex and the most challenging problem we have. And I think we are right at the high end as far as a cost estimate on that particular design for the Navy variant.
We are well within, by our estimate, by the program office estimate, well within those cost goals. We still have 18 months to go before we see a final proposed design from these contractors, so they have got time to work those issues and be responsive to our needs to have an affordable weapons system.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. General Martin, we have gone through the cost cap on the F22, and in your previous testimony, the adjustment cost caps are $18.8 billion for Engineering and Manufacturing Development and $39.7 billion for the production of 339 aircraft. The fiscal year 1900 budget for procurement of this year's six aircraft was increased by $312.7 million compared to last year's estimate.
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So obviously you are going to have to restructure the procurement program to stay within the overall cost cap, if you came with this larger money early. How are you going to do that?
General MARTIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. No. 2, what are the risks in reaching the production cost cap, and how is the Air Force mitigating those risks?
General MARTIN. Sir, as you correctly point out, there is in the '00 column a cost growth for the production vehicles there. That was brought about as a result of the real vendor agreements as opposed to the models that were used to predict it. Without any action at all, there would be an opportunity for us to break the cost cap. The program office obviously is working through those particular issues now in terms of producability enhancements and the other cost mitigation efforts that I described earlier, that both the Air Force and the contractor together are working.
I will tell you that the risk, I believe, is for us to maintain those cost caps, and bringing those aircraft in within that cost cap is a very challenging issue for us. We have , as I have mentioned already, several producability activities that are going on both in the Air Force and with the contractor, not the least of which was the change in terms of the external storage configuration assessment evaluation.
One other area that we are and believe that we can achieve some reasonable savings deals with the flight test bed, which is going towhich we believe is a significant addition to our risk reduction opportunity. Hopefully, we will find that we are able to do much of the software integration and software work on that platform not in flight test hours, and begin to see a reduction in the flight test hours to validate the success of those efforts.
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But as I have mentioned, we have a long way to go as we go through the remainder of the EMD program. In learning about the structures that we have built and whether they are up to the task or not, we are finding little things here and there. We are working them, and with each one of those comes some sort of a cost penalty.
Our management reserve account there will be applied that way. And our overall work in terms of the scope of the flight test and value and model simulation, those areas are being looked at very carefully for areas where we can use mitigation.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. So that means you are going to haveyou do have some risk in meeting the costs?
General MARTIN. Yes, we do.
The CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you something else that maybe all of you can answer this. In this era of mergers, to some degree you are all captives, captives of a fairly reduced industrial base in terms of fewer players, fewer companies. You can't go across the street to buy a system from the other guy because in many cases there is no other guy.
And that means you have got to work with the large contractor who has the program, knows they are going to have the program and knows that they probably will have the program after your careers are over, and after my career is over, because these things go on for long time. There will be other Congressman walking out, I am sure, to watch, for example, the first Joint Strike Fighter operate. We have been trying to wrestle with how to do this, how to work in this new constrained environment and yet maintain a modicum of competition and an incentive for contractors to do everything they can to economize, keep the costs down, and at the same time, to increase combat capability when you can.
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What would you think about a challenge program, and that would be a program where smaller companies which obviously don't have the ability to go out and build a bird to compete with the ones that we are currently developing and producing, but which have the ability to bite off pieces of the R&D and the production of these aircraft, to challenge the prime contractors, the big contractor, on these areas in such a way that a board, perhaps made up of nominees by the prime contractor, by the major contractor and by the small challenger, and then maybe a third member of the board would be selected by the other two appointees, where that board could take a look at this thing for DOD and assess whether or not there were real efficiencies to be found, new capabilities for less money, without disrupting the overall program, but a way in which this base of small businesses that we haveand then when I say small businesses, I am in no way meaning businesses that should be given work because they need to get work or get a certain percentage, but only businesses that could in fact bring more efficiency to the program at a lower cost, or at least claim they could do that and make that challengeand have that challenge evaluated in a meaningful way so that if they won the challenge, they in fact could do that piece of the work.
What do you think about that general proposition as a means of maintaining competition and maintaining a sensitivity to time schedules and to costs by these major contractors who know that they are going to have these programs long after we are gone? General Martin?
General MARTIN. Sir, that is not my area of expertise, but a couple of thoughts as I have become engaged in this process.
Page 132 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC First of all, we are finding with our very sophisticated and technically advanced weapon systems that oftentimes the issue is not the technique or a specific capability, such as an antenna or a stealth coating or an engine technique. It is the integration of that activity, and there are very few small companies who have the wherewithal to pull together all the pieces, to do that integration.
By the same token, I am typically told by small companies there is very little incentive for the large companies to draw the small companies in and share the profits at a level that makes it worth the small company's while. So I don't know how we can, in a free enterprise system, how we can ensure there will be the equity that we need for that challenge process without some sort of set-aside or legislation that may or may not be productive. And there are cases where
The CHAIRMAN. We are not looking for equity. I mean this shouldn't be something that is done as another small business set-aside
General MARTIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. To give a bigger piece of a shrinking defense dollar in a welfare sense to a small company. But I am aware ofI look at what one of our companies did with respect to upgrading the microprocessing of our attack boats in the submarine area, which for practical purposes, by upgrading the microprocessing of our attack boats and backfitting that into existing subs, has reestablished the margin of stealth that we in the 1980's enjoyed over Russian submarines, which we lost in the late 1980's and early 1990's. A little company did it.
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General MARTIN. Right.
The CHAIRMAN. And all the king's horses and all the king's men of the big companies that had the major systems, the big legacy systems, apparently had no incentive to do that or at least to do it in a cost effective way.
So I guess my question to you is then what you are saying, to rephrase your answer or paraphrase your answer, you are saying that in many cases you think the integration challenge is going to be so great that it is not practical. But in that case, then the three-man board would simply report to DOD that the integration complexities made the particular challenge unworkable, right? That is what they would probably come back with if that was the situation, so then they wouldn't get it. But in some cases they might be able to make a compelling case that they could come from A to B faster than the big company which might be holding you up
General MARTIN. Certainly.
The CHAIRMAN [continuing]. From an economic sense? So at least it would produce a scrutiny with somebody who might have an incentive to move out and do part of that.
General MARTIN. I certainly don't want to dismiss out of hand the comments you made. It is something we certainly would want to look at and consider. In a perfect world, the bestest, the fastest to get thereas an example, in Discover II we have a very, very small company that has competed and been one of the companies that we have selected to Spectrum Astro, not a large company at all, for a relatively large project.
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That should be a source of great pride and happiness, I think, for a company and for those small, relatively small companies. They will probably now team with a larger company, but they will be in the driver's seat or should be in the driver's seat.
I am just saying that as I have gone through this learning process in my position, I have seen some discussion along that line, and how to adjudicate it properly is an area that would be a very important to us.
The CHAIRMAN. I agree. It is a toughy. It is a toughy. On the other hand, the situation we have is a difficult situation.
General MARTIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. Any other comments on that?
Admiral NATHMAN. Sir, one of the things I think we are seeing in a lot of U.S. industry is the concept of back shop-front shop, where if it is notthere is real legitimate work, but they really do well at it. And where they are doing the back shop and putting a lot of overhead for it, they will give it to somebody else. So there is a great amount of outsourcing, I think, going on right now inside of U.S. industry, and I think in a way you are kind of getting in a roundabout way some of the things that you are asking for. If they don't see the value in terms of whatthis is their core capability, this is what they want, I think there is a lot of inclination, particularly in U.S. industry, to outsource it, to give it to somebody that may bethat is their front shop, so their back shop is outsourced to someone else's front shop. I heard that concept.
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I think one of the things I see, and particularly in our Naval Air Systems Command, is a lot of that challenge that you have talked about in terms of getting the prime contractors to compete and to look and to see are we making the right economic decisions, do we have the right vendor base. There is a great deal of that.
To talk more about your particular point, I would probably want to defer and talk to Admiral Lockard, Naval Air Systems Command, relate your idea to him and get his comments, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. If you could do that, that would be super.
General FRANKLIN. Clearly, it is an interesting concept, and we would have to say the key is to incentivze the contractor to want to be part of that team, the prime contractor. I think there is adequate competition out there right now to provide us competitive prices, but to bring in the small business to be able to bid on pieces of a new development when the prime contractor is held to performance spec, is held to a certain time line that he is on, I think if you can provide him the right incentives, this might have some merit.
The CHAIRMAN. OK. Anything else, General McCorkle?
General MCCORKLE. I think enough has been said.
The CHAIRMAN. Can we cut that V22 up into thousands and thousands of contractors for you?
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General MCCORKLE. If it is cheaper and we can get it faster.
The CHAIRMAN. I agree. Thank you. And let me ask you, General Martin, let's go quickly to the bomber road map here.
Incidentally, my friend Gene, Mr. Taylor, do you have any questions you want to ask further, Gene?
Mr. TAYLOR. No.
The CHAIRMAN. Your bomber road map has us producing the next bomber, and I couldn't believe my eyes, was it 2037? I take it you folks don't think we need them any time soon.
General MARTIN. Actually, sir, we don't know. And the future strike aircraft study, I think the bomber road map will tell you and the LRIP additionally discussed the time that the aircraft would begin to fall off the edge of the earth, we believe. Now, that doesn't mean
The CHAIRMAN. You are going to fly the B52s until they are 80 years old?
General MARTIN. We don't know, sir. That may happen. I think it depends on where we need capability and whether the aircraft will deliver the capability and whether it is going to be able to be sustained during that period of time. The fact is that that airplane has the airframe life to do it, and what we are talking about now is making sure that we have the inerts for it that would be useful in a combat application. Now, whether we will do that is a function
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The CHAIRMAN. What it was, in December 1972 in Operation Linebacker we lost about 10 percent of the B52 force that was applied to that thing in a matter of hours to North Vietnamese Surface to Air Missiles. That waswere you going to fly that planethat was what, 1972, that was 28 years ago?
General MARTIN. Yes, sir. I was in that conflict. I saw the B52s shot down.
The CHAIRMAN. What are we doing? Doesn't that give youbecause when you think about taking that aircraft that went down like a rock 28 years ago to those generations of SAMs, you are going to fly that thing for another 40 years?
General MARTIN. Sir, only if I am not going to put it in a situation where it will be threatened that way. But as you know, we have used that weapons system most recently in Desert Fox, in the standoff role to launch 90-plus conventional air launch cruise missiles to great effect. The question is what weapons system
The CHAIRMAN. You launched cruise missiles that cost us, what, a million and a half apiece?
General MARTIN. The initial cost was, the conversion was in the couple hundred of thousand range, and we have an additionalas you know, an up front priority list, we have an additional 230 conversions that we are requesting that will be in the under $500,000 category per system. But given the situations we find ourselves in, the B52 has a mission there.
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It also in the lower threat areas will be able to deliver every munition that we have, direct overflight as well as standoff. It is the threshold aircraft for the JASM, an aircraft or a system that will go out over 200 nautical miles. So as a truck and a platform to deliver very, very capable precision ordinance, the B52 will be able to do that.
In the days of Linebacker 2, we were limited to only direct overflight of the highest threat areas. There were 15 aircraft that were lost in the period of 12 days. The largest number of losses occurred in the first three nights and then it trickled out from there. Some of those aircraft were not equipped with the in-theater modifications. They had come from the States and had not been updated to the Vietnamese modifications to the SA2 that were not endemic throughout the world, and they were put in the highest threat area that we had for anyone, fighter pilots included.
So what I would say, given the circumstances that we found ourselves in in Southeast Asia, as we march on to precision, standoff, and an ability for that weapons system to be effective without having to penetrate the
The CHAIRMAN. Let me tell you what hasn't marched on. Taxpayer dollars haven't marched on. And we can, in classified session, we can talk about how much we have got left in terms of precision weapons, which isn'tand I have looked at the figures and they are not happy figures, nor is our capability to produce them, to replace systems, any large numbers, and with some degree of speed.
So, you know, we are alwayswe go back to kind of the good old arsenal ship that was going to launch a billion dollars worth of ordnance in a minute and a half because some Marine Forward Observer wanted to call in on a column. And the problem is you don't have taxpayers that are prepared to keep those bins full of systems.
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General MARTIN. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. In fact, I think in the Navy we are having to trade out missiles out of Navy slots as we move these ships around the world with increasing deployments and fewer platforms. We are trading that ordnance. So we are not in a position, nor are any of your budgets coming over that really ramp up the inventory of smart weapons.
So we are not in a position nor are any of your budgets coming over that really ramp up the inventory of some weapons. And once again I would like to talk to you in a classified session about how you figure we are going to replace the ones we have just used. So the idea that we are going to fill these B52s full of cruise missiles which I thought costs us more than $200,000 apiece. I thought CALCMs were a million bucks at this point.
General MARTIN. To produce a CALCM from square one is about a $1.1 to $1.3 million bill, you are correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Don't you have to replace them when you fire them?
General MARTIN. Our intention is not to build new CALCM, sir, it is to build the JASSM and replace them with the JASSM, and look at range extension opportunities in the below $500,000 category per missile. The JASSM, as you may know, is a missile about $300,000. The CALCM conversion from ALCM, which was a nuclear weapon, to a CALCM conversion is in the couple hundred thousand category.
Page 140 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. That is a conversion cost.
General MARTIN. That is a conversion.
Mr. HUNTER. That is a conversion cost, but if you look at what we got left, the inventory, converted and unconverted, isn't very big.
General MARTIN. It is not large.
Mr. HUNTER. Do you intend in this bomber study to accompany this reliance on B52 with massive increases in precision weapons?
General MARTIN. In both the precision direct overflight and standoff, the numbers are not robust now but the production is at a reasonable rate that can be ramped up very quickly, which I think we will see the need to do in the outyears.
Mr. HUNTER. You are talking about spending more money for the precision weapons?
General MARTIN. Buying more of them. Buying more of them, yes, sir. Now, in the studies that we have had, whether it was the heavy bomber study done in '95 or the Long Range Air Power study, most recently the QDR study or most recently the bomber road map, there has never been an indication that we needed to go buy more bombers ahead of other things.
Clearly it would be nice to have more bombers because of the long-range power projection capability. Clearly that would be a very, very useful thing to do, but the trade studies that were done with respect to the contribution of tac air to an engagement was the best money would be spent in connectivity, observability improvement, and in ensuring that they would be able to handle the full array of precision weapons.
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Mr. HUNTER. Did those studies involved in tac air presume that you are going to be able to claim your tac airfields on the Korean peninsula in a fairly effective manner when they get hit with SCUDs that have some gas in them?
General MARTIN. Those studies I don't thinkand I think, as you know, during those studies we did not have appropriate models or what I would consider to be interactive play with respect to Weapons of Mass Destruction. Those excursions were completed after the campaign model to get an idea of how much reduction in solar capability we could experience.
I will say those studies are going on with much greater detail and much greater finite information at Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and they have some very interesting results in terms of what the actual capability of normal WMD launches would be and the amount of an airfield that would be contaminated for how long and what that would mean to your OPTEMPO. And it may be that we need to pay very close attention to that information before we assume that all war will come to a stop with the injection of some WMD.
Mr. HUNTER. But I think you shouldn't assume that you will be able to use those air bases on a repeated basis if you continue to get hits with gas on those fields. In fact, you may have to presume the worse, and that is if you get a few crews that are Killed in Action with nerve gas, it may be very difficult politically to continue tac air operations on the peninsula.
General MARTIN. I couldn't agree with you more, sir, but we are devoted to bringing this ABL on board, as the Army and Navy are devoted to bringing their theater missile defense systems on board, and we are going to make that problem go away.
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Mr. HUNTER. That is another big if.
General MARTIN. Well, sir, I must tell you
Mr. HUNTER. Here is what I would ask you to do, General. Would you for the record go back and review your bomber road map with respect to the compartmentalization of tac air in light of the capability of the North Koreans to put gas on our tactical airfields and the likelihood that we are going to be able to continue to use those airfields or, quote, parts of them. In the real world, in my estimation, if you kill some people on those airfields and you continue to kill a few of them, North Koreans continue to kill a few of them on a fairly regular basis, the idea that you are going to compartmentalize off the airfield and keep steady operations going is I think not realistic.
General MARTIN. All right, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. If you could go back and run those things, I guess what I am getting to is if in fact those tac airfields are threatened, and of course we know that the other side of that peninsula has other plans for those airfields as well as putting goods on them with SCUDs, and ideally it would be great to be able to move long-range aircraft into that theater without having to have the problem of operating those targeted tac airfields. Doesn't that make bombers more valuable?
General MARTIN. No question about it, if the ranges are not accessible by fighters and air-refueled fighters, that the value of the bombers go up and thatall the assessments we have done is what drives us to the 130 CC-coded or combat capable bombers as the correct number for us to maintain and to approve.
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Mr. HUNTER. Now, General Lowe, when he talked about the swing strategy which was developed, I don't know who by, but the idea you are going to happily leave one conflict, go to another and come back on an as-needed basis, testified that if the enemy wasfor example, if he had bad timing, if they were initiating an armor attack, for example, that could result in higher American casualties if you didn't have bombers to call in to meet that mobilization, and that that could result in higher casualties. Is that an inaccurate statement, do you think?
General MARTIN. Sir, I think there are circumstances where not having more long-range air power of whatever type could result in more casualties. I think there are those circumstances where there is a consideration, yes.
Mr. HUNTER. So we are embarking on this study which says we are not going to build any more bombers until the B52s are 80 years old. There is an element of risk in that, is there not?
General MARTIN. Sir, we have an element of risk in the most primitive country that we put American troops.
Mr. HUNTER. But that is not my question. Is there an element of risk in foregoing a bomber program until the B52s are 80 years old.
General MARTIN. I would characterize it this way. I think we have an element of risk, given certain scenarios, with respect to the number of bombers that we have and the scenario as it might unfold, not necessarily a B52 versus another one, because I am not sure what a penetrating aircraft gives me that a B52 doesn't give me if I am talking about troops in harm's way. It may very well be I can accomplish the same thing with standoff weapons such as JASMs as I would have with direct overflight of a bomber.
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So I am not sure that the platform we are talking about is the issue, but rather the sortie raid and the numbers of pieces of ordnance that I can employ from certain ranges. So there is an element of risk in terms of the number of bombers, given some scenario, I would submit is probably an accurate statement.
Mr. HUNTER. So you would feel more comfortable if we had a more robust bomber force in numbers, at least?
General MARTIN. Sir, I find myself very challenged to argue against air power and more of it.
Mr. HUNTER. That is not what I asked you. We don't like these happy answers. I want you to answer my question.
General MARTIN. The fact is the factories have shut down. I can't buy any more bombers without starting a new one.
Mr. HUNTER. That is not my question. We may be able to open a factory before 2037.
Let me ask you a question about the swing strategy. Did we ever swing bombers in World War II from the Pacific Theater to the European Theater?
General MARTIN. We moved units, sir, but I don't think we ever felt until the end of the German war that we had enough air power in any one of the theaters to start swinging them back and forth. We just kept building them.
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Mr. HUNTER. So this swing strategy, I was told that was brought up by a staff member who was watching this agony over trying to come up with a bomber strategy with fewer dollars and came up with the swing strategy. It is not something that is rooted in history, in American warfighting history.
General MARTIN. I think it was a factor of when you would have a likely circumstance that there would be two, in those days Major Regional Conflicts, and how much spacing between and what assets do you think you would need. Sir, it would be like Washington, D.C. buying the snow removal equipment at the rate that they buy it in Buffalo, New York. It might be necessary once every 10 years in the swing strategy.
I think the prudent decision was it might be necessary to have two complete full MRCs worth of everything, but the chances are that that won't happen, and if there is a reasonable accommodation in terms of time, a swing force of certain types is a prudent way for us to resource ourselves. I think that was the way the decision and campaign plans were laid out.
Mr. HUNTER. OK. Do you think the swing strategy should be applied to other elements like our ground elements?
General MARTIN. I think the swing strategy applies to the speed at which you can move forces and the resources it takes to move them. Aircraft and bomber force structure has an ability to swing and maneuver itself to a position of use without necessarily moving an entire infrastructure, and I can do that with ISR assets. I can do that with some of my fighter assets. I am not sure I can apply that same mentality to the other services.
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Mr. HUNTER. Now, you recall, you are familiar with the upgrades in B2 that were recommended by the Walsh panel.
General MARTIN. Yes, I am.
Mr. HUNTER. It appears that the budget this year for B2 is $50 million less than last year and doesn't support the additional upgrades endorsed by the Walsh panel nor the integrated low observability, maintainability, and upgrade program that was recommended by the committee. Why is that?
General MARTIN. Sir, first of all, the reduction in the overall B2 line comes from a result of moving from the production into sustainment. So we are spending less money in bringing those aircraft to the block 30 configuration and they are getting into their sustainment mode.
With respect to the Long-Range Air Power panel's recommendations and your recommendations, a couple of features are at work here, and we have not finally decided how to spend that plus-up money because some of the cost estimates that were brought forward to the Long-Range Air Power panel by the contractor with respect to the integration of low observability enhancements and maintainability improvements were not costed and priced at what they appear to be today. So we are not able to do all that was said to do with the money that was stated.
That is not unusual. It happens. But before we commit to it, we need to understand the details, and it turns out we will not be able to do as much integration of our LO and maintainability enhancements together. We are working the maintainability enhancements because that is a more significant problem with the threat we face today and through 2010. So we will not lose any of our LO characteristics. We may in fact improve it. But we will greatly reduce the manpower requirements to the tune of 50 percent reduction in manpower per hour.
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Mr. HUNTER. So you say that the costs for the LO improvements were understated?
General MARTIN. Yes, correct.
Mr. HUNTER. Who put those together?
General MARTIN. That was a contractor estimate.
Mr. HUNTER. And they concur?
General MARTIN. Yes. We have now gone with them and in fact, although I would not say we are in lockstep with what the real costs arewe are working that nowwe are in lockstep that the costs that were indicated were not the total cost. So we are also doing
Mr. HUNTER. Let me make this suggestion, General Martin. You have only got a few birds, this very small fleet of B2s that have this stealth penetration capability. You have got a lot of what you call the buses that can carry the standoff stuff. It would seem to me it would be prudent, if you can maximize that LO capability on this tiny force that has it, it might not be a bad thing.
General MARTIN. It is a good thing. The difficulty was
Page 148 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. What are we talking about in terms of money?
General MARTIN. The original representation was in the neighborhood of $50 million. We believe the number is somewhere between $120 and $180 million.
Mr. HUNTER. The contractor concurs with that cost?
General MARTIN. I don't think he would concur with the $180 million. I think he would concur with the $120 million. In terms of the OMD
Mr. HUNTER. Another question. Is there a median in there? Is there any increment in that that could be spent that would give you, if not 100 percent of the LO goal, a sizable chunk of it which would be effectively spent?
General MARTIN. In fact that is what we are pursuing. What that will give you is no less than and perhaps an improvement, but a tremendous improvement in maintainability which is of great concern now.
Mr. HUNTER. I understand that, and I think maintainability is important. But you are not spending any money, as I understand, or very little money on LO improvement.
General MARTIN. At this point that is correct. For the purpose of LO improvement as represented by the panel, that is correct.
Page 149 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. Why don't you let us know what could be done in terms of observability, gaining maybe a modicum of the spectrum of improvement that we are looking for without getting 100 percent of the goal, in light of the fact you have a pretty heavy sticker on it?
General MARTIN. We are working that and we will get that to you.
Mr. HUNTER. If you could get that to us, let us take a look at that, we might want to buy some of that this year along with the maintainability.
General McCorkle, I know that Bob Barr of Georgia wants to talk to you about these C130Js. And you know, I heard several fairly strong statements by the Marines to the effect that these are important birds from your perspective. What do we spend on these? What was the administration's number last couple of years? It was just a couple of birds last year, wasn't it? It was two last year and that was the Air Force. So the Marines haven't come with C130 requirements for a while, have they?
General MCCORKLE. As far as having any in the budget, no, sir. Right now we have in the plus-up budget, we have two aircraft in there, one in fiscal year 1903, one in fiscal year 1905. I believe that the cost was $70 million per aircraft and that included the detail.
Mr. HUNTER. So you have got a couple of birds, but that is included in this $1.75 unfunded requirements list that the Commandant gave us.
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General MCCORKLE. The $1.75 are two aircraft and a footnote in there saying we would take five, which we would fill out one squadron.
Mr. HUNTER. Give us your opinion on what we need in terms of C130Js to adequately fund your requirements.
General MCCORKLE. My personal opinion, sir, is this year if we had five, that would fill out one squadron. I think that the F, the age of that aircraft, as we go through, we have got a very good possibility of some major moneys to put into the old KC130's or parking 15 of them here within a couple, 3 years. Between the F and the R, both of those aircraft, by the year 2006 they are going to be at 125 percent of their life expectancy at that time. The Marine Corps, as you know, operates four squadrons of KC130's. One of those squadrons is Reserves, which has the T, which is a new aircraft.
Mr. HUNTER. Let me get this straight. You are saying if we don't replace 15 of those birds, you are going to be paying in your C130 repair line. You are going to have to put some big money in about 15 of them or else you are going to have to pull them out of active flight.
General MCCORKLE. Well, Admiral Nathman and I were just on a flight board this morning. We are looking at a SLEP to see what we really need on these aircraft, and that is $9 million up front, after looking at money here in the next couple of years.
Mr. HUNTER. That is per bird?
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General MCCORKLE. No, sir, that is just to do the study.
Mr. HUNTER. That is the study?
General MCCORKLE. Yes, sir. We don't know what the actual aircraft will cost per bird because we don't have it yet, and it is cracks in the spar that they are looking at on that.
Mr. HUNTER. So if you don't come up with that money, you are going to have 15 birds that have to be parked?
Mr. MCCORKLE. That is what we are being told, yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. Would that have a fairly major effect on your ability to operate effectively? Are those important birds?
General MCCORKLE. It would have a very major effect on it, as I testified earlier, when it took five KC130's to get two of them to Africa here just recently. As these aircraft get older, the more money that we have got to spend on them, the tougher it is going to be.
Mr. HUNTER. It took you five to get two of them to Africa. What happened?
Page 152 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General MCCORKLE. Yes, sir. We were in, what we can say in this room, in looking at Ethiopia, we were asked by SITCOM to send two 130's and reposition them or preposition them in Kenya. In order to do that, and because of the maintenance problems that we have had right now, we launched four aircraft out.
One aircraft had an engine failure in the first day. The troops worked all night to replace that engine or to fix it. The next day another aircraft took off, had another engine failure. We ended up having to launch a fifth airplane out of El Toro with two engines to go over to fix those first two. In fact, it took us a couple of extra days to get the two aircraft there.
And that is a sad story. That is something that don't normally happen but it did happen in this case. The KC130 JI was asked by a couple of staffers, ''Do you think that they would have made it as a new aircraft?'' That aircraft is 21 percent faster, carries a lot more fuel and everything else, and the answer is yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. OK. If you could provide this committee a little white paper, just a two or three paragraph description in some detail of that required two birds mission that turned into five birds, that is important to us.
General MCCORKLE. I will provide that for the record, along with two messages sent by the wing commander on maintenance problems they are having with the old aircraft.
[The information referred to can be found in the appendix.]
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Mr. HUNTER. We did a safety hearing on the AV8Bs when we had that batch of six F14s go down and we had some AV8B mishaps also. We funded some fixes, but I would like to know, in your opinion, does a budget request for 2000 and the FYDP meet the Corps' requirements for AV8B modifications so it can retain its operational utility until replaced by the JSF? Do we have to spend more money on the AV8Bs; and if so, how much?
General MCCORKLE. Right now in the plus up we were given $133 million, and this was the Harrier Review Panel that was brought together to look at the problems that the AV8 was having safety-wise. That review panel recommended 60-something different items to be fixed on the aircraft to make it operationally effective until Joint Strike Fighter came on. It was actually $132.9 million. We think that over the FYDP, with the advanced targeting flare, advanced close air support systems, AMRAAM capabilities which would allow this airplane to be invited to the war until Joint Strike Fighter comes on, that would leave a $262 million bill to get us out to JSF.
Mr. HUNTER. So you are notall of the HARP recommendations are not getting funded?
General MCCORKLE. That is correct. Our request is $133 million with $262.8 million left.
Mr. HUNTER. So we are doing about a third of them?
General MCCORKLE. Yes, sir.
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Mr. HUNTER. General Franklin, let me go to your rotary wing fleet. It is, 40 percent of your rotary wing fleet is assessed as red. Those are going to accompany those B52s, it looks like. That means, as I understand, ''red'' means that there is no capability or the capability is insufficient to defeat the expected threat. Is that right?
General FRANKLIN. Let me talk about that for a minute. When we assess something as red, we compare it with what the current warfight requirement is. For example, we would assess the Cobra next to the Apache, we would look at the UH1 next to the UH60, and we would look at the UH58 next to the Comanche. Those 40 percent of the aircraft that are assessed as red, none of those are in the warfight units. Those would all be in the strategic reserve. There are no red aircraft.
Mr. HUNTER. You are saying that you get red not necessarily from a lack of capability to fly off the runway and fly over and do their mission, but rather from an obsolete in terms of weapon systems and communications systems?
General FRANKLIN. When we compare it to what we require, for example for the Comanche, for the Apache.
Mr. HUNTER. So you are saying if you had a brand new Cobra which had just been manufactured, you would still classify it as red because it is not modern technology?
General FRANKLIN. Because it would not meet the Apache requirements.
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Mr. HUNTER. So if you had like a Cobra in the garage and it is like a 1960 model Ford which had never been driven and had no miles on it, it is still going to be red?
General FRANKLIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. I have got you.
We have a few more questions for you folks here. We have done most of Longbow. Has the Army reduced its requirement for Apache Longbow?
General FRANKLIN. Sir, the requirement was to change all of the A models into Longbow. We have currently 746 on hand, but I need to walk you through that because when we had to bringing in 2004 and 2005 last year, we had to make some of those tough decisions that Congressman Weldon mentioned earlier. We had hundreds of millions of dollars we had to take out of those years, and it caused us to do things like have to kill the Follow on to tow [FOTT] program, kill the Improved Recovery Vehicle program, and make some significant decisions during that timeframe.
When we looked at production in the 2006 and 2008 timeframe, we realize that we would have to produce Apache Longbows at the same time that we would have to produce Comanches. We made a decision at that time, and it was a tough decision, that we would assess risk in the Longbow and terminate that at 530. Part of that was defrayed in part because our objective force for Apaches is 475.
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Now, there are some additional issues with that. First, of all we are assessing thethe assumption was that we would have 530 aircraft with 500 radars. We are now in the process of assessing those 500 radars to see if that is necessary. The second thing that this does is allow us to accelerate taking out the AH1s out of the fleet. We can start taking those out in 2006, depending on whether or not we have sufficient funding. It allows us to replace those AH1s with Apaches, AH64 Alphas, and accelerate those in addition to what we have already in those fleets.
Mr. HUNTER. So what is the bottom line here?
General FRANKLIN. The bottom line is that we made the decision for affordability reasons, because of producing both Comanche and Apache at the same time and wanting to accelerate the retirement of the AH1s.
Mr. HUNTER. OK. We have the Huey questions left.
General Martin, we have an inquiry with you here on one of your favorite planes, that $6 million F16. When did the F16 come into production?
General KENNE. 1978 was the first year that the F16 came off the line, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. 1978?
Page 157 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General KENNE. Yes.
General MARTIN. The first flight was in 1974.
Mr. HUNTER. We have been plusing up the F16 line a little bit the last number of years, and you folks have always come in and said that you didn't need it in your budget. This time you have come with 10 in fiscal year 2000 and an additional 20 in the FYDP. What changed? You still have pretty robust FMS sales?
General MARTIN. Yes, sir, but there are some pending, and there is concern how much longer that will continue, particularly with the interest we are beginning to see in the JSF.
First of all, I am not sure that we came over and told you that we didn't need them. We did have an attrition reserve requirement that has been there all along, and you all have been very, very supportive in helping us with that problem. In fact, the aircraft that we have gotten over the past several years has come from your work, and so we are grateful for that.
There are two things that have caused the Air Force to come in with this increase in F16 procurement. One deals with the Air Expeditionary Force and the need for us to have additional HARM targeting capability which only the block 5052 aircraft can do. So as we outfit our 10 Air Expeditionary Wings, we found ourselves a bit short in suppression of enemy air defenses, which means that we would be cycling those units through at a faster rate than the other 10, which would not solve our predictability of a rotation assignment.
Page 158 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Second, though, and more important I think in the long run, is that we have a significant number of F16A models that are in the Guard and Reserve. Those aircraft are not precision weapons capable. Many of them have already gone over their 4,000 hours. We will need to either Service Life Extension Program them or replace them with aircraft that move down. In this case we have decided that SLEPing for $16 million is too expensive for half the life that we would need, versus getting the $20 to $25 million category offset for the AEF and the Guard. Additionally, that would keep those aircraft from not only timing out but from a potential force structure reduction in our guard units from 15 to 12 Privacy Aircraft Authorization.
Last, it keeps open that line for us to continue to try to find a way to bring into our budget some attrition reserve aircraft, which has still not gone away. We still have an attrition aircraft problem while we wait for the JSF to come on board and deliver at a rate that can replace all of the F16s.
It is a three part win. We win for the AEF, we win for our attrition reserve, and we win for our Guard and Reserve units that will now be precision capable, all of them, and ready to go to the war.
Mr. HUNTER. You mentioned early on the importance of having intel assets, and you mentioned U2 and our other assets that we are using now in our areas where we are operating. I looked over the Global Hawk program this morning. That is this high-end UAV which has had very successful tests, and they have five birds out and a couple flying?
General MARTIN. They have two birds flying, sir. The remainder will be delivered over the next year.
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Mr. HUNTER. It appears that it might be smart for them to get them out into theater, see what they can do.
General MARTIN. We will finish very shortly the airworthiness certification for the two birds that we have. They will then begin to work with ACOM, who is the advanced concept technology demonstration CINC lead, where they will begin to get out into the different exercises. We don't at this time intend to use them in any real world situations, but we will use them in Roving Sands, in Green Flags and other exercises for a military utility assessment to be completed. That will take somewhere between now and 15 months from now for us to complete that, at which time we will make a decision on whether we are going to procure more. We do have funding wedges available for us to start to do that, but there is a bathtub at Teledyne Ryan that will occur as a result of this flag.
Mr. HUNTER. The thing that sold Predator was the fact that we used them, and instead of going through decades of bureaucracy. The history of these reviews with UAVs is that the services love them until it is time to build one and fly them, and then it is time to go off and develop another one, but you never get to the point where they lift off the ground. But we got Predator over into theater because we needed them, and the darn thing works, and it looks like the best way to evaluate them is by using them where you need them.
General MARTIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. So my recommendation is to take a Global Hawk and a package of spares and maintenance capability and move it over into theater and fly it around a little bit and use it. You are using them anyway. You are testing them out on these doggone ranges anyway. Why not take it over there? U2s are what, $9 grand an hour when they are in the air?
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General MARTIN. I will have to check.
Mr. HUNTER. I think it is something like a quarter of the cost of a U2. So it looks to me like we have real world scenarios that we are presently projecting power into, that might be good places to bring those birds and fly them, so you don't have these bureaucracies that take us longer than it took us to win World War II to do a review. And so would you consider at least looking at that?
General MARTIN. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. That is what I recommended to the people this morning that are saying it looks like we are going to have this massive bathtub, and it apparently has done everything that it has been asked to do and it looks great, but we have built this system in which it takes you a long time to ever field anything, as you know.
And that takes me, General Kenne, back to this. You have laid out the milestones for Joint Strike Fighter, and I guess what frustrates this committee, we did field things quickly when we had to, and understanding that the world is more complex now, on the other hand we have millions of times the computing power than we had few years ago and we managed to get stuff out quickly. Sometimes it is hard for us to differentiate between what I would call the bureaucracy lag versus technical lag.
That is, if you take the acquisition bureaucracy, which I swore to tear apart as a freshman and had been here 4 months, David McCurdy and I were going to totally reform the acquisition system in our spare time. We haven't done that quite yet. That was 1980. But you have this massive bureaucracy that we have set up which reviews things ad infinitum and ends up in the end, when we field technology, we often field technology that is years behind, not because we couldn't have fielded the technology quicker but because we have limited ourselves with what I would call the speed of bureaucracy. That is, you have to make the next review. For example on Global Hawk, instead of flying it we are going to do little tests for almost 2 years to see if maybe it might not be something that we would like to fly in a real theater.
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And my question for the record, and I think it is a good exercise, could you look at the Joint Strike Fighter program and ask the question of how fast you could move the program down the line through the various milestones if you are hindered only by the application of assets and technology? In other words, how much of this is waiting for the next review and then going ahead at a snail's pace from that and building up and waiting for the next review, and finally some time after you and I and everybody else has retired, we are going to have that bird, by golly.
General KENNE. I will be happy to take that for the record because part of that process will be all of us, Congress, the Department of Defense, along with industry
Mr. HUNTER. We have built most of the formulation, I agree with you.
General KENNE [continuing]. Believing in some of the advanced manufacturing and that we can in fact now build an aircraft the first time that is basically the production aircraft. If we believe that, if we all can convince ourselves and industry can convince us, that also is a factor which you are talking about, but I would be more than happy to look at it.
Mr. HUNTER. But if we can do that, that should be a function of substantive calculation, review, and analysis that is directly linked to the application of technology. It should not be predicated or conditioned upon when the board can meet next June.
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General KENNE. Exactly, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. I am trying to separate this out in terms of how much of this schedule for Joint Strike Fighter is a function of bureaucratic hurdles and how much of it is a function of the direct application of the technology and the resources, if we can accelerate it. Because I am worried that while we have got the E/F as the aircraft of choice at least for the Navy, not for the Marines, we don't have a Stealth aircraft on carrier decks, and that was partly a problem caused by Congress and the administration and contractors and probably other forces, but it is a fact of life. And I am worried, too, that we are going to leave the Marines hanging and that this production is going to be pushed further and further out. So if you could do that, I would greatly appreciate that.
The last thing I wanted to ask you goes to the hearings that we have had on the spare parts and the downtime. When we went to the Top Gun school, Admiral Nathman, and had the Top Gun folks testify to us at Nellis, I mentioned in my opening statement almost half of their birds were not mission capable. That is remarkable. And when we asked them why not, it was spare parts. And yet we are told when we have asked the services in recent years how much more money we needed, the answer is ''We have three bags full.''
Now, either you didn't have three bags full, we have a problem in getting these parts to the birds, or we have a problem in getting talent to put them on the birds. And I understand in a number of cases we have parts that came from equipment manufacturers that are no longer in business. Obviously that is not true with the F18, but what I am getting to is this. We have companies now that computerize the standards, the specs for these parts, and they end up putting a disk into a machine tool and the machine tool tools out a part which hasn't been made for a while. I went to one company not long ago, and they were making an E2 part with one of their machine tools.
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And so my question for all of you is: Have you looked at the prospect of letting these new small companies that have this technology of computerizing tools by sucking the specifications in an intelligent format out of the written documentation, the reams of specs that we used to have, into a computer, that can then apply that computer to a machine tool and duplicate the part, with the thought being if you offer the opportunity for companies that can do that, and I use the word again, to challenge maybe the original equipment manufacturer saying, ''I can get that part for the F18 for you in 2 weeks, same cost, as opposed to 18 months,'' maybe that is something you folks should look at. Have any of you looked at this, this idea of this new way of making these parts?
General KENNE. Let me tell you the way that it is being done in Joint Strike Fighter, because I am not sure that I absolutely understood your question.
These aircraft are totally being builtthey are being designed on a computer and then when they are being put together, they are being put together by looking at this three-dimensional drawing that is very precise, making the parts on numerically controlled machines, and then when they go together, they go together the first time perfectly. So if you want to re-make that part, once you have the electronic design, all the companies are doing is taking all of the specifications off that computer, feeding it into a machine on the manufacturing floor and it makes the part.
Mr. HUNTER. You have laid the format out perfectly for the new systems, I understand that.
Page 164 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC General KENNE. Yes, sir.
Mr. HUNTER. We have this technology where you can take the specs and a computer can absorb that in intelligent format in such a way that you can then hook the computer up to a machine tool, it has to be a pretty versatile machine tool, and the machine tool makes that part, not of the brand new Joint Strike Fighter that you have designed this system into, but of a U2 that was built back in the sixties.
My question to you is , I want to find a way, Admiral Nathman, to get these doggone birds up. Our mission capable rates have dropped across the services, and I suspect that a lot of that is spare parts. Have we looked at that technology to look at what General Kenne said that they are doing with JSF?
Admiral NATHMAN. To answer your question, we are looking at that a lot. It is in the process to build a Super Hornet. In fact, many of the components of the Super Hornet are built that way. Some of these things, as you have already suggested, are as a result of the technology at hand. In other words, was that particular spec already on a disk so you can put it in a machine?
Mr. HUNTER. Where it is really needed is not the brand new stuff, but the birds on the line that are down because you can't get the parts.
Admiral NATHMAN. Yes, sir. But we have a very formal and structural process in our inventory control point.
Page 165 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. HUNTER. That is what I am afraid of.
Let me ask you this question, and I want to get all of you out of here.
I would like to get a little batch of these guys with this new technology that claim that they can make anything very quickly. If you just give them the written specs, they can suck it up into their computers and machine tool out whatever you want. I would like for you to sit down with this new industry or their representatives and see if there isn't the opportunity there or the possibility of getting your parts produced faster for you. Could you do that, if we get a bunch of these industry guys together?
This may be the wave of the future. I had some guys from DOD basically reiterate what General Kenne said with respect to the new systems. They said let's apply this stuff to the old systems. I would like you to meet in the next couple of weeks with some representatives from this new industry and see if it has some prospects.
Any last minute comments?
General MARTIN. We have an Air Force program called COSEE that works with OSD as well, a contractor, and I can't recall the whole name, but it is a fairly significant amount of money, where contractors can come in and do exactly what you are talking about, a form-fit-function and in it goes.
This is not a problem when it comes to machining. Where we have the problem, and the vanishing vendor problem is very significant, tends to be in the avionics and electronics and that area because our systems are old. So if you don't build a backbone that can plug and play new things as it happens, you are into the mode of having to redesign old chips that nobody wants to get in the business of doing.
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So in terms of tooling, though, and in terms of contractor offerings, there are activities there. We would be glad to deal with these folks and see what they have to offer.
Mr. HUNTER. Let us send them in and see what they have got.
Folks, I apologize for taking everybody so long without a break, and if Steve Thompson had been alert, he would have told me about that a long time ago, but we will whip up on him later.
Thank you for being with us and fielding all of the questions. We had a pretty thorough array of members asking questions that were very important. We have a lot of challenges. I think what we need right now is $22 billion, and then some of these problems would go ahead.
Thank you very much. This meeting is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:55 p.m., the subcommittees were adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
March 3, 1999
[This information is pending.]
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