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F-22 program on track

Released: 22 Dec 1999


WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- An Air Force program official expressed continued confidence that the F-22 program will meet projected delivery schedules and cost limitations.

Speaking recently before the Hous e subcommittee on national security, veterans affairs and international relations, Darleen Druyun, principal deputy assistant for Air Force acquisition and management, said, "I believe that we will be able to meet the schedule we have clearly laid out here."

Also speaking before the committee was Dr. George Schneiter, Department of Defense director of strategic and tactical systems, who spoke about the DOD's efforts to control costs and adhere to the F-22 schedule.

Adjusted cost limits for the F-22 program are $18.9 billion for engineering and manufacturing development and $39.759 billion for production. The caps were mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 1998.

Druyun countered written testimony by the Government Accounting Office that the Air Force is not doing enough to limit costs.

She cited several milestones the program has achieved to date and the initiatives under way to offset a projected "worst-case" analysis of $660 million in engineering and manufacturing development costs above the cost cap, cited by a March 1999 GAO report.

"Back in March 1999, I reported we had offsets, dollar for dollar, for the potential cost growth. Today ... we have identified an additional $200 million for a total of $860 million ... of offsets to handle this worst case shortfall that we predicted back in March of '99," Druyun said.

"The EMD cost savings demonstrate the creative things the program can do to reduce costs," according to Druyun's written statement.

As for production cost limits, Druyun said cost reduction initiatives through July total $16.9 billion -- an increase from earlier estimates of nearly $10 billion in cost reductions.

One challenge is the avionics package. She said projected delivery of the avionics software delivery blocks is on track. "We are pleased to report on the tremendous progress we are making in this arena," she said, adding software delivery is either on schedule or ahead of schedule.

In fact, she said, the avionics delivered to date represent 50 percent of the software that needs to be delivered "... and each ... has been delivered as we had predicted or actually a little bit ahead of schedule."

Druyun also commented on the successful testing phase under way. The F-22 has undergone more than 45,000 hours of wind tunnel testing; over 60,000 hours of subsystem laboratory testing, over 10,000 hours of radar testing and 14 live fire tests on aircraft components.

"Today, our flight test hours on our two development aircraft are around 480 hours," she said. "And by December of 2000, we project that we will have over 1,000 flight test hours underneath our belt."

"I would also point out that almost 29 percent of our test points have been completed for the flying qualities of this aircraft.

"This is a very tough program to manage," Druyun said. "I think I have the best team within the Air Force and within the contractor community aggressively working this program. Our avionics is very much on track and all blocks are meeting or exceeding the JET's (Joint Estimate Team) delivery dates.

"... I would like to reiterate that F-22 development and production costs are very carefully managed, and I can continue to report ... that they are within the congressional cost caps," Druyun concluded.

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