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Combat Air Power: Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before Making Program and Budget Decisions (Chapter Report, 09/20/96, GAO/NSIAD-96-177).

GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) plans to modernize its
combat air capabilities, focusing on whether DOD has sufficient
information from a joint perspective to: (1) prioritize its air power
programs; (2) objectively weigh the merits of new program investments;
and (3) decide whether existing programs should receive continued
funding.

GAO found that: (1) although DOD believes that its modernization plans
are affordable, it faces a major challenge in attempting to fund the
services' air modernization programs; (2) DOD has not sufficiently
assessed joint mission requirements or compared these requirements to
the services' aggregate capabilities; (3) DOD is proceeding with some
major air modernization programs without clear evidence that the
programs are justified; (4) the services plan to acquire numerous
advanced weapons systems over the next 15 to 20 years to enhance their
interdiction capabilities despite the availability of viable, less
costly alternatives; (5) reductions in combat aircraft inventories have
been largely offset by improvements in night-fighting and targeting
capabilities and increases in advanced long-range missile inventories;
(6) although potential adversaries possess capabilities that could
threaten U.S. air power, the severity of these threats appears to be
limited; and (7) DOD has taken steps to enhance information on joint
combat requirements, but these efforts have had little impact in
identifying duplication in existing air combat capabilities.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-96-177
     TITLE:  Combat Air Power: Joint Mission Assessments Needed Before 
             Making Program and Budget Decisions
      DATE:  09/20/96
   SUBJECT:  Defense procurement
             Advanced weapons systems
             Air warfare
             Combat readiness
             Defense capabilities
             Air defense systems
             Fighter aircraft
             Defense economic analysis
             Tactical air forces
             Military inventories
IDENTIFIER:  Joint Strike Fighter
             JCS National Military Strategy
             Tomahawk Cruise Missile
             F/A-18E/F Aircraft
             F-22 Aircraft
             Comanche Helicopter
             Longbow Apache Helicopter
             B-1B Aircraft
             DOD Bottom-Up Review
             Kiowa Helicopter
             Army Tactical Missile System
             LANTIRN
             Joint Standoff Weapon
             Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System
             High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile
             EA-6B Aircraft
             KC-135 Aircraft
             Joint Tactical Information Distribution System
             Soviet Union
             Russia
             China
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Committees

September 1996

COMBAT AIR POWER - JOINT MISSION
ASSESSMENTS NEEDED BEFORE MAKING
PROGRAM AND BUDGET DECISIONS

GAO/NSIAD-96-177

Combat Air Power

(701040)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  ACDA - Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
  ATACMS - Army Tactical Missile System
  CBO - Congressional Budget Office
  CINC - commanders in chief
  COCOM - coordinating committee
  DOD - Department of Defense
  GAO - General Accounting Office
  HARM - High Speed Anti-radiation Missile
  JDAM - Joint Direct Attack Munition
  JROC - Joint Requirements Oversight Council
  JSOW - Joint Stand-off Weapon
  JWCA - Joint Warfighting Capability Assessment
  LANTIRN - low altitude navigation targeting infrared for night
  NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization
  OSD - Office of the Secretary of Defense
  PGM - precision-guided munition
  SEAD - suppression of enemy air defenses

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-272206

September 20, 1996

Congressional Committees

The Department of Defense plans to spend over $300 billion on
programs already in progress to modernize its combat air power
capabilities over the next 15 to 20 years.  Hundreds of billions of
dollars more will likely be required for programs, such as the Joint
Strike Fighter, that are still being defined or that can be expected
to be started over the next several years.  The Department will face
difficult decisions as it attempts to cover the high cost of these
and other defense acquisitions when the nation is moving toward a
balanced budget. 

This comprehensive report on U.S.  air power examines whether the
Secretary of Defense has sufficient information from a joint
perspective to prioritize programs, objectively weigh the merits of
new program investments, and decide whether current programs should
receive continued funding.  To provide context for this assessment,
we summarize major changes in U.S.  air power capabilities since 1991
and the broad capabilities of potential adversaries.  We build on and
synthesize the findings of six individual air power reviews that we
conducted over the past 2 years and draw from other GAO reports on
air power weapons programs. 

We believe that our recommendations to the Secretary of Defense, if
implemented, would improve the information available to assist in
making key decisions on air power plans, programs, and budgets.  We
are addressing this report to you because of your oversight
responsibility for defense issues and budgets and your interest in
this important subject. 

This report was prepared under the direction of Richard Davis,
Director, National Security Analysis, who may be reached on (202)
512-8412 if you or your staff have any questions.  Major contributors
to this report are listed in appendix V. 

Charles A.  Bowsher
Comptroller General
 of the United States


List of Congressional Committees

The Honorable Strom Thurmond
Chairman
The Honorable Sam Nunn
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Ted Stevens
Chairman
The Honorable Daniel K.  Inouye
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Floyd Spence
Chairman
The Honorable Ronald V.  Dellums
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

The Honorable C.W.  Bill Young
Chairman
The Honorable John P.  Murtha
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on National Security
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
============================================================ Chapter 0


   PURPOSE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:1

No other nation relies as heavily on combat air power for its
military strength or has invested as much in it as the United States. 
The Department of Defense (DOD) has initiated major acquisition
programs estimated to cost over $300 billion to modernize its combat
air power forces over the next 15 to 20 years.  These forces include
about 5,900 fighter and attack aircraft, including long-range bombers
equipped for conventional missions and attack helicopters;
specialized combat support aircraft; advanced weapons for the combat
aircraft; long-range missiles; theater air defense forces; and other
key air power assets. 

Because difficult tradeoff decisions will likely be needed among
competing air power programs as the nation moves toward balancing the
budget, GAO conducted detailed assessments of six key air power
missions\1 to provide information useful to the debate.  This
culminating report builds on and synthesizes the findings of these
six reviews and other GAO reviews of air power programs.  GAO's
overall objective was to assess whether the Secretary of Defense has
sufficient information from a joint perspective to help him decide
whether new investments should be made, whether programmed
investments should continue to be funded, and what priority should be
given to competing air power programs.  To gain a broad perspective
on the context in which these decisions are made, GAO sought to
determine (1) how U.S.  air power capabilities have changed since the
end of fiscal year 1991, the year the Persian Gulf War ended; (2)
what potential threat adversary forces pose to U.S.  air power; (3)
what contribution combat air power modernization programs will make
to aggregate U.S.  capabilities; and (4) how joint warfighting
assessments are used to support the Secretary in making air power
decisions. 


--------------------
\1 These include interdiction, air superiority, close support, air
refueling, suppression of enemy air defenses, and surveillance and
reconnaissance. 


   BACKGROUND
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:2

Title 10 of the U.S.  Code and DOD's functions directive authorize
each of the military services to acquire air power assets to meet its
responsibilities.  DOD's current air power assets, many of which
perform multiple missions, were largely developed through the
military services' investments of hundreds of billions of dollars
primarily to acquire autonomous combat air power capabilities in
preparation for a global war with the Soviet Union.  The Air Force
acquired bombers to deliver nuclear strikes and fighter and attack
aircraft for conventional and theater-nuclear missions in the major
land theaters, principally Europe.  The Navy built an extensive
carrier-based aviation force to control the seas and project power
into the Soviet Union's maritime flanks.  The Army developed attack
helicopters to provide air support to its ground troops.  The Marine
Corps acquired fighter and attack aircraft and attack helicopters to
support its ground forces in their areas of operation.  While each
service had many similar capabilities, each also largely operated
within its own spheres. 

Today, the geographic areas of operations for combat air power that
characterized much of the Cold War no longer apply.  The air power
components of the four services are now focused on joint operations
with a strategy of preparing to fight two major regional conflicts
versus a global war.  Most of the likely theaters of operation are
small enough that, with available refueling support, all types of
aircraft can reach most targets. 

The individual services have always been the primary players in the
acquisition process based on their broad responsibilities to
organize, train, and equip their forces under title 10 of the U.S. 
Code.  However, to achieve a stronger joint orientation in DOD,
Congress enacted the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense
Reorganization Act of 1986.  This act gave the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and the commanders in chief (CINC) of the combatant
commands stronger roles in Department matters, including the
acquisition process.  As principal military adviser to the Secretary
of Defense, the Chairman is now expected to advise the Secretary on
the priority of requirements identified by the CINCs and the extent
to which program recommendations and budget proposals of the military
departments conform with these priorities.  The Chairman is also
expected to submit to the Secretary alternative program
recommendations and budget proposals to achieve greater conformance
with CINC priorities.  Subsequent legislation has given the Chairman
additional responsibilities to examine ways DOD can eliminate or
reduce duplicative capabilities and to assess military requirements
for defense acquisition programs from a joint warfighting military
perspective. 

According to the 1995 National Military Strategy, major modernization
programs involving significant investments are to be undertaken "only
where there is clearly a substantial payoff." To evaluate the merits
of the services' weapon investment proposals, programs, and budgets,
various entities within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, such
as the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation, provide the
Secretary independent analyses as needed.  The Joint Requirements
Oversight Council assists the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
in carrying out the Chairman's responsibilities.  This assistance
includes identifying and assessing the priority of joint military
requirements (including existing systems and equipment), ensuring
that the assignment of program priorities reflects projected resource
levels, and considering alternatives to any acquisition program
identified to meet military needs.  A key goal of the Council is to
achieve cross-service resource allocations that yield an overall
defense capability that is more than the sum of the separate service
capabilities.  To support the Council and the Chairman, a joint
warfighting capabilities assessment process was set up in 1994 to
examine key relationships and interactions among warfighting
capabilities of the services, including providing insights into joint
requirements. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:3

Sufficient information is not being developed from a joint
perspective to enable the Secretary of Defense to prioritize
programs, objectively weigh the merits of new air power investments,
and decide whether current programs should continue to receive
funding.  DOD has not established joint mission area requirements and
compared them to the services' aggregate capabilities.  Therefore, it
cannot be confident that force structure and modernization decisions
will result in the most cost-effective mix of forces to fulfill the
National Military Strategy. 

Reductions in the U.S.  inventory of combat aircraft have been
largely offset by key enhancements to U.S.  air power capabilities. 
These include performance improvements in combat aircraft--such as
increases in night-fighting and targeting capabilities--and growing
inventories of precision munitions for the aircraft and of advanced
long-range missiles to attack ground targets.  Conversely, the
aircraft and air defense forces of potential adversaries have not
been substantially improved and do not pose a serious threat to U.S. 
air power's successful execution of its missions.  These nations have
considerably smaller forces, and their equipment is generally older
and less capable than the U.S.  forces' advanced systems.  These
nations' efforts to modernize their forces will likely continue to be
inhibited by declines in the post-Cold War arms market, national and
international efforts to limit the proliferation of conventional
arms, and the high cost of advanced weapons. 

Because DOD does not routinely develop information on joint mission
needs and aggregate capabilities, it has little assurance that
decisions to buy, modify, or retire air power systems are sound.  The
urgent need for such information is underscored by the reality that
hundreds of billions of dollars will be required to finance combat
air power investment programs as currently planned.  Serious concerns
about the affordability of these plans within likely defense budgets
have been raised.  Based on its assessments of air power mission
areas and other reviews, GAO concludes that DOD is proceeding with
some major investments without clear evidence the programs are
justified.  These assessments indicate that some modernization
programs will add only marginally to already formidable capabilities,
while the need for others has been lessened by the changed security
environment.  For some programs, there are viable, less costly
alternatives. 

GAO believes that the Chairman could better advise the Secretary of
Defense on air power programs and budgets if he conducted more
comprehensive assessments in key mission areas.  Broader assessments
that tackle the more controversial air power issues would enable the
Chairman to better assist the Secretary of Defense to make the
difficult trade-off decisions that will likely be required.  However,
certain long-standing obstacles must be overcome if the key
challenges related to air power are to be met head on.  The Chairman
must be the strong advocate for the joint perspective that the
Goldwater-Nichols legislation intended.  The well-being of the U.S. 
military as a whole must be placed above the interests of the
individual services.  And if circumstances change and program
adjustments are needed, the Secretary and the Chairman must be
willing to challenge the strong constituencies that develop around
major acquisition programs.  If DOD is to shape its force smartly
within the bounds of likely budgets, existing levels of redundancy in
capability must be questioned, and no program, once begun, should be
considered irrevocable. 


   PRINCIPAL FINDINGS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4


      DESPITE DOWNSIZING, U.S. 
      AIR POWER CAPABILITIES
      REMAIN FORMIDABLE
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.1

The United States has made many significant improvements to its
combat air power capabilities in recent years.  Although DOD has
reduced its total combat aircraft about 28 percent since the end of
the Persian Gulf War, the military services continue to retain about
5,900 advanced combat aircraft.  These aircraft are increasingly
being supplemented by other air power assets such as long-range
cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, and theater air defense
forces. 

Many of the services' combat aircraft have multimission capabilities
that allow combatant commanders greater flexibility in employing
aviation assets.  The aircraft are also more capable of autonomous
navigation, night fighting, target acquisition, self-protection, and
the use of advanced munitions, vital attributes based on experiences
in the Gulf War.  The inventory of precision air-to-air and
air-to-ground weapons carried by these aircraft is also being
significantly expanded and improved. 

Additionally, DOD has more than tripled its inventory of long-range
missiles to attack ground targets and has improved the range and
accuracy of many of them.  Funds are also being spent to advance U.S. 
forces' ability to identify targets and communicate information
quickly to combatant units.  These advances are expected to further
enhance the capabilities of current forces.  Figure 1 highlights
several significant advances in U.S.  air power capabilities since
fiscal year 1991. 

   Figure 1:  Increases in Key
   U.S.  Combat Air Power
   Capabilities Since the End of
   Fiscal Year 1991

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Note:  Long-range missiles include the Tomahawk cruise missile and
the Army Tactical Missile System.  Night-fighting aircraft include
new and existing aircraft equipped with infrared detection devices or
with cockpits that permit use of night-vision goggles.  The
precision-guided munition (PGM)-capable aircraft include new or
existing aircraft equipped to autonomously employ PGMs using laser
designators. 


      POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES'
      CAPABILITIES ARE LIKELY TO
      REMAIN LIMITED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.2

Although potential adversaries possess capabilities that threaten
U.S.  air power missions, the severity of these threats appears to be
limited.  Potential adversaries' air defense capabilities cannot
currently prevent U.S.  air power from achieving military objectives. 
Their conventional offensive air power capabilities are judged to be
limited until at least early in the next century.  Projections are
that the countries in question are likely to improve their defensive
and offensive capabilities only marginally over at least the next 10
years. 

Because most potential adversaries lack the ability to develop and
produce high technology weapons, they must import weapons to
modernize their forces.  However, they are likely to be inhibited
from procuring advanced weapons due to changes in the post-Cold War
arms market, national and international efforts to limit
proliferation of conventional arms, and the high cost of advanced
weapons.  Shortfalls in training, maintenance, logistics, and
doctrine further constrain potential adversaries' capabilities. 


      COSTLY MODERNIZATION
      PROGRAMS PLANNED WITHOUT
      SUFFICIENT ANALYSIS OF NEEDS
      AND CAPABILITIES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.3

The services are proceeding with costly acquisition programs to
attain greater capabilities in mission areas where U.S.  capabilities
are already substantial.  The long-range modernization of DOD's
combat air power centers on four extremely expensive aircraft
development programs--the Navy's $81 billion, 1,000-plane F/A-18E/F
fighter/attack aircraft; the Air Force's $70 billion, 438-plane F-22
air superiority fighter; the Army's $45 billion, 1,292-plane Comanche
armed reconnaissance helicopter; and the Air Force/Navy 2,978-plane
Joint Strike Fighter that is still being defined.  Based on DOD's
goals for the Joint Strike Fighter, the Congressional Budget Office
estimates the program could cost $165 billion, excluding inflation. 
Table 1 summarizes acquisition cost estimates for combat aircraft,
weapons (including PGMs, theater air defense weapons, and close
support artillery), and support systems such as surveillance and
reconnaissance assets.  (A more detailed list is in
app.  III.)



                                Table 1
                
                   Estimated Costs of Major Air Power
                         Modernization Programs

                    (Then-year dollars in billions)

                                 Through    Fiscal year
                             fiscal year    1997 to end
Program                             1996     of program          Total
-------------------------  -------------  -------------  =============
F/A-18 E/F                          $4.9          $76.1          $81.0
F-22                                14.0           56.1           70.1
Comanche                             3.1           41.7           44.8
Longbow Apache                       1.9            6.4            8.3
B-1 bomber modifications             1.3            2.5            3.8
AV-8B remanufacture                  0.5            1.8            2.3
Weapons                             30.5           45.7           76.2
Combat support                       7.4            9.2           16.6
======================================================================
Total                              $63.6         $239.5       $303.1\a
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a Joint Strike Fighter is not included in this table because DOD has
not yet estimated its total program cost.  The Congressional Budget
Office estimates the program could cost about $165 billion in 1997
dollars. 

DOD faces a major challenge in attempting to pay for all of the
programs as planned.  While DOD believes these modernization plans
are affordable, a 1996 Congressional Budget Office analysis of the
F/A-18E/F, F-22, and Joint Strike Fighter costs and likely funding
available for these programs raises serious doubts and indicates that
about $3 billion (1997 dollars) more will be required annually than
may be available during the period 2002-2020. 

DOD has not sufficiently assessed joint mission requirements and is
therefore not well-positioned to determine the need for and priority
of its planned investments.  Major force structure and planning
decisions have been made without completed analyses of the services'
qualitative and quantitative requirements and capabilities to conduct
combat air power missions. 

A dearth of information on joint mission needs and aggregate
capabilities to meet those needs prevents a definitive answer as to
whether DOD's air power modernization programs are justified. 
However, based on past GAO reviews of individual air power systems
and available information collected on its six mission reviews, GAO
believes that DOD is proceeding with some major modernization
programs without clear evidence that they are justified.  Available
information indicates that the current forces in some mission areas
already provide combatant commanders with formidable capabilities. 
For example, the services already have at least 10 ways to hit 65
percent of the thousands of expected ground targets in two major
regional conflicts.  In addition, service interdiction assets can
provide 140 to 160 percent coverage for many types of targets. 
Despite their numerous overlapping, often redundant, interdiction
capabilities, the services plan to acquire aircraft and other weapons
over the next 15 to 20 years that will further enhance their
interdiction capabilities.  This includes major modifications to the
Air Force's fleet of 95 B-1B bombers to enable them to deliver
conventional weapons. 

The changed security environment appears to have lessened the need to
proceed with some programs as planned.  For example, despite the
United States' unmatched air-to-air combat capabilities, the Air
Force plans to begin production of its next generation fighter--the
$111 million F-22--in 1998, with rapid increases in the production
rate to follow.  The F-22 program was initiated to meet the projected
Soviet threat of the mid-1990s.  The severity of the threat in terms
of quantities and capabilities has declined and potential adversaries
have few fighters that could challenge the F-15, the current U.S. 
frontline fighter. 

For some highly expensive modernization programs, viable, less costly
alternatives are available.  In these cases, the payoff in terms of
added mission capability--considering the investment required--does
not appear to be clearly substantial as mandated by the National
Military Strategy.  For example, the Navy F/A-18E/F's expected range,
carrier recovery payload, and survivability will be only marginally
improved over that of the less costly F/A-18C/D model. 


      JOINT WARFIGHTING
      ASSESSMENTS NEED TO BE MORE
      COMPREHENSIVE
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:4.4

DOD has taken steps to improve the information the Secretary of
Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have to assess
air power plans, programs, and budgets.  To enhance the information
available on combat requirements and capabilities, DOD has initiated
major studies related to deep attack weapons, close support of ground
forces, reconnaissance forces, and electronic warfare.  It also
expanded the role of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council and
established 10 joint warfighting capability assessment teams to
support the deliberations of the Council.  These assessment teams
have identified ways to improve the interoperability of forces in
joint operations, and their assessments have contributed to some
decisions that could help to avoid future levels of redundancy. 
However, the assessment teams thus far have had little impact in
identifying unneeded overlaps and duplication in existing
capabilities or in weighing the relative merits of alternative ways
to recapitalize U.S.  air power forces.  GAO also found little
evidence that the Council, with the support of the assessment teams,
has developed specific proposals to shift resources among the
services to enhance total force capability. 

Certain obstacles must be overcome to improve the information flowing
from a joint perspective.  For example, DOD acknowledges that its
current analytical tools, such as computer models and war games, need
to be improved if they are to be effectively used in analyzing joint
warfighting.  Also, assessments that could threaten service plans and
budgets are frequently avoided, and the potential effects of program
reductions or cancellations on careers, jobs, and the industrial base
inhibit serious consideration of program alternatives.  Finally, the
desire to gain the consensus of the services sometimes inhibits
decisions that could better integrate service capabilities along
mission lines.  GAO acknowledges that more comprehensive assessments
will not, by themselves, solve these long-standing problems.  Major
changes in outlook throughout the Department are also needed. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:5

To ensure the future viability of U.S.  air power, the Secretary of
Defense will need to make decisions in at least two critical
areas--how best to reduce duplications and overlaps in existing
capabilities without unacceptable effects on force capabilities and
how to recapitalize the force in the most cost-effective way.  To
make such decisions, the Secretary must have better information from
a joint perspective.  Accordingly, GAO recommends that the Secretary,
along with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, develop an
assessment process that yields more comprehensive information in key
mission areas.  This can be done by broadening the current joint
warfare capabilities assessment process or developing an alternative
mechanism. 

To be of most value, such assessments should be done on a continuing
basis and should, at a minimum, (1) assess total joint warfighting
requirements in each mission area; (2) inventory aggregate service
capabilities, including the full range of assets available to carry
out each mission; (3) compare aggregate capabilities to joint
requirements to identify shortages or excesses, taking into
consideration existing and projected capabilities of potential
adversaries and the sufficiency of existing capabilities to meet
joint requirements; (4) determine the most cost-effective means to
satisfy any shortages; and (5) where excesses exist, assess the
relative merits of retiring alternative assets, reducing procurement
quantities, or canceling acquisition programs. 

The assessments also need to examine the projected impact of
investments, retirements, and cancellations on other mission areas,
since some assets contribute to multiple missions.  Because the
Chairman is to advise the Secretary on joint military requirements
and provide programmatic advice on how best to provide joint
warfighting capabilities within projected resource levels, the
assessment process needs to help the Chairman determine program
priorities across mission lines.  To enhance the effectiveness of the
assessments, GAO also recommends that the Secretary of Defense and
the Chairman decide how best to provide analytical support to the
assessment teams, ensure staff continuity, and allow the teams the
latitude to examine the full range of air power issues. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND GAO'S
   EVALUATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 0:6

In written comments (see app.  IV) on a draft of this report, DOD
partially concurred with GAO's recommendations.  While DOD said it
disagreed with many of GAO's findings, most of that disagreement
centered on two principal points:  (1) the Secretary of Defense is
not receiving adequate advice, particularly from a joint perspective,
to support decision-making on combat air power programs, and (2)
ongoing major combat aircraft acquisition programs lack sufficient
analysis of needs and capabilities. 

DOD said it has taken many steps in recent years to improve the
extent and quality of joint military advice and cited the joint
warfighting capability assessment process as an example.  It said the
Secretary and Deputy Secretary receive comprehensive advice on combat
air power programs through DOD's planning, programming, and budgeting
system and systems acquisition process.  The Department's response
noted that both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the
Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff scrutinize major
acquisition programs and that joint military force assessments and
recommendations are provided.  DOD acknowledged that the quality of
analytical support can be improved but said that the extent of
support available has not been insufficient for decision-making. 

GAO acknowledges that steps have been taken to provide improved joint
advice to the Secretary and that DOD decision support systems provide
information for making decisions on major acquisition programs.  GAO
does not believe, however, the information is comprehensive enough to
support resource allocation decisions across service and mission
lines.  Much of the information is developed by the individual
services and is limited in scope.  Only a very limited amount of
information is available on joint requirements for performing
missions, such as interdiction and close support, and on the
aggregate capabilities available to meet those requirements.  DOD's
initiation of the deep attack weapons mix study and, more recently, a
study to assess close support capabilities suggests that DOD is, in
fact, beginning to seek more comprehensive information about
cross-service needs and capabilities, as our recommendation suggests. 
While joint warfighting capability assessment teams have been
established, DOD is not using these teams to identify unnecessary or
overly redundant combat air power capabilities among the services. 
Moreover, DOD has not used the teams to help develop specific
proposals or strategies to recapitalize U.S.  air power forces, a
major combat air power issue identified by the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.  Information on issues such as recapitalization
alternatives and redundancies in capabilities, developed from a joint
warfighting perspective, could be invaluable to decisionmakers who
must allocate defense resources among competing needs to achieve
maximum force effectiveness. 

GAO believes that the services conduct considerable analyses to
identify mission needs and justify new weapons program proposals. 
These needs analyses, however, are not based on assessments of the
aggregate capabilities of the services to perform warfighting
missions, and DOD does not routinely review service modernization
proposals and programs from such a perspective.  The Commission on
Roles and Missions of the Armed Forces made similar observations. 
Typically, service analyses tend to justify specific modernization
programs by showing the additional capabilities they could provide
rather than assess the cost-effectiveness of alternative means of
meeting an identified need.  Additionally, under DOD's requirements
generation process, only program proposals that meet DOD's major
defense acquisition program criteria are reviewed and validated by
the Joint Requirements Oversight Council.  Many service modernization
proposals and programs do not meet these criteria. 


INTRODUCTION
============================================================ Chapter 1

Air power has played a pivotal role in America's military force since
World War I when aircraft were first used in combat.  In World War
II, it was indispensable to U.S.  forces to achieve victory.  After
the war, the Department of the Navy invested in longer-range aircraft
and larger aircraft carriers to provide worldwide coverage from the
sea.  With the proven success of air power and development of the
intercontinental-range bomber, the Department of the Air Force was
established in 1947, with the Air Force taking its place alongside
the other three services.  During the Cold War, America's air power
was a critical element of both its nuclear deterrent forces and its
conventional combat forces.  A massive U.S.  aerospace industry
developed, giving the United States a research, development, and
production base that has dramatically advanced airframes, propulsion,
avionics, weapons, and communications, and helped shape and broaden
the role of air power in U.S.  military strategy. 

Today the Department of Defense (DOD) has what some refer to as the
"four air forces," with each of the services possessing large numbers
of aircraft.  Air power includes not only fixed-wing aircraft but
also attack helicopters, long-range missiles, unmanned aerial
vehicles, and other assets that give the United States the ability to
maintain air superiority and to project power worldwide through the
air.  During the Persian Gulf War, the unparalleled capabilities of
these forces were demonstrated as U.S.  and coalition forces
dominated the conflict. 

Sweeping changes in the global threat environment, sizable reductions
in resources devoted to defense, technological advancements in combat
systems, and other factors have significantly affected DOD's combat
air power.  Ensuring that the most cost-effective mix of combat air
power capabilities is identified, developed, and fielded in such an
environment to meet the needs of the combatant commanders is a major
challenge. 


   U.S.  COMBAT AIR POWER
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:1

In October 1993, DOD reported on its bottom-up review of defense
needs in the post-Cold War security environment.  The review outlined
specific dangers to U.S.  interests, strategies to deal with the
dangers, an overall defense strategy for the new era, and force
structure requirements.  The strategy called on the military to be
prepared to fight and win two nearly simultaneous major regional
conflicts, engage in smaller-scale operations, meet overseas presence
requirements, and deter attacks by weapons of mass destruction. 
Table 1.1 shows the overall size and structure of the general purpose
forces DOD determined are needed to execute the strategy and the
approximate number of associated combat aircraft.  DOD currently has
about 5,900 such aircraft as it continues drawing down its forces. 



                               Table 1.1
                
                 Major General Purpose Forces Specified
                    by the Bottom-Up Review and the
                Approximate Number of Associated Combat
                                Aircraft

                                Major combat
Service                         forces              Number of aircraft
------------------------------  ------------------  ------------------
Army                            10 Active           1,800 Attack and
                                divisions           armed
                                15 Reserve          reconnaissance
                                enhanced readiness  helicopters
                                brigades

Navy                            11 Active           800 Fighter and
                                carriers            attack
                                1 Reserve carrier   aircraft
                                10 Active carrier
                                air wings
                                1 Reserve carrier
                                air wing

Marine Corps                    3 Marine            550 Attack
                                expeditionary       aircraft and
                                forces              helicopters

Air Force                       13 Active fighter   2,200 Fighter and
                                wings               attack
                                7 Reserve fighter   aircraft
                                wings               184 Bombers
                                Long-range bombers
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In addition to these fighter and attack aircraft, DOD has other
important combat aviation elements, including over 1,500 specialized
support aircraft, such as those used for refueling, command and
control, reconnaissance, and suppressing enemy air defenses, and
about 250 aircraft in its special operations forces.  Appendix I
identifies the principal aircraft, long-range missiles, and other
weapons and assets that were covered by our review. 


   KEY GUIDANCE AFFECTING COMBAT
   AIR POWER FORCES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:2

Two key DOD documents that provide guidance concerning the planning
for and use of combat air power are the Secretary of Defense's
Defense Planning Guidance and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff's current National Military Strategy dated 1995.  These
documents build on the strategy, plans, and programs identified in
the Bottom-Up Review. 

According to the Defense Planning Guidance and the National Military
Strategy, U.S.  forces, in concert with regional allies, are to be of
sufficient size and capabilities to credibly deter and, if necessary,
decisively defeat aggression by projecting and sustaining U.S.  power
during two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts.  The
services' forces are also expected to be prepared to fight as a joint
team, with each service providing trained and ready forces to support
the commanders in chief (CINC) of the combatant commands.  U.S.  air
power is to be able to seize and control the skies, hold vital enemy
capabilities at risk throughout the theater, and help destroy the
enemy's ability to wage war.  Air power is also expected to provide
sustained, precision firepower; reconnaissance and surveillance;
refueling; and global lift.  The ability of combat aircraft to
respond quickly to regional contingencies makes them particularly
important in the post-Cold War era. 

Both documents discuss the criticality of enhancements to existing
systems and the selected modernization of forces to DOD's ability to
carry out the military strategy.  Each expresses concerns about
upgrading and replacing weapon systems and equipment under
constrained budgets.  In recognition of the costly recapitalization
planned and the projected budgetary resources to support it, the
Chairman's strategy states that major modernization programs
involving significant investment are to be undertaken "only where
there is clearly a substantial payoff."

A new document--Joint Vision 2010--provides the military services a
common direction in developing their capabilities within a joint
framework.  Like the guidance and strategy documents, the vision
document cites the need for more efficient use of defense resources. 
It stresses the imperativeness of jointness--of integrating service
capabilities with less redundancy in and among the services--if the
United States is to retain effectiveness when faced with flat budgets
and increasingly more costly readiness and modernization. 


   DOD ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:3

The authority of the military departments to acquire air power and
other assets stems from their broad legislative responsibilities to
prepare forces for the effective prosecution of war (Title 10 U.S. 
Code).  DOD Directive 5100.1, which identifies the functions of the
DOD and its major components, authorizes the military departments to
develop and procure weapons, equipment, and supplies essential to
fulfilling their assigned functions.  Under the directive, the Army's
primary functions include the preparation of forces to defeat enemy
land forces and seize, occupy, and defend land areas; the Navy's
and/or Marine Corps' functions include the preparation of forces to
gain and maintain general naval supremacy and prosecute a naval
campaign; and the Air Force, the preparation of forces to gain and
maintain air supremacy and air interdiction of enemy land forces and
communications.  The Marine Corps is also expected to conduct
amphibious operations.  All services are authorized to develop
capabilities to attack land targets through the air to accomplish
their primary missions.\1 The directive also states that the military
departments are to fulfill the current and future operational
requirements of the combatant commands to the maximum extent
practical; present and justify their respective positions on DOD
plans, programs, and policies; cooperate effectively with one
another; provide for more effective, efficient, and economical
administration; and eliminate duplication. 

The individual services have always had the primary role in weapons
acquisition.  In an attempt to strengthen the joint orientation of
the Department, Congress enacted the Goldwater-Nichols Department of
Defense Reorganization Act of 1986.  This act, which amended title
10, gave the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the combatant
commanders stronger roles in Department matters, including weapons
acquisition.  It designated the Chairman as principal military
adviser to the President, the National Security Council, and the
Secretary of Defense and gave him several broad authorities.  For
example, the Chairman is expected to provide for strategic direction
of the armed forces, prepare strategic plans, perform net assessments
of the capabilities of U.S.  and allied armed forces compared with
those of potential adversaries, and advise the Secretary on the
requirements, programs, and budgets of the military departments in
terms of the joint perspective. 

Regarding this latter responsibility, the Chairman is expected to (1)
provide advice on the priorities of requirements identified by the
commanders of the combatant commands, (2) determine the extent to
which program recommendations and budget proposals conform with the
combatant commands' priorities, (3) submit alternative program
recommendations and budget proposals within projected resource levels
to achieve greater conformance with these priorities, and (4) assess
military requirements for major defense acquisition programs.  In
addition to these responsibilities, the National Defense
Authorization Act for fiscal year 1993 directed the Chairman to
examine what DOD can do to eliminate or reduce duplicative
capabilities. 

Assisting the Chairman in providing the Secretary advice on military
requirements and the programs and budgets of the military departments
is the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) and the Joint
Staff, which are subject to the authority, direction, and control of
the Chairman.  Within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD),
the Office of the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation
provides, in part, analytical support to the Secretary in the
management and oversight of service programs and budgets. 


--------------------
\1 For a more detailed discussion of service roles, missions and
functions, see Roles and Functions of U.S.  Combat Forces:  Past,
Present, and Prospects, Congressional Research Service, Report No. 
93-72S, Jan.  21, 1993. 


   OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND
   METHODOLOGY
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1:4

The overall objective of this review was to assess whether the
Secretary of Defense has sufficient information from a joint
perspective to help him decide whether new investments in combat air
power should be made, whether programmed investments should continue
to be funded, and what priority should be given to competing
programs.  To gain a broad perspective on the context in which these
decisions are made, we sought to determine (1) how U.S.  air power
capabilities have changed since the end of fiscal year 1991; (2) what
potential threat adversary forces pose to U.S.  air power; (3) what
contribution combat air power modernization programs will make to
aggregate U.S.  capabilities; and (4) how joint warfighting
assessments are used to support the Secretary in making air power
decisions. 

The scope of our review included (1) fighter and attack aircraft,
including attack helicopters and long-range bombers equipped for
conventional missions; (2) key specialized support aircraft that
enhance the capability of combat aircraft; (3) munitions employed by
combat aircraft; and (4) other major systems--particularly long-range
missiles, theater air defense systems, and unmanned aerial
vehicles--that perform missions traditionally assigned to combat
aircraft.  Our scope did not encompass assets dedicated primarily to
airlift, such as the C-17 and V-22 aircraft, and U.S.  special
operations forces.  Also, the potential contribution of allied forces
was not considered. 

We reviewed in detail six key mission areas in which combat air power
plays a prominent role: 

  -- performing offensive and defensive operations to achieve and
     maintain air superiority in areas of combat operations,

  -- interdicting enemy forces before they can be used against
     friendly forces,

  -- providing close support for ground forces by attacking hostile
     forces in close proximity to friendly forces,

  -- suppressing enemy air defenses by jamming or destroying enemy
     air defense forces,

  -- refueling combat aircraft in the air to sustain combat
     operations, and

  -- performing surveillance and reconnaissance to obtain
     intelligence data for combat operations. 

In conducting these reviews, we reviewed numerous reports, studies,
and other documents containing information on these missions and the
primary platforms and weapons used.  We discussed capabilities,
requirements, force structure, and modernization issues with
officials and representatives of various offices within OSD, the
Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military services, and
the operational commands.  We compared and contrasted performance
data on current and planned weapon systems by mission area to acquire
a good understanding of the joint capabilities of the military forces
to perform the missions and to identify overlaps and gaps in
capabilities.  Separate reports on the interdiction, close support,
suppression of enemy air defenses, and air refueling reviews have
already been issued, while our reports on air superiority and
surveillance and reconnaissance are still being prepared.  A listing
of the four issued reports and of other GAO reports related to this
body of work is included at the end of this report. 

We supplemented the six mission reviews with more detailed
assessments of (1) recent and planned changes in the capabilities of
U.S.  forces and of the current and projected capabilities of
potential adversaries to counter U.S.  air power and (2) the military
advice on joint requirements and capabilities being developed through
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the Secretary of
Defense.  For information on changes in U.S.  capabilities, we drew
upon information gathered on the six mission reviews.  We also used
examples from our other published reports on major DOD modernization
programs to illustrate our findings.  For information on current and
projected capabilities of potential adversaries, we reviewed reports
of the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and
Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and discussed threat information
with intelligence agency personnel. 

To assess information being developed for the Secretary of Defense on
joint air power requirements and aggregate capabilities of the
services to meet those requirements, we evaluated the JROC and its
supporting joint warfighting capabilities assessment (JWCA) process,
which assist the Chairman in carrying out his responsibilities.  We
discussed the functioning of this process and air power issues being
examined with Joint Staff officials who oversee the process as well
as assessment team representatives from the Joint Staff and OSD.  We
reviewed the May 1995 report by the independent Commission on Roles
and Missions of the Armed Forces.\2 We also discussed the report with
Commission staff and reviewed documents the Commission developed or
acquired.  We conducted this review from May 1994 through June 1996
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


--------------------
\2 Directions for Defense (Report of the Commission on Roles and
Missions of the Armed Forces, May 24, 1995). 


U.S.  AIR POWER IS FORMIDABLE AND
IMPROVING
============================================================ Chapter 2

While force downsizing may give the appearance of a loss in
capability, the United States continues to retain in its conventional
inventory about 5,900 modern fighter and attack aircraft, including
178 long-range bombers and 1,732 attack helicopters, and over 1,500
specialized support aircraft.  It also has growing inventories of
advanced precision air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons for its
combat aircraft to carry and an expanding arsenal of accurate
long-range surface-to-surface missiles to strike ground targets. 
Inventory levels for the aircraft included in our review are shown in
appendix II. 

DOD has spent billions of dollars in recent years to make its current
frontline combat aircraft and helicopters more efficient and
effective.  These enhancements include improved navigation, night
fighting, target acquisition, and self-protection capabilities as
well as more aircraft capable of using advanced munitions. 
Specialized support aircraft used for air refueling and surveillance
and reconnaissance, which are vital to the effectiveness of combat
aircraft, have also been improved, while forces for suppressing enemy
air defenses are being restructured.  Additionally, advances in the
ability of U.S.  forces to identify targets and communicate that
information quickly to combatant units should further enhance the
capabilities of current forces. 


   COMBAT AIR POWER FORCE
   STRUCTURE HAS BEEN CHANGING
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:1

The size and composition of the U.S.  combat air power force
structure have changed considerably since fiscal year 1991, the year
the Persian Gulf War ended.  Cutbacks in the number of combat
aircraft adopted by the Bush administration and further cutbacks by
the Clinton administration in its 1993 Bottom-Up Review are scheduled
to be completed in 1997.  While the number of fighter and attack
aircraft, including B-1B bombers and attack helicopters, is being
reduced about 28 percent from 1991 levels, other new and emerging
elements of combat air power, such as long-range missiles and theater
air defense forces, have grown in number and capability.  Specialized
support aircraft have experienced varying levels of change in their
inventory. 


      FIGHTER AND ATTACK AIRCRAFT
      INVENTORIES ARE SMALLER
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:1.1

Changes in aviation needs since the end of the Cold War, coupled with
cuts in defense spending, have led DOD to reduce its combat aircraft
inventory.  These changes have been most pronounced for Air Force,
Navy, and Marine Corps fixed-wing fighter and attack aircraft and Air
Force bombers--from about 6,400 in 1991 to about 4,160 in 1996.  DOD
considers about 65 percent of these aircraft as authorized to combat
units to perform basic combat missions and 35 percent of them as
backup aircraft maintained for training, testing, maintenance, and
attrition replacement reserves.  Figure 2.1 shows the change in the
total inventories of these types of aircraft from 1991 to 1996. 

   Figure 2.1:  Changes in DOD
   Fighter and Attack Aircraft
   Inventory, Fiscal Years 1991
   through 1996

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Note:  Figures are as of the end of the fiscal year.  Figures for
1996 are projections. 

This smaller combat force structure has been accomplished primarily
by retiring older aircraft that are often expensive to operate and
maintain, such as the Navy and Marine Corps A-6 medium bomber and A-7
light attack plane and the Air Force A-7, F-4 fighter, and F-111
strike aircraft.  At the same time, many newer model aircraft have
entered the fleet since the Persian Gulf War, including about 70
F-15E strike fighters, about 250 F-16 multimission fighters, and 200
F/A-18 fighter and attack aircraft.  Changes in inventory levels by
aircraft model are shown in appendix II. 

Some important capabilities are being retired as these older aircraft
are removed from the inventory.  For example, the Navy will lose the
payload, range, and all-weather capability of the A-6, and the Air
Force will lose the speed and nighttime-precision bombing capability
of the F-111.  DOD believes, however, that it can do without these
assets, given the dangers it expects to face and the high costs of
upgrades, operations, and support that it can avoid by retiring these
aircraft. 

Attack helicopter inventories have fallen only 4 percent--1,811 to
1,732.  Many of the older helicopters in the 1991 inventory have been
replaced by newer more capable ones.  The Army has added about 150
AH-64A Apache attack helicopters and nearly 300 OH-58D Kiowa Warrior
armed reconnaissance helicopters to its fleet, and the Marine Corps
has added over 70 AH-1W Cobras to its fleet.  At the same time, both
services have retired nearly 600 older AH-1 Cobras.  Figure 2.2 shows
attack helicopter inventory changes. 

   Figure 2.2:  Changes in Army
   and Marine Corps Attack
   Helicopter Inventory

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


      LONG-RANGE MISSILE
      INVENTORIES INCREASING
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:1.2

From fiscal years 1991 through 1996, about $4.5 billion was
appropriated to acquire long-range missiles, and the combined
inventories of these missiles more than tripled from 1,133 to over
3,750.  (This does not include conventional air-launched cruise
missiles as inventory data on those weapons is classified.) The Navy
Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile and the Army tactical missile
system (ATACMS) have been used to attack a variety of fixed targets,
including air defense and communications sites, often in high-threat
environments.  The Gulf War and subsequent contingency operations,
including, most recently, September 1996 attacks on Iraqi military
installations, have demonstrated that long-range missiles can carry
out some of the missions of strike aircraft while they reduce the
risk of pilot losses and aircraft attrition. 

Although the number of ships (including attack submarines) capable of
firing the Tomahawk grew only slightly--from 112 to 119--between 1991
and 1996, the Navy's overall ability to fire these land-attack
missiles has grown considerably.  This is because a greater number of
the ships capable of firing the missile are now surface ships and
surface ships are able to carry more Tomahawks than submarines.  The
Navy has also demonstrated that the ATACMS can be fired successfully
from surface ships.  This offers the possibility of future
enhancements to the Navy's long-range missile capabilities. 


      SPECIALIZED AIRCRAFT
      INVENTORIES HAVE EXPERIENCED
      VARYING CHANGES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:1.3

DOD has not reduced its inventories of combat support aircraft used
for nonlethal suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) and air
refueling to the same extent as its fixed-wing combat forces. 
Inventory levels of specialized surveillance and reconnaissance
aircraft have been reduced significantly but will be replaced by
other reconnaissance assets. 
Figure 2.3 shows the changes in the inventory levels for these type
of specialized aircraft. 

   Figure 2.3:  Fiscal Year 1996
   Specialized Aircraft
   Inventories as a Percent of
   Fiscal Year 1991 Inventories

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

The 5-percent reduction in specialized nonlethal SEAD aircraft
reflects a decline of 10 aircraft (from 188 in fiscal year 1991 to
178 in fiscal year 1996); the 16-percent reduction in air refueling
aircraft reflects a decline of 171 aircraft (from 1,046 to 875); and
the 44-percent reduction in surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft
reflects a decline of 415 aircraft (from 943 to 528).  Most of the
latter decline was due to the retirement of 184 Air Force RF-4C
penetrating reconnaissance aircraft and 159 Navy P-3 antisubmarine
warfare aircraft.  The Air Force is making a transition to greater
use of unmanned aerial vehicles to provide reconnaisssance over enemy
airspace and is equipping some F-16 fighters with sensors for such
missions.  The submarine threat to U.S.  forces has diminished since
the fall of the Soviet Union, reducing the need for antisubmarine
warfare assets. 


   COMBAT AIR POWER CAPABILITIES
   CONTINUE TO BE IMPROVED
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2

Though DOD's aviation force is smaller today, many of the combat
aircraft are newer and more highly capable, allowing for greater
flexibility in the employment of force across a broader range of
operating environments.  Acting on lessons learned from the Persian
Gulf War and recommendations made by organizations such as the
Defense Science Board, DOD has taken steps to make many of the
remaining combat aircraft more capable, to include improvements such
as autonomous navigation, night fighting, target acquisition, and
self-protection and the employment of advanced munitions.  Based on
aircraft performance during the Gulf War, DOD has identified these
capabilities as vital to the efficiency and effectiveness of attack
aircraft.  Advances in miniaturizing and modularizing subsystems have
allowed DOD to enhance aircraft capabilities within existing
airframes, overcoming concerns about space and weight limitations. 
Theater air defense systems are also being improved as concern
increases about cruise and ballistic missiles armed with weapons of
mass destruction.  Similarly, DOD has enhanced the capabilities of
specialized support aircraft and long-range missiles and plans
further improvements to these systems. 


      NAVIGATION, NIGHT FIGHTING,
      AND TARGETING CAPABILITIES
      OF COMBAT AIRCRAFT CONTINUE
      TO BE ENHANCED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.1

Congress has mandated that all DOD aircraft be able to use the global
positioning system by the end of fiscal year 2000.  This system
allows for precise positioning and navigation across a broad range of
missions, contributing to better situational awareness and more
efficient use of forces.  It also can be used to deliver munitions
accurately in all weather conditions. 

The number of aircraft with night fighting and target acquisition
capabilities--both critical to the flexibility and effectiveness of
combat aircraft--has increased significantly since fiscal year 1991. 
What constitutes a night fighting capability varies between
platforms.  During the Gulf War, night capability for the F-15E
consisted of LANTIRN (low altitude navigation targeting infrared for
night) targeting pods\1 only.  These pods give pilots the ability to
accurately target weapons day or night in adverse weather. 
Night-capable F-16s used during the Gulf War had LANTIRN navigation
pods only.  Today, F-15E and F-16 night capability consists of
aircraft using both LANTIRN targeting and navigation pods.  Gulf War
night capability for the F/A-18 consisted of either a navigation or
targeting forward-looking infrared pod and/or night vision goggles. 
No night-capable A-10 or AV-8B\2 Harrier aircraft were used during
the Gulf War, but today A-10 pilots can use night vision goggles, and
the night attack AV-8B is equipped with a navigation forward-looking
infrared pod, and its pilots are equipped with night vision goggles. 
The number of night-capable helicopters has grown by more than 500 as
more Apaches and Kiowa Warriors have entered the Army fleet and more
AH-1W Cobra helicopters have entered the Marine Corps fleet.  The
change in night fighting capability since 1991 for selected aircraft
types is shown in figure 2.4. 

   Figure 2.4:  Increase in Night
   Fighting Capability Since
   Fiscal Year 1991

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Today, more than 600 F-15Es and F-16s can use all or part of LANTIRN
for night fighting.  The Air Force plans to equip 250 F-16s with
cockpit changes that will enable their pilots to use night vision
goggles to complement the LANTIRN capability.  Inventories of
night-capable F/A-18 aircraft have grown by more than 350 from 1991
to 1996, as DOD invested hundreds of millions of dollars in
forward-looking infrared pods.  More than 250 A-10 attack aircraft
have been equipped for night operations.  Although about 355
night-capable Navy A-6 and Air Force F-111F aircraft will be gone
from the inventory by the end of fiscal year 1996, overall, DOD
increased the number of night-capable combat aircraft by over 900. 
Beginning in 1996, many Navy F-14 aircraft started receiving LANTIRN
and night vision cockpit modifications. 


--------------------
\1 Pods are detachable compartments that house electronic equipment
used for such functions as targeting, navigation, and
self-protection. 

\2 Night-capable AV-8B aircraft were in the inventory at the time of
the Gulf War.  However, since pilots had not been trained in the use
of the system, no night-capable AV-8Bs were used in the war. 


      SELF-DEFENSE CAPABILITIES OF
      COMBAT AIRCRAFT ARE BEING
      IMPROVED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.2

To enhance the survivability of attack aircraft, the services are
equipping them with new self-protection jammers, upgraded radar
warning receivers, and increased expendable countermeasures.  In past
work, we have noted performance problems with many of these systems. 
In addition, the Air Force is currently adding towed decoys to
further enhance the survivability of its F-16s.  Also, the Marine
Corps plans to (1) add a missile warning system to its AV-8B and
AH-1W aircraft to alert aircraft crews of a missile attack and (2)
install the combined interrogator transponder on its F-18C/D aircraft
to enable crews to identify other aircraft beyond visual range as
either friendly or hostile.  This identification capability is
expected to reduce the incidence of fratricide.  During the Gulf War,
only the Air Force F-15 had this capability. 


      MORE COMBAT AIRCRAFT CAN USE
      ADVANCED MUNITIONS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.3

Equipping aircraft with the subsystems needed to employ advanced
munitions is a critical force enhancement that DOD considers
necessary to successfully execute its military strategy.  DOD is
making a sizable investment in such weapons.  For example, it
estimates it will spend over $15 billion on five major
precision-guided munitions (PGM) for its combat aircraft--the joint
stand-off weapon (JSOW), the joint direct attack munition (JDAM), the
Longbow Hellfire missile, the sensor fused weapon, and the joint
air-to-surface standoff missile.  Additionally, other PGMs for
aircraft valued at nearly $4 billion entered the inventory from 1992
through 1996. 

More than nine times as many F-16s and, with the growth in F-15E
inventory, one-and-a-half times as many F-15Es can employ PGMs in
1996 than could do so in 1991.\3 Overall, DOD estimates it has about
twice as many aircraft capable of employing these types of weapons as
it did during the Gulf War.  The Hellfire missile has given more Army
and Marine Corps helicopters a PGM capability.  Future PGM
development will concentrate on developing standoff weapons. 
Although some PGM capability is being lost through retirement of the
Air Force F-111F and Navy A-6E, DOD expects to retain roughly the
current level of capability into the next century. 


--------------------
\3 For these purposes, a PGM capability is the autonomous ability to
employ laser-guided munitions. 


      NEW THREATS FORCE GROWTH IN
      AIR DEFENSE
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.4

In response to the growing threat of theater ballistic missiles that
are used in regional conflicts and can be armed with weapons of mass
destruction, DOD is increasing funding to upgrade existing and
planned air defense systems--a critical component of U.S.  air
superiority forces--and plans more advanced developments as the
threat evolves.  The Army's Patriot PAC-3 and upgrades to the Navy's
area defense system will provide the near-term response to this
threat.  Upgrades to the Air Force E-3 and Navy E-2C surveillance and
reconnaissance aircraft should also enhance capabilities to counter
the long-range cruise missile threat through improved detection of
cruise missiles en route to their targets.  The Space-Based Infrared
System is also being developed to aid in missile warning and missile
defense.  DOD plans to spend over $6 billion during the next 5 years
to develop future theater missile defense systems, including the
theater high-altitude air defense system. 


      LONG-RANGE MISSILES OFFER
      MORE CAPABILITY
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:2.5

Since the Gulf War, the Navy has improved its Tomahawk missile's
operational responsiveness, target penetration, range, and accuracy. 
It has added global positioning system guidance and redesigned the
warhead and engine in the missile's block III configuration that
entered service in 1993.  The Navy will upgrade or remanufacture
existing Tomahawk missiles with (1) jam-resistant global positioning
system receivers and an inertial navigation system to guide the
missile throughout the mission and (2) a forward-looking terminal
sensor to autonomously attack targets.  These missiles are expected
to enter service around 2000. 

The ATACMS block IA, scheduled for delivery in fiscal year 1998, is
an upgrade that will nearly double the range of the missile and
increase its accuracy.  More advanced versions of the ATACMS--block
II and IIA--will use the brilliant anti-armor submunition, which is
scheduled to enter service after the turn of the century.  This
submunition will give the missile the ability to acquire, track, and
home on operating armored vehicles deep into enemy territory. 


   SPECIALIZED AIRCRAFT ARE
   RECEIVING UPGRADES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3

The services are also selectively upgrading their specialized
aviation assets for surveillance and reconnaissance, SEADs, and air
refueling.  Coupled with force restructuring, DOD expects these
upgrades to enhance combat operations and expand opportunities to
perform joint operations and provide cross-service support. 


      SURVEILLANCE AND
      RECONNAISSANCE CAPABILITIES
      ARE BEING IMPROVED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3.1

DOD has identified battlefield surveillance as a critical force
enhancement needed to improve the capabilities, flexibility, and
lethality of general purpose forces and ensure the successful
execution of the National Military Strategy.  The Air Force and Navy
have improved existing sensors that enhance the capability of current
surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft--the U-2R, RC-135V/W, and
EP-3E--to provide intelligence support to combat forces.  Heading the
list of battlefield surveillance improvements, as shown in the
Secretary of Defense's annual report, is the E-8C Joint Surveillance
Target Attack Radar System.  With its synthetic aperture radar and
moving target indicator, this system is designed to provide wide
area, real-time information on the movement of enemy forces to air
and ground units.  Also, DOD has invested hundreds of millions of
dollars, and plans to invest about $1.5 billion more over the next
5 years, to develop and procure unmanned aerial vehicles.  DOD
expects that these vehicles will provide complementary battlefield
reconnaissance and reduce the need for manned reconnaissance aircraft
to penetrate enemy airspace. 

The Air Force is improving its E-3 and the Navy its Hawkeye E-2C
aerial surveillance and control aircraft in their roles as early
warning and airborne command and control platforms.  For the E-3,
$220 million was appropriated for fiscal year 1996 to improve the
aircraft's capabilities.  Annual modification expenditures for the
E-2C more than doubled in 1995 from those in 1991, despite a
shrinking inventory.  The Air Force RC-135 and Navy EP-3E signals
intelligence aircraft are also being upgraded to improve the
collection and dissemination of intelligence data. 


      DOD IS RESTRUCTURING ITS
      ELECTRONIC WARFARE FORCES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3.2

SEAD--the synergistic use of radar and communications jamming and of
destruction through the use of antiradiation missiles--is recognized
to be a critical component of air operations, as it improves the
survivability of other U.S.  aircraft in combat areas.  In
establishing funding priorities, DOD has decided to retire certain
Air Force SEAD aircraft--the F-4G and EF-111A jammer--and replace
them with a new Air Force system, the high speed anti-radiation
missile (HARM) targeting system on the F-16C, and an existing Navy
electronic warfare aircraft, the EA-6B.  We expressed serious
concerns about the prudence of these decisions in an April 1996
report, as the decisions were made without an assessment of how the
cumulative changes in SEAD capabilities would affect overall
warfighting capability.\4 Although DOD recognizes that it must adjust
tactics and operations to account for performance differences between
current and replacement systems, it believes that it can meet the Air
Force's SEAD needs into the next century by selectively upgrading the
EA-6B and the HARM targeting system. 

When the Air Force completes the retirement of its most capable
lethal SEAD aircraft, the F-4G, at the end of fiscal year 1996, it
will primarily rely on 72 F-16C aircraft equipped with the HARM
targeting system.  However, the EA-6B, which will replace the EF-111
in the Air Force's nonlethal SEAD role, can also target and fire HARM
missiles.  It also has a communications-jamming capability that will
allow it to supplement the Air Force's heavily burdened
communications jammer, the EC-130H Compass Call.  The Air Force has
also decided to upgrade its EC-130H fleet to meet new threats. 

Recognizing that too few EA-6B aircraft may be available to meet both
Air Force and Navy needs, DOD plans to retain 12 EF-111s in the
active inventory through the end of 1998, when additional upgraded
EA-6Bs should be available.  Though the performance of the two
platforms is not the same, and the multiservice use of the same
platform will entail some logistics support challenges, the Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff believes that retiring the EF-111
represents a "prudent risk" that DOD can take to more fully fund
higher priority needs.  DOD believes the SEAD mission is important
and will retain about 140 radar and communications jamming aircraft
and over 800 aircraft able to fire antiradiation missiles in its
force structure. 


--------------------
\4 Combat Air Power:  Funding Priority for Suppression of Enemy Air
Defenses May Be Too Low (GAO/NSIAD-96-128, April 10, 1996). 


      CROSS-SERVICE AIR REFUELING
      CAPABILITY CONTINUES TO GROW
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:3.3

From the end of 1991 through 1996, the Air Force will have replaced
the engines on 126 KC-135 tankers at a cost of over $20 million per
aircraft.  These reengined aircraft offer up to 50 percent greater
fuel off-load capacity and quieter, cleaner, and more fuel-efficient
performance with lower maintenance requirements.  The Air Force is
considering the same upgrades to about 140 more KC-135s. 

Funding has been programmed to field a multi-point refueling
capability that is expected to enhance cross-service operations. 
About $100 million has been appropriated to modify 20 KC-10 and 45
KC-135R tankers to carry wing pods that will enable these Air Force
aircraft to refuel Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.  About $160
million is needed to complete the KC-135 modifications.  In 1991, no
operational KC-10 or KC-135 tankers had this capability. 


   INTEGRATION AND
   INTEROPERABILITY OFFER
   ENHANCEMENT ACROSS MISSION
   AREAS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:4

There has been debate as to whether the success of the coalition air
forces during the Gulf War was an evolutionary or revolutionary
advancement in the conduct of air warfare.  While many combat
technologies--stealth, night fighting, and PGMs--proved valuable,
delays in the processing of intelligence and targeting information,
and difficulty in communicating that information to the forces that
could use it, minimized the full impact of advanced combat
technologies.  The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has stated
that the development of a "system of systems"--the integration of
intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance with precision force
through the more rapid processing and transfer of targeting and other
information--offers the greatest enhancement in joint warfighting
capability. 

The Defense Science Board reported in 1993 that improvements in the
effectiveness of combat aircraft would be fastest and most
significant not through the purchase of new aircraft but through
improvements to the interoperability and integration of existing
assets.\5

DOD believes the ability of sensor platforms to transfer target
information quickly to air, ground, and naval units armed with PGMs
will act as a force multiplier, resulting in greater lethality and
possibly a reduction in force structure and munitions requirements. 
The $2 billion Joint Tactical Information Distribution System, for
example, will net together command and control centers, sensor
platforms, fighter aircraft, and surface air defense units to improve
performance in the high density air combat environment, providing
near real-time secure data and voice communications from sensor to
shooter platforms.  The Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office is
developing imagery processing standards to enable the processing of
imagery from multiple sensors.  Satellite communications systems
being fielded provide secure communications for command authorities
to command and control tactical and strategic forces of all services
at all levels of conflict.  The Navy's cooperative engagement
capability is being developed to integrate surface and air defenses,
across service lines, over land and sea.  The goal is to link all air
defense forces to provide the faster transfer of targeting
information. 

Advanced munitions will also offer benefits across mission lines.  By
reducing sortie requirements and allowing for weapons delivery beyond
the range of enemy air defenses, advanced munitions could possibly
reduce the need for air refueling as well as dedicated SEAD.  The
Defense Science Board noted in its 1993 report that during the Gulf
War, a ton of PGMs typically replaced 12 to 20 tons of unguided
munitions for many types of targets on a tonnage-per-target-kill
basis, thereby reducing tactical aircraft sorties and airlift
requirements.  Also, for each ton of PGMs, the Board estimated that
as much as 35 to 40 tons of fuel could be saved due to the decrease
in overall air operations. 


--------------------
\5 Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Tactical Air
Warfare, Nov.  30, 1993. 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 2:5

The downsizing of U.S.  forces in recent years has not necessarily
translated into a loss of combat air power.  While the number of
combat aircraft has been reduced, these reductions have been largely
offset by an expanded group of assets and capabilities available to
the combatant commands.  Capabilities have improved because (1) a
larger percentage of the combat aircraft force is now able to perform
multiple missions; (2) key performance capabilities of combat
aircraft, such as night fighting, are being significantly enhanced;
and (3) the growth in inventories of advanced long-range missiles and
PGMs is adding to the arsenal of weapons and to the options available
to attack targets.  Moreover, the continuing integration of service
capabilities in such areas as battlefield surveillance; command,
control, and communications; and targeting should enable force
commanders to further capitalize on the aggregate capabilities of the
services and maintain extensive air power capabilities despite
force-level reductions. 


CAPABILITIES OF POTENTIAL
ADVERSARIES ARE LIMITED AND WILL
LIKELY BE SLOWLY IMPROVED
============================================================ Chapter 3

Potential adversaries\1 possess two types of capabilities that
constitute a threat to U.S.  air power accomplishing its objectives: 
a defensive (air defense) capability using aircraft and surface-based
air defense forces and an offensive attack capability employing
aircraft and cruise and ballistic missiles.  The current air defense
capabilities of potential adversaries, in terms of both aircraft and
air defense systems, are unlikely to prevent U.S.  air power from
achieving its military objectives.  The conventional offensive threat
is judged to be low until at least early in the next century. 
Furthermore, efforts by potential adversaries to modernize their
forces will likely continue to be inhibited by declines in the
post-Cold War arms market, national and international efforts to
limit proliferation of conventional arms, and the high cost of
advanced weapons.  These adversaries are also experiencing shortfalls
in training, maintenance, and logistics, and many of them have
weaknesses in their military doctrine. 


--------------------
\1 Potential adversaries were identified through discussions with DOD
representatives.  We have intentionally not identified these
countries to keep this report unclassified. 


   CURRENT THREATS TO U.S.  AIR
   POWER ARE LIMITED
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:1

Potential regional adversaries currently possess defensive and
offensive weapons considered technologically inferior to U.S. 
forces.  Improvements in these capabilities is dependent on the
acquisition of weapons and technology from outside sources. 

The current air defense capabilities of potential adversaries have
limitations.  Regarding aircraft, these nations have only small
quantities of modern fighters for air defense.  The bulk of their air
forces are older and less capable, and their fleets are not expected
to be bolstered by many modern aircraft.  Similarly, for their
surface-to-air defense forces, these nations tend to rely on older
systems for high-altitude long-range defense and to use the more
modern and effective systems, when available, at low altitudes and
short ranges.  The most prevalent threats are assessed to be overcome
by U.S.  aircraft with the use of tactics and countermeasures. 
Furthermore, the location of the most threatening assets tends to be
known. 

For offensive operations, like defense forces, the bulk of potential
adversaries' aviation forces, which may comprise significant numbers,
are older and less capable aircraft.  The same assessment applies to
long-range missile capabilities.  Some potential adversaries possess
significant quantities of ballistic missiles, but they tend to be of
low technology and of limited military use.  The potential
land-attack cruise missile capabilities of these nations are low and
are not expected to increase in sophistication until the middle of
the next decade, if at all.  Though the threat to military forces
from conventionally armed missiles is low, the possibility that such
weapons could be used for political purposes--and possibly armed with
nuclear, biological, or chemical warheads--may affect the employment
of U.S.  forces. 

Air defense is a high priority of potential adversaries, and it is
believed most potential adversaries are trying to improve their
effectiveness and survivability by upgrading existing systems,
purchasing more modern weapons, and using camouflage and decoys. 
These improvements, if achieved, could delay U.S.  combat air power
from achieving air superiority quickly and cause higher U.S.  and
allied casualties.  These nations would also like to improve their
aviation and ballistic and cruise missile capabilities.  However,
they currently lack the capability to develop and produce the
advanced systems that would allow them to significantly enhance air
defense and long-range offensive capabilities.  Therefore, advances
will likely be confined to upgrades of existing equipment and the
possible acquisition of advanced air defense systems from outside
sources.  Several factors, however, make that prospect less likely. 
Among these are (1) the modern arms market, which has changed since
the end of the Cold War; (2) the high cost of modern weapons, given
potential adversaries' economic capability; and (3) a growing global
conventional arms control environment. 

In technical comments on this report, DOD noted that important
advances are being made in potential threats, in particular in
advanced surface-to-air missile systems such as the SA-10.  DOD said
these threats, which are either in development by potential
adversaries or available for sale on the international market, are
expected to significantly affect U.S.  capabilities to employ air
power in the future.  We do not discount these potential threats. 
However, DOD's projections of the ability of potential adversaries to
employ such systems, known weaknesses of future threat systems, the
acquisition of advanced standoff weapons for U.S.  aircraft, and
planned improvements to existing U.S.  forces, when taken together,
suggest that this threat is manageable.  Furthermore, in subsequent
discussions, DOD clarified that it did not intend for its comment to
suggest that U.S.  electronic warfare systems could not defeat future
threats but that DOD prefers to continue to maintain a variety of
capabilities, including additional stealth aircraft, to meet its
objectives. 


   ARMS TRANSFERS ARE DOWN IN A
   MARKET NOW DOMINATED BY UNITED
   STATES AND ITS ALLIES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:2

The volume of arms transfers has fallen significantly in recent years
and is not expected to reach its former levels any time soon.  The
principal nations selling and buying arms are the United States and
its allies.  Since potential adversaries depend on foreign technology
to improve their capabilities, changes in the arms market could have
a substantial effect on their ability to modernize their forces. 

The value of the cross-border transfer of conventional arms fell by
more than two-thirds from 1987 to 1994--from almost $79 billion to
$22 billion in 1994 dollars worldwide, according to the latest
available data from the U.S.  Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
(ACDA).  The share of the international arms market held by the
former Soviet Union, now shown as Russia, and China has fallen from a
combined 40 percent to about 10 percent over the same period.  At the
same time, the share of the arms market held by the United States and
several close allies has grown from 43 percent to 79 percent of all
transfers (See fig.  3.1). 

   Figure 3.1:  Trend in the
   Worldwide Transfer of
   Conventional Arms (Constant
   1994 dollars in billions)

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers, 1995, ACDA. 

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was a primary supplier of arms
to the Third World, often providing weapons without charging for
them.  Now Russia generally requires payment, often in hard currency,
for the weapons it transfers.  The latest available ACDA data show
worldwide Soviet Union/Russian transfers fell from $23.1 billion in
1987 to $1.3 billion in 1994.  China also reduced its arms exports
over that period.\2 Agreements for future deliveries also fell for
Russia and China from the levels of the 1980s.  However, Russia has
increased the value of its agreements for future weapons deliveries
since 1992. 

While overall arms transfers have fallen, those who have been buying
have shown a preference for American and Western European equipment. 
Buyers prefer proven high quality weapons that are accompanied by
good logistics support.  For the most recent 3-year period available,
1992 to 1994, the arms market in terms of actual arms transfers has
been dominated on the seller side by the United States and a few of
its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies, and on the
buyer side by allies of the United States in Europe, the Middle East,
and East Asia.  Transfers to the Middle East by supplier are shown in
figure 3.2. 

   Figure 3.2:  Arms Transfer
   Deliveries to the Middle East
   by Source (1992-94)

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers, 1995, ACDA. 

As figure 3.2 shows, 86 percent of the value of actual deliveries of
conventional arms to the Middle East for the period shown originated
from the United States and four close allies--the United Kingdom,
France, Canada, and Germany--and were primarily to members of the
Gulf War coalition.  Only about 14 percent came from Russia, China,
and other sources, and some of that total also went to U.S.  Gulf War
allies in the Middle East. 

The pattern for arms sales agreements for future deliveries is
similar; that is, the United States and its NATO allies are the
dominant suppliers (see
fig.  3.3). 

   Figure 3.3:  Agreements for
   Future Deliveries to the Middle
   East by Source (1992-94)

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

Source:  World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers, 1995, ACDA. 

From 1992 to 1994, almost 92 percent of the value of sales agreements
for future conventional arms deliveries to the Middle East were made
by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.  Only
8 percent of agreements for future Middle East deliveries originated
from Russia, China, or the rest of the world. 

The decline in transfers has been accompanied by the contraction of
the arms industries of many weapons exporters in terms of both
production and development.  Arms manufacturing nations have tended
to reduce the size of their own armed forces and their arms
production capabilities since the Cold War ended.  Development
programs have been slowed in many cases, and major weapon production
programs have been subject to delay, reduction, or cancellation. 
Although arms producers want to continue exports to protect domestic
jobs and reduce the cost of modernizing their own forces, they are
presently finding few large buyers.  Arms deliveries to India have
fallen substantially and transfers to Pakistan have fallen since
1990.  The buying spree of America's Persian Gulf allies has also
slowed.  At the same time, potential adversaries that may desire
advanced weapons have not been obtaining them or placing orders with
producers, in part because of economic constraints and
internationally imposed limits on arms transfers. 


--------------------
\2 An August 15, 1996, Congressional Research Service report on
conventional arms transfers shows an increase in transfers in 1995
over 1994.  The percentage of the market held by Russia and China
increased to 13 percent.  The United States and its allies remained
the dominant suppliers of arms and developing countries friendly to
the United States were the principal recipients. 


   HIGH COSTS AND EXPORT
   RESTRICTIONS MAY LIMIT ADVANCES
   IN CAPABILITY
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3

While the development of more capable weapons is likely to continue,
the ability of potential adversaries to obtain these weapons in large
numbers is not assured.  The cost of modern high technology weapons
continues to grow, while the ability of these countries to afford
such systems is constrained.  Additionally, international efforts to
restrict arms and technology proliferation have been increasing in
terms of both the types of technology targeted and the number of
exporting nations agreeing to restrictions. 


      WEAPONS PRICES INCREASE
      WHILE POTENTIAL ADVERSARIES'
      ECONOMIES STAGNATE
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.1

The high technology weapons that could seriously threaten U.S.  air
power are expensive, no matter what the source.  For example, each
aircraft that is part of the original Eurofighter 2000 tactical
aircraft contract is projected to cost about $75 million.  An
advanced surface-to-air system like the Patriot PAC-3 costs over $100
million per battery.  Nations that depend on export sales of selected
commodities to finance their militaries or that have closed economies
could find it much harder to afford high technology systems.  The
more likely course for these nations is to upgrade their existing
equipment, either by mixing new components with their old systems or
through other upgrade programs from arms suppliers.  Although such
attempts could offer new challenges to the United States and its
allies, they would be less threatening than more modern equipment. 


      INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS
      COULD INHIBIT CAPABILITY
      ENHANCEMENTS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:3.2

Part of the National Military Strategy entails increasing cooperation
with regional allies while containing regional powers not friendly to
the United States and its allies.  Conventional arms control is part
of this strategy.  Some international agreements/collaborations and
domestic weapons export policies are designed to limit the
opportunities for regional powers to acquire advanced weapons.  For
example, the United Nations imposed sanctions on more than one nation
in the 1990s, prohibiting transfers of weapons or commercial
technology to these nations that could be used for military purposes. 
ACDA data show no measurable arms transfers to nations under U.N. 
sanctions since sanctions were imposed. 

A key collaboration, the Wassenaar Arrangement, took effect in
December 1995.  This arrangement--the goal of which is complete
disclosure of arms transfers--has 28 member nations.  This
cooperative effort replaces the Coordinating Committee for
Multilateral Export Controls (COCOM), the Cold War regime that
limited arms and technology transfers to Soviet bloc nations.  The
Wassenaar Arrangement has identified several nations that are to be
excluded from arms exports or exports of potential dual-use
technology--that is, technology with military as well as commercial
applications.  It is hoped that this agreement will allow major
weapons producers to target volatile regions for restraint in the
transfer of arms.  Although Wassenaar does not constitute a formal
treaty, major arms manufacturing countries have agreed to its arms
transfer restrictions as part of their country's domestic arms
transfer policies. 

A third major arms control agreement, the Missile Technology Control
Regime, was created in 1987 and is designed to specifically limit the
transfer of missiles--including cruise and ballistic--and
missile-related and dual-use technology.  Original members were major
NATO partners and Japan, but the Regime has been expanded to include
more than
20 nations. 

The combination of U.N.  sanctions, the Wassenaar Arrangement, and
the Missile Technology Control Regime represent an obstacle to
potential adversaries that seek to acquire highly capable weapons and
advanced technology.  Again, ACDA data indicate sharply reduced
transfers to these nations in recent years, and there are no
indications these agreements will be relaxed significantly in the
near future.  In fact, according to the State Department, the United
States intends to strengthen the Wassenaar Arrangement.  Given that
Wassenaar members are the major arms producers and that potential
adversaries generally lack an indigenous advanced weapon development
and production capability, the potential for significantly inhibiting
potential adversaries from improvements in capability is, to a great
extent, in these member nations' hands. 


   A CAPABLE FORCE REQUIRES MORE
   THAN ADVANCED WEAPONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:4

Potential adversaries have not demonstrated the commitment to
logistics support and training that the U.S.  military considers
necessary to achieve the best performance possible from the equipment
available.  The advanced age of the equipment currently in the
inventories of these nations increases support requirements, and
chronic shortages of spare parts lower their expected effectiveness. 
Many of the more modern systems are likely to be highly complex and
difficult to maintain.  Generally, the sophistication and intensity
of training that potential adversaries provide their operators is
considered well below U.S.  standards.  Furthermore, most of these
countries have no experience training against an opponent like the
United States. 

Another factor affecting the capabilities of potential adversaries is
their military doctrine.  No matter how effective their weapons may
be, the centralized command and control that most potential
adversaries exercise over the operations of their military forces
further affects the effective and efficient use of the forces. 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 3:5

Although potential adversaries possess capabilities that constitute a
threat to the ability of U.S.  air power to accomplish its
objectives, the severity of these threats, particularly in relation
to the formidable capability of U.S.  forces to counter them, appears
to be limited.  Efforts by these countries to modernize their forces
will likely be inhibited by declines in the post-Cold War arms
market, national and international efforts to limit the proliferation
of conventional arms, and the high cost of advanced weapons. 
Additionally, shortfalls in training, maintenance, logistics, and
military doctrine further constrain the capabilities of potential
adversaries. 


AIR POWER MODERNIZATION PROGRAMS
ARE NOT BASED ON JOINT ASSESSMENTS
============================================================ Chapter 4

DOD's plans for modernizing its air power forces call for spending
several hundred billion dollars on new air power programs to further
enhance U.S capabilities that are already formidable.  These
programs, which are likely to be a significant challenge to pay for,
are proceeding even though DOD has not sufficiently assessed joint
mission requirements.  Without such assessments, the Secretary of
Defense does not have the information needed to accurately assess the
need for and priority of planned modernization programs. 

A definitive answer as to the necessity of planned investments is not
possible without knowing how aggregate service capabilities meet
joint war-fighting requirements.  However, our past GAO work and
information developed on our mission reviews suggest that some
planned investments may not be worth the costs.  For some programs,
the payoff in added mission capability--considering the investment
required and the limited needed capability added--is not clearly
substantial, as required by the National Military Strategy.  For
others, the security environment and/or assumptions under which the
programs were justified have changed.  In other cases, there are
viable and less costly alternatives to planned investments. 


   PLANNED INVESTMENTS POSE A
   FINANCIAL CHALLENGE
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:1

Each military service has major acquisition programs to modernize its
combat air power forces.  Many of them were initiated to counter a
global Soviet threat.  These programs include not only combat
aircraft but also programs to acquire long-range missiles to strike
land targets; advanced weapons combat aircraft can use; theater
missile defense forces; surveillance and reconnaissance assets; and
command, control, and communications systems.  Appendix III
summarizes the costs of DOD's major combat air power acquisition
programs.  If these programs proceed as planned, their total program
costs, including allowances for inflation, are estimated to exceed
$300 billion, about $60 billion of which has already been spent.  Not
included in these totals is the cost of the Joint Strike Fighter, the
program that is likely to be the most costly of all.  DOD has only
published initial research, development, test and evaluation cost
data on this program, which is projected to provide about 2,978
advanced joint strike-fighter aircraft for the Navy, Air Force, and
Marine Corps beginning in the next decade.  The Congressional Budget
Office (CBO) estimates a total acquisition cost, based on DOD's goals
for the program, of $165 billion in 1997 dollars. 

The largest segment of DOD's planned air power investments reflects
the plan to replace aging fighter and attack aircraft.  With the
large defense buildup of the 1980s and the changed national security
environment of the 1990s, in recent years DOD has significantly cut
back on the procurement of such aircraft.  These aircraft, which
include the F-15s, F-16s, and F/A-18C/Ds for which production lines
remain open, are highly capable aircraft.  Nevertheless, DOD plans to
replace them with more advanced and costly systems, but not
necessarily on a one-for-one basis.  The costs to replace the older
model aircraft with new ones are projected to be quite substantial in
the next decade.  In fact, DOD estimates that it will spend about as
much to procure combat aircraft in the next decade as it spent during
the 1980s force buildup, even with the figures adjusted for
inflation. 

DOD's force modernization plans are based on several assumptions. 
First, DOD assumes that the defense budget top line will stop its
decline in fiscal year 1997 and begin to rise and that funding for
procurement will increase to $60.1 billion in fiscal year 2001. 
Second, DOD assumes it will achieve significant savings through base
closures and other infrastructure reductions and "outsourcing" many
support activities.  Additionally, DOD assumes that savings will be
realized from overhauling the defense acquisition system.  There are
reasons to be skeptical about the practicality of modernizing U.S. 
air power under these assumptions.  An annual $60 billion procurement
appropriation in fiscal year 2001 would be over 40 percent higher
than that in the fiscal year 1997 budget.  In each of its last three
future years defense programs, DOD has postponed planned increases in
its procurement budget request.  As for infrastructure savings, our
review of DOD's 1996-2001 Future Years Defense Program identified
only negligible net savings accruing over the program's 6 years.\1
Acquisition reform savings may also prove to be elusive.  For
example, although DOD expects to accrue substantial savings by
reforming contract management and oversight requirements, we reported
in April 1996 that initial results of such reforms indicate such
savings may be minimal.\2

In testimony before Congress in June 1996, senior DOD officials
reported that military service and OSD officials reviewed the
affordability of the three largest combat aircraft programs--the
F-18E/F, F-22, and Joint Strike Fighter.  According to the testimony,
these officials determined that the overall planned investment in
these programs was within historical norms and affordable within
service priorities.  Neither the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff nor CBO is as optimistic.  The Chairman, in October 1995, said
DOD's tactical aircraft procurement plans call for much greater than
expected resources in the out-years.  CBO, in testimony before the
Congress in June 1996, said its analysis of DOD's fighter procurement
plans suggest that they may not be affordable and that the programs
will probably need to be scaled back.\3 Using DOD goals for the three
programs, CBO estimated that the Air Force and the Navy would need
about $9.6 billion annually over the 2002-2020 period to buy fighter
and attack aircraft, but may only have about $6.6 billion available
to spend.  The agency also described the aging of the fighter fleet
as "worrisome," suggesting that future leaders could have less
flexibility in dealing with funding cuts. 

DOD makes decisions on the affordability of its modernization plans
in an environment that encourages the "selling" of programs, along
with undue optimism, parochialism, and other compromises of good
judgment.  Once DOD initiates major acquisition programs, such as the
F-22, F/A-18E/F, and the Joint Strike Fighter, it has historically
made a nearly irrevocable commitment to the program, unless the
program experiences a catastrophe.  Once begun, programs develop
constituencies in the services, OSD, industry, the user community,
and Congress--constituencies that give a momentum to programs and
make their termination an option rarely considered by DOD. 


--------------------
\1 Defense Infrastructure:  Budget Estimates for 1996-2001 Offer
Little Savings for Modernization (GAO/NSIAD-96-131, Apr.  1996). 

\2 Acquisition Reform:  Efforts to Reduce the Cost to Manage and
Oversee DOD Contracts (GAO/NSIAD-96-106, Apr.  1996). 

\3 Modernizing Tactical Aircraft, Statement of Cindy Williams,
Assistant Director, National Security Division, Congressional Budget
Office, before the Subcommittee on Military Research and Development
and the Subcommittee on Military Procurement, Committee on National
Security, House of Representatives, June 27, 1996. 


   DOD HAS PLANNED MAJOR
   INVESTMENTS WITHOUT ADEQUATELY
   DEFINED REQUIREMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:2

DOD has done little analysis to establish joint mission area
requirements for some specific combat air power missions or to plan
the aggregate capabilities needed by each of the services to meet
those requirements.  Studies that may provide such information on
several key air power missions have been initiated but were not
completed at the end of our review.  Without such analyses, decisions
on the need for new weapon systems, major modifications, and added
capabilities evolve from a requirements generation process that
encourages each service to maintain its own view of how its own
capabilities should be enhanced to meet warfighting needs. 

In its May 1995 report, the Commission on Roles and Missions of the
Armed Forces substantiated what our reviews of defense programs have
found, that "each Service is fully engaged in trying to deliver to
the CINCs what the Service views as the best possible set of its
specific capabilities--without taking into account the similar
capabilities provided by the other Services." The analyses used to
generate weapon system requirements for new acquisition programs are
most often narrowly focused.  They do not fully consider whether the
capabilities of the other services to perform a given mission
mitigate the need for a new acquisition or major modification. 

Significant limitations in study methodologies and the use of
questionable assumptions that can result in overstated requirements
are apparent in three DOD studies examining requirements for bombers
in conventional conflicts.  None of the studies, for example,
assessed whether fighters or long-range missiles could accomplish the
mission more cost-effectively than bombers.  One of the studies, done
by the Air Force and used by it to estimate and justify bomber
requirements, assumed that only bombers would be available to strike
time-critical targets during the first 5 days of a major regional
conflict.  This assumption seems to conflict with DOD planning
guidance, which assumes that Air Force and Navy combat aircraft would
arrive early enough in theater to attack targets at the outset of a
major regional conflict. 

Under DOD's requirements generation system, DOD components
(principally the military services) are responsible for documenting
deficiencies in current capabilities and opportunities to provide new
capabilities in mission needs statements.  If the potential material
solution could result in a major defense acquisition program,\4 the
JROC is responsible for review and validation of the need.  Validated
needs statements are to be reviewed by the Defense Acquisition Board,
which is responsible for identifying possible material alternatives
and authorizing concept studies, if necessary.  OSD's Director of
Program Analysis and Evaluation is responsible for reviewing any
analyses of alternatives for meeting the validated need. 

While DOD has decision support systems, such as the requirements
generation system and the planning, programming, and budgeting
system, to assist the senior officials in making critical decisions,
reviews like those done by the JROC and by OSD staff do not have the
benefit of information on joint mission requirements and the
aggregate capabilities of the services to meet those requirements. 
Therefore, such reviews can provide little assurance that there is a
valid mission need, that force capabilities are being properly sized
to meet requirements, and that the more cost-effective alternative
has been identified.  Additionally, because many weapon system
modernization programs fall outside the major defense acquisition
program definition, many service modernization initiatives are not
validated by the JROC.\5

DOD has defended its requirements generation system, saying the
services have valid complementary requirements in many of the mission
areas.  In its opinion, the overlapping capabilities acquired add to
the options available to U.S.  leadership in a crisis and allow
combatant commanders to tailor a military response to any
contingency.  We acknowledge that flexibility is important to respond
to contingencies and that a certain amount of overlapping capability
is needed.  The question is whether, in the post-Cold War era, the
United States needs or can afford to sustain current levels of
redundancy.  Advanced combat systems are not only costly to acquire,
they are also expensive to operate and maintain.  For example, DOD
data indicates that the annual direct cost to operate and support an
F-14 in the active inventory is about $2.2 million, an F-18 about
$1.7 million, an F-15 about $3.2 million, and an F-16 about $2.2
million.  These figures include the cost of the aircrews. 


--------------------
\4 An acquisition program that is not a highly sensitive program and
that is estimated to require research, development, test, and
evaluation expenditures of more than $355 million (in fiscal year
1996 constant dollars) or procurement expenditures of more than
$2.135 billion (in fiscal year 1996 constant dollars). 

\5 For example, only 3 of the 12 close support programs we reviewed
were classified as major defense programs subject to JROC review. 
The other nine programs, with estimated costs totaling over $5
billion for fiscal years 1996 through 2001, were not reviewed. 


   SOME INVESTMENTS ARE PROCEEDING
   WITHOUT CLEAR JUSTIFICATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:3

The lack of information on joint mission needs and aggregate
capabilities to meet those needs prevents a definitive answer as to
whether DOD's air power investment programs are justified.  Based on
our past reviews of individual air power systems and available
information we collected on our six mission reviews, we believe that
DOD is proceeding with some major investments without clear evidence
that the programs are justified.  When information is viewed more
broadly, some programs appear to add only marginally to already
formidable capabilities in some areas.  Also, the changed security
environment has lessened the need for some programs, and for others,
viable, less costly alternatives appear to exist. 


   ADDITIONAL CAPABILITY MAY NOT
   BE NEEDED IN SOME MISSION AREAS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4

Whether DOD's planned investments represent the most cost-effective
mix of air power assets to accomplish combat air power missions is
unclear because past DOD assessments have largely skirted the
question of sufficiency.  However, available information suggests
that existing capabilities in mission areas like interdiction,
air-to-air combat, and close support are quite substantial even
without further enhancements. 

In the interdiction mission area--the diverting, disrupting,
delaying, or destroying of enemy forces before they can be used
against U.S.  forces--both current capabilities and those expected to
be in place in 2002 are sufficient to hit all identified ground
targets for the two major regional conflicts with considerable margin
for error.  Based on service data on current and planned interdiction
capabilities and Defense Intelligence Agency and service threat
assessments that identified enemy targets, the services already have
at least 10 ways to hit 65 percent of the thousands of expected
ground targets in two major regional conflicts.  Some targets can be
hit by 25 or more combinations of aircraft and weapons.  In addition,
service interdiction assets can provide 140 to 160 percent coverage
for many types of targets. 

Despite this level of capability, the services are modifying current
platforms and developing new weapon systems that will provide new and
enhanced interdiction capabilities over the next 15 to 20 years at a
total estimated cost of over $200 billion.  These enhancements
include the F/A-18E/F attack fighter, the ATACMS, major modifications
to the B-1B bomber, more PGMs and improvements to aircraft and
weapons, and acquisition of the Comanche armed reconnaissance
helicopter.  The Joint Strike Fighter, which is not included in the
$200 billion estimate, will also provide interdiction capabilities. 

In the area of air-to-air combat--a critical mission to achieve and
retain air superiority--over 600 combat-designated F-14 and F-15
fighter aircraft are dedicated to this mission.  This number far
exceeds the quantity and quality of fighter aircraft potential
adversaries are projected to have.  In addition, about 1,900 other
combat designated multirole fighter aircraft, such as F-16s and
F/A-18C/Ds, while not dedicated to air superiority missions, are very
capable air superiority fighters.  These aircraft could assist F-14s
and F-15s to defeat enemy fighters before being used for other
missions such as interdiction and close support.  The capabilities of
these fighter aircraft have also been enhanced extensively with the
procurement of advanced weapons--particularly over 7,400 advanced
medium range air-to-air missiles--and through continuing improvements
to these weapons and to support platforms, such as airborne warning
and control system aircraft, that help the fighters locate, identify,
track, and attack enemy aircraft at great distances.  Despite the
unparalleled U.S.  air-to-air capabilities, the Air Force plans to
begin to replace its F-15s with 438 F-22 fighters in 2004, at an
estimated average unit procurement cost of about $111 million. 
Release of long-lead production funding for the first lot of four
F-22s is scheduled for fiscal year 1998.  DOD expects that the
F/A-18E/F and the Joint Strike Fighter will further add to U.S.  air
superiority capabilities. 

In the area of close support, the military services collectively
possess a substantial inventory of weapon systems.  These assets
include five types of artillery, four types of attack helicopters,
five types of fixed-wing aircraft, and 5-inch naval guns on cruisers
and destroyers.  DOD data indicates that in the year 2001, the U.S. 
military will have about 3,680 artillery systems, 1,850 attack
helicopters, and 2,380 multirole fixed-wing aircraft that can provide
close support as well as an unspecified number of naval 5-inch guns. 
The services plan to spend over $10.6 billion to further improve
these capabilities between fiscal years 1996 and 2001, including
major improvements to the Marine's AV-8B close support aircraft and
the Army's Apache attack helicopter.  Additional major acquisition
programs that could further enhance close support capabilities
include the F/A-18E/F strike fighter, the Joint Strike Fighter, and
advanced munitions to attack ground targets. 


      CHANGED SECURITY ENVIRONMENT
      APPEARS TO LESSEN NEED FOR
      SOME PROGRAMS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4.1

Given the current security environment, the extensive aggregate
capabilities U.S.  forces now possess may lessen the need to proceed
with several key modernization programs as currently planned, since
the capabilities being acquired are not urgently needed.  The two
most prominent examples are the planned production of F-22 air
superiority fighters and modifications to the B-1 bombers. 

The Air Force is proceeding with plans to begin to acquire F-22 air
superiority fighter aircraft in fiscal year 1999 and rapidly
accelerate the pace of production to 48 aircraft per year.  This is
being done despite the services' unmatched capabilities in air-to-air
combat.  The Air Force initiated the F-22 (advanced tactical fighter)
program in 1981 to meet the projected threat of the mid-1990s.  Since
the F-22 entered engineering and manufacturing development, the
severity of the projected threat in terms of quantities and
capabilities has declined.  Instead of confronting thousands of
modern Soviet fighters, U.S.  air forces now expect to confront
potential adversaries that have few fighters with the capability to
challenge the F-15, the current U.S.  frontline fighter.  Further,
our analysis, reported in March 1994, indicated that the current
inventory of F-15s can be economically maintained in a structurally
sound condition until 2015 or later.  Thus, the planned rapid
increase in the rate of production to achieve initial operational
capability in 2004 may be premature.\6

Further, because F-22s are expected to be substantially more
effective than F-15A-Ds, replacing the F-15A-Ds on a one-for-one
basis, as currently planned, may be unnecessary.  DOD estimates the
average procurement cost of an F-22 will be about $111 million. 

In technical comments on a draft of this report, DOD said that
several current or soon-to-be-fielded fighters are at parity with the
F-15, but provided no further details.  Although we recognize that
several foreign aircraft being developed will be at rough parity with
the F-15C, it is uncertain how quickly the aircraft will be produced. 
It is also unlikely that large quantities will be available and
affordable by potential adversaries. 

In the case of the B-1B bomber, DOD needs to reexamine the need to
keep this aircraft in the inventory and make several billion dollars
of modifications to it.  With the Cold War over and a reduction in
the requirement for a large fleet of manned penetrating bombers that
can deliver nuclear warheads in a global nuclear war, the B-1B will
no longer be part of the U.S.  nuclear force.  The Air Force plans to
modify its fleet of 95 B-1Bs to increase their conventional
capability and sustainability.  The B1Bs can currently carry only the
500-pound unguided, general-purpose bomb and cluster munitions; but
after the modification, the B-1Bs will be able to carry more types of
conventional ordnance.  Several factors make the continued need for
B-1Bs questionable.  First, DOD considers its current capability
sufficient to meet its requirement to interdict enemy targets
identified in two major regional conflicts.  Second, our analysis of
Air Force targeting data indicates the modified B-1B would strike a
very small percentage of the Air Force's designated targets.  Third,
combatant command officials stated they would use far fewer B-1Bs
than DOD cites as necessary.  Fourth, other Air Force and Navy
aircraft can launch the same munitions as the modified B-1B and
others. 

Retiring the B-1B would increase U.S.  forces' dependence on other
capabilities and the risk that some targets might not be hit as
quickly.  However, it is reasonable to expect that the targets
assigned to the B-1 could be hit by other assets, including missiles
such as ATACMS and Tomahawk.  If DOD retired the Air Force's 95 B-1Bs
immediately, it could save almost $5.9 billion in budget authority
over the next 5 years.  These issues surrounding the B-1 are
discussed in our report on the bomber force, which we expect to issue
shortly. 


--------------------
\6 Tactical Aircraft:  F-15 Replacement Is Premature as Currently
Planned (GAO/NSIAD-94-118, Mar.  1994) and Tactical Aircraft: 
Concurrency in Development and Production of F-22 Aircraft Should Be
Reduced (GAO/NSIAD-95-59, Apr.  1995) discuss the issues of the
F-15's capabilities and concurrency planned in the development and
production of the F-22. 


      VIABLE, LESS COSTLY PROGRAM
      ALTERNATIVES MAY BE
      AVAILABLE
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:4.2

Analysis suggests that viable, less costly program alternatives may
be available for some mission areas.  The Navy's planned purchase of
1,000 F/A-18E/F fighter aircraft at an estimated cost (as of Dec. 
1995) of $81 billion is a case in point.  The F/A-18E/F is intended
to replace F/A-18C/D aircraft and to perform Navy and Marine Corps
fighter escort, interdiction, fleet air defense, and close support
missions.  The aircraft's origins are traceable to a 1988 study that
identified upgrade options to the F/A-18C/D in performing these
missions.  However, the operational deficiencies in the F/A-18C/Ds
that the Navy cited in justifying the F/A-18E/F either have not
materialized as projected or can be corrected with nonstructural
changes to the F/A-18C/D.  Furthermore, the F/A-18E/F's operational
capabilities will only be marginally improved over the F/A-18C/D.  In
addition, while the F/A-18E/F will have increased range over the
F/A-18C/D, the F/A-18C/D range will exceed the range required by the
F/A-18E/F's system specifications, and the F/A-18E/F's range increase
is achieved at the expense of its combat performance.  Also,
modifications to increase the F/A-18E/F's payload have created a
problem when weapons are released from the aircraft that may reduce
the F/A-18E/F's potential payload capability. 

Over the years, the Navy has improved the operational capabilities of
the F/A-18C/D so that procuring more of them, rather than the new
model F/A-18E/F aircraft, could be the most cost-effective approach
to modernizing the Navy's combat aircraft fleet in the mid-term.  In
this regard, additional upgrades, should they be needed, could be
made to the F/A-18C/D, which would further improve its capabilities. 
These upgrades include a larger fuel tank for more range and
strengthened landing gear to increase carrier recovery payload. 
Then, for the long term, the Joint Strike Fighter could be an
alternative to the F/A-18E/F.  The Joint Strike Fighter's operational
capabilities are projected by DOD to be equal or superior to the
F/A-18E/F at a lower unit cost. 

The Army's Comanche helicopter program provides a second example.  In
initiating the program, the Army sought a family of lightweight,
multipurpose helicopters whose justification centered on practicality
rather than the threat.  The program was expected to inexpensively
replace a fleet of Vietnam-era helicopters with new helicopters that
would be up to 50 percent cheaper to operate and support.  Within
these economical confines, the new helicopters were to offer as good
a technical performance as possible.  Subsequently, however, specific
requirements were developed, and the program emerged as it is
today--a threat-based program to yield the next generation
high-performance helicopter armed with 14 Hellfire missiles at a cost
significantly higher than that of the Apache, the Army's most
advanced and costly helicopter. 

At least three alternative helicopters are available that we believe
could, if upgraded, perform many of the Comanche's missions.  The
Super Cobra, for example, is a twin-engine aircraft that the Marine
Corps intends to equip with a four-blade rotor.  It could perform
armed reconnaissance and attack missions, and the new rotor will
substantially improve its flight performance.  A second alternative,
the Longbow Apache, performs many of the missions that the Comanche
is being developed to perform, and it was ranked higher for
operational effectiveness than the basic Comanche in a 1990 DOD
comparison of the aircraft.  Finally, the Army's Kiowa Warrior is a
much improved version of the early model Kiowa, which can perform
armed reconnaissance missions.  Many users believe the lethality, low
observability, deployability, and speed of the Kiowa Warrior, when
combined with certain upgrades or doctrinal changes, would resolve
many of the deficiencies the Comanche is expected to resolve. 

DOD continues to support both the F/A-18E/F and the Comanche
programs.  It said it is convinced that the fundamental reasons to
develop the F/A-18E/F remain valid, but provided us no new data or
information to support this.  Regarding the Comanche, DOD believes it
considered a wide range of alternatives before deciding on the
Comanche.  DOD's positions are discussed in our reports on the
F/A-18E/F and Army aviation modernization.\7


--------------------
\7 Navy Aviation:  F/A-18E/F Will Provide Marginal Operational
Improvement at High Cost (GAO/NSIAD-96-98, June 18, 1996) and Army
Aviation:  Modernization Strategy Needs to Be Reassessed
(GAO/NSIAD-95-9, Nov.  21, 1994). 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 4:5

DOD faces considerable funding challenges in modernizing its forces
for the next century under its current plans.  This is particularly
so with fighter and attack aircraft, where the replacement of many
aircraft scheduled for retirement in the next decade with costly new
aircraft would require substantial resources.  To ensure a viable
combat-ready force in the future, DOD needs to deliberately consider
the need for and priority of major investments in relation to joint
requirements and aggregate service capabilities.  Each represents a
major long-term commitment and therefore requires close and continual
examination to ensure a substantial payoff in added capability. 

The absence of joint mission area analyses makes it difficult to
assess whether planned investments in air power modernization are
warranted.  Without a full understanding of joint requirements and
aggregate service capabilities in each mission area, the Secretary of
Defense does not have the information needed to make decisions about
whether existing capabilities are sufficient to meet anticipated
challenges or whether additional investments are justified.  The fact
that DOD is proceeding with modernization programs whose
justifications do not, on the surface, appear to be compelling
illustrates the need for continuing comprehensive mission area
assessments.  No program--regardless of the investment already
made--should be considered irrevocable--but should be continually
examined as circumstances and capabilities change. 

Although we have limited our illustrations in this chapter to major
modernization programs, smaller programs would also benefit from
mission area assessments.  These assessments would help DOD determine
the validity of the need for all types of new weapons investments as
well as procurement quantities and also decide whether to reduce or
retire existing assets. 


DECISIONS ON AIR POWER PROGRAMS
AND PRIORITIES REQUIRE
COMPREHENSIVE JOINT ASSESSMENTS
============================================================ Chapter 5

Through key legislation, Congress has sought to better integrate the
capabilities of the military forces, provide for improved military
advice to the Secretary of Defense apart from that provided by the
military services, and strengthen the joint orientation of DOD. 
Although DOD has improved its joint orientation in many respects, the
individual services continue to heavily influence defense decisions,
particularly those related to investments in weapons.  Stronger
military advice from a joint perspective is needed if the Secretary
is to objectively weigh the merits not only of combat air power but
also of other defense programs. 

Although DOD has begun to assess selected warfighting capabilities
from a joint perspective, this process is still evolving and has not
yet led to any identifiable reductions in overlap and duplication
among deployed air power forces.  Nor has it led to specific platform
proposals to deal with the high cost of recapitalizing DOD's combat
air power or specific proposals to transfer resources among services
to meet higher priority needs.  Better analytical tools and data are
needed to improve joint warfighting assessments, and certain other
obstacles must be overcome to reduce overlaps and achieve a stronger
joint orientation. 


   KEY DEFENSE LEGISLATION HAS
   SOUGHT TO BETTER INTEGRATE THE
   MILITARY FORCES
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:1

Collectively, the National Security Act of 1947 and the
Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986
sought to better integrate the military forces, provide a channel for
military advice to the Secretary of Defense apart from that of the
individual services, and strengthen the joint orientation of the
Department.  Although DOD officials believe that the Department has
improved its joint orientation in many respects, some of the
underlying conditions that led to this legislation continue to
surface. 


      NATIONAL SECURITY ACT OF
      1947 SOUGHT INTEGRATION OF
      MILITARY CAPABILITIES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:1.1

In many respects, the circumstances leading Congress to enact the
National Security Act of 1947 parallel those surrounding the current
debate over defense spending and modernization priorities.  The
military services' lack of unified policy and planning during World
War II, when the Army and Navy existed as separate military
organizations reporting to the President, led to this major piece of
defense legislation.  This act created a National Military
Establishment (later renamed the Department of Defense) to provide
policy direction over the individual services and formally
established the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  In enacting this legislation,
Congress sought to better integrate the distinct military
capabilities of the services.  The services subsequently agreed in
1948 on their respective functions.  This agreement--termed the Key
West Agreement--delineated services functions and was aimed at
preventing unnecessary duplication. 

During this period, intense interservice competition for drastically
shrinking defense resources erupted.  The primary debate centered on
whether both the newly created Air Force and the Navy should have
roles in strategic bombing.  Although the Air Force was assigned this
role in 1948, the Navy soon initiated a major effort to build a super
aircraft carrier to launch strategic bombers from its decks.  Service
control over combat aviation, airlift, guided missiles, and air
defense weapons also generated much debate.  The question of whether
the nation needed or could afford all of the weapons the services
proposed when defense resources were declining was central to these
debates. 


      GOLDWATER-NICHOLS
      LEGISLATION ATTEMPTED TO
      STRENGTHEN DOD'S JOINT
      ORIENTATION
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:1.2

Almost 40 years after the National Security Act sought to better
integrate military capabilities, concerns over the need for a
stronger joint orientation in the Department of Defense arose. 
Concerns about a perceived imbalance between service and joint advice
ultimately led to the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense
Reorganization Act of 1986 (Goldwater-Nichols).  A major Senate Armed
Services Committee report leading to the legislation pointed out that
(1) the military services were not articulating DOD's strategic goals
or establishing priorities; (2) the military services dominated the
force planning, programming, and budgeting process; (3) the Joint
Chiefs of Staff system was not yielding meaningful recommendations on
issues affecting more than one service, and the services retained an
effective veto over nearly every Joint Chiefs action; and (4) DOD's
excessive functional orientation was inhibiting the integration of
service capabilities along missions lines.  This report concluded
that inadequate integration could lead to unwarranted duplication,
gaps in warfighting capability, and unrealistic plans. 

Various provisions of the Goldwater-Nichols legislation were directed
at correcting these lingering problems.  For example, it designated
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as principal military
adviser to the President, National Security Council, and Secretary of
Defense.  This provided a channel for military advice apart from the
military services.  The Chairman was also given new responsibilities
designed to improve resource decision-making, including advising the
Secretary on program recommendations and budget proposals developed
by the military departments and other DOD components. 

Although DOD officials believe that progress has been made toward a
stronger joint orientation within DOD, some of the key provisions of
Goldwater-Nichols aimed at preventing unnecessary overlap and
duplication have not had the intended effect.  For example, to ensure
reexamination of opportunities to reduce overlap and duplication,
Goldwater-Nichols directed the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, to
periodically report to the Secretary of Defense his recommendations
on how the assigned functions of the armed services should be changed
to avoid undue redundancy.  The Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 1993 added additional matters for the Chairman to consider in
his report, including the extent to which the armed forces'
efficiency would be enhanced by the elimination or reduction of
duplication in capabilities of DOD components.  The Chairman
completed two reviews--the most recent in 1993--but neither has led
to significant changes in service roles, missions, and functions
involving combat air power. 

Congressional dissatisfaction with the results of the Chairman's
reviews was one factor leading it to direct DOD to establish an
independent commission to review the allocation of roles, missions,
and functions among the armed forces and to recommend how they should
be changed.  The ensuing Commission on Roles and Missions of the
Armed Forces reported its findings in May 1995.  Once again, some of
the same problems that had led to the Goldwater-Nichols legislation
nearly 10 years before surfaced.  For example, the Commission
observed that the primary problems in weapon system acquisitions were
traceable to inadequacies in the early phase of the requirements
determination process.  In the Commission's view, the lack of a
unified concept and analysis of warfighting needs was the critical
underlying problem. 

The Commission concluded in its report that joint thought and action
needed to become a compelling reality throughout DOD if the
objectives of Goldwater-Nichols were to be realized.  It recommended
various actions to improve the management structures and decision
support processes related to DOD's requirements development and
budgeting.  A key conclusion in this regard was that the JROC and OSD
staff needed to have a greater ability and willingness to address DOD
needs in the aggregate.  Accordingly, the Commission recommended that
the JROC's charter over joint requirements formulation be
strengthened.  It also recommended that DOD increase the technical
and analytic capacity of the Joint Staff to better assist the
Chairman and Vice Chairman.  The Secretary of Defense requested more
study of several key Commission proposals.  Many of these studies
were still underway or the results were under consideration within
DOD at the completion of our review. 


   NEW OVERSIGHT PROCESS HAS HAD A
   LIMITED IMPACT
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:2

Since the spring of 1994, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff have taken steps to implement a process to assess
U.S.  warfighting needs and capabilities from a joint perspective. 
This process, which has centered around the JROC, is intended to
provide the Chairman, and ultimately the Secretary of Defense and the
Congress, with a joint view on program and budget issues.  Both the
Chairman and Vice Chairman recognized that the requirements
generation and resource allocation processes depended heavily on each
service's assessment of its individual needs and priorities and that
requirements had not been sufficiently reviewed from a joint
perspective. 

In response to these concerns, the JROC's role was expanded and a new
process to assess warfighting capabilities from a joint mission
perspective was established to support the JROC's deliberations. 
While this process has contributed to changes that should improve
joint warfighting, its role is still evolving, and its impact on air
power programs and budgets has been limited. 


      JROC'S ROLE HAS EXPANDED
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:2.1

Between 1986 and 1994, the JROC served as the principal forum for
senior military leaders to review and validate mission need
statements for major defense acquisition programs.  Approved mission
statements are reviewed by the Defense Acquisition Board, which
decides whether concept studies of solutions should be performed. 

In early 1994, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed the
Vice Chairman to expand the JROC charter to more fully support the
Chairman in executing his statutory responsibilities.  In addition to
validating mission needs statements for major defense acquisition
programs, Council responsibilities now include assisting the Chairman
in (1) assessing joint warfighting capabilities, (2) assigning a
joint priority among major weapons meeting valid requirements, and
(3) assessing the extent to which the military departments' program
recommendations and budget proposals conform with established
priorities.  Under the Fiscal Year 1996 Defense Authorization Act,
title 10 of U.S.  Code was amended to include the JROC and its
functions.  The function of assigning priorities was revised and
expanded through this legislation to include assisting the Chairman
in identifying and assessing the priority of joint military
requirements (including existing systems and equipment), ensuring
that the assignment of priorities conforms to and reflects resource
levels projected by the Secretary of Defense.  Additionally, the
JROC's responsibilities were further expanded to include assisting
the Chairman in considering the relative costs and benefits of
alternatives to acquisition programs aimed at meeting identified
military requirements.  Figure 5.1 shows the JROC's expanded
responsibilities. 

   Figure 5.1:  How the JROC
   Assists the Chairman

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

The Fiscal Year 1996 Defense Authorization Act also designated the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the Chairman of the JROC. 
Other Council members include an Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps
officer in the grade of general and a Navy admiral.  The Chairman can
delegate his functions only to the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff, who for years has chaired the Council.  In executing its
responsibilities, JROC does not vote, but rather develops a
consensus, or unanimity, in the positions it takes. 


      NEW ASSESSMENT PROCESS
      ESTABLISHED TO IMPROVE JOINT
      PERSPECTIVE
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:2.2

To assist the JROC in advising the Chairman on joint warfighting
capabilities, the joint warfighting capability assessment (JWCA)
process was established in April 1994.  Under this process, 10
assessment teams have been established in selected mission areas (see
fig.  5.2). 

   Figure 5.2:  Joint Warfighting
   Capability Assessment Areas

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)

As sponsors of the JWCA teams, Joint Staff directorates coordinate
the assessments with representatives from the Joint Staff, services,
OSD, combatant commands (CINCs), and others as necessary.  The teams
are organized separate and apart from the Joint Staff and report to
the JROC, which decides which issues they will assess.  The intent is
for the JWCA teams to continuously assess available information on
their respective joint capability areas to identify opportunities to
improve warfighting effectiveness.  A key word is "assess." The teams
do not conduct analytical studies to develop new information to
support the JROC.  Rather, they assess available information and then
develop and present briefings to the JROC.  The JWCA teams produce
only briefings, not reports or papers that lay out in detail the pros
and cons of any options identified to address the issue(s) at hand. 

The Chairman uses the information from the JWCA team assessments to
develop two key documents--the Chairman's Program Recommendations,
which contains his recommendations to the Secretary of Defense for
consideration in developing the Defense Planning Guidance, and the
Chairman's Program Assessment, which contains alternative program
recommendations and budget proposals for the Secretary's
consideration in refining the defense program and budget. 

In expanding the JROC process, including the establishment of the
JWCA teams, it was envisioned that the JROC would be more than simply
another military committee on which members participate strictly as
representatives of their services.  Recommendations coming from the
JROC would not simply reflect the sum of each service's requirements. 
Rather, the JROC, with the support of the JWCA process, would produce
joint information the Chairman needs to meet his program review and
assessment responsibilities and to resolve cross-service requirements
issues, eliminate duplicative programs, and pursue opportunities to
enhance the interoperability of weapon systems. 


      JWCA PROCESS HAS IMPROVED
      DIALOGUE ON JOINT ISSUES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:2.3

The JWCA process has been in existence over 2 years and is still
evolving.  Representatives of both the Joint Staff and OSD believe
that the process has led to more systematic and extensive discussions
of joint issues among the top military leadership.  They also believe
that JWCA briefings have led to more informed and extensive
discussions of joint issues within the JROC.  Progress has been made
on some interoperability issues as a result of the process.  For
example, in response to a JROC tasking, a JWCA team combined with
Joint Staff elements to assess the interoperability of intelligence
sensors and processors, fusion, and communication systems.  According
to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the team's
recommendations will improve the interoperability among the
individual services' platforms so that data can be provided in a more
timely manner to the battlefield. 

JWCA teams have also, on at least one occasion, been used in
conjunction with other DOD elements to study key issues for the
Secretary of Defense.  In 1994, in response to a request of the
Deputy Secretary of Defense, the JROC chairman formed a study group
using representatives of three JWCA teams and several offices within
OSD to examine issues related to precision strikes on targets and
required intelligence support.  The study group briefed the JROC on
its findings and recommendations concerning databases, battlespace
coverage, joint targeting doctrine, battle damage assessment, and
other areas.  A key recommendation was that intelligence,
surveillance, and reconnaissance and command, control, and
communications considerations be fully integrated early into the
weapon system acquisition process.  To implement this recommendation,
the group devised revisions to DOD acquisition regulations that have
been adopted. 


      JWCA PROCESS HAS NOT TACKLED
      CONTROVERSIAL AIR POWER
      ISSUES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:2.4

While the new JWCA process has raised the level of attention and
sensitivity to joint issues, we found little evidence that the
process is identifying unnecessary or overly redundant air power
capabilities, confronting the challenge of modernizing the military's
air power, or helping establish priorities among competing programs. 

According to representatives from several JWCA teams, the teams have
not been identifying tradeoffs among combat air power forces or
programs to reduce redundancies.  We were told that, unless
specifically directed by the JROC, the JWCA teams are not empowered
to develop such proposals.  The primary example cited to us of an
impact the JWCA teams had on reducing overlap among the services was
DOD's decision to retire the Air Force's EF-111 radar jamming
aircraft and consolidate the services' airborne radar jamming
capabilities into one platform--the Navy's EA-6B.  Documentation
provided us, however, only indicates that the JWCA process became
involved subsequent to the approval of the consolidation, when the
Deputy Secretary of Defense asked the Vice Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to study the associated operational issues.  The air
superiority JWCA team performed the study, which included evaluating
the performance of the EA-6B, developing an integrated operational
concept for the consolidation, proposing a transition schedule, and
assessing the requirement for upgrades to the EA-6B. 

Joint Staff officials told us JWCA teams have not examined the
affordability of individual weapon systems in their assessments. 
Moreover, according to one Joint Staff official, attempts to raise
these larger, more controversial issues have not led to specific JWCA
assessment mandates from the JROC.  For example, the JWCA teams
elevated recapitalization and affordability issues to the JROC in
December 1995.  At these meetings, the issue of the affordability of
acquiring high-priced aircraft, particularly after the turn of the
century under projected budgets, was raised.  According to Joint
Staff officials, the top 20 most expensive acquisition programs--half
of them aircraft--were presented to the JROC during these meetings. 
Although the JROC and the services conceptually agreed on the need to
scrutinize the cost of tactical aircraft, the JROC has not taken any
concrete actions or directed the JWCA teams to further study the
affordability issue. 

Additionally, we found little evidence that the JROC, with the
support of the JWCA process, has developed specific proposals to
transfer resources from one service to another to meet higher
priority needs.  A review of Future Years Defense Program data also
indicates no notable shifts in acquisition funding among the services
between fiscal years 1994 and 2001.  A key goal of the JROC,
according to the Office of the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, is to enhance force capability by assisting the Chairman in
proposing cross-service transfers of resources.  Additionally, Joint
Staff officials told us the JWCA teams have not developed proposals
to shift funding among programs to reflect higher priorities from a
joint perspective. 

In assessing the impact of the JROC and the JWCA process on combat
air power, we examined two important ultimate outputs of the
process--the Chairman's Program Assessment and Program
Recommendations to the Secretary of Defense.  Under its broadened
mandate, the JROC has been made a focal point for addressing joint
warfighting needs.  It is expected to support the Chairman in
advising the Secretary by making specific programmatic
recommendations that will, among other things, lead to increased
joint warfighting capability and reduce unnecessary redundancies and
marginally effective systems, within existing budget levels. 
However, in reviewing the Chairman's 1994 and 1995 program
assessments and 1995 program recommendations, we found little to
suggest that this type of advice is being provided.  The documents
did not offer specific substantive proposals to reduce or eliminate
duplication among existing service systems or otherwise aid in
addressing the problem of funding recapitalization.  In fact, the
Chairman's 1995 Program Assessment indicates an inability on the
Chairman's part, at least at that point, to propose changes in
service programs and budgets.  While the Chairman expressed serious
concerns in his assessment about the need for and cost of
recapitalizing warfighting capabilities and said that the power of
joint operations allows for the identification of programs to be
canceled or reduced, his advice was to defer to the services to make
such choices. 


   DOD MUST OVERCOME CERTAIN
   OBSTACLES TO ACHIEVE A STRONGER
   JOINT ORIENTATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3

DOD must overcome several obstacles that have inhibited JWCA teams
and others that try to assess joint mission requirements and the
services' aggregate capabilities to fulfill combat missions.  In
addition to scarce information on joint mission requirements and
aggregate service capabilities discussed in chapter 4, impediments
include (1) weak analytical tools and databases to assist in-depth
joint mission area analyses, (2) weaknesses in DOD's decision making
support processes, and (3) the services' resistance to changes
affecting their programs. 


      BETTER ANALYTICAL TOOLS AND
      DATA ARE NEEDED TO IMPROVE
      JOINT ASSESSMENTS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3.1

DOD officials acknowledge that current analytical tools, such as
computer models and war games used in warfighting analyses, should be
improved if they are to be effectively used to analyze joint
warfighting.  They told us these tools often do not accurately
represent all aspects of a truly joint force, frequently focus on
either land or naval aspects, and often do not consider the
contribution of surveillance and reconnaissance and command and
control assets to the warfighter.  Some models are grounded in Cold
War theory and must be augmented with other evaluations to minimize
their inherent deficiencies. 

DOD representatives and analysts from the military operations
research community also observe that there are serious limitations in
the data to support analyses of joint capabilities and requirements. 
Presently, anytime DOD wants to study joint requirements, a database
must be developed.  Concerns then arise over whether the databases
developed and used are consistent, valid, and accurate.  Efforts have
been made in the past to collect joint data and develop appropriate
models for analyzing joint warfare.  These efforts, however, fell
short, as there was not a consistent, compelling need across enough
of the analytic community to do the job adequately. 

A current major initiative aimed at improving analytical support is
the design and development of a new model--JWARS--that will simulate
joint warfare.  JWARS will seek to overcome past shortcomings and
will include the contributions of surveillance and reconnaissance and
command, control, and communication assets to the warfighter.  This
initiative was developed as part of DOD's joint analytic model
improvement program because of the Secretary of Defense's concern
that current models used for warfare analysis are no longer adequate
to deal with the complex issues confronting senior decisionmakers. 
Under this program, DOD will upgrade and refine current warfighting
models to keep them usable until a new generation of models to
address joint warfare issues can be developed.  The new models are
intended to help decisionmakers assess the value of various force
structure mixes.  As part of this broad initiative, DOD also intends
to develop a central database for use in mission area studies and
analyses. 

In addition to problems with models and data, the Roles and Missions
Commission identified a need to improve analytical capabilities in
both the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Staff. 
Commission staff said that there has been too much reliance on the
services for analytical support and that the Joint Staff should
improve its abilities to look broadly across systems and services in
conducting analyses.  Recognizing the need for more information and
analytical support, the Joint Staff has contracted for studies to
support the JWCA assessments.  According to Joint Staff data, by the
end of fiscal year 1996, DOD will have awarded about $24 million in
contracts to support the teams. 


      DECISION-MAKING SUPPORT
      PROCESS LIMITATIONS CREATE
      PROBLEMS
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3.2

In its May 1995 report, the Roles and Missions Commission faulted the
decision support processes DOD uses to develop requirements and make
resource allocation decisions.  It cited a need for the JROC and OSD
staff to have a greater ability to address DOD needs in the
aggregate.  The Commission also presented ideas and recommendations
to improve DOD's decision-making processes to enable management to
better develop requirements from a joint perspective.  These included
(1) changes to the information support network that would enable DOD
to assess forces and capabilities by mission area and (2) changes to
the weapons acquisition process that would enable joint warfighting
concerns to be considered when requirements for new weapons are first
being established.  These and many other Commission proposals were
still under assessment within DOD at the completion of our review. 

DOD, in its comments on a draft of our report, indicated that it
believes the OSD and Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
oversight of service programs and budgets is quite rigorous.  Several
OSD program analysts we interviewed did not share this view.  They
described the oversight as very limited and the JWCA process as
contributing very little to programming and budgeting decisions. 
Roles and Missions Commission staff also stressed to us that, based
on their years of experience in OSD, the Secretary needs stronger
independent advisory support from the OSD staff. 


      DESIRE TO HAVE CONSENSUS CAN
      INHIBIT NEEDED CHANGES
-------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:3.3

DOD has reduced its force structure and terminated some weapon
programs to reflect changes in the National Military Strategy and
reduced defense budgets.  But further attempts to cancel weapon
programs and reduce unnecessary overlaps and duplications among
forces are likely to generate considerable debate and resistance
within DOD.  Because such initiatives can threaten service plans and
budgets, the tendency has been to avoid debates involving tradeoffs
among the services' systems.  The potential effects of program
reductions or cancellations on careers, the distribution of funds to
localities, jobs, and the industrial base also serve as disincentives
for comprehensive assessments and dialogue on program alternatives. 

The Chairman's 1995 Program Assessment indicates the difficulty the
Chairman has had in identifying programs and capabilities to cancel
or reduce.  While the Chairman recognized that the increasing
jointness of military operations should permit additional program
cancellations or reductions, he noted that the Joint Chiefs--despite
the added support of the JROC and the JWCA process--had been unable
to define with sufficient detail what should not be funded.  The
Chairman recommended that the Secretary of Defense look to the
military services to identify programs that can be slowed or
terminated.  He said for this to happen, however, the services would
have to be provided incentives.  The Chairman recommended that the
Secretary return to the services any savings they identify for
application toward priority recapitalization or readiness and
personnel programs. 

Joint Staff officials indicated that the Chairman's reluctance to
propose changes to major service programs may be attributable to the
need for the Chairman to be a team builder and not be at odds with
the service chiefs over their modernization programs.  Adoption of
the Chairman's proposal could lead the services to reduce or
eliminate programs and otherwise more efficiently operate their
agencies, including reducing infrastructure costs.  However, it is
difficult to appreciate how these unilateral decisions by the
services will provide for the most efficient and effective use of
defense resources to meet the needs of the combatant commanders.  It
should be remembered that studies and hearings leading up to the
Goldwater-Nichols legislation observed that the need for the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to reach consensus before making decisions clearly
inhibited decisions that could integrate service capabilities along
mission lines.  The need to address this problem was one of the
primary motivations behind Goldwater-Nichols. 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 5:4

While DOD acknowledges the need to consider joint requirements and
the services' aggregate capabilities in defense planning,
programming, and budgeting, its decision support systems have not
yielded the information needed from a joint perspective to help the
Secretary make some very difficult decisions.  Measures intended to
improve the advice provided by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff have met with limited success.  The Secretary does not have
enough comprehensive information on joint mission requirements and
aggregate capabilities to help him establish recapitalization
priorities and reduce duplications and overlaps in existing
capabilities without unacceptable effects on force capabilities.  The
Chairman would be in a better position to provide such advice if
joint warfighting assessments examined such issues. 

Efforts are underway that could provide the Secretary of Defense, the
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other decisionmakers with
improved information to make the difficult force structure and
modernization choices needed.  However, the desire to reach consensus
with the service chiefs--or in the case of the JROC the practice of
reaching consensus among its members--could present a formidable
obstacle to efforts by DOD officials to make significant changes to
major modernization programs and to identify and eliminate
unnecessary or overly redundant capabilities.  The Secretary of
Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff need to be more
willing to take decisive actions on modernization programs that do
not provide a clearly substantial payoff in force capability. 


CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND
AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR EVALUATION
============================================================ Chapter 6

During the Cold War, the military services invested hundreds of
billions of dollars to develop largely autonomous combat air power
capabilities, primarily to prepare for a global war with the Soviet
Union.  The Air Force acquired bombers to deliver massive nuclear
strikes against the Soviets and fighter and attack aircraft for
conventional and theater-nuclear missions in the major land theaters,
principally Europe.  The Navy built an extensive carrier-based
aviation force focused on controlling the seas and projecting power
into the maritime flanks of the Soviet Union.  The Army developed
attack helicopters to provide air support to its ground troops.  The
Marine Corps acquired fighter and attack aircraft and attack
helicopters to support its ground forces in their areas of operation. 
While the United States ended up with four essentially autonomous air
forces with many similar capabilities, each also largely operated
within its own warfighting domains. 

Today, there is no longer a clear division of labor among aviation
forces based on where they operate or what functions they carry out. 
Although many of the long-range bombers can still be used to deliver
nuclear weapons, the air power components of the four services are
now focused on joint conventional operations in regional conflicts
and contingency operations.  Most of the likely theaters of operation
are small enough that, with available refueling support, all types of
aircraft can reach most targets.  And while the number of combat
aircraft has been reduced, the reductions have been largely offset by
an expansion in the types of assets and capabilities available to the
combatant commanders.  For example, (1) a larger percentage of the
combat aircraft force can now perform multiple missions; (2) key
performance capabilities of combat aircraft, such as night fighting,
are being significantly enhanced; and (3) the inventories of advanced
long-range missiles and PGMs are growing and improving, adding to the
arsenal of weapons and options available to attack targets. 
Moreover, the continuing integration of service capabilities in such
areas as battlefield surveillance; command, control, and
communications; and targeting should enable force commanders to
further capitalize on the aggregate capabilities of the services. 


   CONCLUSIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:1

DOD has not been adequately examining its combat air power force
structure and its modernization plans and programs from a joint
perspective.  The forces of the services are increasingly operating
jointly and in concert with allies in a regional versus a global
environment.  However, DOD's decision support systems do not provide
sufficient information from a joint perspective to enable the
Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and
other decisionmakers to prioritize programs, objectively weigh the
merits of new air power investments, and decide whether current
programs should continue to receive funding. 

It is true that the overlapping and often redundant air power
capabilities of the current force structure provide combatant
commanders with operational flexibility to respond to any
circumstance.  The question is whether, in the post-Cold War era, the
United States needs, or can afford, the current levels of overlap and
redundancy.  This is not easily answered because DOD has not fully
examined the joint requirements for key warfighting missions areas or
the aggregate capabilities of the services to meet those
requirements.  From our reviews of interdiction, air-to-air combat,
and close support of ground forces, it is evident that U.S. 
capabilities are quite substantial even without further enhancement. 
For the interdiction mission, our analysis and the analysis of others
showed that the services have more than enough capability to hit
identified ground targets for the two major regional conflicts used
in force planning.  Planned investments in some cases may be adding
little needed military capability at a very high cost. 

While it may be desirable for DOD to scale back its air power
modernization plans and reduce overlapping capabilities, the
challenging question is, how.  Such courses of action require tough
choices, particularly when the military strategy is to win quickly
and decisively in two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts. 
Even with a more comprehensive understanding of joint requirements
and the capabilities of the services to meet those requirements, the
Secretary will likely continue to find it difficult to make decisions
that could increase warfighting risks and affect programs, careers,
jobs, and the industrial base.  But without such an understanding,
there may be little hope that these tough decisions will be made. 

The need for improved joint warfighting information is recognized in
DOD and provided much of the stimulus for the establishment of the
joint warfighting capability assessment teams.  A critical underlying
need of these teams, or any assessment process, is objective
comprehensive cross-service and cross-mission studies and analyses of
joint requirements for doing key warfighting missions and the
aggregate capabilities of the services to meet those requirements. 
Such analyses are very demanding and may require a considerable
amount of military judgment.  Nonetheless, they are vital input for
better understanding how much capability is needed to fulfill air
power missions and what is the most cost-effective mix of air power
assets to meet the needs of the combatant commanders within DOD's
budgets.  DOD has initiated several broad studies that should provide
added information.  These include a deep attack/weapons mix study
that includes interdiction and close support operations, a
reconnaissance force mix study, and an electronic warfare mission
area analysis. 

DOD has not routinely reviewed the justification for weapon
modernization programs based on their contribution to the aggregate
capabilities of the military to meet mission requirements.  In our
May 1996 report on DOD interdiction capabilities and modernization
plans, we recommended that the Secretary of Defense do such reviews. 
DOD agreed with our recommendation.  Based on our review of other
missions, such reviews are needed for other key mission areas as
well.  Because many assets contribute to more than one mission area,
cross-mission analyses will need to be part of the process. 

The urgent need for such assessments is underscored by the reality
that significant outlays will be required in the next decade to
finance DOD's combat air power modernization programs as currently
planned.  Over the past few years, we have reviewed the Department's
major air power modernization programs--the F/A-18E/F, the F-22, the
Comanche, and the B-1B bomber modification programs--within the
context of the post-Cold War security environment.  Our work leading
to this culminating report has served to reinforce the theme of these
earlier assessments--namely, that DOD should revisit the program
justifications for these programs because the circumstances and
assumptions upon which they were based have changed.  Although
extensive resources have already been invested in these programs,
past investment decisions should not be considered irreversible but
rather should be considered in the light of new information.  The
extensive long-term financial commitment needed to fund all of these
programs makes it imperative that these key programs--and possibly
others--be reconsidered since the future viability of U.S.  combat
air power could be at risk if it is not smartly modernized within
likely budgets. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:2

To ensure a viable, combat ready force in the future, the Secretary
of Defense will need to make decisions in at least two critical
areas--how best to reduce unneeded duplication and overlap in
existing capabilities and how to recapitalize the force in the most
cost-effective manner.  To make such decisions, the Secretary must
have better information coming from a joint perspective. 
Accordingly, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense, along with
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, develop an assessment
process that yields more comprehensive information in key mission
areas.  This can be done by broadening the current joint warfare
capabilities assessment process or developing an alternative
mechanism. 

To be of most value, such assessments should be done on a continuing
basis and should, at a minimum, (1) assess total joint war-fighting
requirements in each mission area; (2) inventory aggregate service
capabilities, including the full range of assets available to carry
out each mission; (3) compare aggregate capabilities to joint
requirements to identify shortages or excesses, taking into
consideration existing and projected capabilities of potential
adversaries and the adequacy of existing capabilities to meet joint
requirements; (4) determine the most cost-effective means to satisfy
any shortages; and (5) where excesses exist, assess the relative
merits of retiring alternative assets, reducing procurement
quantities, or canceling acquisition programs. 

The assessments also need to examine the projected impact of
investments, retirements, and cancellations on other mission areas
since some assets contribute to multiple mission areas.  Because the
Chairman is to advise the Secretary on joint military requirements
and provide programmatic advice on how best to provide joint
warfighting capabilities within projected resource levels, the
assessment process needs to help the Chairman determine program
priorities across mission lines.  To enhance the effectiveness of the
assessments, we also recommend that the Secretary of Defense and the
Chairman decide how best to provide analytical support to the
assessment teams, ensure staff continuity, and allow the teams
latitude to examine the full range of air power issues. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 6:3

DOD partially concurred with our recommendations, and while it said
it disagreed with many of our findings, most of that disagreement
centered on two principal points:  (1) the Secretary of Defense is
not receiving adequate advice, particularly from a joint perspective,
to support decision-making on combat air power programs, and (2)
ongoing major combat aircraft acquisition programs lack sufficient
analysis of needs and capabilities. 

DOD said many steps had been taken in recent years to improve the
extent and quality of joint military advice and cited the JWCA
process as an example.  It said the Secretary and Deputy Secretary
receive comprehensive advice on combat air power programs through
DOD's planning, programming, and budgeting system and systems
acquisition process.  The Department's response noted that both OSD
and the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff carefully
scrutinize major acquisition programs and that joint military force
assessments and recommendations are provided.  DOD acknowledged that
the quality of analytical support can be improved but believes that
the extent of support available has not been insufficient for
decision-making. 

We agree that steps have been taken to provide improved joint advice
to the Secretary.  We also recognize that DOD decision support
systems provide information for making planning, programming, and
budgeting decisions on major acquisition programs.  We do not,
however, believe the information is sufficiently comprehensive to
support resource allocation decisions across service and mission
lines.  Much of the information is developed by the individual
services and limited in scope.  Only a very limited amount of
information is available on joint requirements for performing
missions, such as interdiction and close support, and on the
aggregate capabilities available to meet those requirements.  DOD's
initiation of the deep attack weapons mix study and, more recently, a
study to assess close support capabilities, suggest that it is, in
fact, seeking more comprehensive information about cross-service
needs and capabilities as our recommendation suggests.  While joint
warfighting capability assessment teams have been established, DOD
has not been using these teams to identify unnecessary or overly
redundant combat air power capabilities among the services; nor has
the Department used the teams to help develop specific proposals or
strategies for recapitalizing U.S.  air power forces, a major combat
air power issue identified by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff.  Information on issues such as redundancies in capabilities
and on recapitalization alternatives, developed from a joint
warfighting perspective, would be invaluable to decisionmakers in
allocating defense resources among competing needs to achieve maximum
force effectiveness. 

With regard to the analyses of needs and capabilities behind combat
air power weapons acquisition programs, we recognize that the
services conduct considerable analyses to identify mission needs and
justify new weapons program proposals.  These analyses, however, are
not based on assessments of the aggregate capabilities of the
services to perform warfighting missions, nor does DOD routinely
review service modernization proposals and programs from such a
perspective.  The Commission on Roles and Missions of the Armed
Forces made similar observations.  More typically service analyses
tend to justify specific modernization programs by showing the
additional capabilities they could provide rather than assess the
cost-effectiveness of alternative means of meeting an identified
need.  A 1995 study done at the request of the Chairman of the JROC,
also identified this as a problem.  The study team found that
analyses done to support JROC decisions frequently concentrate only
on the capability of the DOD component's proposed system to fill
stated gaps in warfighter needs.  Potential alternatives are given
little consideration.  Additionally, as pointed out in Chapter 4 of
this report, under DOD's requirements generation process, only
program proposals that meet DOD's major defense acquisition program
criteria are reviewed and validated by the JROC.  Many service
modernization proposals and programs are not reviewed as they do not
meet this criteria. 


COMBAT AIR POWER SYSTEMS
=========================================================== Appendix I

Sy
st          Air  Interdictio        Close  Reconnaissa                     Other
em  superiority            n      support          nce    Refueling      mission
--  -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
Aircraft
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ar
 my
AH                         X            X
 -
 6
 4
AH                         X            X
 -
 1
RC                                                   X
 -
 1
 2
OH                         X            X            X
 -
 5
 8
 D

Navy/Marine Corps
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A-                         X            X                         X
 6
AH                         X            X
 -
 1
 W
AV                         X            X
 -
 8
 B
E/            X
 A-
 6
 B
ES                                                   X            X
 -
 3
F-            X            X            X            X
 14
F/            X            X            X            X
 A-
 1
 8
KC                                                                X            X
 -
 1
 3
 0
P-                                                                             X
 3C
S                                                                 X            X
 -
 3

Air Force
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A-                         X            X            X
 1
 0
 /
 O
 A
 1
 0
E-                                                   X
 3
B-                         X
 1B
B-                         X
 2
B-                         X
 52
EF            X
 -
 1
 1
 1
F-            X
 4G
F-            X
 15
F-            X            X            X
 1
 5
 E
F-            X            X            X            X
 16
F-                         X
 1
 1
 7
E-                                                   X
 8
KC                                                                X            X
 -
 1
 0
H/                                                                X            X
 M
 C
 -
 1
 3
 0
KC                                                                X            X
 -
 1
 3
 5
U-                                                   X
 2
DO
 D
Un                                                   X
 m
 a
 n
 n
 e
 d
 a
 e
 r
 i
 a
 l
 v
 e
 h
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Weapons
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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AIRCRAFT INVENTORY LEVELS (1991
AND 1996)
========================================================== Appendix II

System                                        1991                1996
------------------------------  ------------------  ------------------
Fighter/attack aircraft
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Army
AH-1 Cobra                                     995                 470
AH-64A Apache                                  645                 798
OH-58D Kiowa Warrior                             9                 288

Navy & Marine Corps
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A-4 Skyhawk                                    166                   0
A-6 Intruder                                   336                  63
A-7 Corsair                                     65                   0
AV-8 Harrier                                   171                 184
F--4 Phantom                                   241                   0
F-14 Tomcat                                    492                 323
F/A-18 Hornet                                  681                 806
AH-1J Cobra                                     51                   0
AH-1T Cobra                                      7                   0
AH-1W Cobra                                    104                 176

Air Force
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A-7 Corsair                                    248                   0
A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II                         626                 369
B-1B Lancer                                     96                  95
B-2 Stealth Bomber                               3                  17
B-52 Stratofortress                            191                  66
F-4E Phantom                                    65                  14
F-4G Wild Weasel                                96                   0
F-15A/B Eagle                                  349                 107
F-15C/D Eagle                                  419                 408
F-15E Strike Eagle                             134                 203
F-16A/B Fighting Falcon                        686                 146
F-16C/D Fighting Falcon                      1,055               1,304
F-111D/E/F Raven                               220                   0
F-117A Stealth Fighter                          55                  54
======================================================================
Total fighter and attack                     8,206               5,891

Specialized support aircraft
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Army
----------------------------------------------------------------------
OV-1D Mohawk                                   102                  21
RC-7                                             0                   6
RC-12 Guardrail                                 31                  57

Navy
----------------------------------------------------------------------
E-2 Hawkeye                                    113                  80
EA-6B Prowler                                  132                 126
EP-3E Orion                                     17                   7
ES-3 Viking                                      3                  16
KA-6D Intruder                                  59                   0
KC-130 Hercules                                 72                  78
P-3B/C Orion                                   355                 196
S-3A Viking                                     74                   0
S-3B Viking                                     84                 119

Air Force
----------------------------------------------------------------------
C-130 Pacer Coin/Senior Scout                    8                   6
E-3 AWACS                                       34                  33
EC-130H Compass Call                            16                  12
EF-111A Raven                                   40                  40
HC-130 Hercules                                 55                  56
KC-10 Extender                                  59                  59
KC-135 Stratotanker                            629                 549
MC-130 Combat Talon                             14                  14
RC-135V/W Rivet Joint                           14                  14
RF-4C Phantom                                  184                   0
TR-1/U-2R/S                                     37                  32

DOD
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Unmanned aerial vehicles                        45                  60
======================================================================
Total specialized support                    2,177               1,581
 aircraft
======================================================================
Total aircraft                              10,383               7,472
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:  This table only includes aircraft which were in the scope of
our review. 


MAJOR COMBAT AIR POWER PROGRAM
FUNDING STATUS
========================================================= Appendix III

                         (Then-year dollars in millions)

                                                      Fiscal year
                                      Cost through       1997 and
                                       fiscal year     balance to  Total program
Weapon system                                 1996       complete           cost
-----------------------------------  -------------  -------------  =============
Combat aircraft
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
F/A-18 E/F fighter/attack                 $4,895.1      $76,063.6      $80,958.7
F-22 fighter                              14,029.2       56,063.9       70,093.1
Comanche helicopter                        3,111.9       41,670.5       44,782.4
Longbow Apache helicopter                  1,884.0        6,391.2        8,275.2
B-1 bomber mods                            1,283.9        2,494.0        3,777.9
AV-8B remanufacture                          528.3        1,790.0        2,318.3

Weapon
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tomahawk cruise missile                   10,911.3        2,935.8       13,847.1
Advanced medium range air-to-air           8,032.8        3,355.2       11,388.0
 missile
JSOW                                         546.6        4,512.4        5,059.0
Army tactical missile system -               946.7        4,046.2        4,992.9
 brilliant antitank
Joint air-to-surface standoff                 25.0        3,272.2        3,297.2
 missile
Longbow Hellfire missile                     616.1        1,990.8        2,606.9
JDAM                                         316.9        2,153.7        2,470.6
Army tactical missile system--             1,808.6          649.7        2,458.3
 antipersonnel/antimaterial
Sensor fused weapon                          728.1        1,219.5        1,947.6

Combat Support
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Joint surveillance target attack           5,330.2        4,021.4        9,351.6
 radar system aircraft
E2C airborne early warning aircraft          658.5        2,672.6         3331.1
Cooperative engagement capability            622.8        1,965.0        2,587.8
Joint surveillance target attack             827.8          559.3        1,387.1
 radar system ground station module

Other
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air               3,194.4        4,058.1        7,252.5
 missile
Navys sea-based area (lower tier)            669.0        4,898.3        5,567.3
 theater ballistic missile defense
Theater high altitude air defense          2,439.0       10,225.0       12,664.0
 system
Crusader (advanced field artillery           255.1        2,386.0        2,641.1
 system)\a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note:  Total program cost data on the Joint Strike Fighter program is
not yet available from DOD.  CBO has estimated that the program could
cost $165 billion in 1997 dollars. 

\a Data on the Crusader includes only research, development, test,
and evaluation costs. 

Source:  DOD's Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) Summary Tables,
December 31, 1995, except for the Comanche, joint air-to-surface
standoff missile, Patriot, Navy (lower tier) theater ballistic
missile defense, and theater high altitude air defense programs.  The
figures for these programs are based on data we acquired during our
reviews of the programs. 




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix IV
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
========================================================= Appendix III



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
=========================================================== Appendix V


   NATIONAL SECURITY AND
   INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
   WASHINGTON, D.C. 
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix V:1

Carol R.  Schuster, Associate Director
William C.  Meredith, Project Director
Marvin E.  Casterline, Project Manager
Jason Fong, Evaluator
Anthony J.  DeFrank, Evaluator
Dale O.  Wineholt, Evaluator
Nancy L.  Ragsdale, Evaluator (Communications Analyst)





RELATED GAO PRODUCTS
============================================================ Chapter 1

U.S.  Combat Air Power:  Aging Refueling Aircraft Are Costly to
Maintain and Operate (GAO/NSIAD-96-160, Aug.  1996). 

Combat Air Power:  Assessment of Joint Close Support Requirements and
Capabilities Is Needed (GAO/NSIAD-96-45, June 1996). 

Navy Aviation:  F/A-18E/F Will Provide Marginal Operational
Improvement at High Cost (GAO/NSIAD-96-98, June 1996). 

U.S.  Combat Air Power:  Reassessing Plans to Modernize Interdiction
Capabilities Could Save Billions (GAO/NSIAD-96-72, May 1996). 

Combat Air Power:  Funding Priority for Suppression of Enemy Air
Defenses May Be Too Low (GAO/NSIAD-96-128, Apr.  1996). 

Navy Aviation:  AV-8B Harrier Remanufacture Strategy Is Not the Most
Cost-Effective Option (GAO/NSIAD-96-49, Feb.  1996). 

Aircraft Requirements:  Air Force and Navy Need to Establish
Realistic Criteria for Backup Aircraft (GAO/NSIAD-95-180, Sept. 
1995). 

Longbow Apache Helicopter:  System Procurement Issues Need to be
Resolved (GAO/NSIAD-95-159, Aug.  1995). 

Weapons Acquisition:  Precision Guided Munitions in Inventory,
Production, and Development (GAO/NSIAD-95-95, June 1995). 

Naval Surface Fire Support:  Navy's Near-Term Plan Is Not Based on
Sufficient Analysis (GAO/NSIAD-95-160, May 1995). 

Comanche Helicopter:  Testing Needs to be Completed Prior to
Production Decisions (GAO/NSIAD-95-112, May 1995). 

Tactical Aircraft:  Concurrency in Development and Production of F-22
Aircraft Should Be Reduced (GAO/NSIAD-95-59, Apr.  1995). 

Cruise Missiles:  Proven Capability Should Affect Aircraft and Force
Structure Requirements (GAO/NSIAD-95-116, Apr.  1995). 

Ballistic Missile Defense:  Computation of Number of Patriot PAC-3
Interceptors Needed Is Flawed (GAO/NSIAD-95-45, Mar.  1995). 

Army Aviation:  Modernization Strategy Needs to be Reassessed
(GAO/NSIAD-95-9, Nov.  1994). 

Continental Air Defense:  A Dedicated Force Is No Longer Needed
(GAO/NSIAD-94-76, May 1994). 

Tactical Aircraft:  F-15 Replacement Is Premature as Currently
Planned (GAO/NSIAD-94-118, Mar.  1994). 

Strategic Bomber:  Issues Relating to the B-1B's Availability and
Ability to Perform Conventional Missions (GAO/NSIAD-94-81, Jan. 
1994). 

Air Force:  Assessment of DOD's Report on Plan and Capabilities for
Evaluating Heavy Bombers (GAO/NSIAD-94-99, Jan.  1994). 

Roles and Functions:  Assessment of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff Report (GAO/NSIAD-93-200, July 1993). 

*** End of document. ***