TACTICAL AIRCRAFT Status of the F/A-22 Program

In the past several years, we have reported on a range of problems affectin
the development of F/A-22. Specifically:

• F/A-22 estimated performance in the areas of supercruise, acceleration
maneuverability, radar observability, combat radius, and range in
searching targets have so far been met or exceeded. However, problem
have surfaced related to overheating during high-speed flight-testing,
reliability, avionics that perform radar, communication, navigation,
identification and electronic warfare functions as well as excess
movement of the vertical tails. Modifications are being made to some
test aircraft to address some of these problems. For now, however,
testing in some areas is restricted.

• Each year since 1998, we have reported that assembly of the test aircra
was requiring more time than planned and that this was causing the te
aircraft to be delivered late to the test center for flight-testing. We hav
also reported annually since 2000 that flight-test program efficiency—t
amount of flight-testing accomplished—has been less than planned.

The Air Force is developing t
F/A-22 aircraft to replace its f
F-15 air superiority aircraft.
F/A-22 is designed to be supe
the F-15 by being capable of
at higher speeds for longer
distances, less detectable, an
to provide the pilot with
substantially improved aware
of the surrounding situation.
The National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Y
1998 requires us to annually a
the F/A-22 development prog
and determine whether the
program is meeting key
performance, schedule, and c
goals.  We have issued six of
annual reports to Congress.
have also reported on F/A-22
production program costs ov
last 3 years.  Most recently, w
reported on F/A-22 productio
development in February and
March 2003 respectively.


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