SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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[H.A.S.C. No. 10822]
NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2005H.R. 4200
OVERSIGHT OF PREVIOUSLY AUTHORIZED PROGRAMS
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED EIGHTH CONGRESS
TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING
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TITLE IIRESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION
MARCH 25, 2004
TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania, Chairman
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
W. TODD AKIN, Missouri
JEB BRADLEY, New Hampshire
MICHAEL TURNER, Ohio
PHIL GINGREY, Georgia
TERRY EVERETT, Alabama
HOWARD ''BUCK'' McKEON, California
WALTER JONES, North Carolina
JIM RYUN, Kansas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
EDWARD SCHROCK, Virginia
RANDY FORBES, Virginia
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOE WILSON, South Carolina
FRANK LoBIONDO, New Jersey
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
IKE SKELTON, Missouri
JOHN SPRATT, South Carolina
SOLOMON ORTIZ, Texas
LANE EVANS, Illinois
JIM TURNER, Texas
ADAM SMITH, Washington
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT BRADY, Pennsylvania
JOHN LARSON, Connecticut
STEVE ISRAEL, New York
JIM COOPER, Tennessee
KENDRICK MEEK, Florida
RODNEY ALEXANDER, Louisiana
Douglas Roach, Professional Staff Member
Bob Lautrup, Professional Staff Member
JJ Gertler, Professional Staff Member
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCJohn Sullivan, Professional Staff Member
Robert Simmons, Professional Staff Member
Bill Natter, Professional Staff Member
Jesse Tolleson, Research Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Thursday, March 25, 2004, Fiscal Year 2005 National Defense Authorization ActDepartment of the Navy and Department of the Air Force Tactical Weapon Acquisition Programs and Future Technology Initiatives
Thursday, March 25, 2004
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2004
FISCAL YEAR 2005, NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTDEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TACTICAL WEAPON ACQUISITION PROGRAMS AND FUTURE TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSTATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Smith, Hon. Adam, a Representative from Washington
Weldon, Hon. Curt, a Representative from Pennsylvania, Chairman, Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
Li, Allen, Director, Acquisition Sourcing Management, United States General Accounting Office
Sullivan, Mike, director, Acquisition Sourcing Management (Joint Strike Fighter) United States General Accounting Office
Young, Hon. John J., Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acqusition) Department of the Navy; Vice Adm. (VADM) John B. Nathman, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Warfare Requirements and Programs, (N7) United States Navy; Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hough, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, U.S. Marine Corps; Hon. Marvin R. Sambur, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acqusition) Department of the Air Force and Lt. Gen. Ronald E. Keys, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, United States Air Force
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC[The Prepared Statements can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Sambur, Dr. Marvin
Smith, Hon. Adam, a Representative from Washington
Weldon, Hon. Curt
Wynne, Hon. Michael W., Acting Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics)
Young, Hon. John J., Jr., joint with Vice Adm. John B. Nathman, and Lt. Gen. Michael A. Hough
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Documents submitted can be viewed in the hard copy.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[The Questions and Answers can be viewed in the hard copy.]
FISCAL YEAR 2005 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACTDEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY AND DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE TACTICAL WEAPON ACQUISITION PROGRAMS AND FUTURE TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCHouse of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee,
Washington, DC, Thursday, March 25, 2004.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 9:08 a.m., in room 2118, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Curt Weldon (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CURT WELDON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM PENNSYLVANIA, CHAIRMAN, TACTICAL AIR AND LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
Mr. WELDON. This morning the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee meets to receive testimony on tactical aircraft and related programs in the fiscal year 2005 budget request.
We have two panels of witnesses: the first representing the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to provide the subcommittee with their views on the status of the F/A22 and the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programs; and the second, representatives of the departments of the Navy and the Air Force to provide us an update on the F/A22 and Joint Strike Fighter and other major tactical aircraft and related programs.
I have maintained through the years, first as Chairman of the Military Research and Developemennt (R&D) Subcommittee, and again as Chairman of the Military Procurement Subcommittee, and now today that the proposed defense budgets were, and still are, insufficient to adequately fund the programs included in the budget requests.
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This is particularly true for the tactical aviation programs, to include the Comanche helicopter program. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has and is happening. Comanche has been canceled, and I might say it was canceled in a manufacturing facility right next to my district.
But I support that cancellation, so let that word go out. I support the cancellation of a program right next to my district because we cannot afford the Comanche with all the other priorities we have and the budget pressures that we are facing.
So, for anyone to say that somehow I have a parochial interest, nothing could be farther from the truth.
And for my colleagues in the room who were out in favor of certain industries or contractors, let me just say, ''We are in the midst of a massive train wreck, financially.'' We need to understand that.
The Comanche has been canceled. The F/A22 cost increases continue to result in the reduction in aircraft, with the total buy now projected at 218 aircraft.
Last year, the Navy reduced its projected buy of Joint Strike Fighters by over 400 aircraft, and the first flight of the Navy Joint Strike Fighter is still well over three years away.
Looking at the long-term and the overall DOD budget, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects an approximate 30 percent shortfall in required funding to execute the long-term defense plan. Given the overall national fiscal realities, this portends further program adjustments.
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The F/A22 program began in 1986 with a plan for 750 aircraft. With the subsequent reductions related to the end of the Cold War and the much smaller defense budgets, the Air Force had a procurement objective in 1998 of 381 aircraft.
Since that point in time, with continued program cost increases and with the congressionally imposed cap on the production program, the Department of Defense (DOD)and the GAO agree that the likely buy is now approximately 218 aircraft.
The good news is that progress has been made in the last year with the F/A22, with apparent resolution of the vertical tail buffet problem and improved avionics software reliability, which is an issue we focused heavily on in last year's hearing.
Both the F/A22 and Joint Strike Fighter are very complex systems and offer to provide our military services with superior capability. But both of these programs are costly to the American taxpayer and we must do everything we can to contain those costs.
The F/A22 R&D and procurement costs have increased well over 100 percent. The R&D estimated cost of the Joint Strike Fighter is already up 80 percent. In just the last year alone, the Joint Strike Fighter R&D program has gone up 22 percent.
I appreciate the technical challenges in these programs. But when we have senior DOD representatives testify before us, as to the importance of accurate costing to the credibility and integrity of the acquisition system, tell us that all the major programs have been re-baselined for cost, and then we continue to incur double digit cost increases on an annual basis on many of our major programs, credibility does indeed suffer.
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If we are to make informed judgments on programs, we have to do a better job at estimating program costs.
Another area of concern is in the electronic combat mission area.
DOD plans project going from one major platform, the EA6, to at least four: the EA18, the B52, miniature air launched decoys, and a Joint Strike Fighter derivative.
The Joint Unmanned Combat Air System (JUCAS), formerly the Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAN), is a fifth platform mentioned for the electronic combat role. Unfortunately, it now appears that this program has been orphaned by the Air Force and Navy and is a $700 million program in Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Without service funding, we may be missing an opportunity to address a variety of strike and electronic combat requirements with what would be a truly transformational capability.
We look forward to hearing from our panels about these programs today.
And just a word before I introduce the panel.
You do not come to a hostile committee; but you come to one that is taking a very objective at where we are right now. There is no sense in putting a sugar coating on the difficult financial problems that we are facing as we attempt to do next year's authorization bill.
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There are no easier ways to go about fully funding three tactical aviation programs, increasing our surface and submarine fleet from its current status of 294 ships to somewhere in the range that is acceptable to the Navy, fully funding missile defense, which is a top priority of both the Congress and the White House, and taking care of all the quality of life issues that we have as a country, as well as other new programs like our work with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and so many other areas.
So, we have tremendous pressure. And you have to understand that we are going to look at these programs in a very careful and a very intense way.
And as I said before, we will take no exceptions. And I can say that with full credibility because of the cancellation of the Comanche. If I wanted to fight to save a program, that would have been it, and I am not doing that.
So I am sending a signal to my colleagues, in both parties: The time has come for us to be tough about the way we are spending money on programs that we cannot see the ability to fund in the out-years. And that may sound a little bit harsh, but that is the reality of where we are.
And you might as well understand the pressure that we are going to be under. And no amount of lobbying, no amount of personal conversation with individual members in both parties, in both bodies, is going to solve the problem of the dollar shortfall that we face.
On the first panel representing the General Accounting Office is Mr. Allen Li, director of acquisition sourcing management for the F22, supported by Mr. Mike Sullivan, director of acquisition sourcing management for Joint Strike Fighter.
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Our second panel of John Young, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research Development and Acquisition, supported by Admiral John Nathman, Deputy Chief of Naval Operation Warfare Requirements and programs; Lieutenant General Mike Hough, Deputy Commandant for Aviation.
From the Air Force we have Dr. Marvin Sambur, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, supported by Lieutenant General Ron Keys, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations.
Thanks to all of our witnesses for joining us. We look forward to your testimony. Your statements shall be entered as a part of the record.
But before I begin, my good friend from Hawaii is not here. He had an emergency, Mr. Abercrombie. But we have an absolutely very capable fill-in from the great state of Washington, and I would like to ask him to make any opening comments he would like to makeMr. Smith?
[The prepared statement of Mr. Weldon can be viewed in the hard copy.]
STATEMENT OF HON. ADAM SMITH, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM WASHINGTON
Mr. SMITH. Certainly.
Mostly I just want to agree completely with the statements of the chairman. I think he has correctly identified the challenges we face, and I agree with how we should approach them.
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It is certainly not peculiar to the defense budget that we have more demands than we have money. That pretty much is the operating procedure for the entire federal government, as far as I can see.
But choices have to be at some point, and I hope we will begin to make those choices so we can be smart about it instead of having to do it at the last minute when there is absolutely no choice since we do not have the money.
Certainly, we hate to get as far down the road as we did in a program like ComancheI believe the figure was $8 billion that was spent and we have nothing for it. Advanced planning hopefully can avoid wasting that amount of money.
The other thing that I am very curious to hear about is something that has been of concern to me: the length of time it takes to put together these programs before we actually get something in the field.
Now, I am far from an expert in this area, and it is possible there is something I am missing. But I am pretty sure that if you went to your average person in this country and said, ''We have been spending money on the F/A22 for 18 years and we don't have a plane yet that the military can use,'' I do not think that they would think that that works very well.
And I do not know off the top of my head what the amount of money is we have spent on the F/A22, but I know it is not insignificanta lot of money to spend for nothing.
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And I just want to know if there is some way to speed up the procurement process to get a better idea of what we are capable of. How can we go that long a period of time and not have a product?
And the F/A22 is an extreme example, but there are other programs and different branches that have that same result.
So I am curious about that.
The other thing I am curious about is if it is going to take this long for the F/A22, probably for the Joint Strike FighterI think at this point it is pretty good money to bet that that will be extended out further than even currently is plannedwhat do we do in the meantime?
If in fact we thought we had to have the F/A22 by, I forget what the original date was, but it is long since passed, if we had to have it by then, what are we doing? What is plan B? Do we build more F16s, more F15s? Have we changed what our mission is, and if we have changed what our mission is why are we continuing along the same path?
So, those are a few things that I am curious about as you testify.
And again, the most important points were made by the chairman. We have significant challenges in terms of money, budgets, and we need to be smart about that so that we do not waste that money on programs we cannot finish.
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So, I look forward to your comments.
I thank the chairman for his.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Smith can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman for his exceptionally appropriate comments.
I would like to proceed with our first panel's testimony and then go into questions for that panel. And then we will take testimony from the second panel, which will be followed by questions and try to get to all the members that are here for questions.
And I would ask our panelists in the second panel to closely listen to the testimony of the first panel so we can have a dialogue where there are perhaps differences or perhaps disagreements on the programs.
With that, Mr. Li, please proceed with your opening remarks. Your statement has been entered without exception or objection as a part of the record.
STATEMENT OF ALLEN LI, DIRECTOR, ACQUISITION SOURCING MANAGEMENT, UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Li. Thank you, sir.
Chairman Weldon, Mr. Smith and Members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the status of the F/A22 and Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter.
Still fresh in my mind is the commitment I made to the chairman last year that we would continue monitoring the F/A22. Joining me at the table today is my colleague, Mike Sullivan, who is an expert on our weapons acquisitions work. He will be ready to answer any Joint Strike Fighter-related questions you may have after my remarks.
The prepared statement before you is based on our recently issued report on the F/A22 and more limited work we have completed on the Joint Strike Fighter.
In deference to the time allotted, I will summarize our prepared statement by making four points.
Point number one: The Air Force has corrected many of the F/A22's design problems we discussed last year. For example, to correct the movement, or buffeting, of the vertical fins in the tail section of the aircraft, the Air Force designed and implemented modifications that strengthened the fin and hinge assemblies.
Last year we reported that this problem caused the Air Force to place restrictions on flights below 10,000 feet. Testing has since been completed below 10,000 feet and flight restrictions have been removed.
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Likewise, the Air Force modified the aircraft to prevent overheating concerns in the rear portion of the aircraft by adding thermal protection and strengthening strategic areas in the tail sections.
Point number two: Major challenges remain as we approach DOD's planned December 2004 date for making a full production decision for the F/A22.
At the time we completed our work, the Air Force's efforts have stabilized avionics software and improved its performance were not sufficiently demonstrated to start independent operational testing.
Indeed, two months ago, the program had achieved 2.7 hours, which is 54 percent of the five hours to build the requirement to begin operational testing.
We note that while the Air Force was not able to meet this criteria, major failures that result in a complete shutdown of the avionics system significantly diminished. They occurred about every 25 hours on average.
As you recall, Mr. Chairman, that was as bad as one-and-a-half hours last year, so that is an improvement.
This improvement has been the result of a substantial effort on the part of the Air Force and the contractor to identify and fix problems with the software. However, less serious failures were still occurring frequently.
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The F/A22 program was not performing as expected in some other key performance areas, such as system reliability. These problems have contributed to the need for a new test schedule and an additional seven-month delay in the start of operational testing.
Looking out in the future, to accomplish an expanded ground attack missions, the Air Force would need to make additional investments, estimated by the office of the secretary's Cost Analysis Group to be in the order of $8 billion.
Incorporating this capability will also add risk to an already challenged program. Planned changes will require a new computer architecture and processors to replace the current less-capable ones.
Point number three: The JSF acquisition program is approaching a key investment decision point in its development as it prepares to stabilize the design. We are aware that the program managers are contemplating changes to the program, but confirmation and details are not yet available.
Weight has become the most significant design risk for the program as it approaches its critical design review, which is a major milestone in the aircraft's development.
Increased weight could degrade aircraft range and maneuverability if not brought under control.
Because the Joint Strike Fighter is a joint, multi-national acquisition program for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and eight other cooperative international partners, it has additional challenges not facing the F/A22.
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For example, support for the program from our international partners hinges on expectations for financial returns, technology transfer and information sharing. If these expectations are not met, that support could deteriorate.
In addition, a large number of export authorizations are needed to share information and execute contracts. These authorizations must be done in a timely manner to maintain schedule and ensure competition.
Finally, transfer of sensitive U.S. military technologies needed to achieve commonality in the interoperability goals would push the boundaries of U.S. disclosure policies.
My last point, and something that the chairman and Mr. Smith mentioned: DOD is not immune to efforts to address the fiscal imbalance confronting the Nation and will continue to face challenges based on competing priorities both within and external to its budget.
The next panel will no doubt tell you that they are not looking for a fair fight in any future conflict. I agree with that. Our armed forces deserve the most capable weapon systems we can field, but they must be fielded with the capabilities and in the quantities we can afford. This will require decisions based on a sound and sustainable business case for DOD's acquisition programs based on clear priorities, comprehensive needs assessments and a thorough analysis of available resources.
The ripple effect caused by one program's funding and another is being reduced or eliminated cannot be ignored.
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In addition, DOD needs an acquisition process that provides for knowledge-based decisions at critical investment junctures in order to maximize available dollars.
DOD has instituted a new acquisition policy that embraces evolutionary and knowledge-based acquisition concepts. However, policy alone will not solve the problems DOD faces. This will also require disciplined actions on part of DOD's leadership to employ the concepts established in this new policy.
While it is too late for the F/A22 to go back and follow these knowledge-based concepts, there still is time to evaluate the need for additional aircraft going beyond those on contract.
Because of the Nation's fiscal challenges, tough choices will need to be made regarding all future spending priorities, including the remaining potential $40 billion investment in the F/A22.
In light of this substantial investment and the many changes that have occurred in the F/A22 program, we recommended last week that DOD conduct a new business case that examines the need for full air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities and the quantities needed and affordable.
As far as the JSF is concerned, we believe that program has a greater opportunity to make critical investment decisions using a knowledge-based approach.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The JSF program started with a high-risk approach by not maturing technologies before starting system development, but it now has the opportunity to manage the system development phase and stabilize the design before committing to large investments and manufacturing capability.
In addition to seeking greater design stability, leadership in the department can reap the benefits of its new acquisition policy by actively promoting and maintaining a disciplined approach throughout the remaining critical decision points.
With these activities in place, we believe DOD will be in a better position to request continued Joint Strike Fighter funding and support.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. Mr. Sullivan and I would be happy to respond to any questions you and your committee may have.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Li can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you for your statement. And more importantly, thank you for your work. It is critically important to us as we go through the mark-up process for next year's defense authorization bill, more importantly, planning for the future support for outstanding military for the next 50 years or so.
For our colleagues that are here today, I just want to continue to repeat the fact that where we are today is not something that we did not anticipate. For the past eight years at least, many of us have done speech after speech talking about the train wreck that we were going to face, where the programs we were putting into play were not going to be able to be funded with the dollars that were anticipated for our defense budget.
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And that was especially true in the years up until 2000 when we actually saw a defense budget that was not increasing relative to what it had been prior to that time.
We have made increases since that time period, but we still have significant problems.
In this case, talking about tactical aviation, if you look at the dollar amounts, it just puts us in an impossible situation that each year we fight the same battle and what we end up doing is starving a lot of programs and keep pushing out the element decision, like the one that was just made with the Comanche, where the Comanche was finally canceled after six major changes to what the program was supposed to originally be.
And so, our job, as difficult as it is, is going to have to be able to make some extremely difficult and tough decisions. And you are going to look at us through that processyou already have.
You made a very important point here: The business case made to justify the F/A22 program at its outset is no longer valid. The threat that we thought that the F/A22 was going to be able to meet has gone. And now we are attempting to retrofit this program to meet other threats that we assume now are in fact coming on the horizon.
But with those changes are extremely costly dollar commitments that will be necessary.
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Today the Air Force estimates that the total F/A22 option program will cost aboutis it $72 billion you said, sir?
Mr. Li. That is correct.
Mr. WELDON. Excluding about $8 billion estimated by the Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG2) complete modernization activitiesincluding your cost for that, you are talking about $80 billion.
If we look at a Joint Strike Fighter, the program, as I understand in reading your report, the profile assumes a $90 billion funding element over the next 10 yearsan average of almost $9 billion a year.
And while the F/A22 has been changed, and we can have Members talk about that, in terms of its mission and business plane that was established and now it has been modified, we will hear from our witnesses I think today that the Joint Strike Fighter also has a unique role because you need a replacement for the Marines for the (V/STOL) variant and that cannot occur without the Joint Strike Fighter.
The problem we have and the dilemma we have, which is one that we have to take very seriously and which puts us in the middle of a tremendous amount of tension, is how do we deal with this? If we are not going to give significant increases in dollar allocations to buy these programs and continue to fund the F/A18E/F, then something has to give.
That something that gave in the Comanche is what we are potentially facing if not this year certainly over the next several years.
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And I just want us to be in the best possible position to make the most informed decision that we can.
What would happen if one of these programs were canceled? What would happen in terms of your own feelings and assessments with the services?
What would the response be and how difficult would it be if, heaven forbid, that decision did happen? And I would say, a year ago no one expected the Comanche to be canceled within a 12-month period.
So what would happen if Congress were forced or the Administration were forced into that kind of position?
Mr. Li. Mr. Chairman, as far as the F/A22 is concerned, over 50 of the aircraft are on contract and soon even more than that, as I understand it, because the next lot they are preparing to make a contract for that also.
So we are talking about slightly about one wing of F/A22s and, as in many other weapons systems that we have had in the past, this is maybe regarded then as the golden nugget. You would only have one wing of F/A22s to perform that mission.
That would obviously severely impact on the Air Force's capability to conduct its operations in the future. They were counting on the F/A22 to help them reduce the average age of aircraft, which Mr. Smith points out.
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There are a lot of other needs. Their aircraft are aging. The operations in Iraq have stressed the F16s tremendously, and they are in need of replacement in the future.
And so the F/A22's cancellationor I would not say cancellationbut not going beyond the lots that they have already will impact their mission.
As far as the JSF is concerned, that is a very complicated acquisition because we have memorandums of understanding with our industrial partners.
There are three services that are involved in this. We are talking, as you pointed out Mr. Chairman, the Marines areand you will probably hear this from the Marinesthey are counting on the JSF to perform those missions which the Harrier currently performs.
Mr. WELDON. Could you also comment on the, with the Joint Striker Fighter, the commitment of the foreign nations? I think we just signed up our last nation as a part of that team. Would you comment on the importance of that in terms of our multinational cooperation?
Mr. Li. Absolutely.
We are talking about a situation where, in the future, we would want to have the interoperability with our allies, and I think that is extremely important.
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We are also talking about a much larger program than the F/A22.
The F/A22, in the range of 277 to 300, what is the market for the Joint Strike Fighter? We are talking about 2,500 for U.S. forces, over 700 for our international partners, and the potential for further sales in the range of 1,500 to 3,000. So that is a much larger program.
STATEMENT OF MIKE SULLIVAN, DIRECTOR, ACQUISITION SOURCING MANAGEMENT (JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER) UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
Mr. SULLIVAN. I think, if I could add to your question, what would happen if perhaps the Joint Strike Fighter did not go forward. Just in terms of tactical aircraft, I think our strike capability right now, that is seen as a replacement for the F16 and A10's as they retire. So in the out-years we would probably have some things to fill.
In terms of strike capability, it has a role in complimenting the F/A22 on many of the F/A22's missions. So that would be an impact as well.
And, as Mr. Li stated, internationally, I think interoperability is key, and Joint Strike Fighter is a weapons system that we are looking to be interoperable not only across the services but with our NATO allies and internationally as well.
Mr. WELDON. One final question before I turn to my colleagues.
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In your assessment of these programs, along with the F/A18E/FI think if we are honest with ourselves and with the Pentagon and the services, we will be able to see X amount of dollars for tactical aviation over the next 20 years, a fixed amount.
I mean, we can have our pipe dreams and hope that everything will be fully funded. Well that is not going to happen. It is not going to happen.
And if we keep kidding ourselves along that line, down the road at some point in time, there has to be a tough decision.
And again, I think back to the Comanche. We spent $6 billion keeping the Comanche as a viable program even though it was reconfigured six times, then we canceled it.
What we could have done with that $6 billion, even though a lot of that technology is going to be used in modernizing our rotorcraft fleet and our capabilities, but I do not want to see us do that with tactical aviation. I would rather have us fully understand logically what the dollars are realistically going to be available in TACAIR and then go back and say, ''Hey, can we really afford three separate programs?''
And again, I support all three; I am not against any program. I understand the need.
And if I had my way, as I have done with my votes repeatedly in this body, I would vote for the funding to fund all three.
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That is why I was the only Member of Congress that opposed the president's budget when he first came into office, because his request for shipbuilding was too low. And I said, ''How you can make that request and fully fund these other requirements?'' We cannot do it.
And rather than fight these battles each year, where each company and service lines up behind their program and comes in and puts tremendous pressure on us to fund this or that program, knowing full well that in the end somebody is going to have to make tough decisions, I would rather have us look at what is going to be the available stream dollar-wise, five, 10 years from now so that we can maximize the effort in whatever aviation program, or programs, can in fact provide the best.
Have you all done that in terms of the mix?
Mr. Li. No, but that is exactly the sort of analysis that we are recommending because in order to assess the F/A22 you cannot assess it by itself, it has to be within this environment of the availability of tactical air dollars that are available.
And so our recommendation that they do a business case should be done at that level.
And I think that it should not be the program office of F/A22 making a case for their own, it has to be at a much higher level where they can have overview and oversight over all these programs and they make those decisions: what are the quantities that we need, what IS the threats, what is the best mix of those weapons that we need to address the threat to make them available within that context?
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Absolutely agree with you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Would you recommend that we bring in someoneand I do not know any one groupbut, say, like an Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), or somebody, to step back from the acquisition process and to come in and look at that?
In other words, over a 10-or 20-year period, estimate realistically, not pie in the sky pipe dreams, realistically what is going to be the funding available for tactical aviation?
And have a range of funds, a low range and a high range. And then based on that, do what you are suggesting, which is look at the mix based on the
Mr. Li. I think IDA, probably, and many other groups, think tanks, have done something like that already. I know that we have been in that area where we have identified what are the needs in the future.
Mr. Chairman, the difficult part is who is going to make the tough choice? It is not a matter of identifying the issue. I think a lot of people know about the issue.
You were talking about the train wreckthey know about that. Let's make those difficult choiceswe have to make them now because we are making decisions. These things are getting close to bending metal and going to production.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. So this may be at a blue ribbon level reporting to the secretary. Perhaps, even though Congress tends to not want to make tough decisions, we could assemble a team, which you all will be involved with, and maybe you can make some other recommendations for us. And perhaps, we could assemble at the congressional level a team that would step back and look at this in an objective way.
Because, again, none of us want to cancel any program. I mean, I did not want the Comanche canceled. I lost hundreds of jobs in my district with the cancellation of Comanche, but I am not opposing that, because you cannot fund the Comanche and the V22 and all these other programs. So, something has to give.
And I am concerned about the industrial base. We have not talked about that. That is in your report. Our industrial base issue is a very real and genuine issue.
You were going to add something there before I
Mr. SULLIVAN. To try to answer your question another way: I mean, we all know how complex these acquisitions can be and the acquisition process itself can be, and in fact the requirements generation process that DOD goes through.
We have done a lot of work in the private sector looking at how they do things, some best practices work and things like that. And I would say in the past 18 months or so, DOD, with its acquisition policies, has moved in this evolutionary, knowledge-based kind of direction with its policies that we find to be a better way to be able to predict costs on product developments like Joint Strike Fighter and F/A22 coming out of the box.
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And if you can get a program in a position where you have a business case at the outset of that programboth of these programs we are talking about today began with business cases, at least the resource-side of the business cases began with development and procurement funds estimates that were really not very stable, as we can see. The F/A22 has doubled and Joint Strike Fighter has gone up a lot too.
It takes a lot sounder estimating at the beginning of the program, which means requirements have to be probably more realistic, there has to be more incremental approaches, probably, to building these weapons systems.
A more reasonable business case at the outset of these acquisition programs would help a lot to make those policies work.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you.
It just underscores perhaps the most important message of this hearing, to the contractor base: understand the pressure we are under and you better maximize your efforts to control and cut costs while giving us the best possible quality. Because if you do not do that, this train wreck is going to impact your bottom line and your ability to produce your product.
With that, I will turn to my colleague, Mr. Smith.
Mr. SMITH. You know, we have talked a little about what would happen if we canceled the programs and everything, F/A22, Joint Strike or F/A18E/F.
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But from hearing what you said in terms of where we are at and in terms of our contractual commitments, certainly on the F/A22, it also sounded like, if I was reading your comments correctly, even on Joint Strike we have contractual commitments that have put us pretty far down the road.
Are we even in a position to contemplate that? Are we not at the point where we have jumped and now we are trying to fill the pool up with water before we land?
There is no turning back. We are at the point now where it starts to be cost-effective to buy these things. We have done the development, we do all that, and then we get to the point where we buy one wing and then when we start to get a greater return on our dollar, we stop.
Help me out in terms of how that would work out.
Even if we hit the brick wall that the chairman has correctly identified, we just flat do not have the money and we are trying to back out of it. It strikes me that it would be a pretty big disaster, because we would have wasted all this money and now we are not getting the benefit.
But how would that even work? We are much further down the road than we were even with Comanche at this point.
Mr. Li. The F/A22 is at a different point in its life than the Joint Strike Fighter. The F/A22 has been in the low-rate initial production, and that is the reason why we have about 50 of them and we will soon have 70 of them.
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On the JSF, they are still in development. And in that particular one, the complexity of it, trying to build three variants using one basic configuration is extremely difficult, especially when you considerMr. Schrock, we have discussed this beforewhen you have a short take-off, vertical landing type of aircraft and one that is a conventional landing and one for carriers, that is extremely difficult.
Mr. SMITH. We had a hard time building the one variant of the F/A22.
Mr. Li. Yes.
It is not in production. We do have these commitments. They are commitments made by our international partners on the range of $4.5 billion, and we know that if this thing does not go further, that would be a death nail for future cooperation with our allies. I think that is an extremely important thing.
We have a credibility issue here also.
Mr. SMITH. Plus, the Joint Strike Fighter fills a lot of requirements. It is a lot of differentwhat?I think it is 2,400 planes now we are talking about getting.
Mr. Li. Yes, sir.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SMITH. I mean, to pull out of that, we would have to do something to try to make up for that.
I am sorry, you had a comment?
Mr. SULLIVAN. With regard to the Joint Strike Fighter program where it is in development now, obviously that is a lot earlier in its development.
And I think some of the things that we have seen recently, that the program is contemplating, are things really thatthere are some very hard decisions that I think they are getting ready to make at a time in the program that we feel we need to look at this a little bit more closely.
But this may be the most appropriate time for them to actually be looking at things likeyou know, the design weight of the aircraft right now is becoming a big issue. That needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
That is a tough thing to do for these programs in the environment that they operate in.
But really, if they are given the time to do that now and solve problems now, we tend to believeI think this bears out on the F/A22, for example. They had similar problems. Once they got further along in development they were dealing with design issues that cost them probably a lot more money and a lot more inefficiency with their time than they would liked.
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So in a way, the Joint Strike Fighter is in a position, if managed properly, to maybe solve some of those problems early. But those are tough choices that have to be made now in a program like the Joint Strike Fighter.
Mr. SMITH. Quick questions on the F/A22: what is its mission at this point? When it came out, as I remember itand the chairman is right, I was the first chair in 1997 and people were asking these questions, most prominently Chairman Weldon, and it is one of my first memories of the Armed Services Committee is these very difficult questions about what to do about all these different TACAIR programs.
But it was supposed to be an air superiority fighter.
Mr. Li. Yes, sir.
Mr. SMITH. Basically, we were going to fight off all those other planes up there, dominate the air.
Well, things have really shifted. I mean, who out there is going to be fighting us in the air anytime soon plane to plane? In light of that, I guess, what is contemplated the mission of the F/A22?
Mr. Li. When the F/A22 was first conceived as the ATF fighter, you are right, it was an air-superiority, air-dominance aircraft. We were worried about Soviet bloc aircraft coming in large numbers.
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Since then, the threat has changed. And I will let DOD witnesses tell you about this. But the concerns that they have now are not only in the fighters themselves, but also in other threats, such as the missiles, the guided missiles and cruise missiles, that potential adversaries may have.
Mr. SMITH. But the F/A22, frankly, was not designed to deal with
Mr. Li. Not originally.
Mr. SMITH. I could be showing ignorance on thisdid we not add the A here not long ago?
Mr. Li. Yes, sir. Yes, sir, a few years ago, it became the F/A to stress the attack capability.
Mr. SMITH. Can you really do that, by the way? I am not sure how the design works, but if something is designed to be a fighter
Mr. Li. Well, the F/A22 always had an internal capability to carry bombs. That is not something new. But some of the new things that they are trying to doin terms of hitting moving targets, as you know, in past wars we have had concerns about things being mobile, assets that the adversaries having that would be mobile, and the F/A22, when it would be enhanced, would have those capabilities.
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Mr. SMITH. The last question is something I asked about in the opening, and maybe this is just the way it has to be, but to go from the point when we start a program to the point when we actually use it, to have such an incredible spread of time, 18 years, I mean, that is staggering.
Now, a lot has happened during those 18 years, I think perhaps unprecedented in history, in terms of the changing nature of the threats that we face.
But it seems almost impossible to properly design a plane over that long of a period of time. Things are going to change. Is it possible to compress that? Because if you can get it done in five or six years, you are within the time frame of your planning.
But if you plan something, and all this time passes, I mean, putting aside for the moment the threats that were out there, just the sheer development of technology, think about where we were technologically in 1985 and 1986 and this is where we are now, we obviously built something different.
I guess I am asking: Is there anyway to get around that?
Mr. Li. Mr. Smith, that is an issue that many people have looked at, and GAO has really tried to look at many of those issues associated with, ''Let's try to understand why is it taking so long?''
And Mike Sullivan, on my left here, he has done so much work in the best practices area, so I would like for you to briefly explain that.
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Mr. SULLIVAN. Well, we have done a lot of work looking at product development and technology development and the issues they have with transitioning technologies on the products and things like that.
And in fact, we worked fairly closely with the department when they were working on their acquisition policies and trying to solve the exact problem that you are talking about.
In other words, 18 years from conception to fielding the product is not doing a whole lot for the war-fighter right now.
So, that is where all of the new policies stress evolutionary acquisition and knowledge-based acquisition and having a more vibrant tech base perhaps that is more relevant.
Mr. SMITH. Well, could we not build a few of them, ''This is what we can do right now,'' boom, let's build it. I would think it would be pretty good, even it was based on 1988 technology, and then we will try to upgrade it.
Mr. SULLIVAN. The idea, I think, with the evolutionary-type policies that they are trying to perform now is toyou know, this is where the requirements process and the acquisition process tie together.
So they have been looking at the requirements process as well. You know, we have the operational requirements documents on the old systems. They have put in place a new process that would look at the quantum leap, where you would want a weapons system to get to and write a document for that, but then break that into increments that are manageable as product developments with available technologies, and then try to, in an incremental way, make that revolutionary leap.
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So in other words, if you took something like the F/A22 and you looked at the key performance parameters of that, which our Stealth and super crews clues, high maneuverability range and things like that, you could break that into maybe, perhaps five-year increments and try to build a plane that eventually gets to that.
In some ways it makes it more complex, but in some ways it makes it a lot more simple and makes a business case for something that you can deliver to the war-fighter in some relevant time period, a lot of easier to do.
So if you do that, you have to pay a lot more attention to your technologies as well.
Your S&T community has to get a lot more disciplined also.
But I think right now the department, at least policy-wise, understands that and is trying to move at the way. And it is just awful difficult to drive that all the way through the organization.
Mr. SMITH. Thank you very much.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman.
Dr. Gingrey is recognized.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Dr. GINGREY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I just wanted to make a comment in regard to thethe chairman mentioned, of course, the cancellation of the rotorcraft, Comanche, and I guess by way of implication that that should be a wake-up call from the Department of Defense that any major program at any time could be canceled.
This is just in the way of an editorial, I guess, but it seems to me that the Comanche was canceled because, based on the experience and Operation Enduring and Iraq Freedoms, that it was not fulfilling the mission that it was designed to fulfill.
And while there may have been some problems in regard to production and cost and all of these things that the GAO is pointing out to us in this report on the F/A22 and the Joint Fighter, my understanding of that absolutely is not the reason that the Comanche program, $6 billion into it, was canceled, but rather that was just notbased on our recent experience in-theater it was not going to do what it was designed originally to do.
And I think that in some ways, it actually makes a stronger case for these tactical fighters that we are talking about here today in this hearing, the F/A22 Raptor and the Joint Strike Fighter, because of the same experience and the number of advancements of SAMs and capabilities of the bad guys to shoot down our planes.
From my perspective it seems that it is also making the case for going forward.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I really appreciate the work that Mr. Li and Mr. Sullivan have done in this good report, and it is something that I think we need to have on an annual basis, and I commend you for that.
And your response to the questions for Mr. Smith and from the chairman in regard to what would happen if, I think you answered that question very clearly to my satisfaction.
Specifically, I want to ask you, though, regarding the figure that was originally in the GAO report that was released on the 15th of March about the F/A22.
The report says, and I quote, in order to develop the expanded air-to-ground attack capabilitythat we talked about a few minutes ago''the office of the secretary of defense estimates that the Air Force will need''and you changed this figure; I think originally it was $11.7 billion and I think I heard you say $8 billion today''in modernization funding.''
However, in your written testimony, you also state that the Air Force estimates that they will only need $3.5 billion for that modernization effort.
Could you comment specifically on the $11.7 billion, or $8 billion, versus a $3.5 billion figure?
And how did OSD and the Air Force generate their numbers? How will the money be spent? And generally speaking, is the $8 billion an accurate figure in your opinion?
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Mr. Li. I absolutely can answer your question, sir.
The basic issue is: It will take over that $11 billion in order to have modernization for the F/A22.
When I talk about the $8 billion, it is the $8 billion in addition to what the Air Force has already in their program. They have through 2009 $3.5 billion. So when I refer to $8 billion, that is the incremental that gets you up to the $11 billionthat is the reason.
They have modernization funds accounted for through 2009. The entire modernization program, which includes the ground attack capability, which the CAIG did estimate, includes the entire modernization that goes beyond 2009that is the reason.
Dr. GINGREY. Mr. Chairman, that is my only question for this panel.
But again, Mr. Li and Mr. Sullivan, I appreciate it. I think the report is an excellent report, and we will look forward to continuing to work closely with you.
And I commend the chairman for having this hearing and emphasizing, again, as he always has, the importance and the need for diligent oversight on our part and to make sure that we control cost.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If we get a second line of questioning, Mr. Chairman, I may want to come back and ask about this knowledge-based concept.
Because the implication in your report about knowledge-based purchasing, it makes it sound like that some folks were just flying by the seat of their pants and there was no knowledge at all. And I would like for you to explain that concept to us, so maybe in the second round.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman.
Mr. MCKEON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I get very frustrated in a hearing like this when we hear these kinds of figures and reports.
Being the oldest Member of this committee here, I remember World War II just as a very small infant. But we go through World War II, Korea and up to the present time. I also watched the B2 go fromwhat?120 or 130 aircraft down to 21, and it was pulling teeth to get that last one.
And all of this hearing, it seems like we are talking all of our money just for tactical air, and when we see where the B52s are and the B1B and the B2s, it is like we are going to, at some point, have one plane left and one pilot, and then heaven help us.
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And I look at where the Pentagon was built in one year, and I look at the number of planes that were built in World War II. Granted, we used to talk about 80 planes to hit one target, now we talk about one plane to hit 80 targets.
But I get, as I said, very frustrated.
I have been in Congress now 12 years. I thought if we could get our blue suits, our green suits, our brown suits, if we could get everybody together to really look at what we see is going to be the threat in the next 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and forget all kinds of interdepartmental or interservice rivalries and say, ''How is the best way to meet that threat?'' and eliminate all of our prejudices and come down to what is the best way to target that.
But I guess the problem is, by the time we get to the expertise to be able to really come to that answer, we are pretty ingrained in one of the services or one of the departments and look at it kind of with blinders on.
Mr. Chairman, I commend you for holding the hearing.
And I commend you, gentlemen, for your report and the work you have put into it, and all the people who are going to speak on the next panel.
But I do not see a way to end the frustration. Because I think our country has gotten so ingrained in bureaucracy that everything takes forever. I mean, we are talking 15 years and we do not have a plane to the war-fighters yet?
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World War II lasted five years. And we were developing planes, we were developing them, getting them to the war-fighters almost overnight in comparison with what we are doing now.
But now, by the time we get through all the environmental restrictions and get throughplant 42 is in my district, and to build a building where you can build a plane, it takes forever because of all the restrictions you have before you can even get the building built to meet all the environmental restrictions.
And all the permits and everything, we have just made everything so complicated and so difficult.
I was watching those hearings yesterday on 9/11 trying to decidean inordinate amount of time we are spending trying to decide whose fault it was instead of how do we fix the problem and how do we move forward from here?
I see a lot more problems than I see answers. And until we can get to that point I guess where we all sit down and really see what the threat is, how do we best meet the threat, and really are able to sell our case to get the money that is needed to accomplish that, we are in serious problems. We need to learn how to face these problems.
And like I said, I see more problems than answers.
We have got a lot of smart people in this room, but we bind ourselves with being politically correct or being all the different things that webarriers that we throw in front of ourselves to really solving the problems.
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I am glad you are there, Mr. Chairman, I hope you can come up with the solutions.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentlemen.
I cannot cancel anymore programs in my area, though. They are dwindling down.
Mr. Schrock is recognized.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, Mr. Li and Mr. Sullivan for being here.
I have been sitting here listening to all the discussions, and I share my friend from California Mr. McKeon's frustrations, and I certainly identify myself with most of the remarks that Mr. Weldon and Mr. Smith said.
I have very recently spent some time with the senior Air Force leaders to discuss the priorities and their vision for the future of the programs that is going to shape the Air Force tomorrow.
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am also aware of the steady flow of criticism and second guessing that surrounds the mature Raptor program and even the relatively young Joint Strike Fighter program.
And like many of my colleagues, I am frustrated with our nation's ability to design and procure new defense systems and do it in a timely manner.
And I have gotten some briefs on the Raptor program that I believe made a very compelling case for the continuation of the program and fielding that system as quickly as possible.
And I believe the case was compelling that the technology necessary to ensure continued air dominance is not something we can develop in a few weeks or something we can afford, as a nation, with global commitments to be without.
I read some of the information here, the first prototype of the Raptor flew in 1990, the plan development schedule has grown from nine to 19 years, and the initial operational capability date slipped nine years.
And I understand there are avionic software programs, and I try to figure in my mind how we can tighten up some of those time lines. And I am going to use a Navy example.
Admiral Vern Clark has been a strong advocate of the new LCS, littoral combat ship. And he tells us, and he told us again yesterday he needed it this morning at 0800. And he wants to get it into the water as quick as he can, and he is going to do it with plug and play systems, so if you have to tweak the system from time to time, you can do that.
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And I absolutely am on board and support him totally in that.
But I read people saying, ''What is the big hurry, what is the big hurry?'' Well, that just flies in the face of everything we are hearing here.
I think he is right. And I understand a Navy platform is certainly different than an air platform. If a Navy ship breaks down, it does not kill anybody. But if a plane breaks down, it does.
And we simply have to get some of those time lines shortened.
And I understand they are design problems.
And one thing that I was bothered, I think Mr. Li, you said this, you said we need to buy them in the quantities we can afford. Well, maybe we can only afford one, but the threat tells us we have to afford 501. So I am really confused on that issue.
And are we ever going to build a perfect platform? Probably not.
And Mr. McCain said that it would be nice if we could look at the threat 20 to 30 years from now. That is virtually impossible, that is absolutely never going to happen. If we try to develop a platform based on that, we are just fooling ourselves.
And the threat does change everyday, and that is why some of these programs have taken so long to get online.
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So my question to the first witnesses, and I am probably going to ask General Keys and Dr. Sambur the same thing: From the standpoint of the air crew survive ability and assured air dominance, do you believe that we can afford not to continue to procure and field the Raptor?
And as we continue to develop the Joint Strike Fighter, can we avoid some of the problems and pitfalls that have become commonplace in prolonged procurement programs? And can we make this process better?
It seems that we just have to shorten the
Mr. Li. Absolutely. The affordability issue that you raise is more in line with risk than dollars. I think that is how I am reading your point.
And I absolutely agree with you, there are risks out there.
I think our message is that, recognizing all these risks, but you have to recognize and you had mentioned that the Navy has a requirement, the Air Force has a requirement, they have a requirement on aging aircraft tankers, the mission aircraftall of our services need it.
And as I said in my short statement, I believe we need to field the best weapon systems for our brave men and women in our armed forces. But that is not the issue, I got to have the money to pay for it.
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So the tradeoffs that have to be made by elected officials is: Where do we put that money?
That is what I am raising as an issue.
Mr. SCHROCK. And will we ever get the best platform if we keep these time lines going? And whose fault is it? Is it the services? Is it the contractors? Or is it Congress?
I have a feeling it is from that desk back here is where some of the problems lie. And how do we get our hands around that?
Mr. Li. The requirements that are established a lot of times are established in conjunction with the contractor because they know what the capabilities are.
However, as Mr. Chairman was talking about on the threats, the threats have changed, they are changing, and the Air Force is trying to accommodate those with some changes to their program.
Mr. SCHROCK. But if we try to build today for the threat tomorrow that we do not know, we better stop building because we are never going to get there.
And I just do not understandand I share Buck McKeon's frustrationwhy does it take so long to get these things done?
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Mr. SULLIVAN. Yes, I think Mr. Li is right on a point there.
I mean, it really does go back to the requirements. You know, we continue to emphasize this idea of business case at the outside of a program. And there are two sides to that: There are the requirements and there are the resources.
And we also have emphasized over and over again that requirements in the pastand, you know, I think requirements have tended to be very, very high-performance-type requirements that are very inflexible. And that will tend to drive a quantum leap kind of a program to long schedule delays and costs.
So it does begin with the requirements.
And I think that you are right. Are we ever going to get a the 100 percent perfect capability? You could probably get it for 1995 by 2015, but threats change.
I think you need to be a little moreflexibility on both sides of that business case, both the requirement side as well as the resources side is one way to start to address that.
Mr. SCHROCK. And I hate to keep referring back to Admiral Clark, but Admiral Clark wants the perfect platform as well. But he needs it right now, and he wants to do plug and play so if things change, they just go out and take out one module and put in another.
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Now maybe it is not that easy for airplanes. I do not know. I did not drive airplanes; I drove ships.
And I just need to understand if that is possible. And if it is, then there is really no excuse for this time line being so long. I just do not get it.
Mr. SULLIVAN. One subset we are talking about here that is interesting is the idea of those open systems. I think if you do start to design things with more open systems, that is one way to keep up with requirements as technologies evolve. And there is not enough of that right now probably on these weapon systems.
Mr. SCHROCK. But the chairman said that the train wreck is on it is way. Frankly I think the train wreck occurred at 0847 on 9/11/01.
Mr. WELDON. The gentlemen is correct, been there.
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Forbes is recognized.
Mr. FORBES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman, I thank you for the work you have done in this area and for continuing to keep the focus on these crucial issues.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Li, Mr. Sullivan, thank you for your efforts.
And you know, Mr. Schrock said something about the fact that we will never get the best systems possible because that is constantly a moving target.
But I want to just come back to something you said about what the other panelists are going to be saying.
They are going to be saying that we do not want to have a fair fight, then you said we need to set our priorities. And not picking on semantics, but that is our priority.
Our priority has to be to make sure that we do not have a fair fight out there. And I am just convinced when you just pick something as simple as the F/A22, that if we are going to maintain strategic air superiority, we have got to have that aircraft, to have that strategic air superiority.
Like everybody else, you get frustrated with the time line, that is what Mr. Smith talked about.
But I am concerned, kind of moving into frustrated, and almost at appalled at the cost that just increases from the time we start one of these programs to when we finish up, primarily from our contractors that I do not think always fully partner in maybe with the understanding that we have got to have some cost controls if we are going to get these products built.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC And I do not want to try to do that on a macro basis, because I know we will just talk about the problem and never get any solutions.
But when I get almost anybody in this room in my office and I close the doors, they always tell me that the new creative technology, stuff we are getting quick and that we are really utilizing, is coming from some of our small, new start-up companies.
And my question to you is: What can we do to help those companies thrive more so that we can get that technology in cheaper and quicker and get it to our folks in the fields so that we do not have that fair fight?
Mr. Li. There have been programsand I did this work several years ago, so my information might be slightly dated.
But there are programs in DOD, like the ACTD, where their main purpose is to try to bring to the war-fighter equipment and field things more quickly.
And one example, not the ACTD, however, but that goes directly to what you are talking about, is many years ago I did this review on the Army's land warrior. And the land warrior was, the soldier would in essence strap gear around himself, and the special guns and the cameras on the helmet, and what we found was, all this equipment would weigh 80 pounds.
You can imagine out in the field 80 pounds gets pretty heavy after a while. And as a result of that, they did go and ask for other concepts. And a smaller, more innovative company, other than the big company that originally developed it, actually came up with a much lighter version. And that is what they are going to be working on and fielding in the future.
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So you are right. There is no monopoly on good ideas as far as I am concerned.
Mr. FORBES. And, Mr. Chairman, one of the things that might help us, and we do not hearwe hear that from everybody, the small companies have an opportunity to move quicker in some manner.
And as you heard Mr. McKeon saying, you know, sometimes we will sit here and debate a program or a system for five or six years, but we get in a conflict, all of a sudden in a week or two weeks, we are resolving it.
At some point in time we just need somebody to tell us: These are the procurement problems. If you remove this hurdle, this hurdle, and this hurdle, we can move it quicker and we can move it cheaper, so we can at least make a dent in that problem.
And you know, we would love to hear your comments even now or sometime in writing on any of those that we might be able to move in some fashion to move that whole situation along.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank the gentleman.
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Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
A couple of questions.
First of all, in the committee analysis on page four, it says, and I quote, the propulsion program for the aircraft is meeting planned schedules and costs.
Is that a correct statement?
Mr. Li. Yes, it is.
Mr. SIMMONS. And the propulsion program is primarily U.S.-based. Is that UTC Pratt Whitney engines?
Mr. Li. Yes, sir. Yes, sir.
Mr. SIMMONS. And that is U.S.-based?
Mr. Li. Yes, sir.
Mr. SIMMONS. Okay. A second question: on page 5 of the GAO testimony, the statement is made that the basic mission of the F/A22 initially focused on air-to-air dominance and has changed to include a significantly greater emphasis on attacking ground targets.
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My dad was an architect. He practiced architecture for over 50 years. He designed and built hospitals, which are pretty complicated.
And he said the greatest contributor to the cost, increased cost, in designing a major urban hospital, such as in New York City where he practiced, was change orders, and that the same thing applies to even a house, a residence, a dwelling, that the change orders kill you.
And it seems to me right off the bat that there has been a major change in the concept of this aircraft. Do you agree with that? And has that contributed to the cost increase?
And then I have a third question.
Mr. Li. There has been a major change. The increase in funding that is required in the future is for what the DOD will call the latest spirals associated with that.
They will be able to do a ground attack mission without making those changes. However, to get the ultimate, they would have to replace their processors, they would have to change the computer architecture associated with it.
Mr. SIMMONS. You know, and I am not an Air Force guy, I am an Army guy, I am not a flyer, I am a guy that sits in holes, but it looks to me like we have had a major change in the mission of this aircraft over time, and that has probably contributed to the increase in costs.
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Let me add to that, if you will, pages 14 and 19 of your testimony. This is a multinational operation. This is involving not only multi-services, U.S. types, but this is involving eight different countries.
Mr. Li. That's the Joint Strike Fighter, sir.
Mr. SIMMONS. I am switching to Joint Strike, in that caseeight different countries. And it just seems to me that the challenge of trying to work not only with multi-services but with eight different countries has to be huge.
You mentioned tech transfer issues, sensitive R&D technology issues.
You know, whatever happened to the idea that the United States of America would build aircraft, and we do it right here with our workers, our designers, our builders, our factories, our industrial base, and if somebody else, one of our quote, unquote, friends, you know, wanted to join us, they could buy some of our product?
You know, this is essentially I think what we do with aircraft carriers. We do not go to Italy and Norway and Denmark and the U.K. and get them all to, you know, do their six bits and give us a few dollars.
With submarines we do not bring in a half a dozen to a dozen countries and say, ''What would you like?'' ''Well, we do not want a coffee maker. We want to make tea. You know, we want the submarine to have a tea maker,'' et cetera, et cetera, and so forth.
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I mean what are we doing to ourselves here? I understand that $4.6 billion is available from these partners, but that is really a fraction of the total cost.
And it seems to me that with the tech transfer and the R&D issues that that they are getting a lot out of this, we are getting very little.
And on balance, you know, the whole structure of this program is wrong.
And, you know, quite frankly, Mr. Chairman, I am looking at the same thing with a VH92, with the Super Hawk, for the Presidential helicopter. Now we have postponed that competition another six months, maybe get it past the election.
But we are looking at a competition between the Sikorsky, 100 percent U.S. chopper for the president, versus some multinational version.
And I really wonder if we need to just back right back up and say, this whole concept is wrong. We need to maintain our industrial base. We need to maintain our workforce. We need to design and develop these things with a more specific mission of how it serves us.
And then if our friends want to buy in at a later date, let's bring them on in.
Is that a false analysis?
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Mr. Li. I understand the point you are trying to make, sir.
Some of the benefits, however, that we should consider is the fact that the cooperation that we are getting will also result in the interoperability capability which I talked about.
But also, even from a technical standpoint, our British friends have a lot of experience with vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
And the S/TOVL version, which is a short takeoff and landing version, is being worked on with British help. They are helping us design the lift fan that is attached to the main engine and it provides that vertical and takeoff capability.
So we are getting something out of this other than the financial aspects.
Mr. SIMMONS. And Denmark, what is their technical contributions?
Mr. Li. Well, I cannot answer that. I do not know specifically.
Mr. SIMMONS. Norway, anything from them? No?
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman.
You know, there is really a simply analysis here that gets at the heart of our problem, and I use this frequently in speeches. The reason why we have a problem today is that we have increased defense dollars.
But if you look at what we are spending today versus what we spent, say 30, 40, 50 years ago, when John Kennedy was the President, we were spending 52 cents of every Federal tax dollar on the military. That was 9 percent of our gross national product. Today we are spending about 17 cents of the Federal tax dollar on the military, a little over 3 percent of our GNP.
When John Kennedy was the President, we had a draft. We paid our military personnel next to nothing. Today, quality of life is a major cost driver because we have an all-volunteer force.
When John Kennedy was the President, we had nothing called environmental mitigation. That is $12 billion out of this year's defense budget to, in many cases, pay communities to try to find re-use strategies for old sites.
So the problem is, if you compare today versus what it was back then, it is impossible for us to do what we want to do, especially trying to compare to what we did back in World War II or another age when we were able to meet the modernization needs quickly.
And it is a frustrating problem for us, but it is something we have to come to grips with because we have to provide the answers.
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Mr. Larson is recognized.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding these timely hearings.
I want to associate myself with the remarks of my colleague from Connecticut.
And I only have one question for this panel. And I certainly appreciate the work that GAO does and the effort that you have put forward.
But what makes it difficult for policymakers is that we engage our armed services, we engage our companies, and we ask them to be cutting age. We ask them to make sure that they are able to produce the best possible equipment necessary to defend this nation.
And in the process, if you look back at the F/A22, the Joint Strike Fighter, and what we required of our various companies at its inception in many cases were technologies that had not been clearly developed.
But we knew in terms of the optimal defense and our optimal capability for our armed services that we would need these requirements in the future.
So I am a little concerned that, noting that there are going to be problems and there are going to be trials that they go through, which you point out, but from the letter sent to the committee, we just received one page of the changes and conditions.
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So I would like to ask unanimous consent, if I might, Mr. Chairman, to submit for the record, DOD's full response to the questions that GAO had raised, and just ask why you did not include the more fuller response on the part of DOD.
Noting that a lot of times the GAO is involved in looking at things, by the time you come up to the Hill to testify, a lot of these things have been worked through.
Mr. WELDON. Without objection, it is ordered and will be part of the record.
Mr. ISRAEL. Will the gentleman yield for one moment on this?
We did ask OSD, by the way, to have a witness here. They were invited to send a witness, but evidently the person we asked could not make the hearing, but they were invited to be here.
Mr. Li. I would like to respond, Mr. Israel.
Thank you very much for that question. It gives me an opportunity to talk about our quality assurance process.
Within our quality assurance process, when we produce a report, you know, draft report, it is provided, as you indicated, to the agency for comment. The DOD provided a comment, and their formal comment is one that I published at the back of the report.
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The technical comments, and those are the ones that you refer to, are some that they identify as things that they want us to consider.
We made some changes based upon our appreciation for whether or not those wereand there was substantiation for thoseif those were in line with some of the things that we had found during our work. We have made those modifications.
But in some cases, we did not because we did not think that the body of evidence that was provided to us during the course of our work justified them.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you. I will be anxious to hear from the second panel.
Mr. WELDON. I thank the gentleman for his questions.
My good friend, Mr. Ortiz?
Mr. ORTIZ. I do not have any questions for this panel at this moment. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Mr. ranking Member.
I know Mr. Schrock has a comment. I would just like to ask one other question, and I am going to be very blunt with this and I would hope that you would answer it in a very blunt manner, as well.
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I am concerned, because part of my opening statement was the electronic combat mission area where we talked about four platforms, we are going from one platform, the E/A6 to at least fourE/A18, B52, miniature air launch decoys and Joint Strike Fighter derivative. And there actually is a fifth, which is the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System.
And what appears to be, from our perspective, as I referred to it, the orphaning by the Air Force and the Navy of a $700 million program to DARPA$700 million program taken over by DARPA.
I would look as someone who you might think is not an expert in this area that perhaps the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System could in fact help us with the cost factors in our tactical aviation programs that we are now having to debate and discuss for the future, in terms of maybe reducing costs.
Is there a bias that you see in the services against pursuing unmanned capabilities versus manned capabilities? Did you look at this enough that you could tell us whether or not that was a part of the factor as to why the Navy and the Air Force transferred this $700 million program to DARPA?
Mr. SULLIVAN. You are referring to UCAV, or what is now called JUCAS. We did some work on that. I think we issued a report on that about a year ago.
And just briefly from our perspective, one of the problems that UCAV was havingwe did not detect any bias on the part of the services against UAVs.
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But again, I think you go back to the fact that one of the problems that the services were having, as they have oftentimes with joint programs, is a requirements issue, and also kind of a cultural issue I think in terms of trying to get performance.
You know, the Air Force wants basically an unmanned U2 kind of a platform, and the Navy has a lot of Broad Data Maritime Surveillance (BAMs) requirements that they have to take care of, coastline requirements and things.
And what we saw happen on that was requirements really were getting ratcheted up to a point where it was becoming an unviable program.
And we saw really that DOD had a UAV task force that kind of was involved in that. We see some positive things that can come out of some perhaps new relationship between an organization like DARPA and the services.
But certainly services have to be an empowered partner with anything.
There are a lot of technologies that have to be managed for UCAV to work properly and to be able to make it through this evolutionary kind of knowledge-based acquisition.
And we saw some benefits to having an organization like DARPA in charge of that at this time, kind of a pre-acquisition manager of technologies, if you will, as opposed to an acquisition program.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC But we would say that the services always have to be very well represented and with a lot of power on that team.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Li, I am going to ask you to do something for this committee, and it is based on the confidence that we have in the work that you have done. And it refers back to what I said in my opening comments in my question.
I am going to ask you, since we think that you are unbiased and very technically competent, to put together what you would call your dream team of independent entities who could come together and look at the whole tactical aviation need and to make recommendations if we were to assemble, and I won't call it blue ribbon because that is too commonly used.
I am talking about a team that can step back for us, based on what the funding profile is going to be, both the low number and the high number, and the needs and priorities that each of the services have, their missions, and with the available dollars thatand I do not ever like to see a defense needs addressed by a budget number, that is always artificial, but in fact that is what happens.
And also to include in thatand this is not in particular your areabut the UCAV, the unmanned capability, and come back to us with what your recommendation would be if we had an independent assessment to be done, who would be a part of that.
You know what think tanks are specialized most aggressively in these areas. You know which ones have the expertise in working with the GAO.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Make a recommendation to us for a short-term look, not some lengthy, multi-year study, but a short-term look that we can benefit from. Maybe it won't be exactly what we need, but I think we could benefit greatly from that combined effort.
Mr. Li. We will work with your staff on that, sir.
Mr. WELDON. Mr. Schrock, you want to make another final comment?
Mr. SCHROCK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, let me make one comment.
I cannot disagree with anything anybody has said up here today. But I do not know how many of you noticed what Mr. Forbes said that really rang with me, when he said there are a lot of small companies out there that come in his doors and they have developed programs or technologies that can do things better, quicker, more efficiently, and they do not get much attention. And I know that to be the case.
The case I know about of a company has developed a piece of equipment that could be used for one of the service platforms that a big company makes, and the big company told the little company, ''Our congressman is more senior than your congressman and it is not going to help.''
I was the junior congressman. And that is true, I am junior, I know that, I am not stupid. But the problem is, that is the problem. We have got to let some of these guys get in there and show what they can do. And if they can do it quicker, they can do it cheaper, cost per unit, we ought to be looking at these guys.
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And I do not blame the services for that. Not at all. That is our fault. That is our fault. And we need to get that under control. But how we do that is a mystery to me. But I absolutely agree with what Mr. Forbes said.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. WELDON. I thank my colleague.
And with that, I would say we conclude our testimony. Would GAO reps be able to stay around for the second round?
Mr. Li. Sure.
Mr. WELDON. We appreciate that.
We will now proceed to our second panel of distinguished military leaders, who we invite to the table. I have already introduced each of them, so we will just bring the panelists up.
And as our panelists come forward, I would again make the statement: Your written statement will be entered as a part of the record without objection.
And I would ask you to give us your verbal statements as succinctly as possible, yet making all the points you want to make, so that we allow maximum time for questions.
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And we appreciate you all being here.
We appreciate, again, all of you being here. And for our men and women in uniform, let us just tell you again how proud we are of the job that you all are doing.
Almost all of us have been in-theater recently in both Iraq, Afghanistan, and we have seen the quality of our troops. And, as always, it is second to none. They are well trained. They are doing an outstanding job.
Our job is to give them, with the dollars we have available, the best technology that we can provide. We constantly fight for more. But, unfortunately, that does not seem to always win the day.
So given all that, we look forward to your statements.
We will start with Secretary Young. The floor is yours.
STATEMENTS OF HON. JOHN J. YOUNG, JR., ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND ACQUSITION) DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY; VICE ADM. (VADM) JOHN B. NATHMAN, DEPUTY CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS, WARFARE REQUIREMENTS AND PROGRAMS, (N7) UNITED STATES NAVY; LT. GEN. MICHAEL A. HOUGH, DEPUTY COMMANDANT FOR AVIATION, U.S. MARINE CORPS; HON. MARVIN R. SAMBUR, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE (ACQUSITION) DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE AND LT. GEN. RONALD E. KEYS, DEPUTY CHIEF OF STAFF FOR AIR AND SPACE OPERATIONS, UNITED STATES AIR FORCE
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Secretary YOUNG. Mr. Chairman, Members of the subcommittee, it is a great privilege to appear before the subcommittee to discuss the status of Navy and Marine Corps aviation programs in the fiscal year 2005 budget requests.
As you noted, Admiral Nathman and Lieutenant General Hough are here with me today on behalf of the Department of the Navy.
Your Navy and Marine Corps team's stellar performance in the Global War on Terrorism, Operations Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Iraqi Freedom (OIF), last year underscored the high return on investment in our combat readiness, our people and our unique maritime war-fighting capabilities.
As you know, the fiscal year 2005 request includes funds for 108 aircraft, reflecting the continuous successful efforts by the Department of the Navy to increase the number of aircraft we are purchasing.
Within these efforts, as has been discussed this morning, it is also important to improve how we buy aircraft and combat air systems.
The Congress's steady calls for jointness and discipline in acquisition and support of new initiatives has enable the Department of the Navy to take a different approach to contracts. I would like to emphasize some key examples.
Congress's support of multi-year contracts for F/A18E/F, KC130J and E2C have allowed us to stabilize budgets and work with our industry partners to control costs.
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The Department has worked to link incentives to performance in order to measure and reward performance and focus management attention on problems. Such incentives have helped the H1 upgrade program recover from a Nunn-McCurdy cost breach.
In new contracts we have worked to shift fee to the later phases of the program where we can more accurately measure and reward results.
Secretary Sambur and I have worked together successfully on Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS), Joint Stike Fighter and C4 systems to further improve jointness and create joint programs.
Fiscal year 2005, the President's budget request attempts to balance continued recapitalization in obtaining new capabilities and reducing operating costs while simultaneously sustaining the legacy fleet aircraft that are performing magnificently in current operations.
We started to fully fund our aircraft production programs, while adding funds to develop important new capabilities, such as Joint Strike Fighter, the advanced Hawkeye, the E18G and the multi-mission maritime aircraft.
The Joint Strike Fighter, as was discussed today, provides naval forces with greater survivability, commonality, range and capability.
The air system preliminary design review was completed in June 2003. The first F35 production engines successfully began testing in October, The short take off and verticle Landing (S/TOVL) lift system will begin testing in April.
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And over 70 percent of the production drawings have been released for the first conventional take off and verticle landing (C/TOVL) air vehicle.
The Department decided to allocate approximately one additional year to the design effort in order to refine the three variant designs and deliver great capability to the war-fighter.
The V22 flight test program is proceeding with discipline and continues to successfully demonstrate that platform's transformational capability.
The budget provides funds to sustain the P3 fleet, which has been extremely active in contingency operations, as we also move ahead with the development of the multi-mission maritime aircraft to replace the aging P3 fleet.
Finally, the broad area maritime surveillance system provides a multi-sensor, persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance UAV, or unmanned air vehicle, that will be capable of operating in maritime and littoral areas.
The Department has determined that there are at least three candidates which can potentially meet the BAMs requirement, so the Navy is proceeding with a competitive program.
All these programs contribute to an integrated warfare strategy which relies on knowledge, persistence and precision to bring combat power to bear on an adversary at rates faster than the enemy's response and reaction times.
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Even as we plan for the future, we are also focused on the challenges of today.
In support of the first Marine Expeditionary Forces return to Iraq, which is under way as we speak, and in support of deployed Marines in Afghanistan, the acquisition team has worked with 1-MEF to install aircraft survivability equipment on helicopters, to add armor kits to vehicles and to provide systems to address the improvised explosive device (IED) threat.
Secretary England directed the establishment of a formalized process we call Operation Respond to rapidly react to technological and material requirements generated by our deployed Marines.
A senior Navy and Marine Corps team chaired by Lieutenant General Hanlon and myself will review and coordinate technical and material requirements for deployed Marine units and utilize the engineering experience throughout the Department of the Navy and industry to expedite the best solutions available to counter evolving threats in-theater.
Mr. Chairman, out of respect for the subcommittee, I will stop, leaving much more to say. You and the Members of the committee have been key factors in all of this progress, and I offer my great thanks on behalf of myself, the department and the sailors and Marines who rely on the equipment we acquire.
Congressional support of our aviation plan is essential to achieving the vision that lies ahead, and I thank you for your consideration.
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[The prepared statement of Secretary Young can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Secretary Young.
Before I turn to Dr. Sambur, this is for my colleagues and for our witnesses, I just got e-mailed and I expect that we will have a series of votes sometime between 11:15 and 11:45. There will be at least four votes and possibly five.
So the intention of the chair is, if we can do this, to finish the panelistswe only have one more witnessand then go right into questions and finish the hearing before that series of votes, because otherwise I think we will not have members return.
And so, keep that time frame in mind, that we want to finish before that series starts, which I would expect will probably be around 11:30, 11:45.
With that we will turn to Dr. Sambur.
Secretary SAMBUR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity to discuss with you and your subcommittee the acquisition plans and status of our tactical weapons systems programs. Mr. Chairman, I request that my oral statement be made part of the official record.
Mr. WELDON. Without objection.
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Secretary SAMBUR. Thank you.
Let me start with the F/A22.
In the F/A22 Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) this week, the acting Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) was ''very encouraged by the program's progress'' and saw ''no impediments to entering Initial Operation Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) in the April time frame.''
The program completed phase one of its operational testing on February 20, and while the Air Force's operational test and evaluation center has not formally completed their analysis, the Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) commander characterized the jet's effectiveness as ''very impressive.''
In particular, during recent training missions with simulated air-to-air engagements, a force ship of Raptors has been clearing the skies of adversaries in a matter of minutes. In trials pitting four F/A22s versus eight F15Cs, all the adversaries were killed before a single missile could be launched from any of the F15s, our current number one fighter.
The program has also made tremendous strides improving avionic software stability. Avionic startup is no longer an issue, and total system reboots that plagued the program last year no longer occur.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Overall stability has improved more than tenfold, with the stability measure of effectiveness now exceeding the required threshold of five hours.
The development program is nearing completion and there are just a handful of final details required before beginning IOT&E.
While the F/A22 production delivery rate is not yet to our satisfaction, we are implementing numerous producability improvements that have pointed us in the right direction and have resulted in a more credible replanned scheduled.
Although every delivery may not happen exactly as planned, we are very confident that total F/A-22 Raptor production will recover to the original schedule before Lot 4 deliveries begin.
As another piece of F/A22 good news, we have reached verbal agreement on Lot 4 production for 22 jets, exactly on the required target price curve, showing that program stability and management attention pays big dividends.
On the munitions side, the Air Force successfully demonstrated the power up, data transfer, launch and impact accuracy of 80, that is 80, independently targeted 500-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) from a single B2 bomber. In practical terms, this translates into the ability to destroy an entire enemy airfield in a single pass or to attack up to 80 individually, independent targets on a given sortie.
In addition, the JDAM program recently achieved the 3,000 kits per month milestone necessary to sustain peak consumption and replenish stock. This represents a two-fold increase in production rates and a little more than one year.
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Your letter of invitation specifically called for some testimony on a couple of other topics. So allow me to touch upon those at this time.
The E10A, on a wide body platform is the DOD's onlysolution that satisfies the fiscal year 20042009 Defense Program Guidance (DPG)-directed and Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC)-approved cruise missile defense requirement. It is also a key node of the joint theater air and missile defense architecture, enabling rapid joint decisionmaking to shorten the kill chain.
The needs for this capability, with its reduced operational legacy, was illustrated in Operation Iraqi Freedom where soldiers had 1.5 minutes to detect, decide and engage Scud missiles, in contrast to the 4.5 minute time line experienced in Desert Storm.
The E10A program was realigned to fully fund the Multi-Platform Reader Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) sensor development with an existing budget and will deliver the first two aircraft by 2012.
This year we began our airborne electronic attack program. Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) is to be a system of systems that provide critical nonkinetic standoff and close-in capabilities against threat radar systems.
Components include the B52 SOJ for standoff jamming, the EA18G for close-in jamming, the EC130H compass call for communication jamming, and the MALJ for penetration jamming in concert with deep-reach electronic attack JUCAS.
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The B52 standoff jammer is a fiscal year 2005 new start program.
With regards to the intersection of the 2002 aerospace communication recommendations, an Air Force acquisition, I am happy to report that in many cases we are already headed in the same direction.
For example, the commission recommends endorsing the use of spiral development, which happens to be the preferred Air Force approach to acquisitions.
The Air Force views this as the best way to transition capability to the war-fighter fastest with the corollary benefits as expressed in the commission's report.
As for the long-term concerns about competition and overall health of the industrial base, we believe the Air Force is still well supported by the industrial defense industry.
We will continue to balance this need for competition with the need to support domestic sources as dictated by law.
Additionally, in those areas where there is an immediate concern about the availability of domestic sources, we participate in the DOD approach that calls for establishing a trusted foundry to ensure a source is available when needed by the department.
In closing, I wish to reiterate that Air Force acquisition has had a very successful year.
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And General Keys, the operational individual from Air Force and I are very glad to take your questions at this time.
[The prepared statement of Secretary Sambur can be viewed in the hard copy.]
Mr. WELDON. Thank you, Dr. Sambur.
I am going to ask one question. I have to apologize. I have to leave briefly at 11 for a quick appearance, and Dr. Gingrey is going to take over the chair during that time period until I return.
But I have one question I want to ask and this is to, well, it is to all of you, but it is aimed mainly at the Air Force.
Because as reported in one of our publications today, Air Force Secretary Roche suggested to the Appropriations Committee that the Air Force's support for Joint Strike Fighter may decline if the program cannot overcome design difficulties for the STOVL variant, considered the most technologically challenging.
What is the Air Force's alternative if the Air Force basically has a problem in supporting the Joint Strike Fighter? What is the solution for the Marines?
Secretary SAMBUR. Are you asking the Air Force?
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Mr. WELDON. Yes, the Air Force, because Secretary Roche made the statement.
Secretary SAMBUR. I would like General Keys to handle that as the operational end of this.
Mr. WELDON. It is on you, General.
General KEYS. It is a fair question. And the answer is, if we cannot build it we are not going to buy it. So if it does not meet the specifications, I do not think my Marine colleagues would be interested in an airplane that would not meet their qualifications.
Mr. WELDON. What should the Marines do?
General KEYS. Excuse me?
Mr. WELDON. What would the Marines do then, if we do not
General KEYS. I would have to ask them exactly what their approach would be.
Mr. WELDON. I would too, but since Secretary Roche made the statement, I think, since we are all one military, we ought to also looksince the Marine Corps considered this to be one of their top priorities. I will ask the Marine Corps.
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You have heard the statement of Secretary Roche that if we cannot work out this design problem, then perhaps the Joint Strike Fighter is a program maybe that the Air Force cannot support.
General, what do you say, or Secretary Young or Admiral?
The Marine Corps, what would you do if the Air Force, in its own wisdom, decides that we cannot overcome this technology issue?
General KEYS. Well, sir, I would like to just clarify.
We have no intention of making a separate bolt from the barn on this. I mean, this is a joint program and
Mr. WELDON. That is why I asked you to respond and you said you would have to ask the Marine Corps.
General KEYS. No. What I said was, if it does not work, none of us are going to buy it.
Mr. WELDON. Well, obviously we are not going to buy it, either.
General KEYS. Now, if we cannot buy it, if we cannot make it work, then the question of now what is the backup plan, we know the off-ramps that we believe that we have for the Air Force fighters that we have.
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The off-ramp for the Marines is an off-ramp that I am sure they are looking at and are prepared to build.
Mr. WELDON. Here is my concern, General, and I will get right to the nut, which I frequently do.
If push comes to shove, I think the Air Force would take the F/A22 over the Joint Strike Fighterif push comes to shove, and one of those programs is going to be canceled.
And if that becomes a decision, and if the Air Force decidesmaybe that is not the case. Maybe it is an equal support.
But my gut feeling is the Air Force would go for the F/A22 over the Joint Strike Fighter if we had to cut a program this year or next year or over the next five years.
That leaves the Marine Corps, then, in a bind, and so my question is: What do we do with the Marine Corps?
Secretary SAMBUR. I think, if I can just elaborate a little bit, I think that the issue that Secretary Roche was talking about was hypothetical. It is basically
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. WELDON. Well, they are all hypothetical, but they are all based onthe Comanche decision was hypothetical a year ago; it is a reality today.
Secretary SAMBUR. Well, I think if you use the word reality, the F/A22 is a reality. We are flying the F/A22. It is not, to use an expression, a viewgraph presentation, which the JSF, not to imply is. And I would just indicate to you I think we will get there.
But the fact of the matter is, I cannot comment on his statement.
The F/A22 is reality. We are seeing very impressive results. It is in training. It will start IOT&E. It is several years ahead of the Joint Strike Fighter.
So Dr. Roche comments are basically intended to indicate that if you want to make that analogybecause the F/A22 is here, but we are not pulling away from our commitment with respect to Joint Strike Fighter.
Mr. WELDON. Dr. Sambur, can the Marines use the F/A22 to complete their mission requirements?
Secretary SAMBUR. No, the Marines cannot use the F/AI cannot speak for the Marines, but
Mr. WELDON. If we have to make a decision and push comes to shoveand I have seen this before 100 times. I saw it when the B2 programwe were not able to fund it and so there were tough decisions had to be made.
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My gut feeling is, the Air Force would take the F/A22 for exactly the reasons you mentioned.
But that leaves, if we listen to the Marine Corps and the Navy, a mission that goes unfulfilled.
We cannot make that decision in a vacuum because this airplane is here, if the Marine Corps tell us they have to have a platform to meet their mission.
And so I am asking for you what the response is, based on the testimony of Secretary Roche.
Any of our three friends from the Navy, the Marine Corps that want to answer the question can chime in.
And I know this is a perhaps putting you on the spot, but that is what we have to hear.
You put us on the spot all the time, dollar-wise.
Secretary YOUNG. There is nothing we see that says the Joint Strike Fighter will not work. The Joint Strike Fighter enables concepts of operations that none of today's legacy aircraft can accomplish.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Will we potentially go through additional problems and will we compromise to a small degree some of those operational contests? We may have to sit down and have that discussion. But those contests are not enabled by any of today's fighters.
So when we encounter some of those challenges and work our way through themthat was the decision that was made this yearit is in the interest of the department to spend money on something that will provide 2,400 airplanes for three services, as opposed to the other options that do not accomplish that broad a span and those quantities.
This plane, Joint Strike Fighter, will fight in the 20402050 time frame. All the options, aside from that, would lead the services to fly 1980's technology-type aircraft in the 2040 time frame.
Mr. WELDON. Don't get me wrong, Mr. Secretary, I strongly support the Joint Strike Fighter. In fact, I think it is the way we should be going.
I think it is ridiculous that each service has its own program if we can in fact find a common ground that meets all the needs.
But you heard what the secretary saidand this is going to be the argumentthe F/A22 is here, we are flying it. This is just a viewgraph, to use the word.
And the point is, Members will grab onto those statements and that will be what we have to deal with in the Congress, ''Well, the F/A22 is here, we have got labor unions who are building it, we have got companies who are building it, and this Joint Strike Fighter program, well, it may happen.''
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But you do not have the political clout to support something that ismaybe three years from now versus what is hereand that is a practical reality we have to deal with. We have to deal with that and that is a reality.
General, I will give you a chance to make the case, and, Admiral, you also.
Secretary SAMBUR. Mr. Chairman, may I just
Mr. WELDON. Well, let them answer first and then you can respond, Dr. Sambur.
General HOUGH. Sir, the Joint Strike Fighter is going to serve the needs of a lot of people around the world. There is no hard cash to build another one outside of what has already been built. That is the future, that is number one.
Two, S/TOVL airplanes: Unless that F/A22 can hover, I cannot use it. The reason is: For fifty years, the Marine Corps has had no S/TOVL force which gave us the flexibility to be expeditionary from the sea with the flexibility of air-shore.
That concept with the Model T, which was the AV8, has worked impeccably well. It is the future, without a shadow of a doubt, to be able to land on five times more runways throughout the world in these very crude places that we have to go to.
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Just to give you a quick example of why the need for this airplane is crucial for the Marine Corps and the way we do business from the sea: It is a MAGTF, Marine Air/Ground Task Force.
We were in Bagram. We had six Harriers. They flew 50 hours a month per airplane. Flew only at night for the most part, dropped 90,000 pounds of ordinance.
They landed in pitch black and took off in pitch black with night vision goggles. Only could use 90 feet of runway in width, which is about the size of this room at the most, because the other part of the runway was torn up.
Why did we use the AV8, exclusively, in a mile-high runway. Why?
We had one F18 there, and they said, ''Don't ever bring this back. It will throw up too much fire. You are going to fry the motors.''
It is an old runway that is being broken up, gets bombed out, shelled out, rocketed out.
Therefore, only half that runway can be used, and at most, at any one time, since it is a mile high, you need 4,000 feet, 3,800 feet, to take off and land.
Every time a C17 did land, it fouled the runway, 22 pounds of rocks, big rocks.
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The A10, great machine, cannot land there. I mean, cannot operate off there if it loses a motor because it does not have any margin not to run off the runway.
The point is: The flexibility of the AV8, S/TOVL airplane, in that environment, where we may be for many, years, and in other places just like it, provides the response time, the generation rate, to U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and anybody else that used it.
And I think I am going to take 12 more airplanes over there in September and do this again for a yearfor many years to come.
It is just basically the future on the way we are going to do business for the next four years, as the Secretary said.
Mr. WELDON. Now, I will give Dr. SamburI did not mean to cut you off. But you are seeing the pressure we are under.
Secretary SAMBUR. I understand that.
Mr. WELDON. We have two programs that are operational now in aircraft: the F/A18E/F and the F/A22. They have a natural advantage over the Joint Strike Fighter because they have constituent bases. And the services know that, and they can turn them on for that support.
Page 90 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If the financial pressure in tactical aviation continues to grow the way it is, something is going to give. And the most likely candidate, if you look at political pressure, would be something that does not exist yet, which is the point you made in your statement.
Secretary SAMBUR. Well, I just want to re-characterize this, because you have given us a choice of cut off my right arm or cut off our left arm.
I want to make sure that you understand that the F/A22 and the Joint Strike Fighter are complementary. You know, there is not a difference in terms of, you know, we are developing one plane and the Joint Strike Fighter is for different requirement bases.
They are both complementary and they are both needed.
And we are committed in the Air Force to both planes. And I think Dr. Roche was only indicating that the S/TOVL is an area of concern for him.
It is a hypothetical question, very hypothetical. But I will tell you, our position within the Air Force is we need both planesperiod.
Mr. WELDON. I appreciate you clarifying that.
And I would just say, we are not trying to box Dr. Roche in, but when he makes a statement like that before the appropriators, people in this city read into that all the time.
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Secretary SAMBUR. I understand, I understand.
Mr. WELDON. And whether he meant that to be or not, that is being read into.
Secretary SAMBUR. And your comments about the financial doomsday occurring is certainly well understood and appreciated.
Mr. WELDON. Thank you both.
And I will now turn it over to my fill-in, who is going to act as chairman and do his questioning until I return.
Dr. GINGREY [presiding]. Thank you, Mr. ChairmanI think.
Dr. Sambur and General Keys, it is great to see you, and I thank you for taking some of your valuable time to be with us this morning.
I think it would be extremely helpfuland actually, Dr. Sambur, I think you have already commented, but if you do not mind, I will ask you to maybe repeat some of your previous statements.
I think it would be extremely helpful for you to briefly develop your summary of the F/A22 program.
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And I understand that the Defense Acquisition Board reviewed the F/A22 program on 22 March and gave approval for the program to enter initial operational tests and evaluation on 30 April, pending the resolution of a few minor issues.
If you will, can you discuss DAB's recent action and what you think it means for the stability and the future of the program?
Secretary SAMBUR. Well, I think it means a significant amount for the stability of this program.
You know, we talked in the previous session about why some programs take so long. And we did a study to find out exactly what wasone of the primary reasons for why programs get off track is because of instability in funding. And I think one of the things that is very necessary for this program is to maintain the funding stability.
We have done what we said last yearwe re-baselined the program, we got ourselves back on track with respect to the development, we will not overrun that budget, we will achieve for Lot 4 22 aircraft, exactly as we predicted, we would achieve within the budget, we are on that target price curve.
So we are meeting our commitments.
And I think what the DAB said is that they were very encouraged. There are no impediment to going forward.
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And I think there is a general belief right now that the program has turned the corner. And with Congress's ability to keep the funding stable, we will get the planes delivered for IOC in 2005, which will be a tremendous ability to keep air dominance and keep our country safe and secure.
Dr. GINGREY. General Keys, and again, I think Dr. Sambur had just touched on this in his earlier testimony. But it is my understanding that the F/A22 recently participated in simulated combat missions against F15s at Edwards Air Force Base, and I think it was an 8 to 4 advantage in numbers for the F15s.
And, General, could you share those early results of these engagements and maybe briefly comment on theit is been brought up many times, of course, in Mr. Li's testimony in regard to the problem with the avionic stability that certainly a year ago was, I think, a lot more serious than it is today. Maybe you could comment on that for us as well.
General KEYS. Sure, the bottom line is, they all died. And I would say that most of them died without ever firing a shot.
So as far as performance, the capability of the airplane, the pilots, have nothing bad to say about the airplane.
I have 4,000 hours flying fighters, for example, and I have never flown a fighter that at some point you did not get a bit light.
Page 94 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The question is: What is the implication of having that bit light. If the air-to-air interrogator light comes on in the middle of a run, the bottom line was they all died.
So, I think we have turned a corner on the software stability. Just for the instabilities that the pilot does not even see, we are well over the minimum. And for those critical instabilities that can be detected, we are up around 20 hours.
No one is going to fly this thing for 20 hours, so we believe we are on the right curve.
We have doubled the aircraft generation rate from October 2003. It is about .7 sorties per day on the airplane.
We have flown a number of days where we have taken four airplanes and turned them three times successfully. That says a lot about an airplane.
Because when we are turning them, we are turning with all the systems working because we are running test burn-down points.
So the reports that I have, talking personally with the pilots, they are extremely happy with the airplane. I think we are on the right road.
Dr. GINGREY. And, again, continuing in regard to that avionics problem, because, you know, that obviously is a pretty serious issue, or has been a very serious issue, and a great concern of this committee. And, of course, GAO pointed that out to us last year and again this year.
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But it sounds as if there may be some discrepancy in what the previous panel said, Mr. Li and Mr. Sullivan, in regard to that requirement of five hours, meeting that Congressional requirement that was I guess in the 2004 defense authorization markup that we did here a year ago.
And it sounds like what you are saying is that not only has the Air Forceor the F/A22 Raptor met that requirement, but it has actually far surpassed it. Is that not correct?
General KEYS. I think in fairness to them, I believe their report probably closed out asyou know, this is a moving target, as we are improving, and so at the point when they finish their report, we were not that far along.
Secretary SAMBUR. I think there is a little bit of confusion about the metrics.
There are two metrics: one that you indicated with respect to the Congressional metrics for the go ahead. As I indicated, there are two metrics and there is a little bit of confusion about what each of these metrics means.
The metric that Congress has held us to is a five-hour between critical failures. These are the type one, type two failures.
In testing right now, we are about 11.2 hours, significantly better than five.
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The other numberwhich is mentioned I believe in the GAO report, which was about two, which is now six hours since then and has been validated by the DABis a measure of the effectiveness of doing the IOT&E.
It is not a metric that is a key performance parameter, but is really a metric that the test community imposed upon the F/A22 in order to get through the IOT&E in a expedited fashion.
And we are now at 6.1 versus the five-hour metric. So on both of those metrics, the congressional one we are way above, and the one that the test community has imposed upon, we are well above.
And as I mentioned in my report, the test community within the Air Force deemed the effectiveness, which is all important, was deemed very impressive. I have never heard an AFOTEC commander come in and ever use anything better than it is okay.
Dr. GINGREY. Dr. Sambur, thank you. We are running out of time.
We have got I think just a few minutes left before our first vote, and I did want to recognize my colleague, the gentleman from Connecticut, Mr. Larson.
Mr. LARSON. Thank you.
I want to thank the gentleman from Georgia, and I will just associate myself with his remarks and seek written confirmation on the questions I would pose from the Members of the panel.
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Let me acknowledge that I have enormous respect for GAO, and I think in many respects they help everybody sharpen their focus and pencils and perform an extraordinary job.
I did feel that with the more than 40 responses that DOD provided, that I wanted to hear your opinion, if you felt that their report reflected the detail in which you responded, number one.
Number two, proud to hear of the performance of the F/A22. And also, specifically, there are Members on the Hill that believe that because of the enormous success that we have had in the field that we can just simply bolt on technology to F15s and F16s, which simply cannot work, and therefore the need for these programs, including the Joint Strike Fighter as well.
And would only ask that because of the questions raised by Mr. Weldon, and I associate myself with his remarks and ask for a response, jointly, from the armed services about the need and the commitment for that program.
And I thank you for your time.
Dr. GINGREY. I thank the gentleman.
I would just, in closing, like to thank all of the panelists: Admiral Nathman, Secretary Young, General Hough, Dr. Sambur, and General Keys.
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And Mr. Li, Mr. Sullivan, thank you so much.
I think it was a great hearing. And I commend the chairman for holding this hearing.
And as we continue to look very closely at the kind of oversight that the GAO has given us in this program and others, and I associate myself with the remarks of the chairman. But I am a strong advocate and I think the testimony here today indicates that we need not just one of these planes but both of them.
And I thank you both for your testimonyall of you for your testimony.
Thank you very much.
Meeting is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:10 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned.]