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3月16日付、「Defence Talk」に「AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE」からの、
「ペンタゴンは、490億ドル以上を支払って、[424 Joint Strike Fighters ]という戦闘機を、完全テストなしで購入予定との発表を15日に行った」
Pentagon Plans To Buy JSF Fighters Without Full Testing: Audit
Thu, 16 Mar 2006, 00:47
The Pentagon plans to buy 424 Joint Strike Fighters at a cost of more than $49 billion before the next generation fighter has been fully flight-tested, according to a U.S. congressional audit released March 15.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the Pentagon’s acquisition strategy for its most expensive aircraft program is risky and would leave U.S. taxpayers covering the cost if anything goes awry.
“Producing aircraft before testing demonstrates the design is mature increases the likelihood of design changes that will lead to cost growth, schedule delays and performance problems,” the report said.
It recommended that the Pentagon delay procurement of the aircraft until flight testing shows that it will perform as expected.
Using a chart depicting the overlap of production and testing schedules, the GAO showed that the Pentagon will have spent $49.3 billion for 424 of the fighter aircraft by 2013, but flight testing will only be 98 percent complete by then.
The GAO also recommended that the Pentagon develop the aircraft in stages, rather than attempt to develop and deliver it in a single-step, 12-year development program.
The current approach is “a daunting task given the need to incorporate the technological advances that, according to DoD (Department of Defense), represent a quantum leap in capability,” the report stated.
Development costs for the aircraft already have increased by 84 percent, planned purchases have gone down by 535 aircraft and the schedule for developing it has been extended by five years, according to the report.
Lockheed Martin won the competition to develop the fighter in 2001. The first five aircraft are supposed to roll off production lines next year.
The program is jointly funded by the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and eight international partners.
It is being developed in three variants — one designed for conventional take-offs and landings for the Air Force; another for carrier landings and takeoffs for the Navy; and a third for short take offs and vertical landings for the Marines and Great Britain.
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