Air Force investigates potential F/A-22 cost overrun

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Air Force officials announced Nov. 7 a potential cost overrun of up to $690 million in the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the F/A-22 program.

The potential overrun appears to be related to achieving cost and schedule in the developmental phase of the program, officials said. It is not related to its technology or performance. The aircraft continues to perform superbly in all tests and remains on schedule for first aircraft delivery in 2004 and initial operational capability in 2005 as planned, according to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper.

Dr. Marvin Sambur, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, has appointed a team of technical and financial experts from industry and the Air Force to investigate the matter, determine its magnitude, and recommend steps to mitigate further problems. The team, led by John Ogg, director of the engineering and technical management directorate at the Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, will report initial findings later this month.

"The F/A-22 is essential to America's security in the 21st century, and we will get to the bottom of this issue, " Jumper said.