GAO Faults JSF Engine Cut

The GAO agrees with lawmakers who have questioned the Pentagon’s underlying motives in canceling the second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter program. In a new analysis, the Congressional watchdog agency states: The decision “was driven by the need to identify sources of funding in order to pay for other priorities. … The department did not conduct a new and comprehensive analysis. … Officials focused only on the potential up-front savings.” In other words, the decision-making smelled. In truth, Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne suggested that the decision was budget-driven, telling lawmakers earlier this year, that he worried about the practical side of placing reliance upon a single engine for some 6,000 or so fighters (2,400 for DOD and potentially 3,500 international). DOD calls the GAO analysis “misleading in a number of respects.” Ahem.