Program Costs Ups and Downs

The projected program costs of the Air Force’s extended-range Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile have decreased from $4.4 billion to $3.8 billion, according to the Pentagon’s latest selected acquisition reports. The cost drop is due primarily to the Air Force accelerating its planned buy of 2,531 JASSM-ERs, which shortened the program by five years to Fiscal 2023, state the SARs, which run through December 2011 and supersede the previous set of estimates through December 2010. The SARs also show that Small Diameter Bomb II program costs have decreased by $994 million to $4.2 billion due to more accurate contract pricing. They also reflect the $4.5 billion that the Air Force expects to save by canceling the Block 30 configuration of the RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft. This move strips 31 Global Hawks from the 55-aircraft program of record. Costs of the Wideband Global Satellite Communications program have gone up by $358 million to $3.87 billion to reflect the addition of an eighth satellite, state the SARs. SARs provide Congress with estimates of cost, schedule, and performance status for the Pentagon’s major weapons systems. (SARs table) (See also F-35 Costs Rise in Latest Pentagon Estimate.)