SASC Wants More F-22 Oversight

The Senate Armed Services Committee wants more oversight of the way the Air Force handles its F-22 modernization activities, according to the committee’s report accompanying the Senate’s draft version of the defense authorization bill. The committee wants the Air Force to report regularly on the status of its F–22 modernization and upgrade programs via the mechanism that the Pentagon uses to keep Congress apprised of the status of the major defense acquisition programs: the selected acquisition reports. This is due to factors, including the fact that “there could be as much as $11.7 billion remaining to be spent” on defined F-22 upgrades, and they “are much more complicated than those made to other legacy fighters, giving rise to likelihood of schedule slips and cost growth,” states the report. The committee is also concerned that many F-22s in the fleet “may not get their long-promised capability upgrades until they will have, in some cases, expended as much as 20 percent of their service lives,” states the report, issued in early June. This could limit the amount of utility that the Air Force gains from these “enormously expensive modernization” activities, it states. (SASC report; caution, large-sized file.)