GAO Report on F-35 FoM (ie Block 4 and forward)

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spazsinbad

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Unread post10 Aug 2017, 06:29

Another look at the problem - they'll work it out eh.
Modernization Program At Risk of Repeating F-35 Acquisition Mistakes, GAO Says
10 Aug 2017 Wilson Brissett

"If not adequately restructured in the near future, the cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter’s follow-on modernization effort could see unexpected cost increases, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office released Tuesday.

At issue is the slow development of a new data processor needed to support Block 4 capabilities on the aircraft. To avoid repeating the acquisition mistakes that have plagued the F-35 baseline program, GAO says the F-35 modernization strategy must use an incremental approach that separates procurement from development and testing....

...GAO sees the possibility for similar concurrency problems arising in the modernization effort. The Block 4 F-35 is likely to include new weapons (or at least weapons that are not currently in the 3F configuration) and enhancements to the aircraft’s electronic warfare suite, among other things. The bulk of the Air Force’s F-35A fleet will be built in the Block 4 and subsequent configurations.

The release of a request for proposals for the Block 4 upgrade has already been delayed from the third quarter of 2017 to later this year due to “budget uncertainties” and the “ongoing change in program leadership,” the Joint Program Office told GAO. The JPO has not delivered a congressionally mandated report on modernization acquisition strategy that was due in March, noting it says it will deliver the report by the end of August.

GAO wants the DOD to clarify its plans to eliminate concurrency in the Block 4 program. Program managers are currently planning to request funds for the first increment of Block 4 aircraft purchases in February 2018. Baseline F-35s, however, are currently maximizing the data processing capabilities of the aircraft. The Block 4 upgrades will require a new processor, but program officials told GAO that “an updated processor may not be available until the second increment of Block 4.”

Given these concurrency problems, GAO sees “a risk that the testing and delivery of the first increment of Block 4 capability may not be achievable as planned.” As a solution, GAO recommends “an incremental, knowledge-based approach” to the modernization program. DOD has committed to such a strategy in theory and told GAO that it plans to “develop Block 4 capabilities in four increments.”

This plan would involve returning to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council for fresh validation “if any significant cost, schedule, or quantity changes occur.” It would also make use of separate contract line item numbers for various capabilities related to the upgrade. This process would produce “more informed management and oversight” that would allow “decision makers to track costs and progress across individual development efforts,” in GAO’s estimation.

If the program office cannot incorporate these suggestions into its revised modernization strategy, GAO says, “DOD may be negotiating prices for those aircraft without knowing if or when the more advanced capabilities will be delivered and whether they will function as required.” In addition, Congress would find themselves confronting “the challenge of making funding decisions with limited information.”"

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... -Says.aspx
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neptune

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Unread post10 Aug 2017, 09:32

spazsinbad wrote:...GAO wants the DOD to clarify its plans to eliminate concurrency in the Block 4 program. ... Baseline F-35s, however, are currently maximizing the data processing capabilities of the aircraft.
The Block 4 upgrades will require a new processor, but program officials told GAO that “an updated processor may not be available until the second increment of Block 4.” ...


...bookkeepers.. :bang: :bang:

...but...as Spud has suggested how about adding an additional current version CPU, for sharing the load??

....Baseline F-35s? is this the 3i or the 3F at issue?

....I would ask the maximizing data processing question, is the bottleneck in processing the data (CPUs?) or in I/O pre-processing thru-put?

....What exactly is the concurrency % status/ issue by LRIP Number (1 to 11(currently). Meaning, what percent of each LRIP is/ was the concurrency issues at the end of each LRIP and what is the present status. Is LRIP 1 now up to-date with LRIP 11?

...point of reference; the F-22 has both trainers and operators, 36? Block 20 and 151? Block 30/35(ish). It has been proposed the Block 20 upgraded to Block 30/35.
:)
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post10 Aug 2017, 16:20

Given that Block 4 (not sure which one) includes UAI, this will address most of the "new weapon" issues.

Also, the concurrency issue is not as bad as the GAO puts forth since 4.1 is a "Software Only' patch (primarily).
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bigjku

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Unread post10 Aug 2017, 17:29

SpudmanWP wrote:Given that Block 4 (not sure which one) includes UAI, this will address most of the "new weapon" issues.

Also, the concurrency issue is not as bad as the GAO puts forth since 4.1 is a "Software Only' patch (primarily).


Correct me if I am wrong but haven't actual paid concurrency cost consistently been much lower than GAO estimates?

It seems to me that GAO estimates the maximum possible risk and works from that basically saying it's a program liability. However the actual expense is usually just a fraction of that.

I know it's sacrilegious but perhaps military procurement doesn't always line up with generally accepted accounting procedures. Sometimes I wonder if the GAO understands the end purpose of things is to acquire something in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable cost and risk and that all three factors must be balanced. They seem a bit laser focused on risk in particular. They want it to be effectively zero.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post10 Aug 2017, 17:47

This the last concurrency projection chart that I have seen. Yes, costs are trending below GAO estimates.

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