Archive for the ‘procurement’ Category

Many Weapons Programs Over Budget, Late

April 1, 2008

By Dana Hedgpeth 

Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 1, 2008; Page A01

Government auditors issued a scathing review yesterday of dozens of the Pentagon‘s biggest weapons systems, saying ships, aircraft and satellites are billions of dollars over budget and years behind schedule.
The Navy expects the costs of its first two Littoral Combat Ships to exceed their combined budget of $472 million by more than 100 percent.

The Navy expects the costs of its first two Littoral Combat Ships to exceed their combined budget of $472 million by more than 100 percent. (Lockheed Martin Via Associated Press) 

The Government Accountability Office found that 95 major systems have exceeded their original budgets by a total of $295 billion, bringing their total cost to $1.6 trillion, and are delivered almost two years late on average. In addition, none of the systems that the GAO looked at had met all of the standards for best management practices during their development stages.

Auditors said the Defense Department showed few signs of improvement since the GAO began issuing its annual assessments of selected weapons systems six years ago. “It’s not getting any better by any means,” said Michael Sullivan, director of the GAO’s acquisition and sourcing team. “It’s taking longer and costing more.”

Chris Isleib, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a written statement, “We’d like to look at what GAO has said, and then at the appropriate time make an informed comment.”

The Pentagon has doubled the amount it has committed to new systems, from $790 billion in 2000 to $1.6 trillion last year, according to the 205-page GAO report. Total acquisition costs in 2007 for major defense programs increased 26 percent from first estimates. In 2000, 75 programs had cost increases totaling 6 percent. Development costs in 2007 for the systems rose 40 percent from initial projections, compared with 27 percent in 2000. Current programs are delivered 21 months late on average, five months later than in 2000.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/31/AR2008033102789.html?hpid=topnews

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Cost Nearly Doubles For Marine One Fleet

March 17, 2008

By Peter Baker 

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, March 17, 2008; Page A01

A year after Sept. 11, 2001, the White House set out to build a fleet of state-of-the-art Marine One helicopters for the al-Qaeda age that would be safer, more powerful and more reliable than the iconic white-topped aircraft that have landed on the South Lawn for decades.
Marine One lifting off of the White House South Lawn

Marine One lifting off of the White House South Lawn

But the al-Qaeda age has met the military acquisition process. Six years later, the cost of the new helicopters has nearly doubled, production has fallen behind schedule, and the bulk of the program has been put on hold while the government tries to figure out how to salvage it.

The Pentagon confirmed this month that the cost of the fleet of 28 new super-sophisticated helicopters has jumped from $6.1 billion when the contract was signed in 2005 to $11.2 billion today. Outfitted with cutting-edge communications equipment, antimissile defenses and hardened hulls, each of the VH-71 helicopters, to be dubbed Marine One whenever the president is onboard, will cost $400 million — more than the most recent Boeing 747 jetliner outfitted to serve as Air Force One when it was delivered in 1990, even when adjusted for inflation.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/16/AR2008031602936.html?hpid=topnews