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Answer: The document is a "snapshot" in time and is designed to reflect strategic guidance and fiscal plans. The first Strike Aircraft White Paper was completed in March 1999 and updated in November 2001. The Air Force is currently evaluating guidance and plans to determine if an update is needed.
Question. Please provide for the record a copy of the November, 2001, Strike Aircraft White Paper?
Answer. The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Financial Management & Comptroller), Congressional Liaison, has provided a copy to the House Appropriations Committtee, Subcommittee on Defense.
B-1B Defensive Systems Upgrade Program
Question. In a letter to the Committee in December the Air Force notified that it was canceling the Defensive Systems Upgrade Program (DSUP) due to persistent cost overruns and mission failures.
What are the estimated termination costs of the DSUP program in FY03?
Answer: As noted in the "Report to Congress on B-l Defensive System Upgrade Program (DSUP)," DSUP termination costs could be as high as $90 million. That amount includes government costs to modify two fleet aircraft to replace the two test aircraft currently configured with Block F DSUP, test infrastructure previously shared between B-l Block E and Block F and Boeing allowable termination costs. The Boeing share of the termination costs will not be finalized until the final contract termination resolution, expected before February 2004. At this time, the Air Force plans on using $82 million of fiscal year 2003 DSUP RDT&E funding to cover anticipated DSUP termination costs.
B-2 Bomber Modifications
Question. The FY04 request includes $76.4 million for additional upgrades to the B-2. The primary modifications in the request are the MK82 JDAM/Smart Bomb Rack Assembly, Link 16/Center Instrument Display/In-flight Replanner, and Low Observable improvements.
What is the status of the MK82 JDAM/Smart Bomb Rack Assembly modernization program for the B—2?
Answer. The B-2 Smart Bomb Rack (SBRAVJoint Direct Attack Munition CJDAM)-82 integration program is proceeding on schedule. Testing at Edwards AFB began in February 2003. The test period began with a full range of ground testing, which was successful. Flight testing started shortly thereafter. Both captive carry and separation tests have been conducted to date. Communications between the aircraft and the weapons have been successful. The first separation test was conducted on 5 March 2003, and, as planned, sixteen inert, unguided JDAM-82s were successfully released. Analysis of the mission data is currently underway. The next mission is scheduled for 23 April 2003 and flight testing is projected to complete by 10 September 2003.
The production portion of the SBRA program is also on schedule. The baseline contract effort to modify the first bomb racks for use by the 509th at Whiteman AFB may be awarded in early April. This award will insure sufficient SBRA assets are available to meet the RAA (Required Assets Available) requirements of four shipsets by November 2004.
Question. Can you please define for the Committee the increased weapon delivery capability that the smart bomb rack assemblies will bring to the plane in terms of current capability per type of munition, and what the capability will be once the racks are installed.
Answer. Presently, the B-2 can strike up to 16 individual targets with the GBU31 (20001b class weapon). The weapons are carried on a rotary launch assembly (RLA). The B-2 can carry eight weapons per RLA and with two weapons bays can carry a total of 16 weapons.
The addition of Mk 82 JDAM (GBU-38)/Smart Bomb Rack Assembly allows the B—2 the ability to carry up to 80 GBU-38 weapons. This allows the B-2 the capability to individually strike up to 80 targets in one sortie. The GBU-38 is a 5001b class weapon that can, in certain instances, strike targets where collateral damage concerns prohibit the use of a 20001b weapon such as the GBU-31.
Question. When does the Air Force anticipate it will begin modifications to integrate the Small Diameter Bomb into the B-2's weapons capability?
Answer. The fielding of the MK-82 JDAM with the SBRA in fiscal year 2004 will dramatically increase B-2's payload from 16 JDAMs to 80 JDAMs. Because of this huge leap in capability in delivering 5001b. near precision weapons, there is no funding in the Future Years Defense Plan for Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) integration on the B-2. When the SDB's development is complete, opportunities for integration on the B-2 platform will be assessed by the Air Force.
Question. What increased weapon delivery capability would the Small Diameter Bomb bring to the plane in terms of bombs per sortie?
Answer. Given the capability provided by MK-82 JDAM (fiscal year 2004 for B2 integration), the Air Force has chosen not to integrate the Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) on the B-2 at this time. However, analysis snows the B-2 could carry sixtyfour 2501b. weapons (SDBs) loaded on the B-2 Rotary Launcher Assembly (RLA) or 80 on the SBRA.
Question. EHF SATCOM upgrades begin in FY 2005 as compared to last year's request, which had the modification beginning in FY 2007. What is the reason for the acceleration and how was the significant program savings achieved?
Answer. Changes in the EHF SATCOM program between the fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2004 President's Budget submissions did not result in schedule acceleration or cost savings. In the fiscal year 2003 President's Budget, EHF SATCOM upgrades were scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2005. Due to nigher Air Force priorities, funds were reduced in the fiscal year 2004 President's Budget, resulting in the procurement start date slipping from fiscal year 2005 to fiscal year 2007. These funding cuts and the program delay of two years resulted in a slight decrease in funding over the FYDP (fiscal year 2003-fiscal year 2009).
Question. Please explain for the Committee the savings identified in the Radar System Modification program. The FY 2004 budget indicates the program has been accelerated to begin in FY 2006 instead of FY 2007 as proposed last year. The total program cost has been reduced from $1,271 billion to $500 million.
Answer. The B-2 Radar program was mid-way through a trade study when the fiscal year 2003 President's Budget was submitted. Although the trade study examined a range of options, the fiscal year 2003 President's Budget was based on an estimate that included $.65 billion in Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) and $1.27 billion in aircraft procurement for a total cost of $1.92 billion (fiscal year 2003-fiscal year 2009). Program start would begin in fiscal year 2003 and procurement would begin in fiscal year 2007. As the Air Force worked through the trade study, it was determined that the requirement could be met with a less expensive option, which was submitted in the fiscal year 2004 President's Budget request. The option in the fiscal year 2004 President's Budget was phased differently and included a budget of $.77 billion in RDT&E and $.5 billion in aircraft procurement for a total cost of $1.27 billion (fiscal year 2003-fiscal year 2009). Procurement would start one year earlier in fiscal year 2006.
B-2 Exhaust Cracks
Question. Last year the Committee expressed concern about the reappearance of surface material cracks aft of the engines. Are you continuing to see this cracking?
Answer. Cracks are continuing to appear aft of the engines on the aft deck. As of 13 March 2003, all aircraft except two have cracks and the remaining two are expected to eventually experience cracking as well. Although these cracks do not pose a safety-off-light concern, they will propagate to a point where they impact Low Observable (LO) characteristics. The majority of the cracks are within acceptable limits at this time; it is anticipated that they will eventually grow to a point where repairs are required. Depending on the rate of continued cracking and crack growth, there is the possibility of a serious impact on mission capability.
Question. Is there anything more you know about the cause of these cracks and have they affected the aircraft's performance in any measurable way?
Answer. The root cause of aft deck cracking has not been determined. A team of government and industry experts has been assembled to help monitor the crack growth, conduct tests, and develop a system engineering approach to conclusively determine the failure mechanism. On 25 March 2003, a contractor team started work, using fiscal year 2003 funding, to complete the structural root cause analysis. The results of that investigation will help to derive viable short- and long-term solutions.
Aft deck cracks have affected the Low Observable (LO) performance on two aircraft. External patches have been installed temporarily on these two aircraft to contain excessive cracking. The patches are considered temporary, since they do not maintain the desired LO performance.
Question. Have you determined a fix for this problem?
Answer. At this time, no permanent fix has been determined for this problem. The Air Force has developed an interim solution for aircraft with limited cracking that will maintain the desired Low Observable (LO) performance. In addition, the Air Force is pursuing an interim repair for seriously cracked aft decks that will also maintain LO performance. The root cause analysis will help determine the way ahead for a permanent solution.
Question. Is there anything in the request to address this problem?
Answer. Our government and industry team is using the available fiscal year 2003 funding to complete structural root cause analysis scheduled to be completed by September 2004. There is currently no funding budgeted for this problem beyond the fiscal year 2003 appropriation.
B-52 Stand-off Jamming Platform
Question. The Air Force plans to use B-52s as an Airborne Electronic Attack platform by developing a pod capable of covering early warning and ground control intercept radars with particular attention to radars feeding advanced long range SAMs. The Situational Awareness Defensive Initiative (SADI), which is the follow on to the B-52s current early warning and jamming capability, is being rebaselined in FY 2004 to include this new initiative.
Why is the B-52 the best platform for this mission? Why not use a 767 or other aircraft?
Answer. The B-52 is the best platform for this mission since it is available and will be in service until 2040, can perform the electronic attack mission in conjunction with the attack missions it currently performs, has high electrical generating capability, and has the long range and loiter characteristics necessitated by the stand-off jamming role. Use of a 767 or similar aircraft as a stand-off jamming platform is not as advantageous because of the additional costs to acquire the aircraft and to operate and maintain an additional fleet of single mission aircraft. The OSD sponsored Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) study concluded, to be survivable in an anti-access threat environment, the services needed both stand-in and stand-off jamming capability. To be effective at the longer ranges posed by these threats, stand-off jamming requires a large amount of Effective Radiated Power (ERP). The B-52 can generate the necessary electrical power to power a high ERP jamming pod while maintaining its weapons carriage capability. In addition, the B-52 platform provides both the range and persistence necessary to support other assets within the Global Strike Task Force.
Question. How would a standoff jamming capability affect the current weapons employment capability?
Answer. B—52 weapons employment capabilities will not be impacted. The B-52 maintains its existing vast combat capabilities, delivering Conventional Air Launched Cruise Missile, Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile, Joint Direct Attack Missile, Joint Stand Off Weapon, Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispenser, and the Miniature Air Launched Decoy weapons, while performing as a stand-off jammer simultaneously.
Question. What requirement/capability changes are being made to the B-52 stand off jamming mission?
Answer. The B-52 has an ALR-20A panoramic receiver that due to serviceability issues needs replacing. An existing requirement to replace the ALR-20A with the Situational Awareness Defensive Improvement (SADI) has been modified to incorporate enhanced capabilities to control the jamming pod. The jamming pods will be composed of electronically steerable arrays and will replace the external fuel tanks on the B-52.
Question. Funding provided in FY 2003 is to carry the program through FY 2004. What efforts will this $22.4 million be used for over this two year period?
Answer. The $22.4 million will be used for risk reduction efforts and trade study analysis to define the new program cost and schedule and aid in final source selection of the new Situational Awareness Defensive Initiative architecture.
F-16 Aircraft Procurement Cancellations
Question. In the FY 2003 request, the Air Force had proposed to begin purchase of an additional 6 aircraft in FY 2004 and 6 aircraft in FY 2005 at a total cost of $459 million. The FY 2004 budget deletes the request for any additional aircraft and realigns $63.7 million of the proposed funding to F-16 modifications for a net savings of $395 million.
What is the Air Force's argument for deleting funding for the additional aircraft as proposed in the FY 2003 request?
Answer. The Air Force determined that it would be more cost effective to invest the funds originally to be used to procure the remaining (12) F-16 Block 50s into programs that will upgrade the F-16 Block 40 to a similar capability as the F-16 Block 50. To accomplish this, funds were placed into Common Configuration Implementation Program, Falcon STAR (Structural Augmentation Roadmap), and High Speed AntiRadiation Missile (HARM) Targeting Systems R7.
Question. What drove the increased unit flyaway costs above what was anticipated when the FY 2003 budget was submitted?
Answer. The increase in unit flyaway costs was driven by higher than anticipated funding requirements for the APG—68 radar (required to match USAF fielded version) and escalation of diminishing manufacture source costs (parts obsolescence).
Question. While funds made available from the deletion of the additional aircraft have been reinvested in aircraft improvements, this amounts to only $63.7 million above what was anticipated when the 2003 request came to Congress. What higher priority programs are being funded with the remaining $395 million in savings?
Answer. The Air Force reinvested $103.8 million into F-16 modifications for the Common Configuration Implementation Program, Falcon STAR structural augmentation program, and HARM Targeting System. Examples of other programs the remaining "savings," were invested into are B-2 Ultrahigh frequency satellite communications, F-117 expanded data transfer system, contract logistics support for F16/HH-60, and munitions programs.
Question. How can the capability gained from these modifications outweigh the loss of 12 operational Block 50 aircraft?
Answer. By reprogramming a portion of the funds, funding disconnects in the top three F-16 modernization/structural programs are eliminated. This action funds dramatic improvements in the operational capability of our F-16 Block 40/50 fleet, approximately 650 jets. These three programs are: (1) High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) Targeting System Revision #7; resulting in suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) improvements; (2) Common Configuration Implementation Plan—provides a near-peer capability for all Block 40/50 aircraft giving these aircraft flexibility to perform all multirole missions (Precision Attack, SEAD/Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses (DEAD), Air Superiority), not just one or two specialized missions; and (3) Falcon Star, a structural modification program that insures all F16s (including the early Block 25s and 30s) can reach their design life of 8,000 flight hours. The elimination of 12 jets in order to fund these programs is prudent.
Question. Will Foreign Military Sales sustain the line?
Answer. Yes. The line is virtually only producing aircraft for Foreign Military Sales (FMS) customers (with the exception of one United States Air Force F-16 from the fiscal year 2001 budget slated for production in December 2004). We expect a Letter of Offer and Acceptance from Poland with the month for approximately 48 aircraft, the production line is scheduled to make 349 aircraft—348 for foreign customers and one for the United States Air Force. This will keep the production line open until December 2008.
Question. What Foreign Military Sales do we have?
Answer. As of Wednesday, 19 March 2003, foreign customers have ordered a total of 2113 F-16s. 1814 have been built, with 299 remaining to be produced.
F/A-22 Raptor Avionics Problems
Question. Initial Operational Test and Evaluation is presently scheduled for August of 2003. The greatest risks to certification of F/A-22 for IOT&E have been identified as avionics test progress, software development, flight envelope expansion, and test aircraft configuration.
Instabilities and problems with the Electronic Warfare (EW) and Communications, Navigation, and Identification (CNI) subsystems have seriously delayed the progress of the avionics flight test program.
The F-22 avionics recently demonstrated a 90-percent start up and 8.8-hour run time in the avionics lab. However, when transferred to the aircraft, avionics only achieved a 1-hour run time before system crash. The Air Force has newly activated a second Avionics Integration Lab in Marietta to address avionics instability issues. In addition, OSD convened an independent Avionics Red Team to assess avionics development and status.
What were the findings and recommendations of the Red Team?
Answer. Their findings reflected that systems engineering processes lacked the rigor necessary to meet the schedule constraints. The Red Team recommendations center on implementation of new software development tools and data capturing methods for finding and fixing the root causes of instability events. The team went on to state that, after we implement these new tools, there is no reason we can't resolve the stability issue. They agreed the architecture appears sound and the stability issues are normal for a system of this complexity.
Question. What has the Air Force done to implement Red Team recommendations?
Answer. We are implementing the Red Team's recommendations to strengthen the key systems engineering processes to better understand and correct stability related issues. By the end of June, the recommended data collection tools will be fully implemented to allow identification and correction of the software instability root causes. Adding functionality is on hold until the software is stabilized. Improvements to the current version are being implemented in smaller increments to better isolate and assess stability progress.
Question. Has the program been able to identify why the avionics has such greater stability in the Avionics Integration Lab verses on the aircraft itself?
Answer. Run time stability differences are attributable to differences between lab and aircraft configurations, to include cable lengths, number of apertures, environment, and hardware. The Avionics Integration Lab is being changed to better replicate the aircraft. For example, the lab changed the power-on sequencing so as to replicate aircraft. Additionally, the lab now employs more extensive communications to simulate an aircraft under testing conditions. The Program Office has identified several differences between the lab and the aircraft and these differences have been corrected.
Question. Mr. Secretary, in your opinion, will a stable, operationally effective, and suitable F/A-22 avionics suite be delivered for the August scheduled Initial Operational Test and Evaluation?
Answer. The program remains event-driven. We will not begin Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (DIOT&E) until we have delivered a stable, effective, and suitable avionics software suite. As such, DIOT&E is currently estimated to start in October 2003.
Question. If a stable, operationally effective, and suitable F/A-22 avionics suite cannot be achieved prior to the scheduled IOT&E, will the Air Force still proceed with IOT&E?
Answer. No. Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (DIOT&E) start is an event-driven milestone—we will not begin DIOT&E until we are ready to succeed. Based on remaining development work, we are estimating a DIOT&E start date of October 2003. This provides 60 days (from previous start date of August 2003) to implement aircraft and laboratory changes necessary to achieve software stability.
Question. What is the standard the program is trying to achieve to qualify as a stable, operationally effective, and suitable F/A-22 avionics suite?
Answer. The F/A-22 program objective for runtime stability and start-up performance at the start of Dedicated Initial Operational Test and Evaluation are 20 hours and near 100 percent, respectively.
F/A-22 Attack Role's Effects On Avionics Problems
Question. Underlying the avionics challenges is a problem in how the Air Force implemented their software development efforts. The proper approach requires ensuring that all the bugs are worked out of the software that provides a basic level of capability before adding the next level of capability. Instead the Air Force continued to add new software modules, which introduced new bugs before the old ones were solved.
Mr. Secretary, at what point in the development of the Raptor was the decision made to add an attack capability?
Answer. The requirements of the attack capability has been inherent in the aircraft since 1993 Program Management Directive added the Joint Direct Attack Munition capability to the development program and the Operational Requirement Document was updated in 1996 to reflect the multi-role capability of the aircraft. In September 2002, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and I announced the re-designation of the F-22 as the F/A-22. This was done in part to re-emphasize and remind members of the defense community of the inherent air-to-ground capabilities in the current design and the improved strike capability to be realized through planned spiral modernization.
Question. Did the decision to add the attack mission to the Raptor's capability affect the avionics development and in any way contribute to the instability of the software?
Answer. No. Neither current nor future F/A-22 air-to-ground capabilities are in any way related to the current avionics instabilities being seen in flight test. The Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) software module has not yet been integrated into the F/A-22 avionics software. Future air-to-ground capabilities (beyond JDAM),