The U.S. Government Accountability Office has faulted the Air Force and the Navy on cost estimates that were “not fully credible” to extend the life of front-line F-16 and F-18 fighter jets while delays in the production of the next generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter keep the older planes in the fleet.
Air Force officials with the F-16 program at Hill Air Force Base in Utah have defended the estimates saying they looked at the best data available and believe the figures accurately reflect costs for the 300 aircraft approved for extended service.
“The validity of our point estimate we feel was extremely accurate,” said Jay Topick, legacy F-16 service life extension program manager at Hill Air Force Base.
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has the responsibility for the acquisition, research and development and testing of the F-16 program. The Ohio Air National Guard’s 178th Fighter Wing flew F-16s through 2010 at the Springfield Air National Guard Base. The unit now remotely pilots Predator drones.
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