In the latest report to Congress about major acquisition program cost and schedule changes, the Pentagon noted the revised schedule and cost increases for the Air Force’s Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle. DOD had told Congress earlier this year that the high-flying UAV program had breached the Nunn-McCurdy rule. The latest Selected Acquisition Report shows that the UAV’s operational assessment completion date has slipped from June 2006 to March 2007. It also noted that program costs had increased from $7.8 billion to $9.5 billion. Part of the increase comes from retrofit requirements for such elements as the Joint Tactical Radio System and Family of Beyond Line of Sight Terminals, and higher than anticipated costs for the Advanced Signals Intelligence Payload and Radar Technology Insertion Program.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.