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A view of Capitol Hill from the window of Air Force One on February 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. President Barack Obama traveled to Georgia to promote economic and educational initiatives he spoke about in this week's State of the Union. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKIBRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

“Eight of the 10 costliest programs in DOD’s portfolio…reported cost decreases over the past year.”
— Bottom line in a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday.
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Nice cherry-picking.

 Cost performance Observations
1. DOD’s 2012 portfolio of major defense acquisition programs contains 86 programs with a combined total estimated cost of $1.602 trillion, which is a reduction of 10 programs and more than $152 billion from 20 11 levels. This represents the smallest portfolio in more than 5 years. NOTE: There are more programs existing than in portfolio.
2.The total estimated acquisition cost of the 86 programs in the 2012 portfolio decreased by $44 billion over the past year while the delivery of initial operating capability slipped by 1 month on average. When assessed against first full estimates, the total cost of the portfolio has increased by over $400 billion, including more than $90 billion in development cost growth and nearly $290 billion in procurement cost growth, with an average delay of 27 months in the delivery of initial operating capability.
3. Program cancellations and restructurings account for nearly all of the cost reduction over the past year.

and getting to everyone's favorite, the JSF F-35: (p. 65)
. . . billions have already been invested and 121 production aircraft ordered while gaps in product knowledge persist. Four critical technologies are not fully mature and design changes, though declining, are still higher than expected. Developmental testing is progressing but is far from complete and will likely drive more changes in design and manufacturing processes. Just over a third of critical manufacturing processes are judged to be in control and capable of consistently producing quality parts.

program performance: (percent cost increases)
R&D 51%
procurement 52%
total program 53%
unit cost 78%
quantities -14%


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