The report cited constant Air Force modifications of software on the B-52 bomber – now more than 60 years old – as one example to illustrate a need for accurate projections of future software costs.
"GAO found that the [DOD’s] Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation's (CAPE) Cost and Software Data Reporting system did not collect weapon system cost data from DOD software centers", the report said.
During the audit, CAPE acknowledged that it lacks an implementation plan to execute and monitor the requirement that those centers submit cost and software data, the release said.
The GAO has repeatedly criticized the Pentagon for its defense funding programs. In particular, the GAO urged the US Congress last June to withhold funding for the full-rate production of the F-35 fighter jet until technical issues with the program are resolved. The GAO cited the Defense Department’s $9.8 billion request for the F-35 program in 2019 and its plans to seek an additional $10.4 billion annually for the following two decades.
According to a report released by the GAO in mid-2018, the aircraft continues to suffer from technical problems with its software, ejection seats, pilot helmets and other key components.