The US Air Force understated a major cost increase earlier this year for the Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk using an accounting loophole that could be abused in other weapons accounts, says a new government audit. The air force notified Congress that the RQ-4 programme’s price tag had jumped 18% to $3.4 billion, but the total costs actually grew 31%, says the Government Accountability Office report. The Department of Defense admits that the air force’s notification did “not provide a completely accurate presentation of the current programme financial status”, but insists the GAO is inflating the difference.

Source: Flight International