Need To Reexamine JTIDS Requirements and Architecture

MASAD-82-28: Published: Apr 2, 1982. Publicly Released: Apr 2, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) class 2 terminal because of the proposed service antijam communications architectures.

GAO found several issues requiring immediate attention: (1) the utility and cost effectiveness of JTIDS class 2 terminals may be questionable since the Air Force and the Navy have continued to reduce their total number of class 2 terminals planned for procurement until only a fraction of U.S. forces will be JTIDS equipped; (2) the use of two different technologies with the associated increased development costs and interoperability problems may not be appropriate; (3) although savings could be realized by provisioning for future JTIDS installation during the production of certain aircraft, no firm plans have been made by the services in this regard; (4) the Air Force has shown a lack of funding commitment for the JTIDS class 2 terminal development; (5) fragmented funding precludes the identification of the total JTIDS program cost; (6) the identification potential of JTIDS may not be exploited to its greatest capability; and (7) JTIDS should be identified as a prime candidate for the application of high-speed, integrated circuit technology. Of importance is the resolution of existing conflicts among the services regarding future jam-resistant voice and data communications. JTIDS and other jam-resistant secure communications systems were being developed to meet purported service-unique requirements. The services must develop an overall antijam voice and data communications architecture for the future.

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