Budget and Spending:

Costs and Benefits of a Common Strategic Rotary Launcher Should Be Reassessed Before Further Funds Are Available

MASAD-83-3: Published: Nov 15, 1982. Publicly Released: Nov 15, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the issues concerning the program cost, operational advantages, program concurrency, and management coordination of Air Force plans to acquire a multipurpose common strategic rotary launcher (CSRL) for the B-52H, B-1B, and advanced technology bombers.

GAO found that, in approving the CSRL program, the Air Force has not canceled plans to develop a unique air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) launcher for the B-1B which the CSRL is supposed to replace. Air Force and Department of Defense officials said that only one ALCM launcher will be acquired for the B-1B. However, if the CSRL is not to be acquired for the B-1B, then it is unlikely that it will be acquired at all, since commonality across the bomber force would not be achieved. GAO believes that, in this case, standardization would not clearly reduce life-cycle costs or result in technical advantages. Current cost estimates support the acquisition of several unique launchers rather than a CSRL both in terms of acquisition and life-cycle costs and needed capabilities for bomber launchers. GAO believes that continuing both the CSRL and the ALCM programs would result in unnecessary duplication of effort and cost.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should reassess the costs and benefits of the proposed CSRL and alternative unique launchers before obligating further funds for CSRL development or procurement.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should determine whether the concurrency of the CSRL program is acceptable.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to consolidate or otherwise strengthen management of launcher acquisition programs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should select either the CSRL or the unique ALCM launcher for the B-1B to avoid unnecessary development expense.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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