ICBM Modernization:

Availability Problems and Flight Test Delays in Peacekeeper Program

NSIAD-89-105: Published: Mar 9, 1989. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1989.

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GAO provided information regarding the Air Force's progress in achieving and sustaining full operational capability for the Peacekeeper missile force.

GAO found that the Air Force: (1) delayed its plans to start full operational capability testing, citing congressional directions, basing mode redirections, gaps between developmental and operational flight testing, and production delays; (2) believes that developmental flight testing has demonstrated the system's capability; (3) plans to conduct only three phase I flight tests a year until fiscal year 1994 in order to meet the scheduled full operational capability milestone for the Peacekeeper in Minuteman Silo Program; (4) plans phase II testing to consist of 84 flight tests over 12 years; (5) plans to sustain required alert rates for a force of 50 Peacekeeper missiles with an inventory of 61 serviceable units and 20 units in repair; (6) had accepted 81 units by December 1988, although only 71 were fully operational; (7) improved its mean recycling time from 2,444 to 2,839 hours, but had not attained its planned level of 3,000 hours; and (8) will have difficulty sustaining its average 30-day repair time.

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