Air Defense Initiative:

Program Cost and Schedule Not Yet Determined

NSIAD-89-2FS: Published: Oct 28, 1988. Publicly Released: Nov 1, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) selected aspects of the Department of Defense (DOD) Air Defense Initiative (ADI) Program; (2) DOD use of ADI funding for fiscal year (FY) 1988 and its plans for FY 1989; and (3) DOD officials' opinions on the advantages and disadvantages of, and possible alternatives to, the ADI management structure.

GAO found that: (1) Congress consolidated separate Navy and Air Force budget requests for FY 1988 into a single program element and made the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) responsible for determining the funding amount for each service; (2) the ADI Program received $49.2 million for FY 1988, of which the Air Force received $30.8 million, the Navy $12 million, and a classified program $6.4 million; (3) OSD requested $173.3 million and $40.2 million for FY 1989 for the Air Force and the Navy, respectively, but received a total of only $159.6 million; and (4) DOD had not finalized an overall full-scale development plan or determined total program research and development costs. GAO also found that DOD officials: (1) generally supported the ADI management structure; (2) believed that a less centralized structure would result in insufficient coordination of activities, and that a more centralized structure might not receive adequate cooperation from the services, would cost more, and would make it more difficult for ADI to benefit from existing programs; and (3) were addressing issues concerning pproviding contractors concepts with complete classified threat information. In addition, GAO found that, although: (1) the administration directed that ADI deployment decisions occur in the same time frame as the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Program, the ADI schedule was behind the SDI schedule; and (2) DOD authorized the SDI Program to begin the demonstration/validation phase of its acquisition process in September 1987 and the ADI Program would not reach this phase until FY 1990, DOD expected ADI to begin its full-scale development stage at a time similar to SDI.

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