Strategic Defense Initiative Program:

Extent of Foreign Participation

NSIAD-90-2: Published: Feb 7, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 2, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO analyzed the level and type of foreign participation in the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Program.

GAO found that: (1) 8 foreign countries held 67 SDI contracts valued at $297.1 million, representing about 3 percent of total SDI contracts; (2) foreign contractors committed about 14 percent of contract funds to U.S. subcontractors or other U.S. organizations; (3) U.S. contractors committed $48.4 million in SDI contract funds to 86 subcontractors in 11 foreign countries; (4) theater missile defense activities accounted for 69 percent of the total value of foreign contracts, although SDI foreign contracts were also awarded for directed energy weapons, innovative science and technology, survivability, lethality, and key technologies, and surveillance, acquisition, tracking, and kill assessment; (5) Israel received the largest dollar amount of SDI foreign contracts, $141.7 million, while the United Kingdom received the most foreign contracts, 36; (6) about 57 percent of foreign contracts were awarded competitively, although sole-source contracts accounted for 57 percent of total obligations; (7) SDI agencies varied in use of noncompetitive and competitive awards; (8) the SDI database on foreign contracts and subcontracts was overstated by $8.5 million and inaccurately detailed individual contracts; and (9) foreign contracts allowed the United States to not only share technology with other countries but also to benefit from those countries' technological developments, although legislative and executive regulations made technology transfer time-consuming and could limit foreign participation in SDI.

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