Titan IV Launch Vehicle:

Restructured Program Could Reduce Fiscal Year 1992 Funding Needs

NSIAD-91-271: Published: Sep 6, 1991. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Air Force's coordination of production and launch schedules for the Titan IV expendable launch vehicle program, focusing on: (1) the possible effect these schedules may have on the President's fiscal year (FY) 1992 budget for the Titan IV program; and (2) opportunities for savings.

GAO found that: (1) the Air Force is planning a slowdown of production to better synchronize production and launch schedules for the Titan IV expendable launch vehicle program; (2) since Titan IV program officials and the contractor have not yet reached agreement on the revised schedule and cost estimate, specific information about the impact on the budget is not yet available; (3) due to program delays, not all of the FY 1992 procurement funding may be needed for the solid rocket motor upgrade; (4) although Titan IV production delays and uncertainties may eventually increase overall program costs, the budgetary requirement for Titan IV may be reduced by $47 million in FY 1992 and by $11 million in FY 1993; (5) such program uncertainties as the absence of a contract for Defense Support Program satellites to be launched by the two Inertial Upper Stage vehicles and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's potential withdrawal as a partner in the procurement also raise questions about the long-lead funding and future full procurement of such vehicles; and (6) program officials estimate that costs for the motor assembly facility will not exceed $51 million of the $89 million appropriated in the FY 1990 military construction budget, but as of July 1, 1991, the remaining $35.5 million had not been reprogrammed.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: When we determine what steps the Congress has taken, we will provide updated information.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider requiring the Secretary of Defense to report to the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations on details of the planned Titan IV production slowdown and the impact of this production slowdown on FY 1992 funding requirements for the Titan IV and associated classified users, prior to obligating FY 1992 funds.

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: When we determine what steps the Congress has taken, we will provide updated information.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider requiring the Secretary of Defense to report to the House and Senate Committees on Armed Services and Appropriations on analysis of alternatives to long-lead funding in FY 1992 and procurement in FY 1995 of two Inertial Upper Stage vehicles given the uncertainties in the program, prior to obligating FY 1992 funds.

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: When we determine what steps the Congress has taken, we will provide updated information.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider rescinding $35.5 million from the FY 1990 Air Force military construction appropriation provided for the construction of the Solid Rocket Motor Assembly and Readiness Facility.

 

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