Defense Support Program:

Ground Station Upgrades Not Based on Validated Requirements

NSIAD-93-148: Published: May 21, 1993. Publicly Released: May 21, 1993.

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GAO reviewed whether planned upgrades to Defense Support Program (DSP) ground processing stations are supported by validated operational requirements.

GAO found that: (1) upgrade of System 8 ground station software and hardware is premature, since the Air Force has not yet validated operational requirements; (2) the Air Force is currently in the process of validating operational requirements for the DSP satellite and ground station network system; (3) including global processing capability in the System 8 upgrade may not be cost-effective, since the Air Force does not plan to reduce the number of DSP ground stations; and (4) the Air Force has not approved an operational concept for employing central global processing capabilities in DSP stations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Air Force has completed the requirements validation document for System 8. This effort had been initiated before the report and GAO is not taking credit for the corrective action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should ensure that the Air Force validates DSP operational requirements before any System 8 upgrade development activities are funded.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Air Force concluded that implementation of central global processing would reduce the number of processing stations. Air Force financial plans will reflect savings to be realized beginning in fiscal year 1996. Results will be evaluated early in fiscal year 1996 for a potential monetary accomplishment report.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should ensure that a cost-effectiveness analysis is performed to determine whether the central global processing capability would be used to reduce the need for a number of ground processing stations and improve missile surveillance operations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

 

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