Ballistic Missile Defense:

Strategic Target System Launches from Kauai

NSIAD-93-270: Published: Sep 13, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization's plans to launch Strategic Target System (STARS) boosters from Hawaii, focusing on: (1) the cost of the STARS program; (2) what the cost of a catastrophic failure would be; and (3) whether planned STARS missions could be accomplished from other launch sites.

GAO found that: (1) the cost of STARS will be about $183.1 million through fiscal year (FY) 1993; (2) about $27 million is budgeted for STARS for FY 1994; (3) beginning in FY 1995, the project is estimated to cost between $17 million and $20 million a year and scheduled to operate until FY 2003; (4) there are twelve scheduled launches which will cost $5.9 million each; (5) catastrophic failure expenses are not expected to be extensive; and (6) alternative launch sites would likely involve some mission delays and performance degradation, as well as additional costs for constructing alternative launch sites.

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