Military Space Programs:

Comprehensive Analysis Needed and Cost Savings Available

T-NSIAD-94-164: Published: Apr 14, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1994.

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GAO discussed two Department of Defense (DOD) satellite programs. GAO noted that: (1) DOD has an opportunity to assess its needs for early missile warning information, since it cancelled the most recent follow-on program for its Defense Support Program (DSP) and replaced DSP with the Alert, Locate, and Report Missiles System (ALARM) which has more tactical emphasis; (2) DOD needs to review and validate the operational requirements for an advanced missile warning system, select the most cost-effective alternative, ensure system affordability, provide an adequate transition between systems to avoid coverage gaps, and evaluate the launch vehicle implications for the last DSP satellite; (3) to reduce costs, DOD has limited Milstar acquisitions to 6 satellites of varying capabilities and plans to replace them with a smaller and more capable design in fiscal year 2006; (4) DOD could save over $2 billion in its Milstar program if it reduces the quantity of Milstar satellites and accelerates the development of an advanced satellite to be deployed in 2003 or earlier; and (5) there are no large launch vehicles available for two Milstar satellites under the current contract.

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