Key Issues > Duplication & Cost Savings > GAO's Action Tracker > Electronic Warfare (2012-02)
defense icon, source: [West Covina, California] Progressive Management, 2008

Defense: Electronic Warfare (2012-02)

Identifying opportunities to consolidate Department of Defense airborne electronic attack programs could reduce overlap in the department’s multiple efforts to develop new capabilities and improve the department’s return on its multibillion-dollar acquisition investments.

Action:

To ensure investments in airborne electronic attack systems are cost-effective and to prevent unnecessary overlap, the Secretary of Defense should review the capabilities provided by the Marine Corps' Intrepid Tiger II pod and Collaborative On-line Reconnaissance Provider Operationally Responsive Attack Link (CORPORAL), Army's Communications Electronic Attack with Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CEASAR), and Air Force's MQ-9 Reaper Electronic Attack Pod systems and identify opportunities for consolidating these different efforts, as appropriate.

This action was revised in GAO's March 2012 report, Airborne Electronic Attack: Achieving Mission Objectives Depends on Overcoming Acquisition Challenges (GAO-12-175). Specifically, in that report, GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense should review the capabilities provided by the Marine Corps' Intrepid Tiger II and Army's CEASAR systems and identify opportunities for consolidating these efforts, as appropriate. GAO revised this recommendation in March 2012 to (1) reflect DOD's decision to cancel the Air Force's MQ-9 Electronic Attack Pod program as part of its fiscal year 2013 budget and (2) present CORPORAL activities as corresponding with a second variant of the Intrepid Tiger II program.

Progress:

The Department of Defense (DOD) has reviewed the capabilities provided by the Marine Corps' Intrepid Tiger II and Army's CEASAR systems to identify opportunities for consolidating these efforts, as appropriate, as GAO recommended in March 2012. DOD reported in July 2013 that it had completed this review and determined that consolidation of the Intrepid Tiger II and CEASAR systems would not be beneficial. DOD's review found that although Intrepid Tiger II and CEASAR both currently address irregular warfare threats, there are significant differences in current and planned capabilities and host platforms. According to DOD, only five CEASAR quantities are planned, and the system is being assessed as a potential bridge to a formal Army program. Further, DOD reported that Intrepid Tiger II has achieved an early operational capability configuration, which is being expanded to include new host platforms and capabilities. As a result of its efforts, DOD is better informed about its investments in airborne electronic attack capabilities.

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense

Action:

To ensure investments in airborne electronic attack systems are cost-effective and to prevent unnecessary overlap, the Secretary of Defense should assess Air Force and Navy plans for developing and acquiring new expendable jamming decoys, specifically those services' Miniature Air Launched Decoy—Jammer (MALD-J) Increment II and Airborne Electronic Attack Expendable initiatives, to determine if these activities should be merged.

This action was revised in GAO's March 2012 report, Airborne Electronic Attack: Achieving Mission Objectives Depends on Overcoming Acquisition Challenges (GAO-12-175). In its March 2012 report, GAO recommended that to ensure investments in airborne electronic attack systems are cost-effective and to prevent unnecessary overlap, the Secretary of Defense should assess Air Force and Navy plans for developing and acquiring new expendable jamming decoys, specifically those services' respective MALD-J and Airborne Electronic Attack Expendable initiatives, to determine if these activities should be merged. GAO revised this recommendation in March 2012 to reflect decisions outlined in DOD's fiscal year 2013 budget. In this budget, DOD elected to cancel the Air Force's MALD-J Increment II program, but to continue acquiring new expendable jamming decoys under the existing MALD-J program and to continue the Navy's development initiative.

Progress:

As of December 2016, the Navy had assessed and determined it will no longer pursue plans to develop and acquire expendable jamming decoys. Although the Department Of Defense (DOD) recognized the potential for some degree of commonality between the two systems, the Navy made the determination to not yet establish the Airborne Electronic Attack Expendable initiative as a formal acquisition program of record and has no plans to do so. Should the Navy, at some point in the future, decide to pursue an expendable jamming decoy, DOD should take additional steps to assess potential issues of duplication with the Air Force’s existing expendable jamming decoy program, pursuant to GAO’s March 2012 recommendation.

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense
  • portrait of
    • Michael J. Sullivan
    • Director, Contracting and National Security Acquisitions
    • sullivanm@gao.gov
    • (202) 512-4841