Strategic Defense Initiative Program:

National Test Bed Acquisition Has Not Proceeded as Planned

NSIAD-88-180FS: Published: Jun 9, 1988. Publicly Released: Jun 9, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization's (SDIO) progress in acquiring simulation and testing capabilities for its National Test Bed (NTB) Program.

GAO found that SDIO: (1) designed NTB to provide a computer-based simulation capability to assess strategic defense systems without actually building or deploying such systems; (2) initiated NTB acquisition in February 1986; (3) designed a National Test Facility (NTF) as the core of NTB; and (4) estimated that total NTB acquisition costs through fiscal year 1993 would exceed $900 million. GAO also found that NTB acquisition has not proceeded as planned due to delays in: (1) contract award for the implementation of the program's final phase; (2) NTF construction; (3) achievement of early analysis capability; (4) computer access; and (5) meeting hiring goals.

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