Strategic Forces:

Justification for the Short Range Attack Missile II

NSIAD-88-81BR: Published: Dec 31, 1987. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the: (1) Air Force's justifications for replacing its Short Range Attack Missile (SRAM) A with SRAM II; (2) Department of Defense's (DOD) SRAM II reports to Congress; and (3) potential impact of a 4- to 5-year SRAM II program delay.

GAO found that the Air Force justified the SRAM replacement based on: (1) declining inventory; (2) effects of aging on effectiveness and safety; (3) current nuclear safety design criteria; and (4) improved enemy defenses and changed target characteristics. GAO also found that DOD reports to Congress: (1) analyzed the least costly SRAM II design; (2) compared the cost-effectiveness of SRAM II with two SRAM A modification options; and (3) concluded that SRAM II was the most cost-effective alternative which met minimum requirements. In addition, GAO found that delay of the SRAM II program could: (1) compound current SRAM A problems; (2) require a new design effort and competition; (3) reduce the effectiveness of the penetrating bomber force and increase the bomber's exposure to enemy defenses; and (4) increase costs to the government. GAO noted that: (1) SRAM II could benefit from possible technological breakthroughs made during the delay period; and (2) an extended delay could help to reduce current budget reduction pressures.

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