Weapons Cost:

Analysis of Major Weapon Systems Cost and Quantity Changes

NSIAD-89-32FS: Published: Nov 30, 1988. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition programs, based on information from DOD Selected Acquisition Reports (SAR) dated December 31, 1987.

GAO found that: (1) the Army, Air Force, and Navy reported a combined total program cost estimate of $751.6 billion, a $216.8-billion increase over the program base year estimates; (2) Army, Navy, and Air Force programs increased by about $51.1 billion, $82.9 billion, and $82.7 billion, respectively; (3) costs associated with quantity changes accounted for about $143.9 billion of the increase; and (4) costs associated with economic factors such as inflation resulted in an overall decrease of about $28.5 billion, even though the Army reported an estimated $4-billion increase due to economic factors. GAO believes that, although SAR provide valuable information on system costs, schedules, and characteristics for congressional oversight, they: (1) are not always timely; (2) report inconsistent data on the same system; (3) present incomplete data; and (4) are lengthy and difficult to understand.

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