Strategic Weapons:

Long-Term Costs Are Not Reported to the Congress

NSIAD-90-226: Published: Aug 10, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 10, 1990.

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GAO discussed: (1) the long-term costs of 12 strategic weapons systems; and (2) the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD) routinely provided Congress with estimates of system costs.

GAO found that: (1) projected annual funding levels required to acquire, operate, and support the 12 systems were expected to peak at about $1.8 billion, due to acquisition costs; (2) by 2003, annual operation and support costs are expected to be about $9 billion; (3) as the acquisition programs are completed and acquisition costs fall, operation and support costs will increase; (4) DOD did not routinely provide Congress with complete operation and support cost estimates, and congressional oversight is expected to decrease further once the systems are deployed; and (5) until DOD fulfills congressional directives requiring it to routinely provide more complete estimates, congressional decisionmakers will have to request estimates from the military services. GAO believes that its projections understate the strategic systems' costs as of 1989.

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