Defense Acquisition Programs:

Status of Selected Systems

NSIAD-90-30: Published: Dec 14, 1989. Publicly Released: Dec 14, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the requirements, schedules, performance, cost and funding support for 13 defense acquisition programs.

GAO found that: (1) although the Department of Defense (DOD) developed all 13 programs to satisfy military requirements within budget constraints, there was disagreement within DOD that some programs represented the most cost-effective solutions to its requirements; (2) DOD deleted certain aircraft from the budget because it found existing aircraft more cost-effective; (3) the Army did not know whether its light helicopters represented the most cost-effective way to accomplish projected missions, even though the program offered increased capabilities; (4) the Navy's decision to drop out of an air-launched missile program prompted DOD to reassess air defense suppression requirements; (5) the Army's development of two anti-tank missile systems was unclear, since current funding was inadequate to support both systems; (6) each of the 13 programs experienced schedule slippages, 10 had cost increases, and 7 had program changes resulting from schedule slippages, budget cuts, and technical problems; (7) DOD reduced some projected procurement quantities to avoid excessive program cost growth; (8) because legislation established milestone authorization to enhance stability, DOD designated 10 acquisition programs as defense enterprise programs and nominated 3 of those for milestone legislation; and (9) DOD was in the process of reviewing defense enterprise and related legislation, preparing an implementation plan, and proposing a list of candidates.

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