In 1997, the Department of Defense (DOD) initiated the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program, a key element of its effort to transform military operations to be network centric. Using emerging software-defined radio technology, the JTRS program plans to develop and procure hundreds of thousands of radios that give warfighters the capability to access maps and other visual data, communicate via voice and video, and obtain information directly from battlefield sensors. The JTRS program has encountered a number of problems, resulting in significant delays and cost increases. The program is currently estimated to total about $37 billion. Given the criticality of JTRS to DOD's force transformation, Congress directed GAO to continue its ongoing review of the JTRS program. This report (1) assesses whether a recent restructuring puts the program in a better position to succeed and (2) identifies any risks that challenge the successful fielding of JTRS.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. To enhance the likelihood of success of the JTRS program, the Secretary of Defense should, before approving the detailed program plans for each JTRS domain, ensure that they reflect stable and well-defined requirements; knowledge-based acquisition strategies; clear and meaningful test plans that address the need to not only test individual JTRS components but the overall networking capabilities of JTRS as well; and, funding commitments necessary to execute the program.|
|Department of Defense||2. To enhance the likelihood of success of the JTRS program, the Secretary of Defense should develop JTRS migration and fielding plans that are consistent with a well-developed concept of operations for using JTRS networking capabilities and effectively balances recent investments in acquiring legacy radios with future needs.|