For the last several years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has planned to invest billions of dollars in development and procurement of unmanned aircraft systems. In its fiscal year 2011 budget request the department indicated a significant increase in these investments, expecting to need more than $24 billion from 2010 through 2015. DOD recognizes that to leverage its resources more effectively, it must achieve greater commonality among the military services' unmanned aircraft system acquisition programs. This testimony is based primarily on GAO's July 2009 report (GAO-09-520) which examined 10 unmanned aircraft acquisition programs: eight unmanned aircraft systems--Global Hawk, Reaper, Shadow, Predator, Sky Warrior, Fire Scout, Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, and Unmanned Combat Aircraft System-Demonstration; and two payload development programs--Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program, and Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload. The testimony focuses on: 1) the cost, schedule, and performance progress of the 10 programs as of July 2009; 2) the extent to which the military services collaborated and identified commonality among the programs; 3) factors influencing the effectiveness of the collaboration; and, 4) recent DOD investment decisions related to these acquisitions.
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