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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's rationale for procuring spare MK-6 guidance systems for the Trident II submarine's D-5 missile, focusing on the: (1) Navy's total program inventory objective; and (2) effect of reducing the inventory on the missile's overall reliability.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should consider whether some slight reductions in the operational readiness and reliability goals established in the 1986-1987 time frame during the Cold War era are acceptable, in view of the threats that exist in the world today since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Closed - Not Implemented
The DOD response to the recommendation stated that it would use the results of a Nuclear Posture Review to determine whether the Trident II readiness goals remain appropriate. That review did not indicate a significant reduction in readiness goals.
Department of Defense 2. If these reductions are acceptable, the Secretary of Defense should reduce the number of additional MK-6 guidance systems to be procured.
Closed - Not Implemented
The recommended reduction in spare guidance systems to be procured was dependent on the Navy determining that it could reduce its readiness goals. Because readiness goals are not being significantly reduced, this recommendation becomes academic. Additionally, while the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended that the number of spares be reduced and cited the GAO work as justification, that recommendation was not adopted by the conferees.

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