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Highlights

GAO reviewed the performance of two cruise missiles during Operation Desert Storm, focusing on the missiles': (1) advantages over tactical aircraft; and (2) potential impact on future tactical weapons system requirements.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should assess the extent to which cruise missiles could affect the requirements for manned strike aircraft and aircraft carriers. This assessment should examine the: (1) effect that existing cruise missiles and potential upgrades have on the design characteristics, such as the range, payload, and stealth characteristics of planned future aircraft; (2) potential effect of the resulting alternative aircraft designs on future aircraft affordability; and (3) degree to which increased cruise missile inventories could affect the number of aircraft to be procured.
Closed - Implemented
DOD disagreed with GAO's recommendations and said the Bottom-Up Review process took into account the capabilities of cruise missiles and other advanced munitions when it set its force goals and modernization plans.
Department of Defense 2. The Secretary of Defense should reassess the degree to which cruise missile-equipped platforms could fulfill peacetime presence requirements and the effect that increased reliance on those platforms would have on the Bottom-Up Review's justification for an additional aircraft carrier for presence missions.
Closed - Not Implemented
DOD disagreed with GAO's recommendations and said the Bottom-Up Review process took into account the capabilities of cruise missiles and other advanced munitions when it set its force goals and modernization plans.

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