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Highlights

GAO evaluated the Air Force's and Navy's Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM) program, focusing on: (1) the acquisition process; (2) schedule and cost risks; (3) the Air Force's plan to acquire 35 pilot production missiles; and (4) the Navy's commitment to the program.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
Because the Air Force's plan to manufacture 35 pilot production missiles early in development increases schedule risk and results in buying developmental missiles that are not needed to support the planned test program, Congress may wish to consider not providing the estimated $25 million for the 35 pilot production missiles.
Closed - Implemented
Congress considered the matter but decided to provide funds for pilot production missiles in fiscal year 1999.

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that required autonomous guidance and automatic target recognition technologies are mature before finalizing the JASSM design.
Closed - Implemented
DOD's Critical Design Review has taken place and technologies have been decided upon. Production representative missiles are being produced.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Air Force does not acquire the 35 pilot production missiles early in development without a demonstrated need for additional test missiles.
Closed - Implemented
DOD reviewed the Air Force's plans and stated that it agreed with the Air Force's plans to use these missiles for maturing the production process, for certain tests, for flight test spares, and for an early deployment option.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that missiles used during planned initial operational test and evaluation are production-representative missiles.
Closed - Implemented
DOD agreed with the recommendation and cited actions being taken or planned to implement the recommendation. DOD said that: (1) the JASSM approach is to ensure concurrent engineering and robust transition to production efforts from the beginning; and (2) there is commitment to ensure that production-representative missiles are provided for operational testing. According to the Air Force's August 1999 schedule, initial operational test and evaluation is scheduled to begin during March, 2001. However, the Air Force has now determined that the engineering and manufacturing development phase will be extended by 10 months. Therefore, dates for operational testing are likely to be slipped.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Navy participates fully in the program so the final JASSM design meets both Air Force and Navy requirements.
Closed - Implemented
Although the Navy does not have current plans to procure JASSM missiles, the JASSM design will meet both Air Force and Navy requirements.

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