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In 1978, GAO reviewed the military services' development test and evaluation (DT&E) of six weapons systems totaling an estimated $12 billion in development and procurement costs. Inadequate testing is principally due to the expense, the difficulty of staging and execution, the time consumed, and belief that negative test results may jeopardize or delay a program. To overcome the unenthusiastic attitude towards testing, the type of results expected from the testing must be defined. Possibly, a strong testing activity is the only means of accomplishing this objective. The Department of Defense spelled out testing procedures in a 1973 policy directive; when it is followed, it discloses problems and risks before production and verifies solutions.

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