GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
At their own discretion, defense contractors can conduct research and development projects of potential interest to DOD and may be reimbursed for some or all of this work. This kind of independent research and development in high-tech areas can help the U.S. military keep a technological edge.
What GAO Found From fiscal years 2013 through 2018, the Department of Defense (DOD) obligated about $2 billion annually to 10 DOD-sponsored Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC), excluding obligations related to two intelligence programs and capital equipment costs (such as antenna...
Hypersonic weapons are expected to:
Fly at least 3,800 mph (about 5 times the speed of sound)
Fly at lower altitudes than ballistic missiles
Be highly maneuverable
Be able to change targets during flight
Be extremely difficult to defend against
Key technologies for these weapons remain under development....
The Department of Defense relies on its laboratories to help keep the military on the cutting edge of technology. Congress has given DOD's labs special "authorities"—flexibilities that lab directors can use to foster innovation and improve efficiency.
What GAO Found The Internet of Things (IoT) is the set of Internet-capable devices, such as wearable fitness devices and smartphones, that interact with the physical environment and typically contain elements for sensing, communicating, processing, and actuating.
In 2015, the Department of Defense discovered that one of its labs had inadvertently sent live anthrax to almost 200 other labs worldwide over 12 years. The lab's "inactivation" (removal of hazardous effects) of the pathogen was incomplete.
What GAO Found The total number of incidents involving incomplete inactivation—a process to destroy the hazardous effects of pathogens while retaining characteristics for future use—that occurred from 2003 through 2015 is unknown for several reasons.
What GAO Found GAO found in March 2016 that the Department of Defense (DOD), in conducting a requirements review and Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) from 2012 to 2014, generally performed a thorough review for identifying capability gaps in meteorological and oceanographic data—also referred to as weather...