Space and Missile Defense Anquisitions: Periodic Assessment Needed to Correct Parts Quality Problems in Major Programs, Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Quality is key to success in U.S. space and missile defense programs, but quality problems exist that have endangered entire missions along with less-visible problems leading to unnecessary repair, scrap, rework, and stoppage; long delays; and millions in cost growth. For space and missile defense acquisitions, GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to examine quality problems related to parts and manufacturing processes and materials across Department of Defense (DOD) and NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration]. GAO assessed (1) the extent to which parts quality problems affect those agencies' space and missile defense programs; (2) causes of any problems; and (3) initiatives to prevent, detect, and mitigate parts quality problems. To accomplish this, GAO reviewed all 21 systems with mature designs and projected high costs: 5 DOD satellite systems, 4 DOD missile defense systems, and 12 NASA systems. GAO reviewed existing and planned efforts for preventing, detecting, and mitigating parts quality problems. Further, GAO reviewed regulations, directives, instructions, policies, and several studies, and interviewed senior headquarters and contractor officials."

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