Space Acquisitions: DOD Continues to Face Challenges of Delayed Delivery of Critical Space Capabilities and Fragmented Leadership   [open pdf - 845KB]

"DOD's space systems provide critical capabilities that support military and other government operations and can take a long time to develop, produce, and launch. These systems can also be expensive to acquire and field, amounting to billions of dollars each year. Given the time and resource demands of DOD's space systems and the need to ensure taxpayer dollars are used effectively, especially in light of today's constrained government budget environment, it is essential that DOD manage system acquisitions carefully and avoid repeating past problems. This statement focuses on (1) the current status and cost of major DOD space system acquisitions, (2) GPS [Global Positioning System], which is the only large DOD satellite program with systems currently in the development cycle, and (3) leadership for space acquisitions. This statement highlights the results of GAO's [Government Accountability Office] work on space acquisitions over the past 8 years and presents preliminary observations from ongoing work on the Global Positioning System. For the ongoing work, GAO analyzed program documents and interviewed DOD and contractor officials. [...] Past GAO reports have generally recommended that DOD adopt acquisition best practices to help ensure cost and schedule goals are met. DOD has generally agreed and taken some actions to address space acquisition problems; however, additional actions are still needed."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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