General Accounting Office Reports

Military Space Programs: Comprehensive Analysis Needed and Cost Savings
Available (Testimony, 04/14/94, GAO/T-NSIAD-94-164).

Originally designed to relay messages during global nuclear war, the
costly Milstar satellite system could be scaled back to save more than
$2 billion.  Both Milstar and the Defense Support System (DSP), meant to
detect ballistic missile launches, are products of the Cold War and need
to be adapted to tactical warfare in regional conflicts.  The Pentagon's
decision to scrap the most recent DSP follow-on program and start anew
provides an opportunity to fully assess the need for early missile
warning information.  The Defense Department's (DOD) plans to replace
DSP with Alert, Locate, and Report Missiles (ALARM) requires a
comprehensive analysis that includes (1) reviewing and validating
operational requirements, (2) selecting the most cost-effective
alternative from plausible candidate systems, (3) ensuring that the
system selected is affordable, (4) demonstrating that the transition
from DSP to ALARM will avoid coverage gaps, and (5) evaluating the
launch vehicle implications for DSP.  Regarding Milstar, GAO believes
that DOD could save more than $2 billion if it opted not to acquire the
last two satellites under the current plan.  This decision would require
the accelerated development of an enhanced Milstar that is smaller,
lighter, cheaper, and capable of being launched on a smaller vehicle
than the Titan IV.  This accelerated development would entail some
additional investment in the short run.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  T-NSIAD-94-164
     TITLE:  Military Space Programs: Comprehensive Analysis Needed and 
             Cost Savings Available
      DATE:  04/14/94
   SUBJECT:  Warning systems
             Defense cost control
             Defense contingency planning
             Military satellites
             Cost effectiveness analysis
             Defense operations
             Tactical air forces
             Telecommunications operations
             Electronic warfare
IDENTIFIER:  Defense Support Program
             Alert, Locate, and Report Missiles System
             MILSTAR
             Air Force Advanced Warning System
             SDI Boost Surveillance and Tracking System
             Follow-On Early Warning System
             Persian Gulf War
             Scud Missile
             Patriot Air Defense System
             Titan IV Rocket
             DOD Future Years Defense Program
             Atlas Missile
             DOD Bottom-Up Review
             Military Strategic and Tactical Relay Satellite 
             Communications System
             BSTS
             ALARM
             Strategic Defense Initiative Program
             
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