Pentagon Selected Acquisition Reports: April 2007
If you want to keep track of key Pentagon programs, Selected Acquisition Reports are an important resource. Shortly after the defense budget is submitted, the Pentagon releases details on major defense acquisition program cost, schedule, and performance changes on a periodic basis, summarizing the latest estimates of a major program’s cost, schedule, and technical status. Quarterly SARs are submitted for initial reports, final reports, and for programs that are rebaselined at major milestone decisions. Subsequent quarterly exception reports are required only for those programs experiencing unit cost increases of at least 15% or schedule delays of at least 6 months.
Total program cost estimates provided in the SARs include research and development, procurement, military construction, and acquisition-related operation and maintenance (except for pre-Milestone B programs which are development costs only). Total program costs reflect actual costs to date, as well as future anticipated costs, and include anticipated inflation allowances.
The April 2007 SAR has a number of interesting tidbits in it, including 2 major canceled programs (Land Warrior 21st Century Infantry program, ADS shallow-water sensor nets). Beyond that, programs experienced notable cost changes for a number of reasons. In some cases, the total rose in part because the USA is buying more of them or adding more accessories (ARH-70 helicopters, AH-64D Longbow helicopters, C-17A, C-5 AMP modernization kits, F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, FMTV trucks, Stryker/LAV-III, WIN-T networking, Ballistic missile defense). In other cases, the program is simply seeing rising costs for key items or adding required improvements (E-2D Hawkeye AWACS, V-22 Osprey, F-35 JSF, C-130 AMP modernization kits, the Littoral Combat Ship program, EELV rocket launches, Global Broadcast System satellites, JTRS radio program, AGM-158 JASSM missile), or even after-effects from natural disasters (LPD-17 San Antonio Class ship). Finally, some program decreases are reported due to programs that are either being delayed/ downsized/ restructured (Future Combat Systems omnibus program, NPOESS satellite), having their buy quantities cut significantly (M30 GMLRS rockets, M142 HIMARS rocket launcher, MP-RTIP airborne radar), seeing lower than expected foreign sales (AIM-120 AMRAAM), or are just performing better than estimates (SSN-774 Virginia class submarine).