GAO Report: Satellite Programs Show Overruns Across the Board

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AEHF Milstar 3:50+% over budget Satellites are an increasingly-important element of America’s Network-Centric Warfare approach, and the task of planning for America’s technology needs 40 years into the future is daunting. Cost and delays have hampered America’s satellite programs before, and now a detailed, program-by-program analysis of the state of seven different programs finds different kinds of problems and delays. Indeed, the GAO’s latest inquiry into the status and short-falls of the U.S. government’s military space programs notes that there is no single agency, company or simple villain to blame for the problems. In testimony to the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed Services July 12, 2005, the GAO’s Director of Acquisitions and Management Robert E. Levin noted the status of several key satellite programs, and made a number of recommendations: The Programs Unit cost on Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellites (AEHF) has increased by more than 50%,” with cost increases of more than 15% in 2004 alone. The GAO attributed these cost increases “to production problems and changing security requirements. Earlier cost increases were attributed, in part, to a rush to start the program, changing requirements, and a lack of funding to support an overly optimistic […]

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