Missile Defense and Money
The Navy's successful use of a missle to shoot down an errant spy satellite last week showed how far missile defense technology has come, with help from a bevy of contractors.
Make no mistake, that was a serious shot -- caught on video.
But other news about the missile defense is not so electrifying, at least according to the Government Accountability Office. In a report released yesterday, a senior GAO official raised new questions about the management of multibillion-dollar Missile Defense Agency operations.
Among other things, the agency obscured cost increases by putting off work that should have been done last year and planning in a way that made it hard to assess the costs, the report said.
"In the past year, MDA has fielded additional and new assets, enhanced the capability of some existing assets, and achieved most test objectives. However, MDA did not meet the goals it originally set for the block," the report said. "Ultimately, MDA fielded fewer assets, increased costs by about $1 billion and conducted fewer tests."
On top of that, the GAO found that its auditors could not assess the performance of contractors and the effectiveness of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS), the Defense Department's largest R&D program.
"Moreover, the tests done to date have been developmental in nature, and do not provide sufficient realism for DOD's test and evaluation Director to determine whether BMDS is suitable and effective for battle," the report said.
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