Jump to search Jump to main navigation Jump to main content Jump to footer navigation

Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

Produced by
NationalJournal logo

GAO Cites Risky Antimissile Procurement Practices

"High risk" procurement practices remain in use at the U.S. Missile Defense Agency even after corresponding procedures held up manufacturing of interceptors for three separate antimissile programs, the Government Accountability Office said in a report made public last week.

"Interceptor production for three of MDA's systems has been significantly disrupted during the past few years due to high-risk acquisition strategies which have resulted in delaying planned deliveries to the warfighter, raising costs, and disrupting the industrial base," according to congressional auditors.

"[The MDA] Targets and Countermeasures program is adding risk to an upcoming complex, costly operational flight test involving multiple MDA systems because it plans to use unproven targets," says a GAO summary.

In addition, auditors said the agency did not systematically consider procurement options to pursue in place of two system now designated for cancellation: the Standard Missile 2 Block 2B and the Precision Tracking Space System.

The Pentagon is also still struggling to keep procurement activities in line with schedules for fielding missile defense elements in Europe, they said.

"Instability due to MDA’s frequent adjustments to its acquisition baselines makes assessing progress over time using these baselines extremely difficult and, in many cases, impossible," auditors wrote.

"MDA has also struggled for years to develop the tools -- the models and simulations -- to understand the capabilities and limitations of the individual systems before they are deployed," the report says. "War-fighters will not benefit from" a planned evaluation standard "until after the first two of the currently planned three phases for U.S. missile defense in Europe have been deployed in 2011 and 2015 respectively."

Note to our Readers

GSN ceased publication on July 31, 2014. Its articles and daily issues will remain archived and available on NTI’s website.

NTI Analysis

  • 3D Missile Model Collection

    April 22, 2015

    The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies has created a series of 3D models of ballistic and cruise missiles for the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

  • North Korean Ballistic Missile Models

    April 8, 2015

    This page contains interactive 3D missile models for North Korea. Users can drag the model by pressing and holding their mouse’s scroll wheel. They can zoom in and out on the model by rolling their scroll wheel up and down, and can orbit the model by clicking and dragging their left mouse button.

Country Profile

Flag of United States

United States

This article provides an overview of the United States’ historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.

Learn More →