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Jun 01 2015

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GAO satisfied with progress of most DoD satellite programs

GAO Reports On Space Acquisition Programs—Some Problems Overcome; However, Challenges + Uncertainly Lay Ahead. The exception seems to be GPS satellites, as GPS III is a couple of years behind schedule.

Key takeaway:

The Department of Defense (DoD) also faces challenges in providing future space-based capabilities. In October 2014, GAO reported that fiscal constraints and growing threats to space systems have led DoD to consider alternatives such as disaggregating—or breaking up—large satellites into multiple, smaller satellites or payloads, and introducing competition into the acquisition of launch services. DoD is assessing options for future capabilities in several key mission areas through analyses of alternatives, comparing multiple potential solutions to satisfy capability needs. However, the time frames for making decisions about the way forward are narrowing, and if not made in time, DoD may be forced to continue with existing approaches for its next systems, as GAO reported in April 2015.

Implementing any new approaches will be difficult if DoD does not overcome long-standing leadership problems for its space programs, including cultural resistance to acquisition process changes and fragmented responsibilities. More recently, DoD has taken steps to address some of these leadership challenges, though it is too early to tell whether such efforts will be effective.

I’m here to tell you, MUCH easier said than done. Our bloated acquisition bureaucracy likes things just the way they are.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/06/01/gao-satisfied-with-progress-of-most-dod-satellite-programs/

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