DOD must fix glitches in satellite programs, says GAO

The Defense Department continues to struggle on next-generation military satellite programs with such problems as cost overruns, shortages of ground-segment software and difficulties with beyond-line-of-sight terminals at the same time it plans to slash $2 billion from spending on these programs in the fiscal 2013 budget, reports Reuters.

Cristina Chaplain, an analyst with the Government Accountability Office, told a Senate hearing March 21 that pressing cost, software and hardware issues must be resolved on major Navy and Air Force satellite programs, such as Global Positioning System III, Space Based Infrared System, Advanced Extremely High Frequency and Mobile User Objective System (MUOS), the story states.

These problems need to be resolved before the U.S. military can realize the full benefits of new satellites now in orbit and those currently scheduled to be launched in coming years, she told the Senate Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee on strategic force.

One example of a key problem is GAO’s calculation that more than 90 percent of the capabilities of the first of the Navy’s MUOS satellites, which was launched in February, cannot be used given delays in development of its ground terminals.

Defense Systems Update

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