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Joint Precision Approach and Landing System Nunn-McCurdy Breach Root Cause Analysis and Portfolio Assessment Metrics for DOD Weapons Systems. Volume 8

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Technical Report

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RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

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This combined report deals with two issues. One is an analysis of the Nunn-McCurdy breach that occurred in the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System Increment1A JPALS Inc. 1A acquisition program.1 This particularly ambitious program involved not only the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force but also civilian agencies, and it had international implications because it involved the widely used Instrument Landing System ILSa system dating back to the late 1920s that relies on radio beams to guide pilots to the runway when visibility is reduced. The advent of the Global Positioning System GPS provided an alternative to the ILS, but developing a GPS-based system that met the needs of diverse organizations posed significant challenges. Thus, given the challenges, the fact that a Nunn-McCurdy breach occurred is not surprising, especially since many aspects of the program were influenced by forces and factors outside the Department of Defense DoD. That fact not withstanding, the breach occurred and, by law, DoD had to respond. The next chapter of this report provides the root cause analysis as defined in the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act WSARA legislation.2

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