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Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs

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Technical Report

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United States Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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This is GAOs annual assessment of DODs major weapon system acquisitions, an area on GAOs high-risk list. DOD and Congress have taken steps to improve the acquisition of weapon systems. Still some programs continue to experience cost and schedule overruns. GAO continues to emphasize the need for DOD and Congress to hold programs accountable by ensuring that they attain the required knowledge at key decision points before committing resources to development. Given continuing budgetary pressures, DOD cannot afford to miss opportunities to address program inefficiencies.The joint explanatory statement to the DOD Appropriations Act, 2009 includes a provision for GAO to annually review DODs portfolio of weapon systems. This report includes observations on 1 the cost and schedule performance of DODs 2016 portfolio of 78 major defense acquisition programs, 2 program implementation of key acquisition reform initiatives, and 3 the knowledge attained at key decision points for 54 weapon programs in development or early production.GAO analyzed cost, schedule, and quantity data from DODs Selected Acquisition Reports from 2010, 2014, and 2015. GAO also collected program office data through two questionnaires on technology, design, and manufacturing knowledge the use of knowledge-based acquisition practices and the implementation of acquisition reforms and initiatives.In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with GAOs findings and stated that the results validate its focus on continuous program improvements.

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