News from Washington

Execution Risks Remain for Future Years Defense Program

A report from the General Accounting Office (GAO), "Future Years Defense Program: Substantial Risks Remain in DoD's 1999-2003 Plan" (GAO/NSIAD-98-204), finds that the Department of Defense (DoD) has done little to incorporate the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) plans into its Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) for a more balanced and modern program capable of execution within currently proposed budgets for FY 1999. Since 1993, the DoD has maintained that it must reduce its infrastructure to offset the cost of future weapon systems. However, the infrastructure portion of the DoD's budget has not decreased as planned over the past several years and, as a result, planned funding increases for modern weapons have been repeatedly shifted further into the future.

The GAO confirms that the DoD has reduced its military and civilian personnel, force structure and facilities but has been unable to shift funds from infrastructure to modernization. Infrastructure spending consumed 59 percent of the DoD's total 1997 budget (the same portion used in 1994). The DoD's QDR reported that it had postponed procurement plans because funds were used to cover underestimated operating costs and new programs and that savings expected from outsourcing and other initiatives were not available. As a result, the DoD has adjusted its 1999 FYDP to reduce the risk of funds shifting from procurement to operating expenses. These plans to fulfill all budgeted objectives rely partially on savings of $24.1 B that are expected from lower inflation and fuel costs and favorable foreign currency exchange rates. In addition, plans to cut 175,000 military and civilian personnel are expected to save $3.7 B annually by 2003.

However, it is feared that these assumptions may not be able to deliver the expected savings. The GAO report notes that some plans for personnel cuts are incomplete and will have to rely on successful outsourcing and reengineering efforts that may not occur on time.

Yet another risk in the plans is due to the consistent behavior of the DoD budget regarding procurement spending. Over the past 32 years, DoD procurement spending has risen and fallen in tandem with the movement of the total budget. The DoD is now projecting that procurement funding will rise in actual terms during 1998-2003 by approximately 29 percent while the total budget will essentially remain flat.

Past attempts to streamline infrastructure and reengineer practices have not yielded the anticipated savings programmed in recent FYDPs, which were intended to fund modernizations. The DoD's 1999 FYDP incorporates an attempt to reduce the migration of funds from procurement but the risks associated with the completion of these plans are substantial. The report suggests that the DoD should continue to strive for realistic assumptions and plans in its future budget cycles.

Raytheon to Manufacture and Install New FAA Radars

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Raytheon Systems Co, Lexington, MA, to manufacture and install up to 152 new monopulse secondary surveillance radars for its Air Traffic Control Beacon Interrogator (ATCBI-6) replacement program. The contract has a potential value of approximately $180 M.

The ATCBI-6 program has been developed to replace aging civil air traffic control radar beacon systems used by the FAA to obtain information from enroute aircraft, including identification, altitude, air speed and direction. The new systems will work in tandem with existing primary surveillance radars operated by the FAA and DoD. Raytheon will deliver its latest-generation monopulse secondary surveillance radar, which currently is being supplied to both the DoD and FAA as part of the ASR-11/Digital Airport Surveillance Radar program. The ATCBI-6 version will incorporate a Mode S selective addressing capability.

DARPA Awards Next-generation Situational Awareness System Contract

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a contract to a team led by ITT Aerospace Communications to compete for the next-generation Small Unit Operations - Situational Awareness System (SUO-SAS). Under the terms of the $10 M award, the team will develop and demonstrate key technologies for a complete mobile communications, computing, navigation, sensor fusion, situational awareness and visualization suite for soldiers operating in a variety of scenarios.

The SIDE ARM team comprises Rockwell Collins, BBN Technologies (a unit of GTE Internetworking) and SRL International as well as specialized associates including Lockheed Martin and Atlantic Aerospace Electronics Corp. The award specifies that the team must develop and integrate key enabling hardware and software for a soldier suite with dramatically small size, weight and power consumption. Military program sponsors anticipate that the lightweight, power-managed suite will replace the Land Warrior system in developing core technologies responsive to emerging Joint Tactical Radio requirements.

The SUO-SAS project is a three-phase effort that began in 1997 with five separate competitors. Two phase II contracts will be awarded with the phase III award contingent upon the two competitors' performance during technology demonstrations in the spring of 1999. A final award is expected that summer with fully integrated demonstration units scheduled for delivery for field testing in 2001.

DARPA Funds Boeing ARRMD Program

DARPA has funded a proposal from Boeing for a $10 M Affordable Rapid Response Missile Demonstrator (ARRMD) program. The overall objective of the program is to develop and demonstrate (in flight) a concept for an affordable rapid response missile that will be suitable for use against time-critical, heavily defended, high priority, hard and buried targets. An average unit flyaway price of $200 K for the missile (FY 1998 dollars assuming a 3000-missile purchase for a weapon developed based on the technology demonstrated in the program) has been established and is the only firm requirement for the production missile.

Among the performance objectives for the production weapon to be developed from the demonstrated technology are a ground impact error less than 10 m circular error probable on aim point, ground impact velocity equal to or greater than 4000 ft/s, powered range of 600 nautical miles with time-to-target for 400 nautical miles no more than seven minutes, launch within two minutes of receipt of target coordinates and target updates in flight, minimum payload of 250 lb and physical compatibility with fighter, bomber, shipboard and submarine launch facilities. DARPA will manage the ARRMD program, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory will provide primary technical support and the Air Force Research Laboratory, Propulsion Directorate will provide technical support and act as DARPA's contracting agent.

Longbow Hellfire Missile Transceiver Contract Awarded

Sanders, a Lockheed Martin company, has received a $50 M contract from Martin Marietta Millimeterwave Technologies Inc. (MMMTI) for the manufacture of mm-wave transceivers for the Longbow Hellfire Missile System. The full-rate production contract calls for Sanders to build 2087 transceivers for MMMTI to be deployed on US Army AH-64D and UK army WAH-64 Apache helicopters. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in November and be completed in early 2001.

Sanders has already produced and delivered 361 transceivers to MMMTI under an initial low rate production contract awarded in December 1995. Production contracts for more than 10,000 additional units are expected through 2003.