GAO: DOD Should Align Missile Tech Development Efforts With Operational Requirements

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The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the Department of Defense establish processes and systems to ensure that missile defense system development programs align with the military’s operational requirements.

GAO said in a new report published Wednesday the Pentagon made modifications to the Missile Defense Agency’s acquisition flexibilities and transferred to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment the authority to approve major MDA programs.

The changes are consistent with the acquisition best practices identified by GAO and comply with the actions it recommended that DOD take to improve missile weapons procurement. However, GAO found gaps in the process of matching the new systems’ capabilities with the end users’ requirements.

“DOD continues to rely on MDA to identify its own operational-level requirements, which could result in MDA later having to make costly, time-consuming design changes to meet warfighter needs,” GAO said in the report.

Among its recommendations is the establishment of a process at U.S. Strategic Command to record and validate operational-level warfighter needs in an initial requirements document.

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