Strategic Defense System

Stable Design and Adequate Testing Must Precede Decision to Deploy Gao ID: IMTEC-90-61 July 6, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed why the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) will not be able to support currently scheduled full-scale development or deployment decisions on any part of Phase I of the Strategic Defense System.

GAO found that: (1) SDIO cost estimates range from $69.6 billion to $87 billion for completion of Phase I development and deployment; (2) the system would not be deployed unless the President certified to Congress that the system could maintain effectiveness during a war and fulfill its mission; (3) by 1993, SDIO will not have conducted integrated system-level tests designed to demonstrate that the entire Phase I system will work as planned; (4) the new Phase I architecture will not be solidified until 1991, thus decreasing the level of system testing that can be performed by 1993; and (5) because of fiscal year (FY) 1990 funding cuts, research will be scaled back, reducing the information available on which to make a deployment decision in 1993.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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