oversight

Cruise Missile Defense: Progress Made but Significant Challenges Remain

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-03-31.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                  on Military Research and Development,
                  Committee on Armed Services, House of
                  Representatives

March 1999
                  CRUISE MISSILE
                  DEFENSE

                  Progress Made but
                  Significant Challenges
                  Remain




GAO/NSIAD-99-68
                   United States
GAO                General Accounting Office
                   Washington, D.C. 20548                                                                                   Leter




                   National Security and
                   International Affairs Division

                   B-278428                                                                                       Letter

                   March 31, 1999

                   The Honorable Curt Weldon
                   Chairman, Military Research and
                    Development Subcommittee
                   Committee on Armed Services
                   House of Representatives

                   Dear Mr. Chairman:

                   Because of the Committee’s concerns that the Department of Defense
                   (DOD) might not be giving sufficient emphasis to cruise missile defenses,
                   you asked us to review DOD’s progress in establishing adequate
                   mechanisms for coordinating cruise missile defense programs.1 Our
                   objectives were to (1) identify the organizational structure and
                   mechanisms for coordinating cruise missile defense efforts, (2) determine
                   potential measures of the progress of coordination efforts, (3) assess the
                   progress of coordination using these measures, and (4) identify the
                   challenges that DOD officials believe still must be overcome. Because of
                   your interest, this report focuses on defense against land attack cruise
                   missiles.

                   You also asked us to identify the systems that have or will have cruise
                   missile defense capabilities and the amount of funding being requested or
                   planned for these programs. We agreed to provide the system and funding
                   information in a separate briefing.



Results in Brief   The organizational structure for coordinating cruise missile defense efforts
                   across all services consists of the Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense
                   Organization and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization supported by a
                   three-tiered set of integrated product teams. The Joint Theater Air and
                   Missile Defense Organization is to focus on operational requirements
                   issues, while the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization is to focus on
                   acquisition issues. These organizations are to work closely together, using




                   1
                     A cruise missile is an unmanned, armed aircraft that can be launched from another aircraft, ship,
                   submarine, or ground-based launcher to attack ships (antiship cruise missiles) or ground-based targets
                   (land attack cruise missiles).




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a three-tiered set of teams2 comprised of personnel from all organizations
involved in theater air and missile defense development, acquisition, and
operations. These teams are to develop and refine the overall mechanism
for coordinating cruise missile defense efforts—the Theater Air and Missile
Defense Master Plan. The individual military services are primarily
responsible for funding and developing systems and modifications for
cruise missile defense.

DOD officials told us the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of the
coordination process would be the fielding of a cost-effective,
interoperable3 cruise missile defense capability. However, full
accomplishment of this goal is several years away, and DOD has not
specified interim measures of progress toward the goal. Progress can be
measured in terms of both the process and the outputs or results of the
process. We identified some process measures, for example, whether
affected organizations were involved. We also identified, through
discussions with senior-level officials, some outputs and results that would
indicate progress toward coordinating these efforts. These measures are
(1) developing and refining an overall defense strategy and options for
implementing the strategy (the Theater Air and Missile Defense Master
Plan), (2) gaining acceptance of the master plan by affected organizations,
(3) developing and approving overall requirements for a family of theater
missile defense systems, (4) planning and conducting joint demonstrations
of the systems, (5) achieving agreement between the master plan and the
services' proposed budgets, and (6) establishing investment priorities.

DOD has made initial progress toward coordinating its cruise missile
defense efforts based on both the process and output measures. The
three-tiered team approach is improving coordination through joint efforts
to define and reach consensus on the issues. Through December 1998, the
teams had prepared four iterations of the master plan, each revising and
expanding on prior versions. Future iterations are planned on an annual
basis. One of the teams also significantly contributed to the development
of the Theater Missile Defense Capstone Requirements Document, which
was approved in July 1998. The Capstone Requirements Document

2The three-tiers—working level, integration, and overarching—are staffed by progressively higher
levels of DOD management. Each team includes representatives from DOD, the Joint Staff, each of the
military services, the theater combatant commands, and other organizations involved with the air and
missile defense mission.

3
  The ability of two or more systems to exchange information and use that information to work together
toward accomplishing the mission.




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             contains the overall requirements for the family of theater missile defense
             systems. In addition, although the master plans and the services’ budgets
             are not yet in full agreement, the new coordination process has affected
             budgets and acquisition programs to a limited extent, and other budget
             issues have been identified for future resolution.

             Even though progress has been made, DOD officials recognize they still
             face coordination challenges in acquiring a cost-effective cruise missile
             defense. These include getting the services to work together to resolve
             issues in a joint fashion; identifying, defining, and obtaining service
             agreement on the threat; and funding the technologies most vital to an
             effective cruise missile defense.

             In addition, there are technical challenges to be overcome. The technical
             challenges identified by the senior level officials include developing
             mechanisms to enhance warfighters’ ability to fight jointly and a capability
             to intercept cruise missiles outside the view of weapon system operators,
             improving sensors’ abilities to detect and track low observable (stealthy)
             cruise missiles, fielding interoperable systems, and developing low-cost
             defense systems to counter attacks by large numbers of unsophisticated
             cruise missiles.

             We recommend in this report that DOD develop a time-phased set of
             interim measures to assess progress toward DOD’s goal of a cost-effective,
             interoperable family of cruise missile defense systems and that DOD report
             such progress to the Congress in a timely manner for annual budget
             deliberations.



Background   Land attack cruise missiles, most of whose ranges vary from about 90 to
             190 miles, may be sufficiently accurate to impact within a few feet of their
             intended targets. Defending against these cruise missiles will stress air
             defense systems because these missiles are very difficult to detect, track,
             and intercept under the best conditions. Cruise missiles are smaller, and
             therefore much less visible to radar than aircraft or ballistic missiles, and
             can fly at low altitudes to stay below radar coverage. For example, due to
             the earth’s curvature, a ground based radar can detect a low flying cruise
             missile that is about 20 miles away. In comparison, an aircraft flying at
             10,000 feet can be detected when it is about 150 miles away. Newer
             missiles are incorporating stealth features to make them even less visible to
             radars and infrared detectors. A picture of a cruise missile is shown in
             figure 1.



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Figure 1: Cruise Missile




                           Source: National Air Intelligence Center.


                           DOD officials believe that a credible land attack cruise missile threat does
                           not yet exist but that the threat could emerge rapidly. Threat planners
                           believe that, because of the Tomahawk’s apparent success during the
                           Persian Gulf War, development of cruise missiles will greatly increase.
                           According to a 1998 report by the National Air Intelligence Center, only
                           three countries currently have operational land attack cruise missiles, but
                           the threat will increase after the year 2000 when several countries will start
                           production, and probably export a new generation of land attack cruise
                           missiles.

                           Countries interested in acquiring cruise missiles can do so by developing
                           new systems, modifying antiship cruise missiles or unmanned aerial
                           vehicles, or purchasing them directly. A 1994 Defense Science Board
                           Summer Study4 concluded that, while land attack cruise missiles are not


                           4
                               Report of the 1994 Defense Science Board Summer Study Task Force on Cruise Missile Defense.




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widely available, potential adversaries have the motives and means to
acquire them. The study group also concluded that coping with the threat
would require a comprehensive strategy to prevent or delay possession and
to deter and defend against their use. According to the group’s report,
cruise missile defense should be pursued within the concept of overall
theater air defense. The report identified an overall acquisition strategy
based on (1) improving the capabilities of existing air defense systems to
share data and work together, (2) upgrading selected sensors and missiles
to deal with stealthy cruise missiles, and (3) fielding new airborne
surveillance and fire control systems. The report noted that effective joint
air defense required two centers of expertise—one for joint doctrine,
requirements, and concepts of operations and the other for systems
engineering and battle management command, control, and
communications.

The Fiscal Year 1996 Authorization Act directed the Secretary of Defense to
undertake an initiative to coordinate and strengthen the cruise missile
defense programs to ensure that the United States develops and deploys
affordable and effective defenses. The act directed the Secretary to ensure,
to the extent practicable, that cruise missile programs and ballistic missile
defense programs are coordinated and mutually supporting. The act
required DOD to prepare a plan to carry out the initiative, including
organization and management changes that would strengthen and further
coordinate cruise missile defense programs. The act also directed the
Secretary to ensure that the appropriate existing and planned air defense
systems be upgraded to provide an affordable and operationally effective
defense against existing and near-term cruise missile threats. The Fiscal
Year 1997 report of the House Committee on Appropriations, issued in June
1996, expressed concern that each of the services and the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency were developing unique cruise missile
defense systems rather than building systems optimized to meet the needs
of the theater combatant command Commanders in Chief in joint service
operations.

In July 1996, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and
Technology advised the Chairman, House Committee on National Security,
that the key elements of a land attack cruise missile defense program had
been identified. The key elements are

• an advanced mix of airborne sensors (aerostats and fixed-wing aircraft
  systems);




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• using the airborne sensors to direct surface- to-air weapons such as
  Patriot and Aegis;
• fighters with air-to-air missiles supported by airborne sensors;
• missile seekers with improved low altitude target performance;
• networking sensors and weapons by the way of the Joint Tactical
  Information Distribution System, the Cooperative Engagement
  Capability, and other similar systems;
• integration of land attack cruise missile defense with air defense and
  ballistic missile defense into a joint theater defense; and
• a strong technology program to demonstrate advanced sensor and
  missile seeker concepts.

A 1997 Defense Science Board5 report recognized that DOD had made
progress but expressed concern that DOD still had neither joint concepts of
operation nor mechanisms to prioritize investment options. It also noted
that the system engineering to integrate the available defense assets was
missing. Such integration is necessary to allow the theater combatant
commanders to deal effectively with the cruise missile threat.

Current Defense Planning Guidance requires the military services to field
the full cruise missile defense capabilities by 2010 and provide a capability
to defend against emerging threats in the near term. Each service is
developing unique capabilities to address cruise missile and other threats
in the different combat environments that are specific to that service.
These unique capabilities are normally part of multimission weapon
systems that provide defense against a wide range of threats. For example,
the Navy Aegis is expected to engage theater ballistic missiles, aircraft,
cruise missiles, surface targets, and submarines. The first service to enter
an emerging combat arena must be able to provide a credible capability to
protect its own assets and meet the critical needs of the theater combat
commander. However, the services’ unique capabilities must also be able
to operate together with those of the other services to provide an
interoperable cruise missile defense capability.




5
  Report of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense, dated May
1997.




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Organizational        In late 1996, DOD created an organizational structure for coordinating
                      theater air and missile defense activities, including cruise missile defenses.
Structure and         The structure consists of a partnership between a new organization—the
Coordination          Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Organization (JTAMDO)—and an
                      existing one—the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO)—
Mechanisms            supported by a three-tiered set of integrated product teams. The teams
Established           consist of representatives of those organizations and activities responsible
                      for planning, acquiring, and using theater air and missile defense systems.
                      Together, these organizations are to develop and refine a theater air and
                      missile defense master plan. The individual military services’ continue to
                      be responsible for funding and developing systems and modifying existing
                      systems for cruise missile defense.


New Management        DOD established JTAMDO as the warfighters' (theater commanders, Joint
Arrangement Created   Staff, and the services) focal point for developing joint operational
                      architectures,6 overall requirements, and operational concepts.7 JTAMDO
                      is also responsible for validating the capabilities through simulations and
                      demonstrations. It reports to the Joint Staff's Director for Force Structure,
                      Resources, and Assessment.

                      DOD also directed BMDO to assume the role of integration systems
                      architect. Working jointly with JTAMDO, BMDO is to translate the
                      operational architectures into system architectures,8 perform systems
                      engineering at the architecture level, plan and ensure integrated testing of
                      defense architectures, and lead program acquisition activities. For
                      example, BMDO is to work with the services and the joint program offices
                      to develop an overall plan for acquiring systems with integrated
                      capabilities.

                      DOD directed that the two organizations work closely together and with
                      others involved in air and missile defense requirements, acquisitions, and
                      operations, using a three-tiered integrated product team approach—


                      6
                        An operational architecture describes the basic framework and structure of what is to be built and
                      defines the field deployment of system components to the force. It describes who needs to exchange
                      information, what information needs to be exchanged, and how that information will be used.

                      7An   operational concept is a description of how to fight and how to use the equipment.

                      8
                        A systems architecture is a description of the specific systems (hardware and software) and
                      interconnections necessary to fight a battle.




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working level, integration, and overarching teams. The teams are
composed of representatives from JTAMDO, BMDO, the Joint Staff, the
Office of the Secretary of Defense, each of the services, the Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and
theater combatant commands. Their goal is to achieve coordination
through collaboration and consensus building. The structure of the
coordination process is shown in figure 2.



Figure 2: Coordination Process Structure

                                   Executive
                                   Committee


                                    Overarching
                              Integrated Product Team

                                     Integration
                              Integrated Product Team

                 JTAMDO                                        BMDO
               Requirements                                   Acquisition

 Joint Staff          Working Level Integrated Product Teams
                                                                                  Army
Combatant
Commands              Demonstration                BMC4I
                                                                                  Navy
                      Requirements                 Threat
   Others             System Integration           Cost
                      Attack Operations            Operations and
                                                                              Air Force
   BMDO
                                                     Architectures

                                  Defense Advanced Research        Marine Corps
         JTAMDO                   Projects Agency


Source: JTAMDO.


There are eight working level integrated product teams: threat;
requirements; operations and architecture; battle management command,
control, communications, computers, and intelligence (BMC4I); systems
integration; demonstration; cost; and attack operations. The
responsibilities of each team are shown in table 1.




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Table 1: Working Integrated Product Team Responsibilities

Team                         Responsibilities
Operations and               Develop operational and battle management concepts and
architecture                 associated architectures.
Cost                         Develop cost estimates and perform trade-off analyses.
Threat                       Obtain comprehensive threat intelligence.
Systems integration          Coordinate, establish, and maintain system-level architectures
                             for an interoperable family of systems.
Requirements                 Document theater air and missile defense-related
                             requirements and assist in developing the Theater Missile
                             Defense Capstone Requirements Document.
BMC4I                        Produce a BMC4I architecture to describe the interfaces to
                             achieve a joint integrated air and missile defense system.
Attack operations            Integrate attack operations data into joint theater air and
                             missile defense plans.
Demonstration                Develop approaches and a plan for validating the family of
                             system capabilities.

Each team was chartered to develop and refine its assigned part of the
overall master plan for theater air and missile defense, identify and
investigate the issues related to its area, and resolve those issues in a
collaborative manner. Their goal is to reach a consensus at the lowest
possible level. To more expeditiously accomplish the tasks, most teams are
broken into subgroups, but their products or issues are addressed and
approved by the full team. Personnel from JTAMDO and BMDO lead most
of the teams, but, in some cases, teams are led by personnel from the
Defense Intelligence Agency, the Joint Staff, and the Atlantic Command9
when the subject matter warrants. For example, the threat working-level
team is co-chaired by representatives from the Defense Intelligence Agency
and JTAMDO, and the requirements team is co-chaired by representatives
from JTAMDO and the Atlantic Command, a combatant command.

The integration integrated product team, co-chaired by the Deputy
Director, JTAMDO, and the Deputy for Theater Air and Missile Defense,
BMDO, provides management guidance and focus; directs the coordination
of the requirements and acquisition activities; builds consensus among the
services and other participants; and approves the master plan before it


9
  The Atlantic Command has been assigned responsibility to help enhance joint force capabilities
through a blending of technology, systems, and doctrine. See U.S. Atlantic Command: Challenging Role
in the Evolution of Joint Military Capabilities (GAO/NSIAD-99-39, Feb. 17, 1999).




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                               goes to the next level. The overarching integrated product team—
                               co-chaired by the Director for Strategic and Tactical Systems, Office of the
                               Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, and the
                               Director for Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment, Joint Staff—
                               provides policy and financial guidance, receives and refines the
                               recommendations from the integration integrated product team, examines
                               any germane issues, and suggests a review of appropriate cruise missile
                               defense issues by the Executive Committee. The Theater Air and Missile
                               Defense Executive Committee, co-chaired by the Under Secretary of
                               Defense for Acquisition and Technology and the Vice-Chairman, Joint
                               Chiefs of Staff, provides DOD level guidance.


Master Plan Is to Be Overall   The Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan is to be the overall
Coordination Mechanism         mechanism for achieving coordination. The plan, which is to be updated
                               annually in the future, is designed to develop and articulate the rationale
                               for improving the defense capabilities and to focus attention upon the
                               decisions necessary to implement the improvements. It outlines a concept
                               for joint theater air and missile defense operations (including cruise missile
                               defense), describes a family of systems to accomplish the mission,
                               identifies current and future shortcomings, defines the demonstrations
                               needed to validate the family of system capabilities, and makes specific
                               recommendations for implementing future capabilities. The plan is
                               intended to (1) better focus service and BMDO proposed budgets and
                               procurement of new systems and (2) influence service priorities for
                               upgrades to existing systems.

                               According to the former Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and
                               Technology) and the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the
                               coordination process is not intended to alter the services’ traditional
                               responsibilities for program execution and resource management. Unlike
                               the case for ballistic missile defense programs, neither JTAMDO nor BMDO
                               controls most cruise missile defense funding; rather it is included in the
                               services' budgets. Therefore, obtaining funding for specific cruise missile
                               defense programs often requires influencing the services to include funding
                               in their budget proposals.




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Potential Interim      Many senior-level officials told us the ultimate measure of coordination
                       would be to field a cost-effective, interoperable cruise missile defense, but
Indicators to Assess   that goal is not scheduled to be accomplished until 2010. In the interim,
Progress               DOD has not specified time-phased measures that can be used to gauge
                       whether the coordination process is on track to accomplish its goal.
                       Coordination progress can be measured both in terms of extent to which
                       the process has been implemented (process measures) and the outcomes
                       and results of the progress (output measures). We identified two process
                       measures—whether issues were being discussed in a collaborative manner
                       and whether the affected organizations are involved in the process. To
                       identify some potential output measures, we solicited opinions regarding
                       interim measures of coordination progress from 22 current and former
                       senior-level officials. These officials currently are or have been involved in
                       development, acquisition, or operation of air and missile defenses. The
                       primary indicators follow:

                       • Maturation of the master plan. Many officials, including co-chairs of the
                         integration and overarching integrated product teams, believed that
                         obtaining a coordinated master plan and maturation of the master plan
                         over time would be a progress indicator. For example, successive
                         iterations of the master plan should better define the family of systems
                         needed, the joint demonstrations needed to validate the capabilities, the
                         priority of acquiring these systems, and the estimated cost.
                       • Acceptance of the master plan by the services. The Director, BMDO, the
                         Director for Theater Air and Missile Defense, BMDO, and one service
                         representative told us that cruise missile defense coordination progress
                         will occur as the services increasingly "buy into" the master plan,
                         approaching cruise missile defense with complete agreement regarding
                         establishing priorities and making trade-off decisions.
                       • Development and approval of a Theater Missile Defense Capstone
                         Requirements Document. This document identifies overall
                         requirements for a family of theater missile defense systems and is to
                         guide the services in developing (1) system operational requirements
                         documents and (2) systems that will work together. Several officials
                         stated that development and approval of this document indicates
                         progress is being made in coordinating cruise missile defense efforts.
                       • Joint demonstrations of systems. Several officials said that, since
                         fielding the joint cruise missile defense is several years away, an interim
                         measure of progress would be to plan and successfully conduct joint,
                         cross-service demonstrations of systems that work together.




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                              • Agreement between the master plan and the services’ budgets. Several
                                DOD and service officials said that, if progress is occurring, the master
                                plan and the services' budgets for cruise missile defense activities
                                should agree. The Director, JTAMDO, told us that the December 1998
                                version of the master plan should provide sufficient information for the
                                services to make decisions regarding their proposed budgets.
                              • Development of investment priorities. The Director of Strategic and
                                Tactical Systems told us that an agreement on investment priorities and
                                the ability to cancel some programs and accelerate others would
                                indicate progress. According to this official, priorities cannot be
                                established in a few years, but if cruise missile defense priorities are not
                                established, the process will not be effective.

                              The need for output measures is consistent with the provisions of the
                              Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (P. L. 103-62). The
                              Results Act requires federal agencies and activities to clearly define their
                              missions, set goals, link activities and resources to goals, prepare annual
                              performance plans, measure performance, and report on their
                              accomplishments. The Senate and House reports on the Results Act
                              legislation anticipated that the act’s principles would be institutionalized
                              and practiced at all organizational levels.



Initial Progress Has          DOD is making progress toward coordinating cruise missile defense efforts
                              both in terms of implementing the process and outcomes resulting from the
Been Made                     process. In terms of process, the three-tiered integrated team approach is
                              improving coordination by more intensive examination of air and missile
                              defense issues, collaboration on these issues, and attempts to reach
                              consensus. And, although still limited, JTAMDO has obtained more
                              involvement by theater combatant command representatives responsible
                              for wartime operations. In terms of outcomes, joint planning documents to
                              enhance coordination have been prepared or assisted by the coordination
                              process. Although the services’ budgets do not yet fully support the master
                              plan, budgets and programs have been affected to a limited extent, and
                              other budget issues have been identified.


Issues Are Being Identified   Most working level team members we spoke with believe that coordination
and Discussed                 has been enhanced. They cited the following examples: (1) issues are
                              addressed jointly, (2) the varying team members obtain information
                              regarding the other organizations' positions and rationale on the issues,
                              (3) each team member is responsible for coordinating with his/her


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                             respective organization, and (4) they attempt to resolve the issues at the
                             lowest possible level. They said this process requires collaboration and
                             builds consensus.

                             Each working level integrated product team is responsible for drafting a
                             specific section of the Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan. As a
                             part of this process, the working level teams and subgroups identify issues
                             related to their part of the master plan, examine the issues, and attempt to
                             resolve them to all members' satisfaction. For example, during a meeting,
                             the requirements team discussed a set of effectiveness values, but one
                             service representative expressed concern about the values. As a result,
                             JTAMDO and BMDO provided funds for the service to perform a further
                             analysis; the service presented its results during the next team meeting.
                             New values were subsequently adopted. The team member, who raised the
                             issue, informed us that had the issue not been resolved, the dissenting view
                             would have been raised to the next tier—the integration integrated product
                             team.

                             In addition, the master plan and other products developed are examined
                             and approved by the integration integrated product team and the
                             overarching integrated product team. This process provides oversight on
                             product development and guidance regarding the products and permits
                             consensus building at levels higher than the working-level teams. The
                             higher tier teams are composed of higher level representatives from each of
                             the services and the other organizations associated with theater air and
                             missile defense.


Affected Organizations Are   The three-tiered integrated product teams include representatives from the
Involved                     organizations responsible for determining requirements and developing,
                             acquiring, and operating theater air and missile defense systems. Also, the
                             theater combatant commanders—responsible for operational control of
                             military forces in a specific theater or region of the world10—are becoming
                             more involved in the theater air and missile defense coordination process.
                             According to the commanders' representatives, their involvement in the
                             coordination process has been limited because of the high cost of travel
                             and the lack of staff to fully participate. However, JTAMDO and BMDO
                             have obtained combatant command comments on the iterations of the



                             10
                                  A combatant command is comprised of forces from two or more services.




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                           master plan, and the combatant commands provided input to the Capstone
                           Requirements Document.

                           In addition, JTAMDO and BMDO have begun a program to obtain more
                           involvement in the coordination process by the combatant commands'
                           representatives. Under this program, JTAMDO and BMDO visited each
                           theater command to increase awareness of the coordination process and
                           invited all representatives to a week-long meeting to (1) inform the
                           representatives about the air and missile defense initiatives and future
                           direction and (2) provide opportunities for the representatives to express
                           their opinions concerning direction and focus. JTAMDO also has initiated a
                           newsletter to keep theater commands better informed about the key issues
                           addressed at working-level team meetings, and it has placed a
                           representative in each theater. The representative is to assist the theater
                           command with and provide expertise on emerging issues and facilitate the
                           exchange of information among JTAMDO, BMDO, and the combatant
                           commands.


Joint Planning Documents   The integrated product teams have produced or assisted in producing
Have Been Started          several joint planning documents to enhance coordination. These
                           documents include the Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan, the
                           Joint Theater Air and Missile Demonstration Plan, and the Theater Missile
                           Defense Capstone Requirements Document.

                           Through December 1998, the master plan had been published in four
                           iterations, each revising and expanding on prior versions. The initial
                           master plan was published in May 1997. The April 1998 version provides
                           better-defined and updated information about requirements and systems as
                           well as an acquisition roadmap not included in previous versions. The
                           December 1998 version makes additional improvements, including revised
                           and more refined analyses of the system architecture and additional
                           information about the single integrated air picture. As of January 1999, the
                           Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Executive Committee had not
                           approved this plan. The master plan is to be updated annually in the future.
                           Future iterations, for example, are to include a refined cruise missile
                           defense architecture to support the current strategy that accommodates
                           emerging threats in the near term.

                           Another document is the Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense
                           Demonstration Plan, which is incorporated into the master plan, and
                           identifies the joint demonstrations necessary to validate the family of



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                             systems capabilities, using cross-service capabilities. Several joint
                             demonstrations are scheduled annually between 1998 and 2004, including
                             eight specifically related to cruise missile defense. These demonstrations
                             are to be conducted at already planned exercises and test events by adding
                             features to demonstrate joint cruise missile defense capabilities.

                             The requirements working level team assisted the Atlantic Command in
                             producing the Theater Missile Defense Capstone Requirements Document.
                             The document not only identifies the overall requirements for a family of
                             theater missile defense systems (including cruise missile defense) to
                             protect forces and critical assets in a theater or region from missile attacks
                             but also establishes joint warfighting standards for defense capabilities to
                             be provided to the theater commanders. It is intended to (1) guide the
                             services in developing operational requirements for future systems and
                             (2) facilitate development of interoperable systems. The requirements
                             apply to any service or other acquisition authority. It was approved by the
                             Joint Requirements Oversight Council in July 1998. Now the services must
                             modify their formal requirements for new defense systems and
                             improvements to existing defense systems to achieve the requirements in
                             the capstone document. In some cases, incorporation of the capstone
                             requirements will necessitate modifications to existing systems such as
                             changes needed to achieve required levels of interoperability. In addition,
                             the Atlantic Command has drafted a Mission Need Statement for Theater
                             Air and Missile Defense, and the draft is currently being coordinated.11


Budgets and Programs Have    According to JTAMDO and BMDO officials, the services’ budgets do not yet
Been Affected to a Limited   fully support the master plan. For example, the budgets do not include the
                             amounts these officials believe are required for the single integrated air
Extent
                             picture—a mechanism to enhance the services’ ability to fight jointly.
                             However, the coordination process has affected budgets and programs to a
                             limited extent. For example, in the fiscal year 1998 budget process,
                             JTAMDO identified disconnects between the master plan and one service's
                             proposed budget for funding key technology upgrades. JTAMDO officials
                             briefed DOD leadership on the disconnects and proposed funding




                             11
                              A mission need statement is a statement of operational capability required to perform an assigned
                             mission.




                             Page 15                                                GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
                        B-278428




                        alternatives to correct the problem. As a result, DOD issued a program
                        budget decision that realigned the funding for the upgrades. 12

                        In addition, JTAMDO officials conducted a cruise missile defense study
                        that identified disconnects between the services’ fiscal year 1999 budgets
                        and the demonstration plan; many of the disconnects were resolved. We
                        were informed that one service was asked to provide funding to eliminate
                        the remaining disconnect, but the matter has not yet been fully resolved.



Challenges Remain       While there has been progress toward coordinating cruise missile defense
                        efforts, the senior level officials with whom we spoke and documents we
                        reviewed recognize that challenges remain—both managerial and
                        technical—which must be overcome before achieving a cost-effective,
                        coordinated cruise missile defense. Managerial challenges must be met to
                        ensure continued coordination progress. Technical improvements are
                        required because (1) more countries are expected to obtain cruise missiles
                        and (2) the newer cruise missiles are expected to be more difficult to detect
                        and track than current cruise missiles.


Managerial Challenges   One of the challenges for continued coordination progress identified by the
                        senior level officials is getting services to work together. Many of the
                        officials told us that one of the more formidable challenges is obtaining a
                        genuine commitment from the services to develop a joint, interoperable
                        cruise missile defense. One official said getting the services to work
                        together on the joint mission, rather than being advocates for a specific
                        system or plan, is the challenge; however, he acknowledged that, as the
                        process has matured, the services are working together better than at the
                        beginning. Another official believed that the greatest challenge is
                        overcoming the interservice rivalry for funds in a tight budget environment.
                        Another official said that the challenge is obtaining agreement on joint
                        tactics, procedures, and rules of engagement that may require changing
                        some service procedures. We reported on the conflicts of service-oriented
                        priorities in the context of the Atlantic Command’s mission in our February
                        1999 report.




                        12
                             Further details are not included because of the classified nature of these upgrades.




                        Page 16                                                     GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
                       B-278428




                       Another challenge is correctly defining the threat. According to the
                       co-chair of the overarching integrated product team, identifying and
                       characterizing the threat and timing the acquisition of defense capabilities
                       to that threat is a major challenge. The Director, BMDO, and the co-chairs
                       of the integration integrated product team also identified determining the
                       correct threat as a major challenge. The land attack cruise missile threat
                       has been limited, but it could emerge rapidly through development of new
                       systems, conversion of antiship cruise missiles, or purchase of advanced
                       systems from other countries. Although the threat is expected to increase,
                       changes could be difficult to detect. The threat information could be vital
                       to timing the development of cruise missile defense capabilities.

                       A third challenge is adequately funding the most vital programs. According
                       to the 1997 Defense Science Board report, funding for all of the promising
                       concepts being pursued by the services is insufficient. The report further
                       stated that if priorities are not set and choices are not made, none of the
                       concepts are likely to move forward rapidly enough to be in place when
                       needed. However, the Director, Strategic and Tactical Systems, told us that
                       canceling programs would be a difficult task. Neither JTAMDO nor BMDO
                       can ensure that funding is requested for the items considered most vital to
                       cruise missile defense because most funding requests are included in the
                       services’ proposed budgets, not in JTAMDO’s or BMDO’s budget request.
                       Therefore, the funding for the priority items must be obtained by
                       influencing the services to include the funding requests in their proposed
                       budgets. According to the Director, JTAMDO, the goal is to provide
                       sufficient rationale and support to convince the services to adequately fund
                       recommendations in the master plan.


Technical Challenges   A number of technical challenges must be overcome before the effective
                       defense envisioned for 2010 is possible. Some were identified as key
                       elements of a land attack cruise missile defense by the Under Secretary of
                       Defense (Acquisition and Technology) in 1996 (see p. 5).

                       Senior level officials identified acquiring the capability to develop and
                       share a single integrated air picture as a technical challenge. Future
                       employment concepts will view individual weapon systems (whether air,
                       sea, or land based) as just contributing elements to an overall defense
                       capability. The real time execution of an integrated defense plan will
                       require a level of coordination and communication far beyond that
                       currently available. At its core is an air picture that will allow each member
                       of the force to make decisions based on the same information. This is the



                       Page 17                                    GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
B-278428




single integrated air picture. The single integrated air picture will merge
data from multiple sensors and provide all system operators and
decisionmakers with one common set of information about each airborne
target in the battle area.

Another identified challenge is to improve sensor technologies to meet
future threats. To counter the future threat, sensor technology will need to
be improved to detect stealthy cruise missiles at longer ranges, distinguish
them from friendly aircraft, and intercept them over enemy territory.
Defense Science Board reports and current and former theater air and
missile defense officials stated that this capability would require significant
upgrades to surveillance sensors, tracking sensors, and interceptor missile
sensors as well as the acquisition of additional improved elevated
(airborne) sensors. The upgrades and new systems are to ensure the early
detection and engagement that is needed to (1) provide the maximum
number of potential engagements and (2) destroy cruise missiles carrying
weapons of mass destruction while they are still over enemy territory.

A third challenge is to achieve over the horizon intercepts. To intercept
cruise missiles at longer ranges, the sensors will need to be connected to
enable an over the horizon intercept. Elevated sensors (such as the
Airborne Warning and Control System, the E-2C, and the Joint Land Attack
Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System) would detect the
target; the sensors would notify a sea-based or ground-based system (such
as the Patriot) where to fire the interceptor; the system would fire the
interceptor; and the interceptor would be guided to a target not visible to
its ground-based radar. This concept is referred to as air-directed,
surface-to-air missile operations.

A fourth challenge is to develop interoperable weapon systems. Most
existing air and missile defense systems were developed with the premise
that each service would direct the use of its own weapons; however, the
systems must now operate jointly with other services’ systems under the
direction of the Commanders in Chief of the combatant commands and
with allied forces. Some theater combatant command representatives said
that the Commanders in Chief have systems that do not interoperate with
U.S. forces or with allies and that they have been forced to develop tactics,
techniques, and procedures to compensate for the lack of interoperability.
In a July 1998 meeting to discuss joint theater air and missile defense
issues, most of the theater combatant command representatives stated that
interoperability of current and future air and missile defense systems is
their highest priority.



Page 18                                    GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
                  B-278428




                  The final challenge identified by the senior level officials was developing a
                  defense against massive attacks. A Defense Advanced Research Projects
                  Agency official told us that one challenge is to develop low-cost cruise
                  missile defense systems capable of engaging massive attacks by
                  unsophisticated cruise missiles. The Director of that agency said that the
                  proliferation of inexpensive cruise missiles with improved accuracy and
                  range gives adversaries the option of trying to overwhelm U. S. defenses
                  with large numbers. However, he believes that one manner of addressing
                  the threat is to build low-cost interceptors that would not have the
                  capabilities against high-performance cruise missiles but could contribute
                  where an enemy attack includes large numbers of inexpensive missiles.
                  The agency is studying this issue, and it will continue its efforts until 2001.



Conclusions       DOD has established the mechanisms for coordinating cruise missile
                  defense efforts by creating a new arrangement for managing theater air and
                  missile defense. Senior level officials generally agreed that the ultimate
                  measure of coordination effectiveness would be to field a cost-effective,
                  interoperable cruise missile defense, and they suggested some interim
                  measures of progress toward that goal. While DOD is making progress
                  toward coordinating its cruise missile defense efforts, it has not yet
                  specified time-phased interim measures of coordination progress. In
                  addition, there are still challenges—both technical and managerial—to be
                  overcome before a coordinated, cost-effective cruise missile defense can
                  be achieved.

                  We believe that the development of time-phased interim measures of
                  coordination progress is warranted. Such measures would be consistent
                  with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, which call for
                  performance planning to include measures to help assess whether goals
                  and missions are being accomplished. We also believe that the interim
                  measures of outputs and results identified in this report are a sound
                  building block for the establishment of such measures of coordination
                  progress.



Recommendations   Because the final results of the coordination process will not be known for
                  several years, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense develop a
                  time-phased set of interim measures that can be used to assess progress
                  toward a cost-effective, interoperable family of cruise missile defense
                  systems. These measures should include, as a minimum, metrics that will



                  Page 19                                    GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
                      B-278428




                      show progress toward developing the operational and system architectures
                      required, resolution of the technical and managerial challenges,
                      demonstration of needed technology, and investment priorities.

                      To enable congressional committees responsible for funding and oversight
                      of theater and missile defense activities to have information with which to
                      assess DOD’s progress and make appropriate policy and funding decisions,
                      we recommend that the Secretary (1) incorporate these time-phased
                      measures into the Theater Air and Missile Defense Master Plan and
                      (2) provide the most recently approved master plan to the Congress in a
                      timely manner for annual budget deliberations.



Agency Comments and   In its comments responding to a draft of this report, DOD partially agreed
                      with our recommendation to develop a set of interim measures to assess
Our Evaluation        progress toward achieving cost-effective and interoperable theater air and
                      missile defense systems. DOD stated, however, that the measures should
                      be broad in nature because air and missile defense are complex mission
                      areas supported by multimission systems. DOD said that allocating a
                      system cost for each mission supported by multimission systems, such as
                      Patriot, F-22, and Aegis, would be difficult and counterproductive. We
                      agree and have modified our recommendation to delete cost as a measure.
                      We also agree that the measures may have to be somewhat broad; however,
                      we believe that they should be sufficiently specific to permit an objective
                      assessment of progress.

                      DOD did not agree with our recommendation to use the measures in
                      conjunction with the annual budget requests to provide the Congress with
                      reports of progress being made. DOD said that its progress toward
                      achieving a cost-effective and interoperable family of systems for air and
                      missile defense will be documented each year in the Theater Air and
                      Missile Defense Master Plan. DOD also said that the master plan includes
                      the measures we recommended. Our understanding is that the master plan
                      has not, until now, been provided to the Congress, nor has it included
                      time-phased measures of progress. DOD’s future use of the master plan as
                      a vehicle to communicate progress to the Congress could meet the intent of
                      our recommendation. However, DOD would need to ensure that
                      (1) time-phased measures of progress are incorporated in the master plan
                      and (2) the master plan is submitted in a timely manner for consideration
                      during budget deliberations. We have modified our recommendation to
                      reflect such clarification.




                      Page 20                                  GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
              B-278428




              DOD also provided additional technical comments, which have been
              incorporated as appropriate. DOD’s comments are included in appendix II.



Scope and     To identify the coordination mechanisms, assess the progress of
              coordination efforts, and identify challenges, we reviewed theater air and
Methodology   missile defense plans, held discussions with appropriate officials, and
              attended team meetings. To identify results oriented progress measures
              and to obtain additional information regarding the progress to date and the
              challenges, we identified and interviewed 22 current and former
              senior-level DOD, service, and theater combatant command officials who
              are or have been involved in the development, acquisition, or operation of
              air and missile defenses. See appendix I for additional information about
              our scope and methodology.


              As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
              earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from its
              issue date. At that time, we will send copies of this report to other
              interested congressional committees; the Honorable William Cohen,
              Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Louis Caldera, Secretary of the Army;
              the Honorable Richard Danzig, Secretary of the Navy; the Honorable F.
              Whitten Peters, Acting Secretary of the Air Force; Rear Admiral Herbert
              Kaler, Director, JTAMDO; Lt. Gen. Lester Lyles, Director, BMDO, and the
              Honorable Jacob Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget. Copies
              will also be made available to others on request.

              Please contact me at (202) 512-4841 if you or your staff have any questions
              concerning this report. Major contributors to this report were
              Lee Edwards, Wayne Gilliam, Mark Lambert, and Reginia Grider.

              Sincerely yours,




              Allen Li
              Associate Director
              Defense Acquisitions Issues




              Page 21                                    GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
Contents



Letter                                                                                             1


Appendix I                                                                                        23
Scope and
Methodology

Appendix II                                                                                       26
Comments From the
Department of Defense

Figures                 Figure 1: Cruise Missile                                                   4
                        Figure 2: Coordination Process Structure                                   8




                        Abbreviations

                        DOD    Department of Defense
                        BMC4I  Battle Management Command, Control, Communications,
                               Computers and Intelligence
                        BMDO   Ballistic Missile Defense Organization
                        JTAMDO Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Organization



                        Page 22                                GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
Appendix I

Scope and Methodology                                                                       AppenIx
                                                                                                  di




             We obtained information regarding the process and mechanisms for
             coordinating cruise missile defense efforts by (1) reviewing the directives
             establishing the theater air and missile defense management process and
             the charters for the Joint Theater Air and Missile Defense Organization
             (JTAMDO) and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO);
             (2) reviewing various iterations of the Theater Air and Missile Defense
             Master Plan; and (3) discussing the process and mechanisms with officials
             from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, JTAMDO,
             BMDO, each of the services, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defense
             Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Atlantic, Central, European,
             and Pacific Commands.

             We obtained information regarding the organizational progress by
             (1) reviewing various iterations of the master plan and other joint planning
             documents; (2) discussing the process progress with officials from the
             Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, JTAMDO, BMDO, and
             integrated product team members from each of the services, the Defense
             Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency;
             and (3) observing selected integrated product team meetings. To identify
             interim output measures of coordination progress, we interviewed
             22 current and former senior level officials who are or have been involved
             with the development, acquisition, or operation of air and missile defense
             programs. These officials are listed below.

             • Director, Strategic and Tactical Systems, Office of the Under Secretary
               of Defense for Acquisition and Technology (Co-chair of the Overarching
               Integrated Product Team).
             • Director for Force Structure, Resources and Assessments, Office of the
               Joint Chiefs of Staff (Co-chair of Overarching Integrated Product Team).
             • Director, JTAMDO (former co-chair of the Integration Integrated
               Product Team).
             • Director, BMDO (member of the Executive Committee).
             • Deputy Director, BMDO (member of the Overarching Integrated Product
               Team).
             • Deputy for Theater Air and Missile Defense, BMDO (Co-chair of the
               Integration Integrated Product Team).
             • Director, Joint Advanced Warfighting Programs, Institute for Defense
               Analysis (Co-chair of the 1994 Defense Science Board Task Force on
               Cruise Missile Defense and Chair of the 1996 Task Force).
             • Former Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans,
               Department of the Army (former member of the Integration Integrated
               Product Team).



             Page 23                                   GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




• Program Manager, Advanced Technology and Overland Cruise Missile
  Defense, Program Executive Office for Theater Surface Combatants,
  Office of the Under Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development,
  and Acquisition (member of the Integration Integrated Product Team).
• Deputy Chief, Theater Air Defense Division, Director of Global Power
  Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force
  (Acquisition).
• Program Manager for Ground-based Air Defense Systems, U.S. Marine
  Corps Systems Command.
• Chief, Theater Missile Defense Branch, U.S. Central Command.
• Deputy Director, Plans and Policy Directorate, U.S. European
  Command.
• Director for Operations, U.S. Pacific Command.
• Chief, Theater Air and Missile Defense Operations Division, U.S.
  Atlantic Command.
• Director, Directorate of Combat Developments, U.S. Army Air Defense
  Artillery School.
• Director, Sensor Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research
  Projects Office (member of the Overarching Integrated Product Team).
• Director, Strategic Defense and Space Programs, Program Analysis and
  Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense (member of the
  Integration Integrated Product Team).
• Former Commander (August 1992–August 1994), U.S. Army Space and
  Strategic Defense Command.
• Former Commander (August 1994–August 1996), U.S. Army Space and
  Strategic Defense Command.
• Former Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (former
  member of the Executive Committee).
• Former Director, Sensor Technology Office, Defense Advanced
  Research Projects Agency (former member of the Overarching
  Integrated Product Team and member of the 1996 Defense Science
  Board Task Force on Cruise Missile Defense).

We obtained information regarding the progress of coordination efforts
through (1) reviewing various versions of the master plan, the Theater
Missile Defense Capstone Requirements Documents and other documents
such as minutes of integrated product team meetings; (2) attending an
integration integrated product team meeting and a working level team
meeting; and (3) discussing progress with the co-chairs and selected
members of each of the working level teams as well as the 22 officials listed
above.




Page 24                                   GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
Appendix I
Scope and Methodology




We obtained information concerning the technical and managerial
challenges by reviewing the master plan and other documents such as
minutes of the integrated product team meetings and discussions with
JTAMDO and BMDO officials and the 22 officials listed above.

We conducted our work from October 1997 through January 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 25                                 GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
Appendix II

Comments From the Department of Defense                              AppeInx
                                                                           Idi




(707297)      Letrt   Page 26   GAO/NSIAD-99-68 Cruise Missile Defense
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