DOCUMENT ESUME 04250 - B3554811] () (Rationale Justifying the Stated Mission Needs for Cruise Missile]. PSAD-78-44; B-163058. December 16, 1977. 3 pp. P-port to Sen. William Proxmire, Chairman, Department of D:fense; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General. Issue Area: Federal Procurement of Gooas and Services (1 9 00 ; F'deral Procurement of Goods and Services- Notifying the Congress of Status of Important Procurement Programs (1905). Contact: Pocurement and Systems Acquisition Div. Budget ur.ction: National Defense (050); National Defense: Weapon Systems (057). Crogressional Relevance: Joint Economic Committee: Priorities and Economy in Government Subcommittee. In an April 977 report to Cngress, GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense reevaluate the rcle of cruise missiles to assure that developments are directed toward spcific military requirements that relate to mission needs. It is ncertain whether the Department of Defense has developed mission needs data or whethe: they will develop this type of information for each variant of cruise missle as their plans and studies proceed. Findings/conclusions: At this time, with the possible exception of the air launched version, GACO has not had access to data supporting the need for other land attack versions of the cruise missile. Some of the factors that make it difficult to identify specific mission needs include: the broad issues of strategic force planning, NATO requirements and policy considerations related to theater nuclear weapons, and SALT implications. Other complicating factors deal with the versatility of the cruise missile, its relatively low cost, and predictions of high accuracy, reliability, and survivability. The mission need for each variant should be identified. New developments to meet a mission need should proceed in a logical sequence from he identification and ssessment of a projected threat, through identification of existing capabilit.es to accomplish the mission, assessment of the need in terms o a deficiency in existing capability, to development of a plan to explore alternative solutions. Valid mission needs may resul, from technological opportunities or opportunities to educe operating costs. The mission need to be met by the Sea Launched Cruise Missile should be clarified. (Author/SW) COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WASHINGTON, D.C. 2054a >Q\ B-163058 . - DEC1 197 The Honorable William Proxmire Chairman, Subcommittee on Priorities and Economy in Government Joint Economic Committee Dear Mr. Chairman: t As a result of the exchange of letters between you and the Deputy Secretary of Defense; the Department of Defense identified what it considered the best source of data related to the need for cruise missiles. In a September 6, 1977, letter to you, the Department stated that the best and most comprehensive current source of data related to cruise mis- sile rationale, threat analysis, and cost and effectiveness considerations is a Department staff study on modernization of the strategic bomber force. The Department stated that this study and Secretary Brown's testimony before the House Armed Services Committee on the fiscal year 1978 budget amendment provide information to support cruise missile rationale. The Department pointed out that the bomber study only considered the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) but that additional analysis of ALCM requirements, together with analyses for the GC tnd Launched Cruise Missile and the Sea Laurched Cruise M '-, are contained in interagency SALT documents. The D -eretary advised that these documents are primarily asse e various alternative SALT cruise missile limitations , eliminary decision documents. It is his belief that 1 be inappropriate to disseni- nate them outside the S king group at this time. Moreover, he indicated Ianning on versions other than ALCM is not firm and d i nt depends on a variety of factors. In closing, the Deputy Secretary said that the Department could provide additional information as their plans and studies proceed. At this time, with the possible exception of the air launched version, GAO has not had access to data supporting the need for other land attack versions of the cruise mis- sile. As you are aware, GAO recommended in a report to the Conress dated April 26, 1977, that the Secretary of Defense PSAD-78-44 B-163058 reevaluate the role of cruise missiles to assure that devel- opments are directed toward specific military requirements that relate to mission needs. GAO recommended that "a thorough evaluation of the need for cruise missiles based on the threat, including identi- fication of the deficiencies. . . to be met by deployment of a variety of cruise missiles; each Service's requirements, and in particular, the Navy requirements for nuclear cruise mis- siles; and the operational effectiveness of each cruise missile program." The Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) responded to this report by letter dated October 31, 1977. The Director's letter did not address the recommend 'on made by GAO. We recognize that a variety of factors may affect the future of cruise missile programs. Some of these make it difficult to identify specific mission needs, i.e., the broad issues of strategic force planning, ATO requirements and policy considerations related to theater nuclear weapons, and SALT implications Still other complicating factors deal with the versatility o the cruise missiles, its relatively low cost, and predictions of high accuracy, reliability, and survivability. We still believe, however, that the mission need for each variant should be identified. it is our belief that new developments to meet a mission need should proceed in logical sequence from the identifica- tion and assessment of a projected threat, to identifying existing capabilities to accolaplish the mission, to assessing the need in terms of a deficiency in existing capability, to developing a plan to explore alternative solutions. We also believe that valid mission needs may result from technological opportu~.ities or opportunities to reduce operating costs. In summary, w do not know whether the Department of Defense has developed mission needs data or whether they will develop this type of information for each variant of cruise missile as their plans and studies proceed. As we indicated in our April 26, 1977 report, an area of primary concern is clarification of the mission need to be met by the Sea Launched Cruise Missile--either submarine launched surface launched and the Ground Launched Cruise Missile. se vari- ants appear to be attractive options, however, they are costly 2 B-163058 developments which should be discontinued if there is no We intend to pursue this in our ongoing work. We also need. attempted to initiate discussions with representatives have of the SALT working group to determine what information can be made available. To date, these attempts have been unsuccessful. As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of report until 30 days from the date of the report. At thatthis we will send copies to interested parties and make copies time able to others upon request. avail- Sinc ely yours, Comptroller General of the United States 3
Rationale Justifying the Stated Mission Needs for Cruise Missile
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-12-16.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)