oversight

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)

                            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