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GAO: Early Systems Engineering Work Key to Define Weapon System Requirements

GAOFormer and current military leaders have called on the Defense Department to integrate requirements for weapon systems early into acquisition processes, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

Those military leaders told the audit agency weapons systems prerequisites are usually changed right after they turned them over to acquisition executives to plan and develop the weapons, GAO said in its report posted Thursday.

GAO’s analysis of requirements for nearly 80 defense acquisition platforms said thousands of low-level technical requirements for a military weapon’s design emerge during the development phase of a program, the agency reported.

Auditors at GAO also found the need for a longer time frame and more resources in order to complete a weapon system is realized during this phase.

GAO recommended the Pentagon carry out systems engineering procedures early to better identify the requirements prior to the start of a program.

The agency also suggested that evaluations of trade-offs should also be conducted prior to the start of the program to estimate the cost, performance and schedule requirements.

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