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GAO: DoD’s Weapon Acquisition Programs Rose to 79 in 2015

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The Government Accountability Office has found that the number of weapon programs under the Defense Department’s portfolio of defense acquisitions rose from 78 in 2014 to 79 in 2015.

GAO said in a report published Friday that DoD’s planned investments in weapons programs under the 2015 portfolio dropped to $1.44 trillion compared with $1.45 trillion in the 2014 portfolio.

The report also showed that the average schedule delay in the delivery of initial capability to service personnel also climbed by 2.4 months due to delays in some defense acquisition programs.

Seven of the 43 programs that GAO evaluated failed to implement some knowledge-based practices to acquisition such as the need to mature technology platforms before system development and completion of systems engineering assessments.

“As a result, these programs will carry unwanted risk into subsequent phases of acquisition that could result in cost growth or schedule delays,” the congressional budget watchdog said.

GAO also noted that most of DoD’s 43 weapon programs have generated savings worth approximately $21 billion as a result of the implementation of “should cost” analysis and other initiatives that seek to reform the acquisition process.

The agency added that it also found a decline in the number of programs that incorporate competition as part of acquisition strategies.