The Pentagon and Congress can have little confidence in any estimate Raytheon Co. or the Air Force may offer on the cost and timeline for a troubled ground control system to operate new Global Positioning System satellites, according to a report from a nonprofit research firm.
“The program office and the prime contractor demonstrated an inability to accurately project cost and schedule,” MITRE Corp. said in the report to the Defense Department obtained by Bloomberg News.
The report, labeled “For Official Use Only,” bolstered the judgment expressed two years ago by the Air Force’s head of space systems acquisition who called Raytheon’s “Operational Control Network,” or OCX, the Pentagon’s “No. 1 troubled program.”
MITRE pointedly raised the possibility of scrapping the entire Raytheon project: It said “there are no show-stoppers in continuing to modernize” Lockheed Martin Corp.’s existing ground network instead.
The ground system, which was supposed to be in operation by October 2016 under Raytheon’s contract, now isn’t projected to be ready until at least April 2022, the Air Force said in July. Its projected cost has increased from $866 million in the initial contract in 2010 to $3.4 billion in November 2012 and $6.1 billion in May, according to MITRE’s report. (end of excerpt)
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