Resetting the Baseline

Resetting the Baseline: The Pentagon’s latest report of the cost of major weapons programs shows that the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle and the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System both exceeded their current baseline estimates by more than 25 percent, making them Nunn-McCurdy breaches. (Read an earlier item on the Global Hawk travail here and NPOESS here.) The Selected Acquisition Report issued Friday also shows cost increases 36 programs that exceed their original baseline estimates, including the Joint Strike Fighter (more than 30 percent, but less than 50 percent) and the F-22A and Global Hawk (both by more than 50 percent). The latter two are not considered Nunn-McCurdy breaches because Congress changed the reporting rules last year, which permits revision of the original baseline estimate to the current baseline estimate.