A Nunn-McCurdy Breach, But

The Air Force’s advanced extremely high frequency communications satellite program is one of three big-ticket US weapons projects highlighted in the Pentagon’s newly issued selected acquisition report as having breached Nunn-McCurdy cost-monitoring thresholds for the period of September to December 2007. However, the rise of $940.5 million to the AEHF program’s total projected cost—representing about a 15 percent hike from $6.4215 billion to $7.3620 billion—is predominantly attributed to the fact that the Air Force added a fourth satellite to the program of record, states the SAR, which is dated April 7. It is not a sign of trouble for the program as some Nunn-McCurdy breaches indicate. But because of the Nunn-McCurdy law, DOD must report the cost increase to Congress. There is no requirement to recertify the program like there is in cases of cost growth of 25 percent or more. The first AEHF satellite is scheduled for launch around early 2009. The launch of the fourth satellite is tentatively targeted for Fiscal 2014, according to the SAR. Incidentally, the other two programs with Nunn-McCurdy breaches of 15 percent or more are the Army’s Javelin missile and the joint tactical radio system ground mobile radios.