Hard to Figure

The Pentagon placed the Wideband Global SATCOM on its latest list of Nunn-McCurdy breaches, but Boeing said in a statement April 2 that the government had validated pricing for the fixed-price contracts “as fair and reasonable.” The Pentagon’s December 2009 data shows the average procurement unit cost for WGS “increased 27.2 percent” over the acquisition program baseline, automatically qualifying it for a Nunn-McCurdy-directed program review. However, the Pentagon release attributed the discrepancy to “a significant downturn” in the commercial satellite market that wiped out some commercial components meant to keep the price down and the fact there was a three-year production break. The Air Force just last month took control of the third WGS spacecraft, in what Boeing says USAF and independent reviewers has lauded “as an example of a solid and successful program.” USAF requested funding in its 2011 budget for a seventh WGS.