replacing existing radars. These agency mission requirements relate primarily to low-level weather coverage and the ability to detect and track low-level, non-cooperative aircraft.
The committee agrees generally with the five major findings in the Executive Summary of the JAG/PARP report (see Box S.1), with some exceptions. Regarding finding 2, the committee notes that some emerging requirements cannot be met with a network of 334 MPAR radars because there will be significant gaps in low-level and regional coverage. Regarding finding 4, the committee believes that the “preliminary cost evaluation” is promising, but embryonic. In addition, the basis for determining cost effectiveness of MPAR does not consider the cost effectiveness of other alternatives to the legacy systems, in addition to the legacy systems themselves. Similarly, regarding finding 5, the MPAR risk reduction program will also provide a basis for cost-benefit comparison to the other alternatives to legacy systems.
Findings from the Joint Action Group for Phased Array Radar Project (JAG/PARP) Report
Finding 1: Multiple federal agencies currently rely on radar networks to provide essential services to the nation. The principal current uses are for weather surveillance and other atmospheric observations and for aircraft surveillance.
Finding 2: A single MPAR network with the capabilities described in this report could perform all of the existing civilian radar functions. In addition, other existing and emerging needs not being adequately met by existing systems could be met with this same MPAR network.
Finding 3: The timing is right to conduct a thorough evaluation now of MPAR as an alternative to conventional radar for the full range of current and emerging applications described in this report. The aging of our existing domestic radar networks for weather and aircraft surveillance will require substantial commitments of federal resources to either maintain or replace them.
Finding 4: A preliminary cost evaluation shows that one MPAR network designed to meet multiple national needs can be developed, implemented, and maintained at a lower cost, on a life-cycle basis, than would be required to sustain the existing conventional radar networks through required maintenance and incremental upgrades.
Finding 5: The JAG/PARP proposes a risk-reduction and development (R&D) plan that, for a modest investment, will provide a sound technical and cost basis for a national decision between MPAR implementation versus continued maintenance and upgrade of the aging, existing radar systems. The estimated total cost for this risk reduction plan is $215 million.
The committee also agrees generally with Recommendations 1-4 in the Executive Summary of the JAG/PARP report (see Box S.2), but notes that even though Recommendation 4 calls for the FCMSSR to direct a cost-benefit analysis of the MPAR option and competing domestic strategies in conjunction with the MPAR risk-reduction program, this analysis is not explicitly found in Appendix D of the JAG/PARP report (the program plan). However, the Terms of Reference of the Working Group –MPAR (WG/MPAR Item 3b; OFCM, 2007) direct the working group to “[Perform] a cost benefit analysis to establish MPAR’s cost-effectiveness against alternative domestic radar options, considering both acquisition and total life-cycle costs.” For the JAG/PARP research plan to be effective, defined requirements and a national system architecture are