The information developed to date on costs appears inadequate as justification for the MPAR R&D effort. Given the magnitude of the proposed effort, more complete information is needed on the estimation of the costs of the MPAR risk-reduction program.

Recommendation: The R&D Plan outlined in Appendix D in the JAG/PARP Report should be expanded to provide detailed descriptions of the tasks to be undertaken, their priorities, the associated costs, and key decision points.

The major potential benefits from the MPAR R&D effort are the likely benefits from an MPAR system in whatever form that system is deployed. A cost-benefit analysis of the deployed MPAR system is needed, as described earlier, in order to determine the potential benefits from the R&D effort. These potential benefits would be weighted by the (subjective) probability that the R&D program would establish the viability of the MPAR alternative to MRCR. There is no discussion in the JAG/PARP report of probability estimates for success or failure at any critical decision points in the R&D program.

Recommendation: Probability estimates of the likelihood of success/failure of achieving objectives at critical decision points in the R&D program should be developed.

The discussion of cost savings of an MPAR program in the JAG/PARP report focuses on a future system implemented to replace the legacy systems. In addition to the need for a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of the full implementation of an MPAR system based on results of the risk reduction R&D program, there needs to be a complete CBA of the risk reduction program itself prior to funding of the program. This CBA would assess the expected net benefits of the MPAR R&D program in relation to the proposed $215 million R&D cost. In order to accomplish this it is necessary to have baseline information on the expected long-term benefits from a future MPAR system. A CBA of the R&D program should consider a range of alternatives, including such things as partial replacement of the legacy radar system with T-MPAR and the potential benefits of investing in R&D to improve MRCR systems. The probability estimates of success could be derived from an expert assessment (Delphi method or other methods). These probabilities should then be updated if and as the R&D program proceeds and more information becomes available.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement