critical milestones; reduced government inspection requirements; and other reforms. These trends should be pursued in all guided-weapon acquisition.

Recommended Actions

In the absence of data from experience, it is difficult to estimate the total cost savings that may accrue in acquiring a guided weapon inventory by following all of the approaches outlined above. A single study11 performed by a group of experts on behalf of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition concluded, before the decision was made to cancel that weapon program for other reasons, that savings of 30 percent could be made in the TSSAM program by adopting “best commercial practice” acquisition roles, and an additional 20 percent by technical changes in the design. These results led to the above estimate of 30 to 50 percent savings in guided weapon unit cost. This estimate did not yet account for savings that might accrue from acquiring more units of fewer weapon types.

Despite these uncertainties, it is clear that all the recommended steps in this section, if implemented, would make a significantly larger inventory of guided weapons feasible within the resources planned for such weapons. The evolving operational concepts will demand the larger inventory. Therefore, it is recommended that

  • The planned guided weapon family as a whole (Table 1) be reviewed and revised according to the principles outlined above, where the application of those principles would provide a net benefit (significant revisions in guided-weapon acquisition plans across all the Services may be justified for the gains achievable); and

  • New guided weapon developments and acquisitions in the future follow the principles outlined.


Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM) Affordability Team Final Report, January 1995.

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