14:10 GMT +314 November 2019
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    U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, arrive at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, Saturday, April 9, 2016.

    GAO Slams DoD Over Cost of Maintaining, Upgrading Software for Weapons Systems

    © AP Photo / Staff Sgt. Corey Hook/U.S. Air Force
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The Department of Defense (DOD) must improve cost estimates for maintaining and upgrading software needed to run major US weapons to ensure adequate funding throughout a system’s life cycle, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a report on Monday.

    The report cited constant Air Force modifications of software on the B-52 bomber – now more than 60 years old – as one example to illustrate a need for accurate projections of future software costs.

    "GAO found that the [DOD’s] Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation's (CAPE) Cost and Software Data Reporting system did not collect weapon system cost data from DOD software centers", the report said.

    READ MORE: US Air Force Upgrades Its B-52 Bombers to Carry More Smart Munitions

    During the audit, CAPE acknowledged that it lacks an implementation plan to execute and monitor the requirement that those centers submit cost and software data, the release said.

    DOD estimated that software sustenance funding will total at least $15 billion over the next five fiscal years, according to the release.

    The GAO has repeatedly criticized the Pentagon for its defense funding programs. In particular, the GAO urged the US Congress last June to withhold funding for the full-rate production of the F-35 fighter jet until technical issues with the program are resolved. The GAO cited the Defense Department’s $9.8 billion request for the F-35 program in 2019 and its plans to seek an additional $10.4 billion annually for the following two decades.

    According to a report released by the GAO in mid-2018, the aircraft continues to suffer from technical problems with its software, ejection seats, pilot helmets and other key components.

    READ MORE: GAO Reveals Pentagon's Security Flaws at Ammunition Storage Sites

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    Tags:
    costs, upgrade, software, criticism, B-52, GAO, Pentagon, United States
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