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Program Assessment


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Space-based Communications Programs

These programs provide global, space-based communications (SATCOM) capabilities supporting DoD and other government agency missions. SATCOM systems are used for establishing or augmenting terrestrial telecommunications, for beyond line-of-sight connectivity, and for communications-on-the-move.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • There are no expected SATCOM coverage gaps. Today's operational systems have no major performance limiting design flaws. Next generation systems are being developed to meet transition needs. The narrowband mission area is at the most risk for a gap (2008). Each month of continued operations of the deployed system shrinks the potential gap until the follow-on system is available.
  • During development, there have been significant delays and cost growth. Lessons learned are being incorporated to help ensure future success. For those systems nearing the end of development, the latest projected costs are lower than planned. Recent schedule adjustments to the less mature system development efforts should better ensure cost and schedule success.
  • Synchronization among the systems and mission areas requires organizational cooperation as much as technical compatibility. Several efforts initiated in recent years are providing better visibility into the interrelationships. These efforts are helping decision-makers allocate resources to the highest priority efforts, ensuring that satellites, terminals, and host platforms remain synchronized.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Providing more frequent program updates, using tools like Functional Availability Reports and health of current systems, as well as development status of the next generation systems.
  • Using cost and schedule efficiencies trending analysis to make procurement adjustments, report projected costs against the baseline, and adjust schedule milestone timing based upon lessons learned.
  • Refining inter-departmental and agency decision-making based on tools and forums established to identify interdependencies and synchronization needs.

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