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GAO Report – Air Force’s F-15 Eagle, FAA Commercial Space Launch, Internet Management

  • Department of Defense’s Waiver of Competitive Prototyping Requirement for the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) Program, GAO-15-800R: Published: Sep 21, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2015: “The Department of Defense’s (DOD) rationale for waiving the competitive prototyping requirement in the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009, as amended (WSARA), for the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) program covered one of the two bases provided in the statute; namely that the cost of producing competitive prototypes exceeds the expected life-cycle benefits (in constant dollars) of producing the prototypes. EPAWSS is intended to replace and upgrade the electronic warfare system on fielded F-15C/E fighter aircraft. It is expected to improve the aircraft’s internal self-protection electronic warfare systems, thereby enhancing the F-15’s ability to detect, identify, locate, deny, degrade, disrupt, and defeat air and ground threats to the aircraft. DOD’s rationale for the prototyping waiver is based largely on the acquisition strategy for the program. According to the waiver, the program is to leverage, to the maximum extent possible, existing, technically mature, non-developmental components, which minimizes the potential risk reduction benefits associated with early prototyping.”
  • Federal Aviation Administration: Commercial Space Launch Industry Developments Present Multiple Challenges, GAO-15-706: Published: Aug 25, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 21, 2015. “The U.S. commercial space launch industry has changed considerably since the enactment of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004. FAA is required to license or permit commercial space launches, but to allow the space tourism industry to develop, the act prohibited FAA from regulating crew and spaceflight participant safety before 2012—a moratorium that was later extended but will now expire on September 30, 2015. Since October 2014, there have been three mishaps involving FAA licensed or permitted launches.”
  • Internet Management: Structured Evaluation Could Help Assess Proposed Transition of Key Domain Name and Other Technical Functions, GAO-15-642: Published: Aug 19, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 2015. “The U.S. government helped to fund the development of the Internet but since 1997 has envisioned that the coordination of certain Internet technical functions would be managed completely by the private sector. As the Internet has grown, the Department of Commerce’s NTIA has contracted with a nonprofit corporation, ICANN, for the operation of these technical functions. In March 2014, NTIA established core goals for a transition proposal and announced that if a suitable proposal could be developed, NTIA would let the technical functions contract expire and transition its oversight role to a global multistakeholder community.”

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