The DoD now estimates the NSSL program’s total costs to have escalated by $4.1B since Dec 2018. This information is from the annual report on its major acquisitions program spending. In its SAR, the DoD estimated the complete costs of its programs including amount spent so far and the projected amount to be spent going forward. In its summary released for 2019’s first half, the NSSL costs projected for the program’s entire lifespan has increased by 7.2%, which is increased from $57.2B to around $61.3B.
This report also states that this cost spurt is due to increased investments made in launch system providers for supporting space missions related to national security. The launch services figure increased by 19 to reach 179 from 160, on the basis of satellite launch needs.
The program was earlier known as the EELV program. It was renamed by Congress in the 2018 NDA Act since these vehicles were now expendable as well as reusable launch vehicles. The program started in 1994 when Clinton signed the NSTP, assigning responsibilities for expendable vehicles to the DoD. NSSL program’s now seeing a transition to new vehicles, seeking more leverage for the space sector.
The SAR update includes several details about major defense acquisitions program cost, performance changes and schedule since Dec 2018. These figures for 2019 Q1 include forecasted spending for the 2020 budget that was submitted to the US Congress on Mar 11.
SARs present a summarized report, stated the DoD. These reports were usually prepared along with the budget of the President. Quarterly exception summaries are needed only for programs currently seeing cost increases over 15% or any schedule delays above 6 months. Total costs include R&D, acquisition-related maintenance and operations, military construction, procurement. These costs will include cost so far along with anticipated costs as well.
The Pentagon’s weapons portfolio cost $2T in 2018. The NSSL mission has seen costs rising by more than $1B since Dec 2018. Other such programs include JDAM ($1.1B), JA2S SM ($5.2B), and B-2DMSM ($285.3M).