No. of Recommendations: 2

It's been eleven months now since the U.S. Army cancelled its 15 year effort to develop the JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System). This program cost over $6 billion and has been a major embarrassment for the U.S. Department of Defense. Actually, JTRS still exists, on paper, but its goal, to provide better combat radios, has been accomplished by adopting civilian radios that do what the troops needed done and calling it JTRS. In the time the army spent working on JTRS some $11 billion was spent on buying more radios using existing designs, and a lot of off-the-shelf equipment incorporating stuff JTRS was supposed to do.
JTRS was yet another example of a military development project that got distracted, and bloated, trying to please everyone. There was, in a word, no focus. There's been a lot of this in the last decade. That's what killed the Comanche light attack helicopter, the Crusader self-propelled howitzer, FCS (Future Combat System), the Seawolf SSN, the DDG-1000 destroyer, B-2 bomber, F-22 fighters and several military space satellite projects. In all cases some of the technology developed was put to use in cheaper systems and sometimes a few of the cancelled systems were built (three Seawolfs, three DDG-1000s, 21 B-2s and 187 F-22s). These cancellations and cutbacks saved over half a trillion dollars. That goes a long way towards paying for projects that were not cancelled and are nearly half a trillion dollars over budget. But overall these failures were expensive and embarrassing.
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