6 September 2015

McCain: Navy program wastes $700 million

The Navy's Remote Minehunting System made it into Sen. John McCain's "America's Most Wasted" report. (U.S. Navy)

A new report Thursday shows that the Pentagon wasted more than $700 million on a minehunting system that continues to perform poorly in tests after 16 years of development.

The finding is from "America's Most Wasted," a regular report released by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that details some of the programs that waste taxpayer dollars.

The Navy's Remote Minehunting System is designed to help U.S. ships find and destroy sea mines, but "has consistently performed poorly in testing and yielded no results for the military," a release from the senator's office said.

"At a time when the defense budget continues to shrink while global threats emerge every day, it is absolutely critical for the Defense Department to stop throwing more taxpayer dollars after bad and start investing in programs that enhance the capability and readiness of our warfighters," McCain said in a statement.

McCain, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has made acquisition reform a key priority, calling for service leaders to be more involved in the process and be held accountable for projects that end up over budget and over schedule.

On Sunday, Defense News reported that the minehunting system received low marks from the Pentagon's top weapons tester.

"Recent developmental testing provides no statistical evidence that the system is demonstrating improved reliability, and instead indicates that reliability plateaued nearly a decade ago," Michael Gilmore, director of the Office of Test and Evaluation, wrote in an Aug. 3 memo.

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