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In response to a congressional request, the GAO assessed: (1) the Tactical Warning/Attack Assessment (TW/AA) system's capabilities; and (2) Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to modernize the warning and assessment information processing systems at the ballistic missile and air defense command centers.
The GAO found that: (1) the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) computer system and the computers at the three other primary command centers do not process and display TW/AA information identically; (2) the NORAD computer system software has a highly integrated and complex design which would be difficult to modify; (3) DOD will not complete its modernization of the NORAD computer system's hardware and software until 1992 and, until then, the system will continue to rely on obsolete computer components at critical points; (4) air defense computer systems at Region Operations Control Centers have inadequate processing capabilities for new weapons channels and may have insuffIcient operator display consoles to control interceptor aircraft responding to an attack; and (5) DOD modernization efforts should correct these deficiencies, except for those at the centers.