Gorgon Stare Flops at $450MMPosted: January 26, 2011
What happened to American attention to quality and American ingenuity? We need to bring back those two standards and I hear nothing of that from the current government – especially the fearless leader. It sounds like the contractors who built this were made up of poorly qualified people. Did they farm this out to India? So we build a half billion project and it flops? And we are going to deploy it anyway?
Falling short of its nickname, the Gorgon Stare revealed a laundry list of mechanical and software problems, including “poor quality image and infrared capability, gaps between stitching areas (where the camera images meet), transmission delays, extended download times, poor accuracy of location coordinates, [and so on],” Defense Systems reports.
Despite the changes made in the system and the resumption of the tests — totaling 20 sorties and 234 hours in the air — the overall assessment considered Gorgon Stare not to be operationally effective or suitable. The draft report revealed the system’s deficient infrared performance, “numerous” interoperability problems, lack of stability and reliability issues.
The documents, obtained and circulated by Winslow T Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information, have stated that the USD 450-million project “was developed with no formal requirements.” Despite its numerous flaws, the system is expected to be deployed in Afghanistan by late winter.