Missile Defense Agency’s Vague $923 Million Deal

If the Defense Department spends close to a billion dollars on something it usually knows what it’s buying -- a few tanks or a piece of a fighter aircraft.

Last Friday, the Missile Defense Agency awarded the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University a $923 million contract that acknowledged the agency did not exactly know what it planned to buy.

The contract is one of those umbrella service, engineering and research deals that also includes simulation, modeling and analysis -- all deemed critical and essential to development of the Ballistic Missile Defense System.

MDA will acquire this stuff off the contact through cost plus fixed-fee task orders. “It is not possible to define and firmly price these requirements at the outset of this contract,” the agency said.


Don’t try this with the budget at home.