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Until recently, it was believed that a necessary and sufficient condition for convergence of the Riccati difference equation of optimal filtering was that the system be both delectable and stabilizable. Recently, it has been shown that the stabilizability condition can be removed but convergence has only established under restrictive assumptions including the requirement that the state transition matrix be nonsingular. The present paper generalizes these results in several directions. First, properties of the algebraic Riccati equation are established for the case of singular state transition matrix. Second, several assumptions previously imposed in establishing convergence of the Riccati difference equation for systems with unreachable modes on the unit circle are relaxed including replacing observability by detectability, weakening the conditions on the initial covariance, and allowing the state transition matrix to be singular. Third, results on the convergence and properties of the Riccati equations are expressed as both necessary and sufficient conditions, whereas previous results were only sufficient. These extensions mean that the results have wider applicability, including fixed-lag smoothing problems and filtering for systems with time delays. The implications of the results in the dual problem of optimal control are also studied.