Battlefield Automation:

Army Tactical Command and Control System Development Problems

NSIAD-91-172: Published: Jul 31, 1991. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed weaknesses in the Army's efforts to develop segments of its Tactical Command and Control System, focusing on the: (1) All Source Analysis System; (2) Maneuver Control System; and (3) Common Hardware and Software.

GAO found that: (1) the Army plans to develop a limited All Source Analysis System with the minimum set of features that users need and add features as it develops other versions; (2) the reduced Soviet threat and the availability of existing capabilities similar to the All Source Analysis System have eliminated the need for further procurement of the limited system; (3) although All Source Analysis System equipment can be used to help refine software and system requirements, the Army's unapproved test plan calls for software that does not meet user requirements; (4) the Army spent $155 million to acquire Maneuver Control System equipment that does not meet its requirements; (5) the Army is rushing the Maneuver Control System's development and acquisition process to make a production decision and acquire equipment at the end of fiscal year 1992, even though the revised test and evaluation master plan is not approved and the operational test criteria are not adequately defined; and (6) although the Army cited several reasons to justify acquiring larger, transportable Common Hardware and Software computers and requiring many users that only need the less expensive, portable versions to buy the larger units, the disparity between the $340 million increase in acquisition costs and the logistical and hardware savings, as well as other benefits, does not support the Army's position.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Matters for Congressional Consideration

    Matter: Because of the continuing weaknesses in the development of the All Source Analysis System, the Maneuver Control System, and the Common Hardware and Software computers, Congress may wish to not approve any procurement funds for the larger Common Hardware and Software computers until the Army completes needs and economic analyses that: (1) demonstrate the need to have the same capability at each unit; and (2) justify the additional investment.

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Analysis has been completed with reductions of $91.6 million identified.

    Matter: Because of the continuing weaknesses in the development of the All Source Analysis System, the Maneuver Control System, and the Common Hardware and Software computers, Congress may wish to not approve any Maneuver Control System procurement funds until: (1) specific requirements for the light divisions are defined; (2) a test plan that includes testing major software revisions prior to a production decision is developed and approved; and (3) the revised system successfully completes an operational test that demonstrates its military effectiveness.

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The joint appropriations committee reduced the MCS procurement by $37.9 million.

    Matter: Because of the continuing weaknesses in the development of the All Source Analysis System, the Maneuver Control System, and the Common Hardware and Software computers, Congress may wish to eliminate all funding for the development and acquisition of a limited capability All Source Analysis System.

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The joint appropriations committee reduced the All Source Analysis System procurement by $5.5 million and its RDT&E request by $15.5 million.

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to ensure that: (1) the Maneuver Control System's requirements for the light divisions are defined; (2) a Maneuver Control System test plan is developed and approved for light divisions and updated and approved for heavy divisions; and (3) the new Maneuver Control System successfully completes an operational test that demonstrates its military effectiveness using the software version that is to be fielded.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The program has been delayed due to software development problems. GAO will continue to monitor. The program has been restructured to do software failures. GAO is continuing to review ATCCS corrections.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to develop and follow a test plan that will establish a baseline upon which to measure the merits of the All Source Analysis System and ensure user requirements are met before a production decision is made.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army has restructured the program, including a new test plan. Follow-on evaluations will address new tests. The recommendation is no longer applicable.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to stop further acquisition of the limited capability All Source Analysis System.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress deleted funding for the program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to perform economic and needs analyses that justify the increase in Common Hardware and Software acquisition costs because units will now be required to use the transportable Common Hardware and Software computers at many locations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Based on the recommendation, the Army has reduced its CHS requirements by $91.6 million.

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