The Navy's New Antisubmarine Warfare Standoff Weapon--an Uncertain Future

C-MASAD-82-11: Published: Feb 26, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the major issues concerning the Department of the Navy's development of an antisubmarine warfare standoff weapon, currently nearing the end of the concept formulation of the major acquisition cycle.

Navy studies indicate that the standoff weapon will be effective at a range adequate to significantly improve the antisubmarine warfare capability of U.S. attack submarines. However, future improvements which are necessary to support the weapon's proposed range may not be achieved. The standoff weapon is intended to replace the Navy's only existing submarine-launched, long-range antisubmarine weapon, known as SUBROC. The Navy is extending the service life of SUBROC under a refurbishment program to improve reliability, maintainability, and system performance. However, the Navy has determined that SUBROC has exceeded its design life and is planning to retire SUBROC capability from the fleet. The Navy estimates the life-cycle program cost at $2.6 billion; however, this does not include some separately reported costs.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to develop accurate cost estimates and then reevaluate the fire control system option and, if this option is cost effective, the Navy should reconsider its priorities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to develop accurate cost estimates and then reevaluate the fire control system option and, if this option is cost effective, the Navy should reconsider its priorities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy disagreed with the recommendations and believes a selected acquisition reporting requirement is premature. It responded by indicating that the Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council process allows adequate review at the appropriate time in the acquisition process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to begin selected acquisition reporting now to provide increased management visibility to cost, schedule, and performance goals.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy disagreed with the recommendations and believes a selected acquisition reporting requirement is premature. It responded by indicating that the Defense Systems Acquisition Review Council process allows adequate review at the appropriate time in the acquisition process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to begin selected acquisition reporting now to provide increased management visibility to cost, schedule, and performance goals.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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