Tests and Evaluations Still in Progress Should Indicate Division Air Defense Gun's Potential Effectiveness

C-MASAD-82-7: Published: Feb 26, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the Army's Division Air Defense gun system (DIVAD) because of the impending important decisions to be made both by the Secretary of Defense and Congress when the Army submits its request for the funding of DIVAD production.

A reliable assessment of the DIVAD gun's potential is not possible at this time. The system that emerged from prototype testing was not fully developed, several critical tests are still in progress, and evaluations of the results will not be available until a production decision is due. However, other important tests will not be completed or have been deferred until after the production decision, including the performance of DIVAD under a stressful environment and in intensive road and firing conditions. The DIVAD logistics supportability will not be fully evaluated until almost 2 years after a production decision. The Army's hands-off acquisition strategy used to procure DIVAD was a factor in testing delays and has affected scheduling some evaluations of the system's test results. Without the mobility test results, for example, important information on the DIVAD performance, reliability, and maintainability is lacking. To begin production without it constitutes a risk. GAO concluded that to assess the procurement strategy followed in procuring the DIVAD system is premature at this stage. However, if the system comes through successfully in forthcoming tests and substantially meets the Army's requirements, these shortcomings could be overlooked. Regardless, the Department of Defense should be careful in applying this strategy to other systems since its success would hinge on many factors that vary with each acquisition.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Congress appropriated the fiscal year 1983 procurement funds without imposing any conditions for obligating the funds.

    Matter: Congress should condition the obligation of fiscal year 1983 procurement funds it may approve for DIVAD by having the Secretary of Defense provide advance assurance that the system has adequately demonstrated that it meets the Army's performance requirements.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Congress provided procurement funds requested by the Army for fiscal year 1983 without restrictions.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should defer the production decision to allow completion of the durability and mobility testing and to provide the evaluation agencies more information and time to assess DIVAD.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The agency has responded but not satisfactorily. GAO intends to do further work in a follow-on review.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should make eventual production approval contingent on a positive indication that DIVAD will meet the Army's requirements for maintainability, logistics supportability, and ease of operation by the troops.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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