Budget and Spending:
Status Update of the New 155mm Lightweight Howitzer
GAO-01-603R, Apr 10, 2001
GAO reviewed the progress of the new 155mm Lightweight Howitzer program. GAO found that since July 2000, all key program milestones have continued to slip. Only the initial fielding date for the howitzer remains unchanged. Since July 2000, the total program cost estimates have increased from $1,129.9 million to $1,250.2 million, an increase of $120.3 million. In addition, GAO found four technical problems yet to be addressed in the program: (1) cracking of the spades used to anchor the howitzer, (2) loose spade latches that create difficulties in removing the spades from the ground, (3) the spade damper--a device intended to help the spade dig into the soil to stabilize the gun--does not work properly in all soil types, and (4) the durability of the optical sight being developed for the gun. Design solutions have been identified for each of these problems, according to the Army-Marine Corps Lightweight Howitzer Joint Program Office. These design changes have not been fully incorporated and field tested to date.