Defense Acquisitions:

Need to Confirm Requirements for $4.1 Billion Antiarmor Missile System

GAO-01-74: Published: Dec 5, 2000. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 2000.

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Several factors call into question the cost effectiveness of the Army's plan to spend $4.1 billion to acquire large quantities of the submunition and missile systems. These factors include (1) major reductions and changes in the armor threat (2) a substantial overmatch in existing and planned antiarmor capabilities (3) the system's high cost (4) the Army's plans for a major transformation of its forces and the way it fights and (5) current and projected Army funding shortfalls and high priority unfunded requirements. The Army's July 2000 Antiarmor Master Plan does not clearly confirm the cost effectiveness of the Army's plan to spend $4.1 billion to acquire the submunition and missile systems.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Prior to the May 2001 full-rate production decision point, the Army assessed the requirements and affordability of the submunition and missile program, and decided to terminate procurement of one of the submunition/missile variants beyond fiscal year 2001. Furthermore, the Army decided to delay the procurement of an advanced version of the submunition until fiscal year 2004.

    Recommendation: The Department of Defense's (DOD) review of the submunition and missile system, prior to its May 2001 full-rate production decision, needs to more clearly confirm its requirements and affordability. Accordingly, the Secretary of Defense should specify that this review: (1) quantify and assess the warfighting impact of adding the system, at current planned quantities, to the combined services antiarmor weapons inventory in 2007; (2) assess the cost and warfighting impacts of alternative quantity levels; (3) compare the system's cost effectiveness to joint service alternatives; (4) identify and assess the extent the system reduces or otherwise impacts other antiarmor weapons requirements; and (5) identify and assess the impacts of the Army's transformation plans on the system's quantity requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army disclosed the results of its review and program changes in its fiscal year 2003 budget justification documentation for the submunition and missile system.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should provide the results of this review in its fiscal year 2002 budget justification documentation for the submunition and missile system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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