Evaluation of the Army's Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System

MASAD-81-44: Published: Sep 15, 1981. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 1981.

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GAO was requested to evaluate the progress of the Army's Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) program and the Army's plan for adopting components of the Marine Integrated Fire and Air Support System (MIFASS) for use in the AFATDS program.

The Army has decided to modularly improve the existing Tactical Fire Direction System to provide for a future field artillery command and control system. Although this approach, in the opinion of GAO, is the proper choice in terms of operational suitability and timeliness, the Army needs to establish a sound basis to ensure that the most cost-effective system is being acquired to meet user needs. The Army's plans provide for ample equipment competition. However, software will be developed in-house. MIFASS was rejected as a follow-on system candidate, but a reconfigured MIFASS architecture or components may be usable in AFATDS.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Defense maintains that its approach is prudent. Its modular approach will give it experience to transition to successive phases. GAO agrees, but still believes that an overall requirement framework is needed before this process ensues, therefore, GAO believes that the recommendation is still valid.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should limit Army funding for AFATDS to those program elements necessary to continue system planning and defining of detailed requirements before any expenditures are made for system component developments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  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 Army to prepare a well-documented cost-benefit study of alternate system components which could have applicability to AFATDS. This study should pay particular attention to the possible use of a reconfigured Marine Integrated Fire and Air Support System in AFATDS.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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