The Army's Multiple Launch Rocket System Is Progressing Well and Merits Continued Support

MASAD-82-13: Published: Feb 5, 1982. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 1982.

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GAO conducted a review of the Multiple Launch Rocket System program to determine the Army's progress in developing this system as it approaches a critical testing phase and as Congress prepares to review requests for large-scale funding to finance its procurement.

Certain technical problems require resolution; however, the system has done quite well in testing so far, and the system is also meeting its cost and schedule goals, after adjustments for inflation. The system is an unguided, surface-to-surface rocket system. It is to be mounted on a chassis derived from the infantry fighting vehicle and is especially designed for use during surge periods when enemy forces present targets in sufficient quantities and density to strain the capacity of available fire support systems. The weapon system depends on other systems for operational use including a target acquisition system, a meteorological data system, and a communication system. Some of the system's more difficult technical problems involve the submunitions. Other problems have been experienced in testing with the vehicle's transmission, the fire control system, and the directional reference system. Although the system's survivability has been questioned by some Army analysts who believe that some design changes may be needed, the Army believes that its tactics should ensure adequate survivability. The critical meteorological data system is still in development and will not be available when the rocket system is due to begin deployment. The Army may also face difficulty in accommodating the procurement of a costly system, such as the Multiple Launch Rocket System, given the budgetary pressures it is facing as it introduces several new expensive systems simultaneously.

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 investigate the possibility of accelerating the acquisition of the meteorological data system that would enhance the Multiple Launch Rocket System effectiveness when it is ready for deployment.

    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 require the Army to review its survivability estimates and determine whether there is a need to improve the system's survivability in the light of the updated evaluation results.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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