Reduced Performance and Increased Cost Warrant Reassessment of the Multiple Stores Ejector Rack

MASAD-82-26: Published: Mar 26, 1982. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 1982.

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GAO examined the joint Air Force and Navy development program of an aircraft bomb carrier known as the Multiple Stores Ejector Rack (MSER), for which the Air Force plans to award a contract. GAO wanted to determine how well the services had defined their requirements and assessed alternative solutions.

GAO found that the services' interest in a common bomb rack has dwindled and that both the Air Force and the Navy are pursuing separate bomb rack developments. Plans by the Air Force and the Navy to procure other bomb racks increase the likelihood that they will find little, if any, common use for the MSER. There are also little supporting data to indicate that program goals, such as reduced maintenance, improved safety, or supersonic weapon delivery capability will be achieved and, in some cases, they may not be required. If the MSER program is to continue, there are other program goals requiring further examination. GAO found no data to show any safety problems with the current bomb racks; however, questions have been raised regarding the need for supersonic delivery capability and the ability of the MSER to achieve this goal. The Air Force and the Navy have not jointly evaluated either the continued validity of their goals or the feasibility of achieving the goals. The estimated development costs of the MSER have tripled, and average unit procurement costs could be 14 times greater than the cost of racks now in service. The development period has more than doubled and, because of protracted development, additional procurement of current racks may be required to support aircraft production or reserve requirements.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Multiple Stores Ejector Rack is no longer in production; the program was killed by the Air Force.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to justify continuation of other bomb rack programs before further funding is permitted if the Multiple Stores Ejector Rack is determined to be the preferred bomb rack.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Multiple Stores Ejector Rack program was killed by the Air Force.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should instruct the Secretary of the Air Force to delay the planned modification of the Multiple Stores Ejector Rack pending the results of an evaluation of the need for the common bomb rack, whether it will meet the Air Force and Navy requirements, and whether it is cost effective.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Multiple Stores Ejector Rack program was killed by the Air Force.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Secretaries of the Air Force and the Navy to determine whether a common bomb rack is still needed, whether the Multiple Stores Ejector Rack (MSER) will meet Air Force and Navy requirements, and whether it is cost effective before authorizing a further expenditure of funds for the MSER.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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