Missile Development:

Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) Certification Issues

NSIAD-86-124BR: Published: Jul 9, 1986. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile program (AMRAAM) as it relates to the certification requirements of the Defense Authorization Act.

GAO found that: (1) although the AMRAAM program manager and the Air Force stated that the design was complete, based on the critical design review, they subsequently made a number of design changes; (2) a more reliable indicator of design completion would have been the functional configuration audit; (3) some proposed engineering changes and existing design deviations could adversely affect missile performance, but they do not require certification; (4) potential schedule slippages in the development and testing of the cost-reduction changes could delay incorporating these changes into planned production lots; (5) the contract has not yet exceeded its cost ceiling, but the program manager believes that the ceiling will restrain and delay development testing; (6) the $5.2 billion production cost estimate does not appear conservative and reasonable as a ceiling over the next 10 years; and (7) although it is too early to assess missile performance, by 1988 the scheduled tests should provide a basis to judge whether AMRAAM is in accordance with development specifications.

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