Test Resources:

Early Testing of Major ASW Weapons Can Be Enhanced by Increased Focus on Test Resources

NSIAD-86-174: Published: Jun 30, 1986. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1986.

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GAO summarized its review of early testing of major antisubmarine warfare (ASW) weapons, specifically the: (1) adequacy of Navy test resources to represent Soviet submarine capabilities and the ocean environment in which they operate; and (2) effectiveness in identifying and acquiring test resources during the development, test, and evaluation phases.

GAO found that: (1) the Navy's test resources fail to completely represent enemy submarine capabilities and ocean environments in which they operate; (2) the Navy's fixed test ranges provide only limited environmental diversity; (3) computer models used in simulation fail to effectively depict important environmental factors; (4) the Navy implemented efforts to improve test resources; and (5) the Navy does not have an effective process for identifying and acquiring test resources.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy was tasked to prepare a plan of action with milestones on how the recommendations will be accommodated. The Navy appointed a sponsor, the Director of Research, Development and Acquisition (OP-098).

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to designate a sponsor for major antisubmarine warfare test resources such as targets, ranges, and generic simulation capabilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy was tasked to prepare a plan of action with milestones on how the recommendations will be accommodated. The new Department of Defense instructions are more specific and direct the service TEMP to fully explain limitations.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the designated sponsor to ensure that Test and Evaluation Master Plans (TEMP) contain analyses of the effects that test resource limitations have on the usefulness and validity of test results.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: GAO issued a report, NSIAD-88-80, March 1988, which included a similar recommendation to prioritize test resources.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the designated sponsor to consolidate and prioritize test resource limitations to determine those having the greatest need for funding.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy was tasked to prepare a plan of action with milestones on how the recommendations will be accommodated. The Navy issued new SECNAV Instruction 5420.188A, titled "Navy and Marine Corps Program Decision Meetings". This instruction requires that test resource requirements and the impact of any shortfalls be fully addressed at major milestone decision points.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the designated sponsor to ensure that all acquisition milestone presentations give sufficient consideration to test resource needs and the extent to which development, test, and evaluation performance requirements may not be fully demonstrated due to limitations in test resources.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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