Missile Development:

Status of Advanced Medium Range Air-To-Air Missile Certification

NSIAD-86-66BR: Published: Feb 18, 1986. Publicly Released: Feb 20, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the development of the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), particularly as it relates to the certification requirements contained in the Defense Authorization Act for 1986.

GAO noted that the act requires the Secretary of Defense to certify that: (1) the AMRAAM design is complete; (2) system performance has not been downgraded from the original development specification; and (3) the maximum number of cost reduction design changes have been incorporated into and qualified for the flight test program before production. GAO found that: (1) the AMRAAM design is essentially complete, but design modifications will be made as the AMRAAM program proceeds through the test and evaluation phase; (2) early flight test missiles have had a number of deviations from the contract specifications which, if not corrected, could impair missile performance; (3) significant cost reduction design changes will be flight tested over the next several years; (4) the Air Force negotiated contract changes to reduce development costs below the $556.6 million ceiling; and (5) as of January 1986, 20 full scale missiles had been delivered to various test facilities, but half of them were returned because of some malfunction.

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