Navy Ship Defense:

Concerns About the Strategy for Procuring the Rolling Airframe Missile

NSIAD-90-208: Published: Aug 27, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 27, 1990.

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GAO and the German Federal Court of Audit (BRH) reviewed the U.S.-German Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) program.

GAO found that: (1) since development of RAM began, the number and capability of various antiship missiles has significantly increased, and most will surpass RAM capabilities; (2) due to test limitations, the Navy will not be able to fully and realistically test the missile before the planned full-rate production decision in September 1990; (3) the Navy scheduled system tests to be configured with an upgraded computer and new target evaluation after full-rate production; (4) the German Navy had not planned any tests on its vessels before introducing the missile into its fleet; (5) estimated minimum U.S. and German fleet requirements for basic missiles will be significantly less than the 7,000 missiles planned; (6) U.S. and German Navy missile use plans were questionable; (7) the program office attempted to reduce the program's significant cost growth; and (8) the United States and Germany cited cost reduction as an objective in a negotiated memorandum of understanding that provided for establishment of a second production source.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The program was terminated at the direction of Congress.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy and the German Minister of Defense should direct the RAM Program Office to assess the cost and benefit of continuing the dual-source procurement procedure by: (1) considering the experience of the low-rate initial production of 850 missiles and changes in defense priorities; (2) combining production quantities authorized in fiscal years 1990 and 1991 to achieve greater economies of scale; (3) soliciting a full range of offers without establishing a minimum sustaining quantity; and (4) determining the sole-source producer or production split that minimizes costs for both governments.

    Agency Affected: Federal Republic of Germany: Ministry of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The program was terminated at the direction of Congress.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy and the German Minister of Defense should direct the RAM Program Office to assess separately the longer-term requirement, cost, and schedule for developing and producing an advanced configuration of the missile system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This is not a U.S. issue.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy and the German Minister of Defense should direct the RAM Program Office to assess separately the longer-term requirement, cost, and schedule for developing and producing an advanced configuration of the missile system.

    Agency Affected: Federal Republic of Germany: Ministry of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This is not a U.S. issue.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy and the German Minister of Defense should direct the RAM Program Office to limit procurement of basic RAM during low-rate initial production to the number needed to meet U.S. and German known minimum requirements.

    Agency Affected: Federal Republic of Germany: Ministry of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The program has been terminated at the direction of Congress.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy and the German Minister of Defense should direct the RAM Program Office to limit procurement of basic RAM during low-rate initial production to the number needed to meet U.S. and German known minimum requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The program has been terminated at the direction of Congress.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to postpone the full-rate production decision until the basic RAM operational capabilities have been fully evaluated, the actual costs of producing the initial 850 missiles are known, and the feasibility of upgrading RAM to counter the emerging antiship missile threat has been determined.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This is not a U.S. issue.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy and the German Minister of Defense should direct the RAM Program Office to assess the cost and benefit of continuing the dual-source procurement procedure by: (1) considering the experience of the low-rate initial production of 850 missiles and changes in defense priorities; (2) combining production quantities authorized in fiscal years 1990 and 1991 to achieve greater economies of scale; (3) soliciting a full range of offers without establishing a minimum sustaining quantity; and (4) determining the sole-source producer or production split that minimizes costs for both governments.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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