Battlefield Automation:

Planned Production Decision for Army Control System is Premature

NSIAD-92-151: Published: Aug 10, 1992. Publicly Released: Aug 24, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's strategy for testing and procuring the Army Tactical Command and Control System (ATCCS), focusing on the preparations for an operational test.

GAO found that: (1) the Army will test each ATCCS segment before integration and then measure the network against systemwide requirements; (2) the Army has an individual acquisition strategy, test program, and production and fielding schedule for each segment and will upgrade the software before integrating each segment into the network; (3) the Army plans to start production of the network without testing the automated data exchange between segments and without enhanced communications capabilities, contrary to congressional guidance requiring the Army to procure a fully integrated system; (4) the Army shortened the test schedule for the Maneuver Control System (MCS) and did not allow for sufficient time for personnel to adequately learn how to operate it and incorporate it into standard operating procedures before a planned operational test; (5) contrary to normal practices, the Army deferred development of seven MCS functions, and its operational test will not include the complete software; and (6) the Army plans to field two versions of the computer equipment for the segment, which will increase logistics costs and render one version of the equipment obsolete.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Defense, deleted $25 million from the fiscal year 1993 program. An accomplishment report is in process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army not to initiate acquisition of Common Hardware and Software (CHS) and related equipment until the automated data exchange among the five control segments is successfully tested using the communications segments developed to support ATCCS requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Because of to software development problems, this effort has stopped. The program has been restructured.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to defer the formal MCS operational test until: (1) unit personnel receive sufficient training to learn how to use the systems and are able to incorporate the system's functions into the units' standard operating procedures; (2) the light division requirements are developed and validated; and (3) the functions deleted from MCS software are restored.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The program is being restructured because of to software development problems. This will delay the program by 2 years and will, in effect, implement the recommendation by default.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to conserve logistics funds by testing and deploying ATCCS with CHS II equipment, the required battalion terminal, and the smaller communications interface device.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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