Electronic Warfare:

Inadequate Testing Led to Faulty SLQ-32s on Ships

NSIAD-93-272: Published: Aug 19, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1993.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the capability of the Navy's SLQ-32 shipboard electronic countermeasures system.

GAO found that: (1) the Navy approved production of the SLQ-32 system before correcting problems disclosed in the system's initial operational tests and verifying the system's satisfactory performance; (2) the Navy has deployed the defective SLQ-32 system while attempting to correct its deficiencies; (3) the Navy is unable to maintain and support the system because it does not know which system configuration is on which ship; (4) the Navy plans to acquire additional units and modifications although it has not adequately tested the system's performance; (5) the Department of Defense (DOD) lacks adequate internal controls over the Navy's acquisition process and has failed to verify that systematic problems have been corrected; and (6) DOD has relied on incomplete and inaccurate data from the Navy that the system is effective and suitable for deployment.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD established a Program Executive Office for ship self defense and reorganized the Navy's program office for surface electronic warfare. These actions will give the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (RDA) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense better oversight of the SLQ-32 program. In addition, SLQ-32 will be included in ship program reviews that are major programs having oversight by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. These measures should strengthen control over the program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should impose adequate controls over the Navy's acquisition process to ensure that SLQ-32 performs effectively before more systems are procured.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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