Navy Torpedo Programs:

MK-48 ADCAP Upgrades Not Adequately Justified

NSIAD-95-104: Published: Jun 12, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 1995.

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GAO reviewed the Navy's plans to upgrade both the propulsion and the guidance and control systems of the MK-48 Advanced Capability torpedo (ADCAP), focusing on the: (1) need for the propulsion system upgrade; and (2) appropriateness of approving low-rate initial production of the guidance and control system.

GAO found that: (1) the Navy believes the $249-million ADCAP propulsion system upgrade will reduce the launching submarine's vulnerability in shallow water; (2) the propulsion upgrade will not improve ADCAP performance or reduce the submarine's vulnerability to enemy attack because of the short ranges at which submarines are likely to be detected in shallow water; (3) the upgrade is not needed, since ADCAP is already rated operationally effective in shallow water; (4) the Navy did not establish a requirement to improve the propulsion system for use in open-ocean, deep water; and (5) low-rate initial production of the guidance and control system should not be approved until new software is developed and installed in mid-1998.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: On May 2, 1995, after receiving a draft of this report for comment, the Navy approved initiation of LRIP for the MK-48 ADCAP Modification Program, including the propulsion upgrade and Congress continues to fund the program as requested by the Navy.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to terminate the proposed propulsion system upgrade program and reduce program funding accordingly.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy is proceeding with acquisition of guidance and control units, but plans to limit the acquisition of those units to the number needed for testing. However, Congress continues to fund the program as the Navy requests.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to delay any production decision for the guidance and control system until an acquisition schedule that coincides with the software development schedule and avoids premature commitment to production can be developed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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