Ammunition Industrial Base:

Information on DOD's Assessment of Requirements

NSIAD-96-133: Published: May 31, 1996. Publicly Released: May 31, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) ability to meet peacetime ammunition requirements, and to replenish the ammunition stockpile following two major regional conflicts.

GAO found that: (1) according to DOD, the ammunition stockpile has no major shortages due to the industrial base; (2) there is no longer a requirement to surge the industrial base during conflicts; (3) the most lethal, preferred munitions will be at a premium, and some requisitions will be filled with older, substitute munitions, but DOD considers these items adequate to defeat the expected threat; (4) DOD is confident in the results of its financial viability studies of firms comprising the ammunition industrial base, even though it did not receive sufficient data to evaluate the financial condition of all firms in the industrial base; (5) changes to DOD assumptions could cause the DOD industrial base assessment to change even if production capacity remains stable; and (6) private studies that have concluded that the industrial base is inadequate to meet replenishment requirements during and following a national emergency are based on underlying assumptions that differ considerably from DOD assumptions.

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