Army Logistics:

Status of Proposed Support Plan for Apache Helicopter

NSIAD-99-140: Published: Jul 1, 1999. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1999.

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David R. Warren
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of the Army's proposed logistics support plan, called Prime Vendor Support (PVS), for the Apache Helicopter.

GAO noted that: (1) the Apache PVS concept began as an unsolicited contractor proposal whose scope has evolved over time; (2) as would be expected when a new concept of this magnitude is introduced, there are significantly different views about various aspects of the proposal; (3) although the Apache PVS proposal is viewed by various Office of the Secretary of Defense and Army officials as a key effort to test improved weapon system logistics support, the proposal remains under study within the Army to address unresolved issues; (4) the Army does not know when a decision will be made on whether or not the program will go forward; (5) key questions remain regarding how certain cost factors should be considered in evaluating the PVS proposal; (6) estimates of the cost differences between PVS and the government's best-case cost study of the in-house approach vary significantly, and each is considered the most cost-effective depending on which assumptions, including program requirements, are used; (7) also, a number of questions have been raised about the potential operational impact of PVS on meeting war-fighters' logistics support needs; (8) because of uncertainties and differing views and issues that have emerged, the Under Secretary of the Army directed in January and March 1999 that more rigorous and comprehensive analyses be conducted of cost, operational, and requirement issues; and (9) these efforts are still underway.

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