Adjustments Recommended in Fiscal Year 1982 Ammunition Procurement and Modernization Programs

PLRD-81-35: Published: Jun 30, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 30, 1981.

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GAO reviewed the military services' justifications for their fiscal year 1982 appropriation requests for the procurement of conventional ammunition and the ammunition production base. The review was limited to: (1) evaluating the Army, Navy, and Air Force requests for ammunition end-items costing large dollar amounts and end-items being bought for the first time; and (2) Army projects for establishing, modernizing, and expanding the ammunition production base. GAO also made some followup inquiries to determine the status of the Department of Defense actions to implement recommendations made in a GAO report on the single manager program for conventional ammunition.

Progress toward further implementation of the single manager program has been limited. The appropriations request for eight of the Army's conventional ammunition items should be reduced by $133.6 million. Some of the requested items are not needed in fiscal year 1982 because: (1) of production backlogs; (2) the sole producer has not passed acceptance tests and has insufficient capacity to produce the increments needed; (3) they are for use in helicopters which have deficiencies that must be resolved before production or will not be needed until the deliveries of helicopters begin; (4) existing inventory and quantities exceed requirements; or (5) of technical, production, or performance problems. The appropriations request for four of the Navy's conventional ammunition items should be reduced by $13.8 million because only half of one requested item could be produced during fiscal year 1982, because the Navy has adequate inventory to meet projected needs, or because of production backlogs. Two of the Air Force's requests for ammunition should be reduced by $10.5 million because the items can be procured commercially at a lower cost than estimated in the budget and some are not needed in 1982 because of a large production backlog. GAO concluded that the $9.5 million requested for a steam tieline at the Radford Ammunition Plant is not adequately justified. It is too soon to provide $5.8 million for redistributing excess equipment. The Army has not resolved problems concerning the effectiveness of the Copperhead system.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The House Committee on Appropriations should reduce the Army's fiscal year 1982 request for modernizing and expanding the ammunition production base as follows (1) defer the $9.5 million project for the tieline to the horseshoe area at Radford Army Ammunition Plant until a detailed plan using the most cost-effective approach to the steam generating capacity is developed; and (2) defer the $5.8 million project for distributing excess equipment until the full scope of effort is determined and a detailed plan, including firm cost estimates, is developed.

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The House Committee on Appropriations should (1) reduce the Air Force's appropriation request by $1.9 million for the .38 caliber PGU 12B rounds to bring the request more in line with the unit cost estimate for procurement of this item from a commercial source; and (2) reduce the Air Force's request by $8.6 million for the RR-170 cartridge because of production backlogs.

  3. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The House Committee on Appropriations should reduce the Navy's fiscal year 1982 ammunition appropriation request by $13.8 million for four items.

  4. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The House Committee on Appropriations should closely monitor the ammunition program for three items until the Army resolves various problems.

  5. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The House Committee on Appropriations should reduce the Army's conventional ammunition request for eight items by $133.6 million.

 

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