Evaluation of the Decision To Begin Production of the Roland Missile System

PSAD-79-100: Published: Aug 17, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 1979.

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In June 1979, following the 4.5-year period of fabricate and test, the Secretary of Defense approved limited production of the Roland Missile system. Roland is a European-developed missile system being acquired to strengthen the Army's defenses against low-flying aircraft. The system is required to be capable of defending critical corps and rear-area targets in clear or adverse weather.

The decision to begin producing Roland was based on the assumption that the system had sufficiently demonstrated its ability to perform its short-range air defense mission in adverse weather. In testing to date, Roland falls short of meeting several important requirements. It has shown a very low probability of performing a 72-hour mission without major maintenance. This contrasts with a specified 90-percent probability requirement. Modifications will have to be devised to improve its vulnerability to projected countermeasures and to correct other problems. Because testing performed so far has not been rigorous enough to assess its expected threat capability and testing in adverse weather has been limited, the decision to begin production appears premature.

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