Review of the Navy's Ship Acquisition Process

PSAD-79-21: Published: Dec 29, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 29, 1978.

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GAO is revising the Navy's ship acquisition process for the FFG-7 class frigate, which is undergoing an extensive stern modification to accommodate three auxiliary systems. These are the Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS)-MK III helicopter, the Recover, Assist, Secure, Traverse (RAST) haul-down system, and the Tactical Towed Array Sonar (TACTAS) system. The necessary modifications are not being incorporated, however, in the 26 FFG-7 frigates already under contract during construction, but the Navy plans to retrofit these vessels at some time after delivery, until which time they will be equipped with the marginal LAMPS-MK I helicopter. The Navy did not perform cost-benefit analyses to investigate the feasibility of introducing the stern modification immediately in ships under construction and did not ask the shipyards performing the work if the modifications could be made at the present. GAO is concerned with the antisubmarine capability of the first 26 frigates and recommends incorporating the modified stern in ships under construction.

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