Concerns About the Army's Infantry Fighting Vehicle

PSAD-80-27: Published: Feb 5, 1980. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 1980.

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A review was made of the Army's Fighting Vehicle Systems Program which focused primarily on the Infantry Fighting Vehicle's (IFV) performance in operational and development testing. The IFV is intended to provide the infantry with a vehicle which would move rapidly in a hostile environment with better armor and greater firepower than is currently available in the M113.

A principal concern about the IFV is its high cost, an estimated $600,000 per unit. While the IFV exceeded the Army's reliability goals of mean miles between failures, the initial vulnerability testing showed it to be under the Army's ballistic protection requirements. The criticality of further vulnerability testing is self-evident since the tactical use of the IFV would require its moving into areas where it could come under attack from machine guns and artillery weapons. There also appeared to be a problem with the interior space of IFVs. In order to increase dismounted fighting capability, the Army is considering increasing the number of men in each IFV, in which case GAO believes conditions inside the vehicle would be intolerably cramped. Alternatively, the Army may consider increasing the number of IFVs per mechanized infantry unit, in which case GAO believes it would be more cost effective to consider adding more M113s rather than IFVs due to the cost disparity.

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