Navy Needs To Increase S-3A Readiness To Ensure Effective Use of Planned Weapon System Improvements

C-MASAD-83-6: Published: Jan 26, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 26, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the S-3A carrier-based aircraft improvement program and assessed the issues which may determine the effectiveness of the planned program.

The Navy has embarked on a $1.3 billion weapon system improvement program which is a major modification to the S-3A program. GAO noted that the S-3A program office is concerned about timely delivery and additional funding needed for its operational software and also a $15 million congressional cut in fiscal year 1983 research and development funds. GAO stated that the Navy's ability to increase the aircraft's operation readiness is critical to the success of the improvement program. The Navy's present efforts include establishing the Readiness Improvement Program, the Operational and Safety Improvement Program, and initiatives by the Chief of Naval Operations. GAO found that poor operational readiness has been caused by low reliability and maintainability of equipment as well as shortages of trained flight and maintenance personnel and inadequate spares support. GAO stated that the Navy has sufficient aircraft for current active squadrons, but there are not enough aircraft available for attrition and reserve squadrons. GAO stated that it cannot currently assess the increase in operational readiness, because the Navy has changed its readiness reporting methods.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The OSD Inspector General follow-up on October 31, 1985, stated that the Navy achieved the operational readiness, revised reporting criteria goal.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Navy to provide assurance that the operational readiness goal will be attained or, if not attainable, that the mission capability can be fulfilled with a lesser performance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy


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