The Navy's Rapidly Deployable Surveillance System Needs To Be Reassessed

C-MASAD-83-8: Published: Jan 26, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 26, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the Navy's Rapidly Deployable Surveillance System (RDSS) which is being developed as a surveillance sensor that also has tactical applications.

RDSS will consist of a field of moored, long-life acoustic buoys which will normally be aircraft deployed. The system would be used in areas where other undersea surveillance systems have no coverage, are not available, or their deployment is not practicable. The Navy is currently working with two versions known as Mod 0 and Mod 1. GAO believes that the Navy needs to reassess the benefits of Mod 0 in relation to alternatives not previously considered, such as a long-life sonobuoy now under development. Also, the Navy needs to further evaluate Mod 1 to better determine its cost effectiveness. GAO also believes that a question exists as to whether the Navy should work toward starting production of Mod 0 for use in a surveillance role. GAO concluded that it might be more desirable to work toward developing and producing the complete surveillance system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In a classified response, May 12, 1983, DOD said that the Navy will continue with the Mod 0 development. No decision will be made on Mod 1 until the future and proof of principle of Mod 0.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Navy to reassess RDSS. Such an assessment should review the cost effectiveness of Mod 0, including: (1) consideration of the long-life sonobuoy; (2) realistic reliability and cost figures; (3) consideration of signal processing improvements; and (4) the most efficient sonobuoy placement.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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