Electronic Warfare:

The Army Can Reduce Its Risks in Developing New Radar Countermeasures System

GAO-01-448: Published: Apr 30, 2001. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2001.

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Robert E. Levin
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The Army is acquiring a new, state-of-the-art radar countermeasures system--called the Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures to help helicopters and other aircraft identify, track, and defeat radar-guided missiles in complex electronic environments where many radar systems could be operating simultaneously. The Army has identified software and hardware modification needed for its new radar countermeasures system. The Army expects that future tests will enable it to determine whether the modified software performs as required before the planned low-rate initial production decision in early 2002. However, the testing of the modified hardware is not scheduled for completion until September 2002. By deferring low-rate initial production decision, the Army would reduce the risk of incurring anticipated costs to retrofit articles if the system does not work as expected.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD awarded a low-rate initial production contract to ITT for two SIRFC systems in May 2002, before implementing and testing planned hardware and software changes.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct that the Army defer the low-rate initial production decision until software and hardware modifications are completed and the Army determines that the integrated system, as modified, performs as required.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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