Army Battlefield Automation:

Oversight Needed to Assure Integrated System

IMTEC-90-78: Published: Jul 24, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 23, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of the technical and integration challenges that the Army will confront when it integrates five battlefield command and control systems and three communications systems into the Army Tactical Command and Control System (ATCCS).

GAO found that: (1) the Army took steps to manage ATCCS as a system of systems in various phases of development and deployment; (2) the Army needed to resolve over 40 technical problems that were important in developing and integrating the component systems into ATCCS; (3) the Army did not fully define how the component systems would integrate into the overall ATCCS configuration; (4) the Army did not analyze the communications work load to determine whether the communications systems for ATCCS would be adequately sized; (5) the Army was developing an automated communications planning and management system to obtain the substantial operational benefits that could be derived by managing the separate communications systems as one composite system; and (6) independent oversight will help ensure that the Army views ATCCS as a system of systems.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The C3I Committee reviewed ATCCS and will continue to review it separately each year.

    Recommendation: To reduce the risks associated with the complex, technically challenging, and expensive task of integrating the five command and control systems and the three communications systems, the Secretary of Defense should require the Defense Acquisition Board (DAB) to oversee the overall ATCCS program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: During its 1991 review, the Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence System Committee of DAB will assess the impact of the specification and the communications work-load issues and use the results in determining the funding requests for fiscal year 1993.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that DAB, as part of its oversight of ATCCS, assess the impact of the ATCCS specifications on the design of the component systems and the estimated communications work load on the existing communications systems, and submit the results to the Secretary to use in determining the funding requests for the component and communications systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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