Army's Fiscal Year 1979 Program for Procuring Conventional Ammunition and Related Production Base Support

LCD-78-419: Published: May 15, 1978. Publicly Released: May 15, 1978.

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The Army's fiscal year (FY) 1979 ammunition appropriation request was $1.15 billion for procuring conventional ammunition and $265 million for related production support. The ammunition is for annual peacetime training and reserve wartime stocks. Most of the requested production support funds are for modernizing and expanding the Army's ammunition plants.

The $85 million requested for three conventional ammunition items should not be appropriated now because: there are unresolved issues about Copperhead rounds relating to system vulnerability, weather effects and cost-effectiveness; an impact switch for increasing the reliability of the 105-mm high explosive antitank round is still being developed; and the ground-emplaced mine scattering system is not currently needed. Also, the Army should not procure a depleted uranium penetrator until a potential health hazard has been resolved. All but 2 of 13 modernization and expansion projects reviewed were adequately justified. Two projects that should be deferred are replacing of four obsolete ammonia oxidation plants at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant with a new $14.4 million facility and improving the main heating plant at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant. Projects in the ammunition manufacturing methods and technology program were production oriented, the Army's review process was extensive, and past years' project results were disseminated for use by others. Production support and equipment replacement projects at four locations could not be supported.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The House Committee on Appropriations should: reduce by $85 million the Army's request for procuring conventional ammunition, reduce by $18.9 million the request for modernizing and expanding the ammunition production base, reduce by $2.1 million the request for production support and equipment replacement, and direct the Army not to procure the depleted uranium penetrators until the potential health issue has been resolved.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Army should revise its procedures for reviewing annual support projects to ensure that budget reviews are thorough and that they are conducted before the Army finalizes its budget.

    Agency Affected:


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