Army Plans To Modernize the Rock Island Arsenal May Be Inappropriate

LCD-79-418: Published: Jun 6, 1979. Publicly Released: Jun 6, 1979.

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The Army's Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is burdened with old and obsolete facilities and equipment and an insufficient capacity to meet projected mobilization production requirements responsively. The Army consequently decided to begin modernizing the arsenal's manufacturing equipment and facilities. The Army approved a 2-year planning project submitted by the Arsenal in January 1977 to analyze existing facilities and recommend improvements. This project is scheduled for completion in August 1979. Preliminary estimates indicate that modernization may cost $101 million from fiscal years 1981 to 1985, but actual costs may be substantially higher.

Although the Army's modernization plan for the Arsenal is credible, its production requirements are questionable because there were flaws in the calculation of combat consumption rates of major end items, the computation of mobilization requirements for secondary items was based partly on unsupported assumptions, and wartime overhead and rebuild requirements were unfounded. In response to 1975 and 1976 recommendations by GAO, the Army Armament Materiel Readiness Command determined private industry's willingness to satisfy the Arsenal's mobilization requirements, but failed to establish its capability or capacity. GAO could not identify the impact these conditions might have on the Arsenal's modernization needs, which might be substantial.

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