Battlefield Automation:

Army Needs to Update Fielding Plan for First Digitized Corps

NSIAD-00-167: Published: Jul 25, 2000. Publicly Released: Jul 25, 2000.

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Jack L. Brock, Jr
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's acquisition of Category 2 weapons systems.

GAO noted that: (1) the analysis of the acquisition status of the 56 Category 2 systems indicates that about 30 percent of the systems are already fielded or likely to be ready by the 2004 fielding milestone, about 50 percent may not be ready, and about 20 percent will not be ready; (2) the systems that are likely to be ready include a small number of systems already fielded and others expected to be fielded by 2004; (3) other systems may not be ready because development schedules are not consistent with the year 2004 milestone, operational testing has not been performed, or interoperability demonstrations have not been completed; (4) also, there are systems that will not be ready because of funding shifts or development schedules that are not matched to the fielding milestone; (5) based on Army projections, the 56 Category 2 systems will require signigicant investment--total estimated development and procurement funding needs are $4 billion for fiscal year 2001 and $4.4 billion for fiscal year 2002; (6) because of the uncertain availability of most of the 56 Category 2 systems by 2004, GAO is concerned that organizational decisions are being made on the assumption that these systems will be ready by 2004; and (7) for example, GAO observed that the Army had already made decisions to reduce the number of soldiers needed to fulfill missions, based on the expected benefits of some of the 56 Category 2 systems, even though these systems are still only being developed or tested.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The DOD official responsible for follow-up on GAO's reported recommendation stated that this recommendation has been implemented, and the office of the DOD Inspector General closed its case files on this assignment in March 2001.

    Recommendation: To provide decisionmakers within the Army with a detailed understanding of the impact the availability of Category 2 systems will have on other decisions, the Secretary of the Army should direct the preparation of an annual acquisition status report that identifies: (1) when each Category 2 system is expected to be fielded; and (2) alternative fielding strategies focused on the successful establishment of the first digitized corps by the end of 2004.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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