Navy Should Join the Air Force and Army Program To Develop an Advanced Integrated Avionics System

NSIAD-85-94: Published: Jun 17, 1985. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 1985.

Additional Materials:


Richard Davis
(202) 275-4841


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

GAO reviewed Army, Navy, and Air Force integrated communication, navigation, and identification avionics (ICNIA) development programs to: (1) identify existing and future examples of integrated avionics systems and their expected costs and benefits; (2) determine whether existing integration programs are adequately emphasizing long-term efforts that will benefit future generations of military aircraft; and (3) determine whether existing development programs in the services should be merged.

GAO found that the Air Force and the Army are jointly developing ICNIA technology. While the Navy recognizes the need for ICNIA technology for its future generations of aircraft, it has not joined the joint development effort because no funds are available, since no Navy aircraft program has specified a requirement for ICNIA technology, and it is concerned that it could become committed to specific hardware configurations before it can determine its specific requirements. GAO also found that ICNIA technology could: (1) reduce the size, weight, and cost of existing single-function avionics systems by up to 50 percent; (2) provide design flexibility to meet changing threats; (3) if standardized, decrease support costs significantly; and (4) enable aircraft to continue missions in the event that individual system components fail. GAO believes that: (1) the incremental cost to the Department of Defense of the Navy's participation in the joint effort would be low compared to the cost of a separate Navy program; (2) the Navy could fund its participation in the joint effort by using research and development funds; and (3) joint development is more likely to succeed if the Navy participates in the early stages of the program.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Actions to implement the recommendation were completed. The Navy received and contributed its share of the funds. The Navy and the Air Force signed a Memorandum of Agreement to execute the joint program. No further follow-up is required.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to join the ICNIA technology demonstration. This action would give each of the services a voice in advancing state of the art avionics technology and in developing a standard communication, navigation, and avionics system at minimum combined cost for the three services.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Feb 26, 2021

Feb 25, 2021

Feb 24, 2021

Feb 22, 2021

Jan 21, 2021

Jan 19, 2021

Jan 14, 2021

Jan 12, 2021

Dec 10, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here