Status of the Marine Corps Integrated Fire and Air Support System

NSIAD-86-110FS: Published: Apr 28, 1986. Publicly Released: May 28, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO obtained information on the Marine Corps' Integrated Fire and Air Support System (MIFASS) to determine the potential for merging it with similar Army fire support command and control systems.

GAO found that: (1) no hardware similarities exist between MIFASS and the Army's interim Light Field Artillery Tactical Data System (LFATDS) because LFATDS is basically commercially improved equipment and MIFASS has been developed in accordance with military specifications; (2) similarities between MIFASS and the Army's Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) are unknown because AFATDS hardware is not yet fully defined; (3) functional software similarities exist between the systems; (4) similarities exist between mission requirements, but AFATDS will be less capable at initial operational capability than MIFASS; (5) MIFASS is further along in development than AFATDS, which is still largely conceptual and does not meet all Marine Corps needs; and (6) the MIFASS production contract is scheduled for fiscal year 1989. GAO noted that the benefits of coproduction and codevelopment include: (1) lower unit acquisition cost; (2) common logistics with reduced system life-cycle costs; (3) more economical training and training support; and (4) better interoperability between the systems. The Marine Corps would prefer a codevelopment and coproduction of either MIFASS or a future program to follow MIFASS and AFATDS and to continue its MIFASS development and fielding as currently planned.

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