Battlefield Automation:

Status of the Army Command and Control System Program

NSIAD-86-184FS: Published: Aug 26, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO: (1) examined the Army Command and Control System (ACCS) program to consolidate major battlefield command and control systems acquisition, which will eventually place a vast number of computers, terminals, radios, and other devices on the battlefield. GAO specifically examined: (1) the ACCS management structure and program plans; (2) the performance, schedule, and cost goals of ACCS component systems; and (3) the risks involved in acquiring common computer hardware and software for ACCS component systems.

GAO found that: (1) an Army program manager will coordinate and control the acquisition of the eight major component systems, as well as the common hardware and software intended for use in these systems; (2) the program manager will work with the Army's Communications-Electronics Command where most of the ACCS component systems are managed; (3) of the $20 billion needed for the ACCS program over the next 10 years, the Army will use $12.6 billion to acquire the communications system and $7 billion to acquire the command and control systems; (4) ACCS needs $800 million initially for computer hardware and software; (5) the Army believes it can lower overall procurement costs, reduce maintenance problems, and improve the interoperability of command and control systems by buying common items and simultaneously fielding them to tactical units; (6) the program manager does not yet have the authority to carry out the program's responsibilities; (7) Army officials have disagreed on ACCS management issues, resulting in program delays; (8) the Army has had difficulty in acquiring automated command and control systems in the past, and consolidating five major system acquisitions with a communications system will be even more difficult; (9) the Army should approve the ACCS charter and resolve funding issues soon, since it plans to award a large computer resources contract under the ACCS program within a year; and (10) there is very little margin for slippage in any one system if all systems are to be fielded simultaneously.

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