Battlefield Automation:

Field Artillery Data Systems Acquisition Problems and Budget Impacts

NSIAD-87-198BR: Published: Jul 31, 1987. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed issues associated with selected Army fire support command and control (C2) systems.

GAO noted that the Army began developing Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data Systems (AFATDS) for both light and heavy divisions because its Tactical Fire Direction System was becoming obsolete. GAO found that: (1) the AFATDS program encountered problems that will delay deployment to light divisions by 3 years and to heavy divisions by 5 years; (2) the contractor and the Army took actions to reduce the risk of further program delays; (3) the Light Field Artillery Tactical Data System (LFATDS) met design requirements in the initial operational test and evaluation and was accepted as a combat-ready system; (4) although LFATDS does not meet some recently identified critical requirements, it meets more of these requirements than the AFATDS Concept Evaluation Phase (CEP) version and could meet as many as the AFATDS version the Army expects to field in fiscal year (FY) 1992; and (5) although the Army plans to use the Fire Support Team Digital Message Device to upgrade light division fire support C2 capabilities, the system does not meet any critical effectiveness requirements. GAO also found that the Army: (1) does not plan to use $25.5 million in FY 1986 funds Congress earmarked to upgrade light division near-term fire support C2 capabilities; and (2) is complying with the funding limit on the AFATDS CEP contract. GAO noted that, due to delays in AFATDS development, Congress may wish to consider reducing the Army's FY 1988 research, development, test and evaluation and procurement appropriations request by $29.2 million and $77.7 million, respectively.

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