Weapon Systems:

Observations on Army's Efforts To Improve Its Requirements Process

NSIAD-87-21: Published: Oct 29, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1986.

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GAO reviewed the Army's requirements process for the planned acquisition of certain weapon systems to determine how the Army could make the process more efficient.

GAO found that: (1) the Army's decision to have its Training and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC) combined arms centers assist the individual centers in preparing a combined mission area analysis and in identifying solutions to deficiencies it disclosed should help overcome the tendency of individual centers to determine the Army's needs only within their own specialties; (2) the tendency of the requirements centers to individually determine mission area deficiencies and solutions has sometimes fostered the development of weapon systems which did not best meet the Army's needs; (3) in order to achieve the maximum benefit from the changes it has proposed, the Army should staff its combined arms centers with personnel sufficiently trained to make Army-wide mission area analysis, and to evaluate solutions, and to pass along for approval only those solutions that will best meet the Army's needs; (4) the Army should consider affordability early so that it can avoid unnecessary or marginal operational requirements; and (5) in assessing affordability, the Army should consider the cost of meeting the system's operational requirements in relation to the benefits they would provide, the total quantities required, and the funding likely to be available to acquire and support the system. GAO believes that an organization other than TRADOC could more objectively assess a proposed system's affordability.

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