Quality Assurance:

Concerns About Four Navy Missile Systems

NSIAD-88-104: Published: Mar 24, 1988. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed quality assurance problems on four missile systems, the Phoenix, the Harpoon, the Sparrow, and the High-Speed Anti-Radiation (HARM) missiles, to determine the causes and potential effects of the problems.

GAO found that: (1) all the missiles it examined had defects, since they did not completely conform to contract specifications; (2) some defects occurred because of the prime contractor's inadequate manufacturing processes, but subcontractors' poor manufacturing and inadequate quality oversight caused more significant problems; and (3) contractors believed that many of the reported manufacturing defects in soldering were due to the Navy's stringent soldering specifications. GAO believes that the Navy should have: (1) tighter controls over subcontractor production; (2) better reporting of changes in manufacturing processes; and (3) its prime contractors inspect and test subcontractor-manufactured items.

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