Delivery Problems With Inertial Measurement Units

NSIAD-88-74BR: Published: Dec 18, 1987. Publicly Released: Jan 12, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Air Force's acquisition of inertial measurement units (IMU), a major component of the Peacekeeper missile guidance and control system.

GAO found that: (1) the IMU manufacturer did not timely deliver the units, resulting in a 4.5-month delay in the deployment schedule; (2) although the manufacturer expects to be back on schedule by April 1988, the Air Force believes that October is a more realistic date; (3) changes in the production date from 1983 to 1984 without any changes in the operational capability date caused delays; and (4) as of September 30, 1987, only 18 of the 28 Peacekeeper missiles available for operations were on alert because of shortages of IMU. GAO also found that: (1) the Air Force relaxed its acquisition procedures in order to accommodate the manufacturer's inability to effectively manage its manufacturing process; (2) 17 test flights for IMU accuracy and reliability had better-than-anticipated results; and (3) the Air Force will absorb about $17 million of an estimated $24.4 million in total contract costs because of delivery delays.

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