Battlefield Automation:

Field Artillery Data Systems Acquisition Problems and Budget Impacts

NSIAD-89-95BR: Published: Mar 28, 1989. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the status of Army and Marine Corps development of fire support command and control automation programs.

GAO found that the Army: (1) developed the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS) to replace its technically obsolete Tactical Fire Direction System (TACFIRE); (2) planned to field AFATDS to heavy divisions first and buy an improved light TACFIRE, at a total cost of $58.3 million, to meet its light divisions' needs; (3) is continuing to develop, field, and upgrade other fire support command and control subsystems for both heavy and light divisions, and plans to retain them after AFATDS fielding; (4) spent $103 million on AFATDS, with the contractor incurring an additional $34 million; (5) corrected some problems which delayed completion of the AFATDS concept evaluation phase by over 2 years; (6) believed that corrective actions reduced the risk of further delays for fielding and software development and transfer; and (7) complied with congressional directions and cost limits. GAO also found that the Marine Corps: (1) cancelled development of the Marine Integrated Fire and Air Support System after significant program delays and cost overruns; (2) is evaluating the feasibility of using Army programs; and (3) developed and fielded the Digital Communications Terminal, one of the devices the Army planned to field. In addition, GAO found that Congress reduced the AFATDS fiscal year 1989 budget, since the program's actual and expected delays made full program funding unnecessary.

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