Battlefield Automation:

Army's Air Defense Command and Control System Status and Program Issues

NSIAD-90-12BR: Published: Dec 20, 1989. Publicly Released: Jan 23, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the technical performance, delivery schedules, and cost of the Army's Forward Area Air Defense Command, Control, and Intelligence System (FAAD C2I), focusing on the status of four components: (1) computers and software for system automation of command and control functions; (2) a ground-based sensor to detect and track aircraft; (3) an aerial sensor to detect helicopters and other low-flying aircraft hidden from the ground-based sensor's view; and (4) devices to distinguish between friendly and threat aircraft.

GAO found that the Army: (1) delayed its fielding of the computer and software component from fiscal year (FY) 1991, and deferred some of the component's capabilities to allow fielding an initial system in FY 1993; (2) delayed its plan for FY 1991 deployment of the nondevelopmental ground-based sensor so that it could make performance specifications less stringent; (3) scheduled ground-based sensor deployment for FY 1996, and planned to incorporate more advanced technology as it became available to fully meet its requirements; (4) deferred development and deployment of the aerial sensor, for which it had not determined type or platform requirements, after the Office of the Secretary of Defense deleted FY 1991 and 1992 development funds; (5) estimated that aerial sensor deployment would not occur before FY 1997; (6) planned to use existing aircraft identification devices, since it delayed programs for device development and deployment for several years; and (7) revised its 1986 cost estimate for FAAD C2I from $2.6 billion to $3.2 billion, but did not consider costs associated with planned ground-based sensor improvements, the possible addition of another aircraft identification system, the possible need for a dedicated platform for the aerial sensor, and the potential cost impact of deferring some computer and software component capabilities.

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