Navy Torpedo Program:

MK-48 ADCAP Propulsion System Upgrade Not Needed

NSIAD-92-191: Published: Sep 10, 1992. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 1992.

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GAO reviewed the Navy's MK-48 Advanced Capability (ADCAP) torpedo propulsion system upgrade program, focusing on whether the: (1) Navy needs an upgraded propulsion system; (2) upgrade would meet Navy noise reduction requirements; and (3) Navy is conducting research in alternative noise reduction technology.

GAO found that: (1) the current system would meet the Navy's requirements for the SSN-21 Seawolf submarine; (2) the Seawolf will have a very limited production run; (3) the Navy is continuing the development of the upgrade and will make it available to submarines that can fire MK-48 ADCAP torpedoes, although they operate at higher noise levels than the Seawolf, which limits the value of the quieter system; (4) the upgrade was not intended to meet and will not lead to meeting the Navy's 1986 noise reduction requirements; (5) the Navy has basic and exploratory research programs in alternative noise reduction technologies; and (6) cancelling the upgrade and continuing the other research would be in line with the Department of Defense's (DOD) revised weapons acquisition strategy.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD continues to disagree that the program upgrade is not needed. GAO has issued another report making a similar recommendation (NSIAD-95-104).

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to terminate the MK-48 advanced capability propulsion system upgrade program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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