Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:

More Testing Needed Before Production of Short-Range System

NSIAD-92-311: Published: Sep 4, 1992. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 1992.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Short-Range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program to determine whether: (1) it represents a valid joint-service effort that will minimize duplication among UAV programs; and (2) test results justify the imminent commitment to system production.

GAO found that: (1) the UAV Joint Project Office plans to exercise two system production options before operational testing; (2) limited user testing did not address critical performance issues; (3) limited user testing was not performed in a realistic environment; and (4) operational test agencies that conducted the test could not fully evaluate most of the test results.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed with the recommendation and authorized limited production without the recommended testing. GAO is conducting a followup review of test results to determine whether production should be minimized pending completion of testing.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that limited production be deferred until realistic operational testing provides reasonable assurance that the system will perform satisfactorily.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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