Weapons Codevelopment:

U.S. National Issues in the MLRS Terminal Guidance Warhead Program

NSIAD-92-55: Published: Apr 21, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 21, 1992.

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GAO reviewed how the Army's Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Terminal Guidance Warhead (TGW) Program protects U.S. interests.

GAO found that: (1) although the United States is to pay 40 percent of the MLRS TGW development cost and France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are each to pay 20 percent, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) limited the U.S. development work share under the prime contract to a maximum of 34 percent; (2) the development tasks assigned to the United States had a relative quality value of 22.8 percent of the total quality development work, lowest of the four participating countries; (3) if the Department of Defense (DOD) wants to apply MLRS TGW limited rights data to other weapons development programs, contractors may require payment of nonrecurring fees or recurring royalties for use of the data; (4) if the United States withdrew and the other partner nations decided to continue, the United States would be obligated to continue paying its share for 270 days; (5) the exchange rates and the economic baseline for the MLRS TGW development program are still valued using 1984 exchange rates, but in December 1990, the partner nations agreed to adjust the rates when the program enters the maturation or full-scale development stage, which is projected for 1993; (6) third-country transfer provisions that allow partner nations to transfer technical data without the approval of the United States or other partner nations may not adequately protect U.S. interests; and (7) the Microwave Millimeter Wave Monolithic Integrated Circuit (MIMIC), a separate U.S. development effort, could be affected by the MOU provision requiring the United States to transfer design and manufacturing technology to the partner countries, but project officials intend to require a waiver of those provisions before MIMIC is introduced.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In April 1993, DOD obtained written acknowledgments from the other participating nations that introduction of MIMIC hardware for testing would not entitle them to MIMIC design or manufacturing technology. MIMIC was tested on the French transceiver but, since the French are not entitled to the design and manufacturing technology they have decided to not incorporate MIMIC. The United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have since pulled out of the MLRS/TGW program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Army to withhold introduction of MIMIC technology to the MLRS TGW program until the: (1) United States obtains a waiver of paragraph 7.3.2 of the MOU from all other participating nations; (2) MLRS TGW development is completed; or (3) United States terminates its participation under the development MOU. This action would ensure that the provisions of the MLRS TGW development MOU governing the sharing of introduced government-owned technologies would not apply to MIMIC.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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