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U.S.-German Examinations of the MLRS Terminal Guidance Warhead Program

NSIAD-92-7: Published: Oct 31, 1991. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1991.

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GAO and the German Federal Court of Audit examined the Army's Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Terminal Guidance Warhead (TGW) Program, focusing on the program's requirements, schedule, performance, and cost.

GAO found that: (1) the Army selected a different missile system for full-scale development, but program executives and the MLRS TGW project office reported they might seek to continue the program into full-scale development; (2) there is a continuing requirement for a target-sensing anti-armor submunition at the MLRS TGW rocket range, and MLRS TGW will have advantages over other systems; (3) the MLRS rocket could deliver the Brilliant Anti-Armor Submunition, and the technical data from the MLRS TGW program would be sufficient to apply to other programs; and (4) GAO questioned the basis for proceeding with full-scale development of MLRS TGW because of funding constraints, the Army's selection of another system for use at longer ranges, and the sufficiency of technical data acquired. The Federal Court of Audit found that: (1) numerous German Army and Air Force weapon systems, including MLRS TGW, were designed to fight second-echelon armored forces; and (2) separate analyses concluded that an overlapping German national system in development was more cost-effective at most ranges than MLRS TGW.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On May 5, 1992, the U.S. Army formally notified the partner nations that the United States would withdraw from the MLRS/TGW program at the end of the System Demonstration Substage (SDS). SDS ended on February 14, 1994, and the United States withdrew from the MLRS TGW program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should reassess the need for the MLRS TGW if the Army seeks to continue to full-scale development, considering all the other systems in development and procurement that could be used to fill the requirement.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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