Operation Desert Storm:

Early Performance Assessment of Bradley and Abrams

NSIAD-92-94: Published: Jan 10, 1992. Publicly Released: Jan 10, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the performance of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Abrams tank during the Persian Gulf War, focusing on: (1) how well their systems performed; (2) what types of problems the two systems experienced; and (3) how well combat support vehicles were able to recover or keep pace with the Bradley and the Abrams.

GAO found that: (1) crews and Army personnel praised the Bradley and the Abrams for their overall performance; (2) the Bradley exhibited good reliability, lethality, mobility, and range, and crews perceived the A2 model to have good survivability; (3) readiness rates for the Bradley were reported to be 90 percent or higher during the ground war, indicating its high combat availability; (4) Bradley crews reported problems and desired such system improvements as a higher reverse speed and a laser range finder; (5) according to the observations of crews and Army personnel, the Abrams tank exhibited good reliability, lethality, survivability, and mobility, but limited range; (6) obtaining repair parts was a problem for both Bradley and Abrams crews, and many crews had exhausted their limited supply of some parts by the end of the 100-hour ground war; (7) crews also experienced problems in positively identifying enemy targets and in having to use ineffective and outdated radios; and (8) many of the older generation Army vehicles used to support the Bradley and the Abrams were unreliable and had difficulties keeping up with the rapid pace of the assault.