Battlefield Automation:

More Testing and Analysis Needed Before Production of Air Defense Radar

NSIAD-93-175: Published: Jul 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 30, 1993.

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GAO reviewed the Army's procurement of ground-based sensors (GBS) for its forward area air defense system (FAADS) and the testing and analytical support needed to make a production decision.

GAO found that: (1) the Army plans to make a low-rate initial production decision on the $540-million FAADS GBS even though it has not completed critical developmental testing, tested the system's integration and operation within its supporting command, control, and communications structure, or completed the required cost and operational effectiveness analysis (COEA); (2) the Army's COEA has been suspended because of uncertainties regarding potential enemy threat, future budget resources, and other terminated or unfunded FAADS materiel programs; (3) the Army plans to reexamine the strategic concept behind FAADS to determine the actual level of air support needed in the forward area; (4) the Army believes an initial production decision is needed because of a perceived gap in forward area radar coverage for heavy divisions; and (5) the Department of Defense has decided to delay the $43-million allocation for FAADS production until 1995 in an effort to cut military spending and allow initial operational and integration testing to be completed.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Based on the report, DOD deferred funding of GBS, saving $42.7 million in FY 1994 funding. DOD also agreed to do a cost and operational effectiveness analysis.

    Recommendation: Given the uncertainties that still surround the FAADS GBS acquisition, there is the potential for the Army to commit to an unproven system that may not be justified. Therefore, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to defer the FAADS GBS low-rate initial production decision until: (1) developmental and operational testing provides reasonable assurance that FAADS GBS meets technical performance requirements and will perform satisfactorily in an integrated system; and (2) COEA justifies FAADS GBS production as the best alternative to meet the Army's forward area air defense needs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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