Army Acquisition:

Medium Truck Program Is Not Practical and Needs Reassessment

NSIAD-93-232: Published: Aug 5, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 24, 1993.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's family of medium tactical vehicles (FMTV) acquisition program, focusing on: (1) the feasibility of meeting program and fleet management goals under the Army's 30-year acquisition strategy; (2) the Army's consideration of other medium truck alternatives; and (3) possible cost-effective alternatives.

GAO found that: (1) the Army will have difficulty meeting FMTV program and fleet management goals, since it extended its acquisition strategy due to funding limitations; (2) the Army will have to modify its FMTV acquisition plans, since automotive advances will make new vehicles obsolete; (3) the Army's acquisition strategy may hamper field operations, since the aging medium truck fleet will not be replaced until 2012; (4) the Army will have to replace the initial FMTV trucks procured, since their economic useful life will be exceeded before the program's end; (5) the Army has not included the costs of replacing the initial FMTV trucks in its total FMTV program cost estimate; (6) the Army's original assessment of program alternatives was limited due to incorrect cost and weight data and its failure to consider several lower cost alternatives; and (7) expected force structure changes and reductions could significantly reduce the Army's FMTV requirements.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army's Training and Doctrine Command planned to perform a full program assessment to support the award of a second production contract in fiscal year 1998. However, the Command no longer plans such an assessment because it believes that such an assessment would not be meaningful because of changes in the FMTV program since the report was issued.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should reassess the cost-effectiveness of the 30-year acquisition strategy for the Army's FMTV program, especially in light of the negative impact of the program's length on program and fleet management goals and expectations. At a minimum, such a reassessment should consider: (1) Department of Defense (DOD) final force structure reductions (which have yet to be announced); (2) the impact of the Army's new operational doctrine on FMTV requirements; (3) the air deployability of the FMTV 2.5-ton truck; and (4) the need for more FMTV trailers.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD did not concur in this recommendation because it felt that a delay in full-rate production was not warranted because the Army had already adequately verified its initial production quantity requirement.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should not proceed to full-rate production of FMTV until the reassessment is complete.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As part of its normal procedures, the Army performed a cost and operational effectiveness analysis (COEA) to support the 1995 FMTV full production decision. The COEA included alternatives to FMTV trucks. It has been updated a number of times. The COEA and all updates concluded that the FMTV trucks were the most cost-effective way of meeting the Army's medium truck requirements.

    Recommendation: To be consistent with recent DOD acquisition reform objectives, which include reducing acquisition costs, the Secretary of the Army should include the alternatives presented in this report, especially the M939A2 alternative, in the Army's reassessment of the FMTV program.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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