Tactical Intelligence:

Army Needs to Reconsider and Test All-Source Analysis System Alternative

NSIAD-94-49: Published: Mar 7, 1994. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1994.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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GAO provided information on the Army's plans to field block I of the All-Source Analysis System (ASAS), focusing on: (1) block I field readiness; (2) whether further development of block II can cost-effectively improve system capabilities; and (3) whether alternatives exist to developing block II.

GAO found that: (1) block I is not ready for fielding because its operational testing was inadequate and configuration tests did not include performance, reliability, and deployability information; (2) although the Army is planning to make major changes to correct block I software upgrades so that the system can be more operationally effective, ASAS availability will be limited; (3) the Army's development of the Warlord intelligence processing workstation could provide an alternative to fielding and upgrading block I and offer greater operational advantages than block I; (4) the Army is considering whether to incorporate Warlord capabilities into block I; (5) the Army prematurely awarded the ASAS block II development contract before completing block I operational and field testing, agreeing on proposed block I software and hardware upgrades, completing a block II cost and operational evaluation, and establishing a performance baseline to evaluate block II progress; and (6) the Army does not know whether block II development is the most cost-effective method to provide improved capabilities, and has not fully assessed the potential benefits and cost-effectiveness of integrating existing alternative systems into the block II program.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army has already replaced the ASAS Block I equipment with modern open architecture equipment to correct the problems reported with Block I.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Army to incorporate and test upgrades necessary to correct operational and suitability problems identified during testing and user evaluations prior to block I fielding.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army fielded Warlord-like equipment across the Army to extend ASAS-type capabilities to the force. This equipment will be used until Block II capabilities are fielded in the late 1990s.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Defense should direct the Army to maximize Warlord's potential to increase block I capabilities and to provide capabilities for units not receiving block I.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army awarded the Block II contract in January 1994 and the recommendation is moot. In addition, Block I has been replaced by a more capable system with Warlord-type equipment that can function as an ASAS baseline for future developments.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Army to use planned operational tests of block I, including Warlord capabilities, to establish a performance baseline for evaluation of costs and benefits from continued development of ASAS.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Since the Block II contract was awarded in January 1994 this recommendation has been overcome by events. Also, Block II was designed to provide for continuous user input during development of various phases, which accomplishes basically the same thing as GAO recommended.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Army to fully assess the costs and benefits of future development plans in block II.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Many of the objectives of this recommendation were achieved when the Army fielded Warlord-like equipment to replace ASAS Block I equipment. Further, the recommendation is overcome by events since the Army is already well along into the Block II contract.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Army to restrict additional funding for block II development until the proven ASAS baseline is established and the Army minimizes block II software development by identifying and assessing capabilities of other systems and develops a plan to transfer the appropriate capabilities to ASAS.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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