Naval Surface Fire Support:

Navy's Near-Term Plan Is Not Based on Sufficient Analysis

NSIAD-95-160: Published: May 19, 1995. Publicly Released: May 19, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Richard Davis
(202) 512-3504


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's upgrade of its surface ships' guns to determine whether the Navy has chosen the most cost-effective system for improving naval surface fire support (NSFS).

GAO found that: (1) the Navy did not sufficiently analyze its needs before deciding on the upgrade of its 5-inch, 54-caliber guns and the development of a 5-inch precision-guided munition; (2) the Navy determined that the most cost-effective system to meet NSFS needs by fiscal year (FY) 2003 would be a 155-millimeter, 60-caliber gun with an advanced propellant and precision-guided munitions in combination with the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile; (3) although it initially proposed to develop the guns at a cost of about $360 million, the Navy has decided to limit the program to upgrading existing guns and developing precision-guided munitions to meet the reduced funding level; (4) the Navy estimates that research and development (R&D) costs for the 5-inch guns will be about $246 million; (5) the Navy R&D budget has a $86-million shortfall that will be corrected in FY 1997; (6) the Marine Corps has revised its minimum NSFS range requirement to reflect the Navy's restructured gun program; and (7) the Navy is conducting a supplemental analysis to evaluate near-term alternatives for NSFS, but it is unclear whether this analysis will support the Navy's decision to upgrade the 5-inch gun.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Congress appropriated $32.958 million for this program in FY 1996, effectively rejecting the GAO recommendation.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider not authorizing or appropriating FY 1996 funds for NSFS until the Navy has: (1) determined and validated NSFS requirements; and (2) conducted a comprehensive supplemental analysis to the cost and operational effectiveness analysis that includes all available gun and missile alternatives.


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Aug 6, 2020

Jul 30, 2020

Jul 27, 2020

Jul 23, 2020

Jul 22, 2020

Jul 20, 2020

Jul 16, 2020

Jun 25, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here