Electronic Warfare:

Navy's New Radar Warning Receiver Needs More Testing

NSIAD-96-68: Published: Jun 20, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 20, 1996.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's development and acquisition of the ALR-67(V)3 radar warning receiver (RWR).

GAO found that: (1) the Navy plans to start low-rate production of the ALR-67(V)3 receiver early in fiscal year 1997 despite numerous performance problems; (2) the premature procurement of earlier models before completion of operational testing led to the deployment of an unsatisfactory system to operational forces that refused to use it, and the storage of newly produced units until they were modified; (3) the ALR-67(V)3 receiver misidentifies threatening and friendly radar, fails to detect tracking radar, and may not be compatible with F/A-18 aircraft radar; (4) the Navy does not know if the receiver is operationally effective and suitable for field use; (5) in response to legislative requirements, the Navy plans to conduct operational testing in late 1996 and early 1997 on production representative receivers to determine potential modifications; and (6) the Navy risks deploying a deficient system that may require extensive modifications and retrofit to achieve adequate performance.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FY1997 funding for the system was cut by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.

    Matter: Because the Navy has not modified its high-risk acquisition strategy, Congress may wish to restrict the Department of Defense (DOD) from spending any funds on ALR-67(V)3 production until both phases of operational testing (OT-IIA and OT-IIB) are complete and the system is certified effective and suitable by DOD.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD slipped the production date for the system to fix the problems and retest the system before starting production.

    Recommendation: To minimize the risk of procuring another deficient RWR, and because the Navy does not need additional ALR-67(V)3 units to complete operational testing, the Secretary of Defense should require that ALR-67(V)3 complete both phases of operational testing (OT-IIA and OT-IIB) to determine its effectiveness and suitability and that the deficiencies identified during developmental testing have been resolved before committing to low-rate production.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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