Bigeye Bomb:

1988 Status Report

PEMD-88-26: Published: May 20, 1988. Publicly Released: May 20, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) developmental and operational testing plans for the Bigeye bomb.

GAO found that DOD has not conducted adequate developmental and operational testing of the Bigeye bomb, since it: (1) rejected operational testing concerns GAO raised in June 1987 regarding unrealistic mission profiles, lack of a data analysis plan, an excessive number of independent variables, and operational realism limitations; (2) made incorrect assumptions about the bomb's ability to generate lethal agent; (3) frequently redefined or only loosely defined test evaluation criteria; (4) conducted an inadequate number of tests or relied solely on literature searches and assumptions to address concerns about the bomb's excessive pressure buildup, lethal agent generation, and agent burning; and (5) could not replicate its August 1987 report on the bomb's reliability, since a former official selectively chose data that favorably portrayed the bomb. GAO also found that the DOD August 1987 study of the bomb's operational capabilities presented insufficient empirical data and lacked the essential elements of an operational capability analysis.

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