Issues Identified in 21 Recently Published Major Weapon System Reports

PSAD-80-43: Published: Jun 12, 1980. Publicly Released: Jun 12, 1980.

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A review was undertaken by GAO of selected Department of Defense (DOD) weapon systems to provide Congress with information on program issues and problems. Specifically, the review concentrated on issues affecting the weapon systems' mission effectiveness such as operational and performance limitations, survivability or vulnerability, availability, affordability, reliability and force mix requirements. The weapon systems' reviewed included: (1) the Army's XM-1 tank; (2) the Army's Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS); (3) the Division Air Defense Gun System (DIVAD); (4) the Army's Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV); (5) the Navy's Aegis weapon system; (6) the Navy's Light Airborne Multipurpose System (LAMPS) MK III which included the LAMPS Recovery, Assist, Securing, and Traversing (RAST) system; (7) the Navy's FFG-7 class shipbuilding program; (8) the encapsulated torpedo (CAPTOR) program; (9) the Navy's Tactical Towed Array System (TACTAS) program; (10) the Navy's Surveillance Towed Array Sensor (SURTASS) program; (11) the F/A-18 Naval strike fighter program; (12) the Marine Corps' AV-8B Aircraft program (13) the Air Force's MX Weapon system; (14) the Air Force's Precision Location Strike System (PLSS) program; (15) the Air Force's Advanced Strategic Air Launched Missile; (16) the B-52 modernization program; (17) the Sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) program; (18) the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System; (19) the Maverick Air-To-Ground Weapon Systems program; (20) the High Speed Antiradiation Missile (HARM); and (21) the NAVSTAR Global positioning system.

Review of the various weapon programs showed that: (1) XM-1 tank's reliability and durability has not been proven; (2) MLRS is costly and should be further proved before production; (3) more critical data needs to be obtained about DIVAD before production; (4) the Army should consider adding M113's rather than IFV's to enhance dismounted fighting capability; (5) the Aegis Weapon System has problems with its availability, software reliability, ship weight, reduced antisubmarine warfare capability, and ship vulnerability; (6) the LAMPS RAST system has experienced development problems and hardware delivery delays; (7) the FFG-7 program funding did not include additional equipment or modifications to be incorporated after ship delivery; (8) the Navy needs more CAPTOR's than it currently plans to buy; (9) both SURTASS and the AN/SQR-19 TACTAS have had technical problems since full-scale development; (10) DOD reports have not adequately presented information to keep Congress informed of the progress in the F/A-18 program; (11) the AV-8B program experienced severe cost growth, and controversy on its mission within DOD; (12) the MX program has cost and schedule uncertainties regarding the size of the missile force; (13) the cost effectiveness of PLSS has not been established; (14) inventory objectives of SLCM are unclear; (15) the differences between the Air Force's and Navy's technical approach in developing the Joint Tactical Information Distribution system has adversely affected the system; and (16) the Maverick Air-To-Ground alternate warhead has experienced fuze problems.

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