Air Force Procurements of Spare and Repair Parts for the ARC-164 Radio

PSAD-80-59: Published: Jul 14, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 1980.

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The ARC-164 radio is used in Air Force, Army, and foreign military aircraft. The initial production contract and subsequent contracts awarded to Magnavox since 1974, have totaled about $99 million, and 20,000 radios have been produceed as of April 1980. In 1977, the Air Force purchased a procurement data package under an option in the initial production contract, which should have provided sufficient detail for other firms to produce the radio and parts and compete for ARC-164 requirements. GAO was requested to determine why certain ARC-164 components and parts are procured from the prime contractor instead of competitively.

Certain ARC-164 components and parts are procured noncompetitively on the grounds that procurement from Magnavox insures reliability and maintainability. Since the procurement data package should provide sufficient detail for other firms to produce identical components and parts, as well as radios, GAO believes that the Air Force should have acquired the procurement data package and competed ARC-164 requirements when the final order for radios was issued under the initial production contract and before the second contract was awarded to Magnavox.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should direct that savings attributable to competing for the remaining ARC-164 requirements and costs associated. with establishing other production sources be computed and future ARC-164 procurements of either the radios or the main components and parts, or both be made competitively if warranted by a potential cost reduction.

    Agency Affected:


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