Defense Acquisitions: Analysis of Processes Used to Evaluate Active Protection Systems

GAO-07-759 Published: Jun 08, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 08, 2007.
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Active Protection Systems (APS) protect vehicles from attack by detecting and intercepting missiles or munitions. In 2005, the lead systems integrator for the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program sought proposals for an APS developer and design and to deliver APS prototypes on vehicles by fiscal year 2009. Raytheon was chosen the APS developer. At the same time, the Department of Defense's Office of Force Transformation (OFT) evaluated near-term APS for potential use in Iraq. GAO was asked to review the Army's actions on APS/FCS: (1) the process for selecting the subcontractor to develop an APS for FCS and if potential conflicts of interest were avoided; (2) the timing of the trade study and if it followed a consistent methodology to evaluate alternatives, and the results; (3) the role the Army and Boeing played in selecting the developer; and (4) the process followed to provide a near-term APS solution for current forces.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense Because of the likelihood that the Army will introduce APS into its forces, the Secretary of Defense should support additional testing and demonstration of near-term APS systems on the Full Spectrum Effects Platform or similar vehicles to, at a minimum, help develop tactics, techniques, procedures, and concepts of operations for both near-term and long-term active protection systems.
Closed – Implemented
In commenting on our draft report, DOD non-concurred with our recommendation, stating that the original decision in May 2006 that delayed delivering FSEP capabilities (including active protection) due to technical development and performance risks remain true. In our evaluation, we stated that testing of near-term active protection systems is valuable for answering remaining questions about such systems and to provide insights for the employment of future systems. After our report was issued, the Institute for Defense Analysis recommended additional active protection system testing and demonstrations. Also, the Senate Armed Services Committees recommended more active protection system testing in its markup of the fiscal year 2008 defense authorization bill, which became part of Public Law 110-181.

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