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Defense Acquisitions: Status of the Expeditionary Fire Support System

GAO-08-331R Published: Dec 21, 2007. Publicly Released: Dec 26, 2007.
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The United States Marine Corps and the Special Operations Command determined in 1999 that there was a need for a weapon system that could be carried inside the V-22 Osprey and deployed to support assault operations. The Expeditionary Fire Support System (EFSS), which consists of a vehicle that tows a 120 mm mortar and another vehicle that tows an ammunition trailer, is one of the systems now being developed to meet this need. In June 2005, the Marine Corps approved low-rate initial production of 6 EFSS units--each unit made up of two vehicles, a mortar and ammunition trailer. From May to July 2007, the Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity, the independent test agency for the Marines, conducted initial operational testing and evaluation of the EFSS using refurbished developmental prototypes. The program office began receiving the low-rate production mortars in late October 2007 and is now going through the acceptance process. The delivery of the low-rate production vehicles to the government was delayed until mid-November 2007 so that problems identified during the summer 2007 operational test could be fixed. The EFSS full-rate production decision was initially scheduled for September 13, 2007, but has since been delayed.

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