Army's Purchase of PERSHING Missile Launch System Test Sets From Mohawk Industries, Inc., Easton, Pennsylvania

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-11-16.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                               COh4FTRbLER     GENERAL     OF   THE     U
                                             WASHINGTON.    D.C.-Z$M

         B-163435                                                                           &.3,,,
                                                                                              4 1.
  ci     Dear Mr.     Rooney :
               As requested     in your lettei     of September        7, 1971, we re-
         viewed the Army’s purchase         of PERSHING Missile         Launch System
       \ test sets from Moh~~~*ndustries,            Inc.,     Easton,    Pennsylvania,   ,iV
         to determine    whether   defective    test    sets
                                                 .*““m-.- ..“-  were   being   purchased.
                You furnished       us with copies        of Mohawk’s letters              dated
         August 20, 1971, advising            the Army that its proposed                 engineer-
         ing change from stainless-steel               screws to carbon-steel               bolts
         would not correct        the problem       of metal dust and shavings                 in
         the test-set      case caused by captive            locknuts.          Mohawk     advised
         the Army also that it was not possible                   to deliver        additional
         test sets until       the defect      was corrected.            Mohawlc    previously
         had expressed      its concern       that metal particles              would come in
         contact     with terminal     points      of electric        circuits      and cause
         malfunction      of the test sets.          As a solution           Mohawk recom-
         mended the use of military             standard     floating        nylon insert

                 An official  of the PERSHING Project        Office    advised   us
         that the use of nylon locknuts,         as recommended by Mohawk,
         was impractical     because the existing      steel    locknuts    were
         riveted    into the aluminum   test-set    case.

                Subsequent        to August 20, 1971, the U.S. Army Missile                             .,,
  4.     Command, Redstone Arsenal,              Alabama,     made tests    to compare                  1,‘.--
*.-’     the extent      of metal dust and shavings             using both stainless-
         steel    screws and carbon-steel             bolts.    The test report       showed
         that carbon-steel          bolts   with a light       coating    of oil were far
         superior      to the original        stainless-steel        screws either     with
         or without      lubrication,         Photographs      of metal dust and shav-
         ings resulting         from the use of stainless-steel             screws and
         carbon-steel        bolts    showed that shavings         were substantially
         less when carbon-steel            bolts    were used.       The use of carbon-
         steel    bolts    in lieu of stainless-steel             screws was recommended
         by Martin-Marietta           Corporation,       the design contractor,        when
         it was advised         of the problem.

               On September   7, 1971, an Army team visited    Mohawk to re-
         solve problems   concerning   contract hardware   and deliveries

                                        50 TH ANNIVERSARY              1921- 1971

and to discuss     the screw-shavings            problem.     After   viewing
photographs    of the comparison          tests,      the president     of Mohawk
agreed that accumulation          of filings        and residue     was reduced
to ,an acceptable      level   through      the use of carbon-steel           bolts
with a light     coating     of oil.

         On September   16, 1971, Mohawk accepted             a contract    modi-
fication     which incorporated        an engineering        change involving
the use of carbon-steel         bolts,    beginning      with the fourth
production     unit.    The modification        also revised       the delivery
schedule     in accordance    with agreements         reached on Septem-
ber 7, 1971, and increased           the contract       price    by $103,

        After completing     our fieldwork      at the U.S. Army Missile
Command, we discussed        the matter    with the president   of Mohawk
Industries,     Inc.,   and he confirmed      his satisfaction  with the
Army’s corrective       measures.

       Please   advise    us if    we can be of further         assistance.

                                         Sincerely     yours,

                                  Deputy Comptroller     General
                                         of .:the United   States

The Honorable  Fred B. Rooney
House of Representatives