-. ‘. L United States General Accounting Office i?xAO Report to Congressional Requesters July 1990 ARMY BATTLEFIELD AUTOMATION Oversight Needed to Assure Integrated System EESTRICI’ED --Not to be released outside the General Accounting Of&e unless specifically approved by the Office of Congressional Belatiom. RELEASED B 54w5 -.-.. GAO/IMTEC-90-78 GAO United States General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 Information Management and Technology Division B-240233 July 24, 1990 The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense Committee on Appropriations United States Senate The Honorable John P. Murtha Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives The Army’s ability to marshal combat power in battle is increasingly tied to its reliance on automated information and control systems. The Army believes that battlefield systems such as maneuver control, air defense, and intelligence must be effectively integrated into an inter- operable network if they are to process and make available-in a timely manner-the large amount of data needed for critical battlefield deci- sions This report responds to your May 30 and December 14,1989, requests for the status of the technical and integration challenges that will confront the Army as it begins to integrate five command and con- trol systems into an overall system referred to as the Army Tactical Command and Control System (ATCCS). A detailed explanation of our objective, scope, and methodology is contained in appendix I. The Army estimates that the acquisition cost for ATCCS' five battlefield Results in Brief command and control systems (component systems) and the three com- munications systems that will link them together is over $20 billion. Although these systems were conceived as independent and stand-alone, and have value as individual systems, the Army now views their inte- gration into an overall system as essential to meeting the battlefield commander’s needs for timely information. Given this situation, it is important that the Army reduce the risk that the systems may not be able to be integrated without costly redesigns or retrofitting. The Army is working to resolve the many technical problems it faces integrating these various systems. Three problems-completing system specifications; ensuring adequate communications among the component systems; and designing and implementing an automated communications network management system-are critical. However, no independent oversight of ATCCSexists; the Army therefore cannot be assured that Page1 GAO/lMTEG9078 Army Battlefield Automation B240233 well. Third, the three major communications systems that ATCCSwill use to link the battlefield areas are also in various stages of development or deployment. The Army has taken steps to manage .VKXSas a system of systems. These include: implementing ATCCS in phases by incorporating the com- ponent systems into ATCCS as they complete development and are deployed; consolidating the management of the five command and con- trol systems under one manager;? using off-the-shelf common hardware and software to develop the component systems; coordinating develop- ment of software that is common to two or more component systems; developing standard command post shelters” for all five systems; estab- lishing an ATCCS test and evaluation master plan; and hiring a systems engineering and integration contractor to help implement this approach. All of these actions, many of which required considerable effort and work to change the existing ways of doing things, are positive steps and are expected to have benefits. For example, the emphasis on common hardware, software, and command posts is intended to simplify the Army’s logistics, maintenance, support, and training burden and lower the cost of acquiring and fielding an integrated set of automated com- mand and control systems. In June 1990, the Army estimated that using these common items would save approximately $980 million. Nonetheless, the challenge of integrating five command and control sys- tems and three communications systems, all in various phases of devel- opment or deployment, into a system of systems poses significant risk, which the Army must minimize. ‘The Army establishedthe wition of programexecutweofficer in 1987to provide clear accounta- bdity for programacquisition. A programexecutiveofficer is responsiblefor managmgthe five com- mand and control systemsand integrating them into ATCCS;the programexecutiveofficer for commwicatlom is responsiblefor developingthe three communicationssystemsATCCSwill beusmg. “Thesesheltersprovide all of the componentsnecessaryto operatea commandpost,e.g..shelter, power,and racks for mountmgcomputerand communicationssystems. Page 3 GAO/JMTF2G9&73Army LIattletield Automation - B24oz3.3 Communications Systems’ The Army has not analyzed the communications work load to be gener- ated by the five component systems and, therefore, does not know Ability to Handle ATCCS’ whether the communications systems it plans to use for ATCCSare ade- Traffic Volume Is quately sized. This increases the risk that the battlefield commander Unknown will not get information when it is needed. A communications work load study would determine what capabilities the communications systems must have to transmit information among and between component systems. Typically, such a study would have been done as part of defining the communications systems’ specifica- tions for ARXS. Instead, the Army decided in 1986 to use communica- tions systems which were being developed at that time. However, these systems were sized without considering the work load A'RXS would generate. In January 1989, in response to congressional concerns about the Army’s ability to handle its overall battlefield communications needs, an Army study concluded that its post-1994 needs for data transmission will exceed planned capabilities and that the needs are expected to keep growing. In other words, without upgrades, the Army will not have the communications capability to meet the needs of ATCCS,which is expected to become operational after 1994. In addition, this study addressed only some of the Army’s communications needs-it did not address all of ATCCS' needs. For example, the communications needs for the combat service support system, one of the ATCCScomponent systems, were not addressed. In addition, the communications requirements for the maneuver control system (another ATCCScomponent system) were not validated, thus the needs that were used may not have represented actual user requirements. The Army recognizes the importance of performing an ATCCScommuni- cations work load analysis. It has tasked its systems engineering and integration contractor with determining ATCXS' communications work load and assessing whether the communications systems AVIS plans to use can handle it. The Army expects the study to be completed in April 1991. This analysis must be completed to ensure that sufficient communica- tions capability will be available when needed by ATCCS. If the study is delayed or if needed changes cannot be expeditiously implemented, it increases the risk that the ATCCScomponent systems will be ready to be deployed before sufficient communications capability is available. Page5 GAO/IMTECS&7S Army Battlefield Automation 5240233 Achieving the goals and benefits expected from ATCCSdepends upon suc- cessfully integrating the five component systems and their supporting communications systems. Delays or functional shortfalls in any system can compromise ATCCS' goals and its schedule. For example, the fire sup- port system cannot operate without the Army Data Distribution System. Consequently, the resolution of individual systems’ problems and the impact of their solutions must be addressed not only from the perspec- tive of the individual system, but also from the perspective of ATCCS itself. In addition, independent oversight will help assure that ATCCSis viewed as a system of systems. While ATCCSis composed of five command and control systems linked by three communications systems, to be effective. it must perform as a system. As one top Army official recently told the Congress, it is important that .4TCCSbe viewed as a system of systems, fully integrated, rather than as a loose collection of programs. Further, independent oversight will help protect the significant investment being made in the systems that comprise ATCCS. The Army faces a significant challenge in integrating the five command Conclusions and and control systems and the three communications systems into a Recommendations system of systems. The Army has taken many appropriate actions to integrate these systems and is working to resolve the technical problems it faces. Until resolved, however, these problems increase the risk that (1) component systems may have to be changed significantly and that ATCCSwill not be able to provide all of the information the battlefield commander needs, and (2) that the component systems will be deployed and ready to operate together before the communications systems and their automated network control capabilities are available. Independent oversight from an ATCCSperspective would help bring about the timely resolution of these technical problems. In addition, independent oversight, focusing on delays and functional shortfalls in any system, would reduce the risk that the eight systems may not be able to be integrated as a total system without costly redesigns and retrofitting. Further, the complexity of the challenge and the size of the investment in the systems that will comprise ATCCS demands independent oversight. Since ATCCSneeds to perform as a system, it needs to be overseen as a system. Therefore, both srccs-level and individual system-level problems and solutions must be addressed from an ATCCSperspective to assure the Page 7 GAO/IMTEG90-78 Army Battlefield Automation Page 9 GAO/lMTEG99.79 Army Battlefield Automation Appendix II Major Contributors to This Report James R. Watts, Associate Director Information Robert P. Cavanaugh, Project Director Management and Barbara D. Kirsch, Project Manager Technology Division, Dr. Rona B. Stillman, Chief Scientist Leonard J. Latham, Technical Adviser Washington, D.C. Ronald L. Hess, Staff Evaluator Keith Landrum, Staff Evaluator Michael P. Fruitman, Supervisory Reports Analyst Paul A. Puchalik, Regional Management Representative New York Regional David J. Deivert, Staff Evaluator Office (510448) Page 11 GAO/IMTJXG9078Amay Battlefield Automation . Requests for copies of GAO reports should be sent to: U.S. General Accounting Office Post Office Box 6015 Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877. Telephone 202-275-6241 The first five copies of each report are free. Additional copies are i $2.00 each. . There is a 25% discount on orders for 100 or more copies mailed to a single address. United States General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 Official Business Penalty for Private Use $300 Appendix I - Objective, Scope, and Methodology As requested by the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcom- mittee on Defense on May 30, 1989, and the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on December 14, 1989, the objective of our review was to provide information about the technical and integration challenges which will confront the Army as it begins to integrate the five command and control systems into ATCCS. To accomplish this objective we reviewed system development, plan- ning, technical, and contractor documents, and Department of Defense and Army standards and regulations, and interviewed Army officials at the Office of the Program Executive Officer, Command and Control Sys- tems, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; individual ATCCSprogram managers at Fort Monmouth and at McLean, Virginia; the Office of the Program Executive Officer, Communications, Fort Monmouth; the Combined Arms Combat Development Activity, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; the Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth; the Army Operational Test and Evaluation Agency, Alexandria, Virginia; the Army Materiel System Analysis Activity, Aberdeen, Maryland; the Signal Corps, Fort Gordon, Georgia; TRW Defense Systems Group, Redondo Beach. California; and at the General Electric Corporation, Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Our review was conducted from July 1989 through June 1990. We dis- cussed our findings with officials from the Offices of the Program Exec- utive Officer, Command and Control Systems and Communications, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. We included their comments where appropriate. However, in accordance with the requesters’ wishes, we did not obtain official agency comments on a draft of this report. We performed our work in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Page 10 GAO/lMTEC!W-78 Amxy Battlefield Automation - B-240233 timely resolution of these interdependent problems before any indi- vidual system proceeds too far in development. To reduce the risks asso- ciated with the complex, technically challenging, and expensive task of integrating the five command and control systems and the three commu- nications systems, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense require the Defense Acquisition Board to oversee the overall ATCCSprogram. Furthermore, it is critical that the Army complete the ATCCSspecifica- tions and the communications work load study. The Army expects to complete these two efforts in 1991; thus, 1991 will be a pivotal year in determining the future success of ATCCS. Accordingly, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense require that the Defense Acquisition Board, as part of its oversight of ATCCS, assess the impact of (1) the ATCCSspecifications on the design of the component systems and (2) the estimated communications work load on the existing communications systems, and submit the results to the Secretary to use in determining the funding requests for the component and communications systems. As requested by your offices, we did not obtain official agency com- ments on a draft of this report. We did discuss the factual contents with Department of Defense and Army officials and incorporated their com- ments where appropriate. Our work was performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce the con- tents of this report earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from the date of this letter. At that time, we will send copies to the Chairmen, Senate and House Committees on Armed Ser- vices; the Secretaries of Defense and the Army; the Director, Office of Management and Budget; and other interested parties. This work was performed under the direction of Samuel W. Bowlin, Director, Defense and Security Information Systems, who can be reached at (202) 275- 4649. Other major contributors are listed in appendix II. Ralph V.-Carlone Assistant Comptroller General Page8 Bz4623.3 Automated Capability to ATCCScomponent systems will rely on three Army communications sys- Manage Communications tems, for voice, data, and message service. Like the ATCCScomponent systems, each communications system (Mobile Subscriber Equipment for Systems Is Lacking voice, facsimile, and data transfer in a direct user-to-user mode; Single Channel Ground and Air Radio System for voice and data transmission; and Army Data Distribution System for data transmission) was con- ceived as an independent, stand-alone system. Only later did the Army recognize that substantial operational benefits could be derived by man- aging the separate communications systems as one composite system. For example, greater communications robustness may be achieved in battle if the status of the systems and the work load on the systems can be quickly and accurately determined. By doing this, bottlenecks can be identified and traffic rerouted to maximize communications capabilities. The Army is now pursuing an automated communications planning and management system called the Integrated System Control Facility (IsISCON) to effectively integrate many individual Army communications systems, including those supporting ATCCS. Although ISISCONwas not funded in the past, the Army currently plans to establish the program in October 1991. ISYSCONis expected to have an initial operating capability by December 1994. Its capabilities must be available in 1996, when the Army plans to have all five command and control systems in the field. If it is not available when ATCCS is fielded, ATCCS’ overall usefulness and benefits could be considerably lessened. Defense policies and procedures for automated system development call No Army- Or Defense- for thorough and effective oversight commensurate with the anticipated Level Oversight of investment. “Major”” systems are normally developed through five dis- ATCCS as a System of tinct phases, with the results of each phase reviewed and approved before permitting the system to progress to the next phase. Major sys- Systems tems that are reviewed by the Defense Acquisition Board must be approved for continued development by the Secretary of Defense. Since the ATCZCScomponent systems were initiated as individual systems they are overseen separately. Three of the component systems have received independent oversight from the Defense Acquisition Board. The other two are overseen by the Army System Acquisition Review Council. However, there is no independent oversight of ATCCSas a whole. ‘DefenseDirective 5000.1definesmajorsystemsas thosewth estimatedacquisltlon eats of mar? than $1 billion, thosewith eventual total expendituresfor research,development,test. and evaluation of morethan $200million. or thosedesignatedas specnl mtereStbecauseof urgencyof need.dcvcl- opmentrisk. JOltIt fUnding,or congreslOntd In&!reS. Page 6 GAO/tMTECW-76 Army Battlefield Automation Et-246232 The Army is working to resolve over 40 technical problems that it Technical Issues Place believes are important to developing and integrating ATCCS. While cor- Successful Integration recting all of these problems is necessary for a successful system, we at Risk believe that three in particular-completing system specifications, ensuring adequate communications among the five command and con- trol systems, and designing and implementing an automated communica- tions network management system-are critical to integrating the component systems into Xn.Xs. System Specifications The Army has not yet fully defined how the component systems will Have Not Been Fully operate as a system of systems. For example, the Army has not yet fin- ished identifying what specific ATCCS data must be provided by and Defined exchanged among each of the five component systems. Nor has it deter- mined how the information will be stored or what formats will be used to transmit and receive the data at each battlefield area. Until these specifications are completed, the Army does not know what information the five component systems must provide, how often, how current it must be, and in what format. Once these specifications are completed, an assessment of individual systems must be made to determine what modifications, if any, must be made to integrate these systems into the overall ATCCS system configuration. Any needed revisions may prove to be costly. The Army in 1989 tasked its systems engineering and integration con- tractor with defining ATfX+kVel specifications; this task is expected to be completed in early 1991. This effort will include 9 determining how the component systems will work together; 9 determining what functions each system must perform to meet ATCCS requirements; and l assessing the component systems to determine how they need to be changed to meet ATUS requirements. Before the specifications definition for ATCCS is completed, however, writing of software will be underway for four component systems. Writing software for component systems without knowing ATUS specifi- cations may result in the Army later spending additional tune and money to make the component systems’ software comply with Am specifications. More important, the Army plans to make major produc- tion decisions in August 1992 on two component systems, which gives the Army very little time to design, test, and implement any changes which may be needed to meet ATCCSspecifications. Page4 GAO/IMTEGWV3 Army Battlefield Autmnation B246233 ATCCSintegration problems are being resolved and that future ATCCScon- cerns are considered in decisions being made on the component and com- munications systems. ATCCS is designed to rapidly collect, process, analyze, display, coordinate, Background and exchange timely battlefield information to enhance the decision- making process. When completed, ATCCSwill have automated systems at the five battlefield functional areas used to command and control a battle: (1) planning, directing, and controlling artillery (fire support); (2) status monitoring of troop movements and general battlefield conditions (maneuver control); (3) controlling short-range air defense weapons (air defense); (4) managing supply, maintenance, transportation, medical, and personnel activities (combat service support); and (5) receiving, analyzing, and distributing intelligence information (intelligence and electronic warfare). The voice and data communications capabilities that will link the battlefield areas and their component systems will be provided by three communications systems. The integration of the five component and three communications sys- tems into a system of systems is expected to provide commanders from corps to battalion with what the Army describes as a “force multiplier”; i.e., producing greater fighting effectiveness through better use of the same or fewer battlefield resources. Working together, these component systems are intended to permit battlefield areas, using computers linked by radio and wire, to communicate efficiently and to produce common data bases of command information and pictures of the unfolding battle. The estimated acquisition cost of the ATCCScomponent systems and the communications systems that they will use, according to Army figures, is more than $20 billion.’ While the Army has been automating its command and control systems The Challenge: for years, it was not until December 1986 that the Army decided to inte- Integrating Systems in grate them into a system of systems. Integrating the five component sys- Different Phases of terns is complicated by several factors. First, the five component battlefield systems are in different phases of development, ranging from Development concept definition to full-scale development. Second, each component system itself is very large and complex, and is supposed to satisfy both its own functional requirements (e.g., fire support) and those of ATCCSas 'This estimate doe not mclude some mtelhgence and electronrc warfare system costs, which are classified. Page 2 GAO/IMTEC9078 Army Battlefield Automation
Army Battlefield Automation: Oversight Needed to Assure Integrated System
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-07-24.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)