oversight

Battlefield Automation: Army's Restructured Land Warrior Program Needs More Oversight

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-12-15.

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

                  United States General Accounting Office

GAO               Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                  on Defense, Committee on
                  Appropriations, House of
                  Representatives

December 1999
                  BATTLEFIELD
                  AUTOMATION

                  Army’s Restructured
                  Land Warrior Program
                  Needs More Oversight




GAO/NSIAD-00-28
Contents



Letter                                                                                3


Appendixes   Appendix I:   Comments From the Department of Defense                   24
             Appendix II: Comparison of Land Warrior Unique
               Developments Original Design and Revised Design                       28




             Abbreviations

             DOD       Department of Defense




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United States General Accounting Office                                                 National Security and
Washington, D.C. 20548                                                           International Affairs Division



                                    B-281494                                                                        Leter




                                    December 15, 1999

                                    The Honorable Jerry Lewis
                                    Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense
                                    Committee on Appropriations
                                    House of Representatives

                                    Dear Mr. Chairman:

                                    According to the President’s fiscal year 2000 budget request, the Army
                                    plans to invest $20.8 billion in digitization over the next 6 fiscal years.
                                    Digitization involves the application of information technologies that
                                    enable battlefield systems to acquire, exchange, and employ timely
                                    information throughout the battlespace. This report responds to the
                                    Subcommittee’s request that we evaluate the Army’s efforts to develop and
                                    acquire command and control systems to digitize the battlefield.
                                    Specifically, this report addresses the Land Warrior system.

                                    Land Warrior, with an expected cost of $2.1 billion, is the Army’s key
                                    command and control system for infantry soldiers on the digitized
                                    battlefield. It is intended to enable the soldier to know where both friendly
                                    and enemy soldiers are located and to facilitate communication between
                                    the soldier and higher command levels. The system is comprised mainly of
                                    a computer/radio, weapon, and helmet-mounted display eyepiece that are
                                    linked together for transmission of messages (voice and data) and imagery
                                    between soldiers and other battlefield systems. It also includes protective
                                    clothing, body armor, and a carrying harness to support the weight of the
                                    equipment.

                                    The Army set a goal of fielding Land Warrior by September 2000. As
                                    requested, we assessed the Army’s progress in implementing this system.
                                    Specifically, we

                                    • identified the status of the system;
                                    • evaluated whether the current level of monitoring and oversight is
                                      sufficient based on projected Land Warrior development costs;
                                    • determined how the Army is ensuring that Land Warrior will be able to
                                      operate with other digitized battlefield systems; and
                                    • assessed whether technical and human factor problems still need
                                      resolution.



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                   We previously reported on this program in September 1996.1 At that time,
                   we were concerned about the high risk of the acquisition strategy in view of
                   significant technical and human factor problems.



Results in Brief   The Land Warrior system, which has been in development since January
                   1996, will not be fielded by September 2000 because Land Warrior
                   technologies could not be developed in time. The estimated cost of
                   acquiring 34,000 units, including research, development, test, evaluation,
                   and procurement, has increased from $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion. Although
                   originally planning to use only mature technologies to permit expeditious
                   fielding, the Army’s design incorporated technologies that had to be
                   developed specifically for Land Warrior, the effect of which has been to
                   extend development and delay fielding until fiscal year 2004.

                   Oversight of the Land Warrior program is not sufficient based on its
                   projected development costs. Department of Defense Regulation
                   5000.2R provides the general criteria for managing the acquisition process
                   for systems such as Land Warrior and requires program managers to
                   structure their program to reduce risk, ensure affordability, and provide
                   information for decision-making. In general, Department of Defense
                   programs that are costly, complex, and risky receive greater oversight and
                   program officials must provide more information for decision-making.
                   Also, programs with estimated research, development, test, and evaluation
                   costs over $355 million are to receive departmental oversight. Land
                   Warrior’s estimate of $588.8 million meets these criteria. Despite its claim
                   that Land Warrior is urgently needed, the Army grouped Land Warrior with
                   less complex and less costly acquisitions, resulting in the program
                   receiving routine Army attention. Oversight responsibility remained
                   unchanged despite development problems that threatened to lengthen the
                   acquisition schedule and the inability of system prototypes to pass
                   certification tests.

                   At present, Land Warrior will not operate with a key digitized battlefield
                   system—Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below—the Army’s
                   principal digital command and control system at and below brigade level.
                   Further, when this capability will be incorporated into the Land Warrior
                   system has not been determined. In March 1999, Army officials obtained a

                   1
                    Army Land Warrior Program Acquisition Strategy May Be Too Ambitious
                   (GAO/NSIAD-96-190, Sept.11, 1996).




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             waiver, which allowed them to defer developing the necessary software to
             make Land Warrior able to interoperate (communicate) with Battle
             Command Brigade and Below until well after Land Warrior equipment is
             fielded. To be effective, Land Warrior must be able to transmit data to and
             receive data from higher command levels, thereby providing the soldier
             with a relevant common picture of the battlefield and ensuring an
             integrated communications link from soldier to higher command. This link
             has not been established. According to program officials, the waiver was
             needed because the Land Warrior computer architecture was not
             compatible with the Battle Command Brigade and Below system software.
             Although the waiver is in effect, the Land Warrior program manager
             contends that the most recent program revision will achieve the desired
             operability without the need for a waiver. However, he concedes that
             considerable hardware and software development will be needed before
             this can be assured.

             The Land Warrior Program has not resolved technical and human factor
             problems that may render the system ineffective. For example, problems
             include overweight equipment, inadequate battery power, uncertain battery
             logistics, inadequate load-carrying design and comfort, and
             electromagnetic interference. Typical of the problems encountered in field
             tests were those associated with the load-carrying harness. During tests,
             soldiers had problems raising their heads to fire their weapons from the
             prone position because the pack attached to the harness would ride up and
             press against the back of their helmets. Army officials believe that the
             load-carrying system contemplated in the most recent program revision
             should solve this problem. However, the current Land Warrior system
             design has not been sufficiently field tested to ensure that old problems
             have been resolved and new ones have been avoided.

             This report contains recommendations directed at improving program
             monitoring, oversight, testing, and operability with other key Army
             digitized battlefield systems.



Background   The Land Warrior system is intended to significantly improve the lethality,
             mobility, survivability, command and control, and sustainability of infantry
             soldiers by integrating a variety of components and technologies. Land
             Warrior includes a computer/radio, software, integrated headgear,
             including an imaging display, weapon subsystem, and protective clothing
             and equipment to be integrated on the individual soldier (see fig.1). When
             fielded, Land Warrior is expected to operate with digitized battlefield



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                                    systems, such as Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below.2
                                    Furthermore, the Army plans to introduce additional technologies later on
                                    to enhance the soldier’s battlefield performance.



Figure 1: The Land Warrior System




                                    Source: PM Soldier, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.


                                    In September 1996, we reported that (1) the Land Warrior program was
                                    based on a high risk and costly acquisition strategy, (2) Land Warrior’s
                                    ability to function with other components of the digital battlefield had not
                                    been demonstrated, and (3) technology and human factor problems needed


                                    2
                                     Acquisition Issues Facing the Army Battle Command, Brigade and Below Program
                                    (GAO/NSIAD- 98-140, June 30, 1998).




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                        to be resolved. For example, the computer/radio battery provided less than
                        2 of an expected 12 hours of continuous operation and the equipment
                        weighed so much that soldier movement was impeded and comfort
                        compromised. At that time, we recommended that the Secretary of the
                        Army defer or restrict the purchase of Land Warrior systems until the Army

                        • determined the Army Acquisition Objective—that is, the total number of
                          units to be acquired;
                        • resolved critical technical and human factor problems;
                        • demonstrated successful digital battlefield integration; and
                        • ensured through testing that Land Warrior-equipped soldiers would
                          outperform standard-equipped soldiers.

                        The Army has established its acquisition objective of 34,000 systems, but
                        has not implemented our other recommendations.

                        There have been two major revisions to the Land Warrior program, which
                        originally called for fielding the system in fiscal year 2000. The effect of
                        both the interim revision in August 1998 and the current plan, developed in
                        February 1999, has been to delay fielding. Land Warrior officials have not
                        submitted the current plan for Army Acquisition Review Council approval.
                        This senior-level review authority provides guidance and recommends
                        program revisions to the Army Acquisition Executive and Army Vice Chief
                        of Staff for referral to the Defense Acquisition Board.



Program Has Not         The Land Warrior program has not progressed as planned. The program’s
                        research, development, test, evaluation and procurement cost estimate has
Progressed as Planned   increased from $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion. Fielding has been delayed from
                        fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2004. Development has been ongoing since
                        January 1996 and has not yet yielded workable prototypes. The Army
                        initially intended to use mature technologies to ensure that it could field
                        Land Warrior expeditiously, but it has increasingly relied on technologies
                        that had to be developed specifically for Land Warrior. Problems in
                        completing these Land Warrior-unique developments prevented the Army
                        from meeting its acquisition schedule and successfully developing working
                        prototypes.




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Testing Problems With     In April 1998, contractor-delivered Land Warrior prototypes failed several
Prototypes Led to Major   basic certification tests that would have permitted the system to proceed
                          with development testing. Failed tests included an airborne certification
Program Revisions
                          test, an electromagnetic interference test, and a water immersion test.
                          Consequently, the Army rejected the prototypes and began restructuring
                          the program. For example,

                          • The airborne certification test was to assure that soldiers could
                            parachute with Land Warrior equipment. With the load-carrying design
                            then being used, the containerized computer/radio could not be worn
                            under the parachute. This necessitated placing the system in a bag
                            tethered to the soldier and dropping it just prior to the jump. However,
                            the equipment required too much space on the aircraft and was too rigid
                            and heavy to maneuver comfortably. In addition, the prototypes
                            experienced hardware failures from the stress induced by landing
                            shock. Moreover, the Army became concerned about soldier safety
                            when several soldiers became tangled in the gear when getting ready to
                            jump.
                          • Electromagnetic interference occurs when various pieces or types of
                            electrical equipment are operated in close proximity to one another.
                            Land Warrior electronic emissions exceeded the military standard for
                            such emissions, raising the likelihood of electromagnetic interference
                            with other electrical devices. Program officials contend that
                            electromagnetic interference problems are common in the development
                            phase.
                          • On April 30, 1998, the contractor conducted a water immersion test, one
                            of the requirements of the Land Warrior system. The purpose of the test
                            was to ensure that the system could be operated after exposure to the
                            immersion environment typically encountered in the field. The system
                            failed the test. Substantial water leakage was observed in the interiors of
                            many system components, including the squad radio, soldier radio,
                            computer, and Integrated Helmet Assembly Subsystem display
                            components.




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Program Revision Is Not   As of September 1999, the Land Warrior Program has been in the
Complete                  Engineering and Manufacturing Development3 phase for 45 months. In
                          January 1996, when Land Warrior entered Engineering and Manufacturing
                          Development; the Army planned to use mature technologies—technologies
                          requiring minimal development—to meet an urgent need to field equipment
                          by September 2000. However, as development proceeded, the Army moved
                          away from this strategy. It began pursuing technologies requiring
                          considerable development. Ultimately, the Land Warrior program became
                          more technologically challenging than the Army projected.

                          In April 1998, when prototypes failed their basic certification tests, the
                          Land Warrior system included (1) laser range finder/digital compass,
                          (2) wiring harness, (3) video sight, (4) helmet and helmet-mounted
                          computer display, (5) modular body armor, (6) load-carrying equipment,
                          (7) computer (hardware and software), and (8) radio (leader and soldier).
                          All major Land Warrior subsystems featured some Land Warrior-unique
                          components (see app. II).

                          In August 1998, the Army proposed an interim strategy based on the
                          original design. The interim strategy would have extended development
                          and delayed fielding by about 15 months. However, the interim strategy was
                          never implemented and in January and February of 1999, the Army began
                          examining a new open system design strategy—one that relied more on
                          equipment that was either commercially available or already in military
                          use. Accordingly, the Army began seeking alternative approaches, with the
                          goal of avoiding proprietary solutions to Land Warrior development
                          problems.

                          Although not yet formally approved, the Army is proceeding with its
                          current revision of Land Warrior, which emphasizes commercially available
                          technology, such as Windows-based operating system software. The plan’s


                          3
                           Department of Defense Regulation 5000.2R describes the four major acquisition phases.
                          The second—Program Definition and Risk Reduction—precedes Engineering and
                          Manufacturing Development. During this phase, the program becomes defined as one or
                          more concepts, design approaches, and /or parallel technologies are considered. This phase
                          includes assessments of advantages and disadvantages of alternative concepts, and includes
                          prototyping, demonstrations, and early operational assessments as necessary so that
                          technology, manufacturing, and support risks are well in hand before the next decision
                          point. The third—Engineering and Manufacturing Development—translates the most
                          promising design approach into a stable, interoperable, producible, supportable, and
                          cost-effective design and demonstrates system capabilities through testing and prototyping.




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                             features include a new load carrying harness and computer/radio
                             subsystem (see app. II). Land Warrior will now incorporate the same load-
                             carrying system being adopted by the rest of the Army, known as Modular
                             Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment. This load carrying equipment is still
                             being tested, but it is already considered “jump-qualified,” according to
                             Army officials. However, the new load carrying equipment configuration
                             will require redesign of the computer housing and various cable connectors
                             to the carrying frame. It also will mean that soldiers must evaluate the
                             form, fit, and function as they did with the previous
                             load-carrying design.

                             The Army believes that the current revised plan, which resulted from the
                             process of evaluating alternative designs, requires fewer Land
                             Warrior-unique developments. Program officials believe they will be better
                             able to decide on necessary interfaces and technical additions. The Army
                             plans to assume the role of systems engineer and integrator, a role that had
                             been initially performed by the Raytheon Corporation. Raytheon will retain
                             responsibility for developing the Integrated Helmet Assembly System, laser
                             range finder, and daylight video sight.


Program Cost Has Increased   In November 1998, Land Warrior’s estimated cost for research,
and Fielding Has Been        development, test, evaluation and procurement increased from
                             $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion for 34,000 systems. In August 1999, the Army
Delayed
                             reduced Land Warrior procurement funding by about $340 million because
                             of competing priorities and Land Warrior’s development problems. At the
                             time of our review, the Army could not provide a reliable total program cost
                             estimate for the current revised program because the design is still evolving
                             and funding issues are not resolved. The November 1998 cost estimate for
                             research, development, test, evaluation, and procurement was $2.1 billion,
                             and total program cost was $3.5 billion. The $1.4 billion difference
                             represented estimated operations and maintenance cost, much of which is
                             for battery supplies and resupply, storage, and disposal.

                             A Land Warrior Program official told us that procurement funding was to
                             have begun in fiscal year 2000, when the original program called for Land
                             Warrior fielding. However, procurement funding has been eliminated until
                             fiscal year 2004. Congress has already reduced Land Warrior fiscal
                             year 2000 research, development, test, and evaluation funding by
                             $50 million. The official said that the Army, sensitive to congressional
                             concerns, wants time to allow program officials to explore new technical
                             approaches. According to Army officials, Land Warrior will not be fielded



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                          until fiscal year 2004, at the earliest, which is a 4-year delay from the
                          original milestone.



Land Warrior Oversight    Land Warrior has not received the management monitoring and oversight
                          needed based on its projected development cost, complexity, and urgency
Is Not Sufficient Based   of need. Department of Defense (DOD) Regulation 5000.2R provides
on Projected Costs and    general criteria for managing the acquisition process for programs such as
                          Land Warrior. The regulation requires program managers to structure their
Complexity                program to reduce risk, ensure affordability, and provide adequate
                          information for decision-making. Program acquisitions are classified as
                          Categories I, II, or III, depending on cost and complexity. Generally,
                          Category I programs are major systems that receive more scrutiny in terms
                          of increased oversight and monitoring, as well as requiring milestone
                          decisions at the DOD level.4 Category II programs are also considered
                          major acquisitions, but milestone decision authority is at the service level.
                          Acquisition Category III programs are not considered major systems and
                          milestone decisions are made within the service at the lowest appropriate
                          level.

                          In general, DOD programs that are costly, complex, and risky receive
                          greater oversight and program officials must provide more information for
                          decision-making. For example, for an acquisition Category I program, the
                          program manager must regularly report key cost, schedule, and
                          performance milestones. If certain parameters are breached, the DOD
                          acquisition executive conducts a program review at the Vice Chairman of
                          the Joint Chiefs of Staff level. This review determines whether there is a
                          continuing need for programs that are behind schedule, over budget, or not
                          in compliance with performance or capability requirements. The review
                          results in a recommendation to the Under Secretary of Defense for
                          Acquisition and Technology regarding suitable action to be taken.

                          The Army classified the Land Warrior Program as an acquisition
                          Category III from the beginning of Engineering and Manufacturing
                          Development in January 1996 until January 1997. In our September 1996
                          report, we recommended that the program be upgraded to acquisition
                          Category II status because the projected cost of the program met the basic
                          Category II requirement at that time. The Army implemented our


                          4
                          The Secretary of Defense also has the authority to delegate this oversight.




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                             recommendation in January 1997 and Land Warrior has remained in
                             Category II to the present.

                             Land Warrior’s Category II classification was not changed when
                             development problems threatened the acquisition schedule during the
                             remainder of calendar year 1997. Further, the classification was not
                             changed after the prototypes failed certification testing in April 1998. The
                             most recent research, development, test, and evaluation cost estimate of
                             $588.8 million now exceeds the basic $355 million requirement for an
                             acquisition Category I. While another program classification cannot by
                             itself resolve technical issues or ensure better management, a Category I
                             designation would ensure that development problems are surfaced to
                             higher levels of the department. Army officials told us in November 1998
                             that the Army was in the process of reclassifying Land Warrior as an
                             acquistion Category I. However, as of November 30, 1999, this had not been
                             accomplished.



Land Warrior Lacks the       Land Warrior has not demonstrated the ability to communicate with the
                             Army’s digitization linchpin—Battle Command Brigade and Below—and it
Ability to                   is uncertain when this will be accomplished.5 Similarly, Land Warrior has
Communicate With a           not demonstrated that it can communicate with other digitized battlefield
                             systems, a capability needed to ensure optimum situational awareness. For
Key Battlefield              example, Land Warrior must communicate with artillery systems to provide
Component System             or receive mapping data on both enemy and friendly positions.


Communication Ability With   In December 1996, the Army required that Land Warrior and other digitized
Battle Command Brigade       infantry platforms operate with Battle Command Brigade and Below and its
                             Embedded Battle Command software. Battle Command Brigade and Below
and Below Has to Be
                             is the principal digital command and control system for the Army at brigade
Established                  level and below. Battlefield data flows between Battle Command Brigade




                             5
                              In September 1996, we reported that Land Warrior had not demonstrated its ability to
                             function with other components of the digitized battlefield, including Force XXI Battle
                             Command Brigade and Below.




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and Below and Land Warrior through the Tactical Internet. 6 This provides
the Army with a common picture of the battlefield. Without this capability,
Land Warrior-equipped soldiers cannot receive messages from higher
commands and will not be able to transmit critical information, such as the
sighting of an enemy tank column, to higher command. However, Land
Warrior and Battle Command Brigade and Below cannot communicate with
each other primarily because Land Warrior’s computer/radio subsystem
cannot accommodate Battle Command Brigade and Below software
without added memory and associated cooling capacity. The added
memory and cooling capacity would have significantly increased weight.

Land Warrior is a soldier-worn, battery-powered infantry-fighting system
for which weight and power are critical design parameters. In contrast,
Battle Command Brigade and Below development has largely focused on
mechanized platforms (trucks, tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, etc.) on
which the Applique computer, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio
System, and Internet Network Controller hardware are mounted and where
weight and power issues are not as challenging. According to a Land
Warrior official, the vehicle-mounted equipment would be prohibitively
heavy to carry. Soldiers must carry their own batteries and are unable to
draw operating power from vehicle generators.

In March 1999, the Land Warrior Program obtained a waiver from the Army
Digitization Office that would postpone the need to address operability
requirements. Battle Command Brigade and Below includes Embedded
Battle Command software. Program managers of other Army systems are
expected to modify this software to interface with their systems. The
waiver request cited inconsistencies with Battle Command Brigade and
Below, which included: (1) Embedded Battle Command software did not
accommodate real time management of the system;7 (2) the demand for
computing resources required to meet Embedded Battle Command
software implementation exceeded available system resources and
translates to increased power consumption, weight, and cost; and


6
 The Tactical Internet is a radio network comprising the Enhanced Position Location
Reporting System and the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System. When
platforms are connected through the Tactical Internet, commanders at all levels of the
Army’s Battle Command System receive data needed for battlefield situational awareness
and command and control decisions.
7
 This refers to the ability to preempt and prioritize processes so critical messages have
system priority over noncritical messages.




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(3) implementation of Embedded Battle Command software functionality
did not match Land Warrior requirements.8

The Army Digitization Office granted the waiver subject to the approval of
a plan to integrate the system into the digitized battlefield. The plan must
address (1) Land Warrior requirements for operating with the Tactical
Internet and Battle Command Brigade and Below, (2) a technical
implementation approach for meeting the requirements (to include critical
milestones), and (3) a test strategy to demonstrate that technical
requirements are accurately implemented. As of November 30, 1999, Land
Warrior had not responded to the conditions.

Land Warrior and Battle Command Brigade and Below use different
computer operating systems, which further complicates operability. Both
programs plan to eventually use the Windows operating system, but Battle
Command Brigade and Below will not be able to use the Windows
operating system software until fiscal year 2002, at the earliest. According
to Land Warrior program officials, they have discussed the possibility of
Land Warrior funding Battle Command Brigade and Below to begin earlier
movement to Windows-based software. According to a Battle Command
Brigade and Below official, the program has not initiated an assessment of
the magnitude of this effort.

In our opinion, ensuring that Land Warrior will operate successfully with
Battle Command Brigade and Below will be challenging. Considering that
Land Warrior funding for Battle Command Brigade and Below operability
will not be available until fiscal year 2002, it is likely that such a
demonstration is several years away. Although the program has been
granted the operability waiver, the Land Warrior program manager told us
that he wants to redesign the computer/radio subsystem and make better
use of commercially available computer technology. He believes that using
commercial software and hardware will eliminate the original need for the
waiver and reduce the cost of developing, maintaining, and upgrading the
subsystem to commercial standards. However, he concedes that


8
 For example, the Embedded Battle Command Communications Manager module works
with a vehicle-mounted Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System—System
Improvement Program or Enhanced Position Location Radio System. It does not provide the
necessary interface or control to soldier-worn Land Warrior Single Channel Ground and
Airborne Radio System—System Improvement Program compatible radio or the Land
Warrior squad radio. The Command and Control message parser module does not address
all the message requirements of the Land Warrior system.




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                               considerable hardware and software development will be needed before
                               this can be assured.


Demonstration of               Land Warrior’s ability to function with other digitized systems was to have
Operability With Other         been demonstrated in previously conducted Advanced Warfighting
                               Experiments, such as the Task Force XXI experiment in March 1997 and
Digitized Systems Is Several
                               the Division experiment in November 1997. However, Land Warrior
Years Away                     prototypes were not ready at the time and did not participate. Because of
                               budgeting problems, program officials were not certain about the extent to
                               which Land Warrior will participate in the Joint Contingency Force
                               Advanced Warfighting Experiment9 scheduled to begin in September 2000.



Technology and                 Certain technology and human factor problems have not been resolved. In
                               December 1996, the Army completed an Early Operational Experiment that
Human Factor                   showed that power, equipment weight, and human factor issues still
Problems Remain                needed to be addressed. Until April 1998, when the Land Warrior
                               prototypes failed their tests, the Army had been conducting risk reduction
                               exercises to resolve the problems. Although the Army has not met its
                               equipment weight and battery power requirements, it has made progress.
                               Soldiers experienced weight shifting and other comfort problems during
                               and after an Early Operational Experiment that were so troublesome that
                               the Army decided to change its load-carrying equipment configuration.
                               Electromagnetic interference problems happened because the original
                               design’s cable connectors and cable shields did not prevent unacceptably
                               high emissions.


Equipment Weight               Program officials told us that the Land Warrior Operational Requirements
Requirement Is Being           Document is being revised and will not specify a numeric weight
                               requirement. Land Warrior will replace equipment items and enhance
Redefined
                               equipment capabilities without increasing the weight of a typical soldier’s
                               combat load, which has been redefined as 91 pounds. The current Land
                               Warrior weight is about 90.5 pounds. Land Warrior officials said that the
                               difference from the previous requirement of 80 pounds comes as a result of

                               9
                                The purpose of the Joint Contingency Force Advanced Warfighting Experiment is to
                               improve the warfighting capability for light contingency forces by determining which new
                               systems or linkages improve battlefield communication and increase the lethality and
                               survivability of the forces.




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                              reassessing the equipment to be carried and actually weighing instead of
                              estimating the equipment normally carried on an extended patrol. The new
                              requirement will also permit the Army to accept greater weight if it results
                              in sufficiently improved functionality.


Land Warrior Will Use New     The initial Land Warrior load-carrying design consisted of an over-the-
Load-Carrying System          shoulder and around-the-waist harness, plus accompanying backpack.
                              Weight distribution was centered near the middle of the back, which
                              worked in some situations, but not in others. For example, in Early
                              Operational Experiment field tests held from October through December
                              1996, soldiers experienced problems lifting their heads to fire from the
                              prone position because the backpack would ride up and press against the
                              rear of the helmet. In addition, when soldiers rolled onto their backs to
                              execute ground maneuvers, the system’s bulk held them too far from the
                              ground, resulting in temporary helplessness—the so-called “turtle-on-its-
                              shell effect.”

                              The Army recently decided to move to a load-carrying system called the
                              Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment system, which shifts the
                              weight load to achieve more soldier comfort. According to Land Warrior
                              officials, initial testing has been promising. If the Modular Lightweight
                              Load-Carrying Equipment system becomes the load-carrying system for the
                              current Land Warrior revision, the waist belt will have to be redesigned to
                              accommodate a new computer and battery pack.


Battery Power and Logistics   The final power source has not yet been determined for Land Warrior and
Remain Problematic            program officials are still exploring alternatives. Land Warrior is required
                              to sustain continuous operations for 12 hours using battery power.
                              Batteries tested to date have produced about 4 or 5 hours of continuous
                              operations. The Army has made technological advances using lithium-
                              manganese batteries that, in controlled testing, have achieved the required
                              continuous operating times at various temperature extremes. However, the
                              batteries have yet to be field tested in Land Warrior or in any totally
                              integrated systems environment.

                              Other battery issues relate to usage and replacement. Specifically, the
                              problems of how the Army will get the needed quantities of replacement
                              batteries to the field, store them until needed, and dispose of the spent
                              batteries have not been solved. Batteries will have to be dispensed on the
                              battlefield in the same manner as ammunition and food and disposed of as



                              Page 16                                  GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
                           B-281494




                           hazardous material. Whatever the solution, battery logistics will be very
                           expensive. The Army estimates that over half the $1.4 billion of estimated
                           operations and maintenance costs are related to Land Warrior battery
                           resupply, storage, and disposal. Although the Army is considering using
                           rechargeable batteries for training purposes, it plans to field disposable
                           batteries.


Electromagnetic Emission   According to program officials, the electromagnetic emission problems are
Problems Persist           the result of the Land Warrior’s cable connector and cable shield design,
                           which leak too much electricity. The program manager believes that the
                           risk of not meeting the standard has been reduced as a result of recent
                           improvements to the cable connectors and cable shielding.



Conclusions                Land Warrior is no closer to fielding today than it was when development
                           began in January 1996. The program has been in the Engineering and
                           Manufacturing Development phase for 45 months and program officials are
                           still evaluating alternative designs and attempting to resolve technical
                           problems. The Army has not demonstrated that it can deliver workable
                           Land Warrior prototypes that meet test requirements with the requisite
                           safety and comfort to the soldier. We believe that the Program Definition
                           and Risk Reduction phase more accurately reflects Land Warrior’s status
                           than does the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase.

                           The Land Warrior program has been solely overseen by the Army even
                           though projected research, development, test, and evaluation costs
                           justified DOD oversight. We believe that Land Warrior would benefit from
                           the higher level departmental oversight accorded acquisition Category I
                           systems. If more management attention is not focused on Land Warrior, the
                           Army may face the same problems in fiscal year 2004 when fielding is now
                           scheduled.

                           If Land Warrior/Battle Command Brigade and Below operability is not
                           assured before fielding, the full value of Land Warrior cannot be realized.
                           Land Warrior-equipped soldiers run the risk of not having the required
                           battlefield situational awareness and not being fully integrated with higher
                           command levels as currently required. Further, if Land Warrior does not
                           meaningfully participate in the Army’s Advanced Warfighting Experiments,
                           the Army cannot test the system’s ability to operate with other components
                           of the digitized battlefield.




                           Page 17                                  GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
                      B-281494




                      Land Warrior continues to be challenged by technical and human factor
                      issues. Although progress has been made, we believe that high priority
                      should be given to building fully functional prototypes that meet all basic
                      requirements and should include thorough field testing. Otherwise, the
                      Army runs the risk of costly changes after committing to production.



Recommendations       In order to ensure that Land Warrior development is completed before
                      systems are fielded, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct
                      the Secretary of the Army to return the Land Warrior program to the
                      Program Definition and Risk Reduction phase until workable prototypes
                      are produced. Further, we recommend that Land Warrior be

                      1. reclassified as an acquisition Category I system to ensure appropriate
                      program monitoring and oversight;

                      2. required to demonstrate operability with Force XXI Battle Command
                      Brigade and Below before any systems are fielded to minimize the risk of
                      Land Warrior-equipped soldiers not having adequate battlefield situational
                      awareness; and

                      3. required to thoroughly field test prototypes and ensure that they pass
                      water immersion, electromagnetic interference, and airborne certification
                      tests before any systems are fielded.



Matter for            In view of the significant changes and revised design to the Land Warrior
                      system, Congress may wish to consider withholding further funding until
Congressional         the Army determines what it plans to develop and provides a detailed
Consideration         approach, including revised cost, schedule, and performance estimates, to
                      acquire and field the system.



Agency Comments and   In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with two of our
                      four recommendations. The Department’s comments are included as
Our Evaluation        appendix I.

                      DOD did not agree with our recommendation to return Land Warrior to the
                      Program Definition and Risk Reduction acquisition phase, stating that
                      doing so would set the program back 1 to 2 years and result in increased
                      costs due to the delay. DOD also stated that Land Warrior has been



                      Page 18                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
B-281494




demonstrated successfully by field soldiers, that it is continuing its drive to
integrate off-the-shelf products, and that the program conducted
competitive prototype demonstrations of a fully integrated computer/radio
subsystem at the end of October 1999 to further improve the system—
reducing weight and costs.

We continue to believe that Land Warrior should return to the Program
Definition and Risk Reduction acquisition phase until workable prototypes
are produced. Land Warrior development and testing results to date are
characteristic of activities in the Program Definition and Risk Reduction
acquisition phase rather than the Engineering and Manufacturing
Development phase. As defined in DOD Regulation 5000.2R, the Program
Definition and Risk Reduction acquisition phase includes prototyping,
demonstrations, and early operational assessments so that technology,
manufacturing, and support risks are well in hand before the next decision
point—Engineering and Manufacturing Development. For Land Warrior to
be legitimately in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase,
application of the same DOD regulation would require the Army to be able
to translate the most promising design approach into a stable,
interoperable, producible, supportable, and cost-effective design and to
demonstrate system capabilities through testing and prototyping. The
Army is not in such a position. Stability, interoperability, and supportability
are yet to be achieved. The Army has not produced and demonstrated any
complete and workable prototypes that meet test requirements with the
requisite safety and comfort to the soldier. However, the issue is larger than
one of categorization. Since the Army is currently exploring new technical
approaches, returning Land Warrior to the Program Definition and Risk
Reduction phase would reduce the risk of prematurely committing to an
unproven or unsupportable design.

Further, regarding DOD’s point on delay and costs caused by return to the
Program Definition and Risk Reduction phase, we note that the Land
Warrior program has already experienced substantial cost growth and a
4-year delay from the original estimated fielding date. In addition, the Army
will need to conduct additional testing prior to production regardless of
acquisition phase. Doing so during the Program Definition and Risk
Reduction phase would provide the Army with greater flexibility if designs
need to be changed. We believe that investing in additional development
will provide greater assurance that fielded Land Warrior systems will be
cost-effective. While it is encouraging that the Army recently found
demonstrations of off-the-shelf Land Warrior components to be successful,




Page 19                                    GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
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we believe that the unavailability of a complete Land Warrior prototype for
testing purposes supports the need for our recommendation.

DOD concurred with our recommendation that Land Warrior be
reclassified as an acquisition Category I system, stating that the Army has
reached a similar conclusion and is currently staffing a recommendation to
do so.

DOD did not agree with our recommendation to require that Land Warrior
demonstrate operability (interoperability) with Force XXI Battle Command
Brigade and Below before any systems are fielded. DOD stated that the
draft report we provided for comment assumes that the Land Warrior
system must run the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below
application. The Department’s response stated that some Force XXI Battle
Command Brigade and Below functions are of value to the Land Warrior
systems, as this would maximize government-off-the-shelf reuse. However,
it stated that the Land Warrior system is a weapons systems first, while
Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below is a command and control
software application.

We believe that DOD’s response indicates misunderstanding of our
recommendation. Our central issue in this recommendation focuses on
operability (interoperability), not commonality. As stated in our draft
report, if Land Warrior and Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below
interoperability is not assured before fielding, the full value of the Land
Warrior system cannot be realized. Land Warrior-equipped soldiers run the
risk of not having the required battlefield situational awareness and not
being fully integrated with higher command levels as is currently required.
While maximizing government-off-the-shelf reuse is a worthy goal if
practical, our concern is that operability of Land Warrior with
Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below may not be assured before
fielding. In December 1996, the Army required that Land Warrior operate
with Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, and its Embedded
Battle Command software. In March 1999, the Land Warrior Program
obtained a conditional waiver from this requirement, citing fundamental
incompatibilities. The waiver was granted subject to the approval of a plan
to integrate the system into the digitized battlefield. The plan was to
address (1) Land Warrior requirements for operating with the Tactical
Internet and Battle Command Brigade and Below, (2) a technical
implementation approach for meeting the requirements (to include critical
milestones), and (3) a test strategy to demonstrate that technical
requirements are accurately implemented. As of November 30, 1999, the



Page 20                                  GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
              B-281494




              plan had not been submitted for approval. Operability with Force XXI
              Battle Command Brigade and Below can be achieved either by using
              Embedded Battle Command software or by designing a Land Warrior-
              unique software application interface. If Embedded Battle Command
              software is not used, the Land Warrior−unique application must result in
              software that allows the systems to work together. We have clarified our
              recommendation to make clear that we are concerned about the lack of
              interoperability between Land Warrior and Force XXI Battle Command
              Brigade and Below and that we continue to feel that this interoperability
              needs to be demonstrated before any systems are fielded.

              DOD agreed with our recommendation that Land Warrior prototypes must
              be fully tested with soldiers in field environments and that it must
              successfully undergo water immersion, electromagnetic interference, and
              airborne certification tests. DOD further stated that other stringent tests by
              components and of the fully Land Warfare integrated system must and will
              be conducted. We note that the Department’s response does not state when
              such testing will be completed. Our recommendation specifies that field
              tests should be accomplished before any systems are fielded.

              Based on the Army’s negative response regarding our recommendations
              concerning the proper acquisition phase for this program and the need for
              interoperability with Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, we
              have added a matter for congressional consideration. We ask Congress to
              consider withholding further funding until the Army determines what it
              plans to develop and provides a detailed approach, including revised cost,
              schedule, and performance estimates, to acquire and field the system.



Scope and     To identify the status of the Land Warrior program, we interviewed
              responsible officials, collected pertinent documentation, and analyzed
Methodology   plans from both DOD and the Army. In the course of our work, we also
              visited the Program Manager-Soldier and Program Manager-Land Warrior at
              Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and the U.S. Army Soldier Biological and Chemical
              Command, Natick, Massachusetts. With Army officials, including those
              from the Training and Doctrine Command System Manager for Land
              Warrior and the Combat Development Division, U.S. Infantry School, Fort
              Benning, Georgia, we discussed the status of the Army’s revised Land
              Warrior acquisition strategy, including the program events that necessitated
              the restructuring, alternative developments, and design strategies. We also
              reviewed plans for low-rate initial production, and revised fielding




              Page 21                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
B-281494




schedules. Additionally, we analyzed changes to the cost, schedule, and
performance milestones.

To evaluate whether the current level of program monitoring and oversight
is appropriate, we interviewed responsible officials in DOD and the Army
and reviewed Land Warrior program documentation, including program
cost estimates and DOD and Army acquisition regulations. In the course of
this work, we also visited the Program Manager-Soldier and Program
Manager-Land Warrior at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. We also discussed related
matters with officials from the DOD Office of the Director, Test Systems
Engineering and Evaluation, and Office of the Director, Operational Test
and Evaluation.

To determine how the Army is ensuring that Land Warrior will operate with
other command and control systems, particularly Battle Command Brigade
and Below, we reviewed Land Warrior program interoperability
requirements with Army officials, the Land Warrior prime contractor—
Raytheon Corporation in El Segundo, California, and subcontractor
officials. We reviewed the Army’s plan for obtaining a waiver from using the
Battle Command Brigade and Below Embedded Battle Command software
and assessed its impact on interoperability. We visited the above facilities
and also witnessed a Land Warrior/ Battle Command Brigade and Below
interoperability demonstration at the Land Warrior contractor software test
facility, Fullerton, California.

To assess the technical and human factor problems requiring resolution
before the Army makes a production decision, we discussed related
technical issues with Army program officials. We also discussed test and
evaluation issues with DOD officials from the Director of Operation, Test,
and Evaluation and Director Test Systems Engineering and Evaluation, and
the Army’s Operational Test and Evaluation Command and Test and
Experimentation Command, as well as contractor personnel. We reviewed
the results of the Early Operational Experiment conducted from October to
December 1996 and the ensuing risk-reduction exercises. We also reviewed
the Army’s plans for addressing outstanding technical and human factor
problems prior to entering production.

We performed our review from November 1998 through November 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 22                                  GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
B-281494




We are sending copies of this report to Representative John Murtha,
Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Defense, House Committee
on Appropriations; C.W. Bill Young, Chairman, and Representative David
Obey, Ranking Minority Member, House Committee on Appropriations;
Senator Ted Stevens, Chairman, and Senator Robert C. Byrd, Ranking
Minority Member, Senate Committee on Appropriations; and other
interested congressional committees. We are also sending copies to the
Honorable William Cohen, Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Louis
Caldera, Secretary of the Army; General James L. Jones, Commandant of
the Marine Corps; and the Honorable Jacob Lew, Director, Office of
Management and Budget. Copies will also be made available to others upon
request.

If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact CharlesF.
Rey at (202) 512-4174 or Arthur S. Fine at (617) 565-7571. A key contributor
to this report was Joseph Rizzo, Jr.

Sincerely yours,




Allen Li
Associate Director
Defense Acquisitions Issues




Page 23                                  GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
Appendix I

Comments From the Department of Defense                                        AA
                                                                                ppp
                                                                                  ep
                                                                                   ned
                                                                                     nx
                                                                                      idx
                                                                                        eIis




Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in the
report text appear at the end
of this appendix.




                                Page 24   GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
                 Appendix I
                 Comments From the Department of Defense




 See p. 18.




See comment 1.




 See p. 18.




                 Page 25                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
                 Appendix I
                 Comments From the Department of Defense




See p. 20.



See comment 2.




See p. 20.



See comment 3.




See p. 21.




                 Page 26                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
               Appendix I
               Comments From the Department of Defense




               The following are GAO’s comments on the Department of Defense’s letter
               dated November 30, 1999.



GAO Comments   1. Our report recognizes that the Army has begun examining a new open
               system design strategy—one that relies more on equipment that was either
               commercially available or already in military use. However, we also
               indicate that, at the time of our review, such a strategy was not yet formally
               approved. While we are encouraged that the Army recently found
               demonstrations of off-the-shelf Land Warrior components to be successful,
               we note that the unavailability of a complete prototype for testing purposes
               reinforces our position regarding returning Land Warrior to the
               Program/Risk Reduction acquisition phase.

               2. Although DOD concurred with our recommendation that Land Warrior
               be designated an acquisition Category I system, we remain concerned that
               this has yet to be accomplished. When we began our work in December
               1998, we were told that the Land Warrior program was in the process of
               being designated a Category I system.

               3. We are concerned that operability of Land Warrior with Force XXI Battle
               Command Brigade and Below be assured before fielding. The waiver
               granted to the Army postponed the need to address operability
               requirements. The waiver was granted subject to the approval of a plan to
               integrate the system into the digitized battlefield. Such a plan would
               include Land Warrior requirements for operating with Tactical Internet and
               Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below. As of November 30, 1999,
               the waiver conditions had not been met.




               Page 27                                   GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
Appendix II

Comparison of Land Warrior Unique
Developments Original Design and Revised
Design                                                                                                             Appendx
                                                                                                                         iI




System/component                          Original design       Revised design
Software
                                                                Land Warrior unique but minimized with emphasis
Program language                          Land Warrior unique   on commercial and customized software
Software operating system


Weapon Subsystem
 Weapon
 Laser rangefinder and digital compass    Land Warrior unique   Land Warrior unique
 Wiring harness                           Land Warrior unique   Land Warrior unique
 Video sight                              Land Warrior unique   Land Warrior unique
 Thermal Weapon Sight
 Close Combat Optic
 Laser Aiming Light


Integrated Helmet Assembly Subystem
 Helmet                                   Land Warrior unique   Considering Standard Army helmet or variant
 Helmet display
 Day/night sensor w/ display


Personal Clothing and Individual
Equipment

 Modular body armor                       Land Warrior unique   Adopting Marine/Army Program body armor
                                                                Adopting Marine/Army load carrying equipment and
 Load carrying equipment                  Land Warrior unique   adapting for Land Warrior
 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Suit
 Ballistic Laser Eye Protection


Computer Radio Subsystem
 Computer                                 Land Warrior unique   Commercial item
 Soldier radio                            Land Warrior unique   Commercial Wireless Network Card Radio
 Leader radio                             Land Warrior unique   Repackaged Army radio or commercial radio
 Global Positioning System
 System Control Module                    Land Warrior unique   Land Warrior unique
 Hand held display                        Land Warrior unique   Commercial touchscreen




(707393)                Leter            Page 28                              GAO/NSIAD-00-28 Battlefield Automation
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