Army Weapons: Status of the Sense and Destroy Armor System

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-12-17.

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

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                                                                                             ARMY WEAPONS
                                                                                             Status of the Sense
                                                                                             and Destroy Armor
_.._ -_-..----.-_~---.---   _~_-_----
                     United States
GAO                  General Accounting Office
                     Washington, DC. 20548

                     National Security and
                     International Affairs Division

                     B-241 179

                      December 17,lOOO

                     The Honorable John P. Murtha
                     Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense
                     Committee on Appropriations
                     House of Representatives

                     Dear Mr. Chairman:

                     The Army’s Sense and Destroy Armor (SADARM), a new system of target-
                     sensing munitions, is being developed to enhance the capabilities of the
                     155-millimeter (mm) howitzer and the Multiple Launch Rocket System
                     (MLRS) to attack targets such as self-propelled enemy artillery, when sta-
                     tionary. Through fiscal year 1991, the Congress has provided about
                     $600 million in research, development, test, and evaluation funding for
                     the system.

                     In 1988, we reported on the status of the SADARM system.’ As you
                     requested, we have updated that analysis to determine (1) actions taken
                     by the Army to comply with congressional directives, (2) the current
                     program schedule, (3) the Army’s estimate of the program’s total cost,
                     (4) the status of technical development, (5) test results to date, and
                     (6) the Army’s assessment of the counterfire mission and of SADARM’S
                     ability to meet that requirement.*

                     In March 1990, we briefed your staff on the preliminary results of our
                     review for use during hearings on the fiscal year 1991 defense budget.
                     In October 1990, we briefed your staff on the final results of our review.
                     This report summarizes the information provided at the October

                     Our review disclosed the following:
Results in Brief
                   . The Army has restructured the SADARM development program to address
                     congressional concerns about development deadlines and technical risks.
                   . The program is over 3 years behind its original schedule and the full-
                     rate production decision is now scheduled for July 1994.
                   . The Army now estimates the total cost of the program to be about
                     $4.7 billion. Increased development costs are expected to be more than

                     ‘DODAcquisition Programs:Statusof SelectedSystems(GAO/NSIAD-88-160,June 30, 1988).
                     2”Counterfire” is fire intendedto respondto enemyindirect fire systems.

                     Page 1                                  GAO/NSIAD-9144BR       Sense and Destroy   Armor System

                           offset by the decision to substantially reduce the number of SADARM
                           munitions to be bought.
                       l   SAINRM'S technical development is in its final stages of component design
                       l   SADARM'S application to the 155-m howitzer and the MLRS have not yet
                           been tested, but its application to the &inch howitzer was successfully
                           tested, according to Army officials.
                       l   The Army’s February 1990 threat assessment reaffirmed the impor-
                           tance of SADARM and its counterfire capability.

                           Appendix I provides more detailed information on the results of our

                           The Army’s March 1990 revised SADARM development program calls for
SADARM Development         the concurrent development of SADARM for the 155-mmhowitzer and the
Program Restructured       MLRS, the completion of developmental testing before a design is
                           selected, and competition among potential contractors into production.

                           Congressional directives, budgetary pressures, and other problems have
Program Schedule Has       extended the SADARM development schedule. Between September 1986
Slipped and Costs          and March 1990, the original schedule was extended by over 3 years.
Increased                  The revised schedule calls for making full-rate production decisions in
                           July 1994 instead of September 1990 for the MLRS SADARM and June 1991
                           for the 155-mmSADARM as originally scheduled. In addition, the revised
                           schedule calls for fielding the 155 -ITIITISADARM in July 1994 and the MLRS
                           SADARM in December 1995 instead of the original targets of
                           December 1991 for the 155-m SADARM and February 1991 for the MLRS

                           Since 1986, the estimated cost of the program has decreased by about
                           $634 million to about $4.7 billion. While development costs increased by
                           $542 million, procurement costs decreased by about $1.2 billion because
                           the Army substantially reduced the number of SADARM munitions it
                           planned to buy. This quantity reduction has resulted in an increase in
                           unit costs.

                           Page 2                         GAO/NSIAD-91-44BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System

                      The technical development of SADARM is in the final stages of component
Technical             design testing for the munitions, the 155-mmprojectile, and the MLRS
Development and       rocket dispenser.
Testing               Because SADARM is still being designed and tested, its capabilities with
                      the 155-mmhowitzer and the MLRS have not been fully determined. How-
                      ever, as required by a congressional directive, the Army conducted tests
                      of SADARM using the &inch howitzer and concluded that they were

                      The Army updated its threat assessment as of February 1990 and reaf-
Ability to Meet       firmed the importance of SADARM and its counterfire capability. Army
Counterfire Mission   representatives said that the Army had reduced the planned procure-
                      ment quantity for SADARM because of the reduced European threat. How-
                      ever, recent and continuing developments in Europe, the Soviet Union,
                      and the Middle East are greatly altering the national security environ-
                      ment, and these events could significantly affect the requirements for

                      We updated our analysis of the SADARM program by assessing relevant
Scopeand              program documents such as the operational requirements document,
Methodology           selected acquisition reports, program cost estimates, acquisition and test
                      plans, monthly program status reports, briefing documents, and quar-
                      terly program reviews from contractors. We obtained information from
                      and interviewed officials at the Office of the Project Manager for Sense
                      and Destroy Armor and the Fire Support Armaments Center, Picatinny
                      Arsenal, New Jersey, and Army Headquarters, Washington, DC. We
                      conducted our review from September 1989 to August 1990 in accor-
                      dance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

                      As requested, we did not obtain official agency comments on this report.
                      However, we discussed its contents with Department of Defense and
                      Army officials and have incorporated their comments where

                      We are sending copies of this report to the Chairmen of the Senate and
                      House Committees on Armed Services, the House Committee on Govern-
                      ment Operations, and the Senate Committees on Appropriations and on
                      Governmental Affairs. Copies are also being sent to the Secretaries of
                      Defense and the Army, the Director of the Office of Management and

                      Page 3                         GAO/NSIAD-91-44BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System

Budget, and other interested parties. Copies will be made available to
others on request.

Please contact me on (202) 275-4141 if you or your staff have any ques-
tions concerning the report. The major contributors were Henry Hinton,
Associate Director, Army Issues; Raymond Dunham, Assistant Director,
Army Issues; and Manfred J. Schweiger, Senior Evaluator-in-Charge,
New York Regional Office.

Sincerely yours,

Richard Davis
Director, Army Issues

Page 4                        GAO/NSIAD-91-44BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System
Page 5   GAO/NSIAD91-44BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System
Appendix I

Status of the SADARM System

                               The SADARM is a “fire-and-forget” system designed to defeat targets such
Background                     as self-propelled artillery, infantry fighting vehicles, and other lightly
                               armored combat vehicles, when stationary. The munition is being devel-
                               oped for two existing weapon systems-the 155-millimeter (mm) how-
                               itzer and the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS).

Operating the SADARM           SADARM is designed in two sizes, both cylindrically  shaped submunitions:
System                         (1) the 5.8-inch submunition, together with a thin-walled base ejection
                               carrier (projectile), is used with 155 -mmhowitzers, and (2) the 6.9-inch
                               submunition, together with a warhead dispenser mated to an existing
                               rocket motor, is used with the MLRS.

                               The 155-mmprojectile carries two submunitions, and the MLRS rocket dis-
                               penser carries six. Each submunition has the capability to sense and
                               defeat a target. The SADARM munitions are shown in figure I. 1.

Figure 1.1: SADARM Munitions

                               155-mm Projectlk

                               Page 6                          GAO/NSIAD-91-44BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System
Appendix I
Status of the SADARM Syetem

The submunitions are ejected from the l&5-mm projectile or the MLRS
rocket over the target area. Upon ejection, each submunition first
deploys a “deceleration and despin device” that slows its speed and its
spinning, followed by an “orientation and stabilization device” that acti-
vates the power supply, drops its velocity, and sets a fixed rotation
speed to enable the sensors to scan the target area. A “range-sensing
device” on the descending SADARM detects the preset ground slant range
and arms the lethal mechanism, and the sensor begins its ground search
pattern. The spiral search pattern decreases in area and travels toward
the center as the descent continues. If the millimeter wave and/or
infrared sensors detect a target in the search area, they send an impulse
to the lethal mechanism, which fires an explosively formed penetrator
down into the target. If no target is detected, the submunition self-
destructs just before hitting the ground, The operational concept for
SADARM is shown in figure 1.2.

Page 7                         GAO/NSIAD-9144BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System
                                          Appendix I
                                          Status of the SADARM System

Figure 1.2:SAOARM Operational Concept


                                                                                                                     155mm ProJectlIe

                               --.,--c-                                                            -----
                      -----/                                                                --w----c

Program History                           Originally, the Army intended to develop SADARM as an anti-armor mum-
                                          tion to provide 8-inch artillery with the ability to detect and defeat
                                          tanks and other mobile, hardened, armored targets. In 1980, the Army
                                          awarded competitive advanced development contracts to Alliant Tech-
                                          systems, Inc.,* and Aerojet Electra Systems Corporation for the S-inch

                                          ‘Until recently, Alliant Techsystems,Inc., was calledHoneywell,Inc.

                                          Page 8                                   GAO/NSIAD-9144BR        Sense and Destroy   Armor System
Appendix I
Status of the SADARM System

projectile and the 6.9-inch submunition, However, in 1984, the Army ter-
minated that effort because of SADARM'S limited capability against
moving targets. Subsequently, in 1985, the Army reinstated the SADARM
development as a counter-battery weapon for primary use against sta-
tionary self-propelled howitzers and secondary use against lightly
armored vehicles. The Army approved its requirements document for
developing SADARM for the 155-mmhowitzer and the MLRS in March 1986.

In September 1986, the Army approved full-scale development of the
SADARM submunitions and awarded 48-month cost-plus-incentive-fee       con-
tracts to Alliant Techsystems, Inc., and Aerojet Electra Systems Corpo-
ration to develop the two sizes of submunitions and the 165-mm
projectile. The Army also awarded an initial integration contract for the
MLRS rocket dispenser to LTV Aerospace Defense Company in
December 1986. Shortly after the Army awarded these contracts, the
Department of Defense (DOD) designated SADARM as a major program
because of its cost and congressional interest. With this designation, the
SADARM program was required to undergo more stringent reviews by the
Army and DOD at various stages in its development.

DOD reinstated SADARM'S application to the 8-inch howitzer in
November 1986. However, in August 1987, the Army again terminated
those efforts because it intended to eliminate the 8-inch howitzer from
its inventory. Additionally, it decided to develop only the 5.8-inch sub-
munition for both the 155-mmhowitzer and the MLRS. In May 1988, after
a WD review, the Secretary of Defense approved SADARM'S full-scale
development for the 1,65-mm howitzer and the MLFS and directed the
Army to develop two sizes of submunitions to maximize lethality against
the full spectrum of armored targets. He also directed the Army to study
alternatives for the 8-inch howitzer.

In June 1988, the Army told DOD that it planned to phase out the 8-inch
howitzer, starting in fiscal year 1990, and to replace it with the MLRS.
The Army completed the SADARM program structure by awarding the
full-scale MLRS rocket dispenser development and integration contract to
LTV in September 1988-l year later than originally planned.

Page 9                         GAO/N&W-91-44BR   Sense aud Destroy   Armor System
                           Appendix I
                           Statns of the SADARM System

                           In response to congressional directives, the Army revised its original
The Arrny Has              program structure and schedule in July 1987. The original schedule, set
Complied With              in September 1986 with the award of the 48-month full-scale develop-
Congressional              ment contracts, had called for deferring the bulk of work on the 155-mm
                           projectile until June 1987. After conducting a technical and design com-
Directives                 petition between the two contractors, the Army had planned to select
                           one submunition design 30 months into the development effort.

Congressional Directives   The Conference Committee reports on DOD appropriations for fiscal
                           years 1986 and 1987 directed the Army to restructure the SADARM pro-
                           gram. The conferees were concerned that technical and financial deci-
                           sions were being driven by artificially short deadlines rather than by
                           specific technical accomplishments and efforts to reduce program risks.
                           The directives required (1) at least a 60-month full-scale development
                           program; (2) concurrent development of the MLRS and 155-mm submuni-
                           tions; (3) an early firing demonstration of an 8-inch howitzer using mod-
                           ified hardware from the advanced development phase; (4) approval by
                           the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations before release of
                           funds for the final phase of engineering development, system qualifica-
                           tion, and developmental and operational testing; and (5) support of at
                           least two competing prime contractors throughout development and into

The Restructured Program   The Army’s restructured SADARM acquisition program, approved in
                           July 1987, provided for a 67-month development effort. Specifically,
                           (1) the two development contracts were amended from 48 months to 60
                           months, and (2) development of the two submunitions was to start
                           simultaneously and run concurrently.

                           The Army also revised the SADARM test and evaluation program to
                           address congressional concerns about the need for more testing and ade-
                           quate proof of principle, that is, the need to demonstrate SADARM'S capa-
                           bilities and thereby reduce program risks. The revised program
                           provided for demonstration tests using modified 8-inch howitzer hard-
                           ware that had been used during advanced development. Before com-
                           pleting those tests in July 1989, the Army told the Committees on
                           Appropriations that the tests had delayed the development schedule for
                           the 156-mm and MLRS applications. To avoid further slippage of the
                           schedule, the Army requested relief from the congressional restriction
                           on obligating funds for development and operational test hardware. The
                           restriction was removed in July 1989.

                           Page 10                        GAO/NSIAD9144BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System
                        Appendix I
                        Statns of the SADARM System

                        The revised SADARM test program also expanded live-fire testing,
                        increased test quantities and the target requirement, and added test
                        instrumentation and funding for risk assessment. In addition, the test
                        schedule provided for completing submunitions and projectile opera-
                        tional testing before design selection, projectile type classification,2 and
                        the decision to go ahead with full-scale production. Operational testing
                        of the MLRS rocket dispenser was scheduled after the MLRS SADARM rocket
                        was to have been approved for limited production; however, the testing
                        was to precede the MLRS type classification and the award of the con-
                        tract for full-scale production.

                        The Army’s implementation of the congressional directives commits it to
                        maintaining competition by carrying the two current development con-
                        tractors into competitive production. An alternative acquisition strategy
                        under consideration would carry two designs into production provided
                        both contractors have acceptable designs.

                        The SADAHMprogram is over 3 years behind its original schedule. The
Program Is Behind       Army’s March 1990 revised schedule calls for making full-rate produc-
Original Schedule       tion decisions in July 1994 instead of the original targets of September
                        1990 for the MLRS SADARM and June 1991 for the 155~KWSADARM. In addi-
                        tion, the March 1990 schedule calls for fielding the 165-mmSADARM in
                        July 1994 and the MLRS SADARM in December 1995 instead of the original
                        targets of December 1991 and February 1991.

                        The schedule was revised in July 1987 when the Army implemented the
                        congressional directive and reinstated the 8-inch howitzer SADARM appli-
                        cation It was revised again in September 1988 when the Army awarded
                        a 60-month full-scale development contract for the MLRS dispenser. In
                        March 1990, the schedule was updated a third time to reflect the
                        impacts of technical difficulties, budgetary shortfalls, and an extensive
                        government testing schedule. Table I. 1 shows the changes in the SADARM
                        program schedule.

                        “Type classificationidentifies itemsthat are acceptablefor their intendedmissionsand for introduc-
                        tion into the inventory. Army policy requiresitemsto be type classifiedbeforethey are procured.

                        Page 11                                                      GAO/NSIAD9144BR                            Sense and Destroy        Armor System

                    .                                                                                                                                          _   ,,,._   _”
                                        ...I   _--   _,...   1.“”   ._.......I   I   -_--   _.-“_.   ._“.   “-I_.   ._--,-.-_        ^   .__“_.,.   -_
                                                        AppendSx I
                                                        Statue of the SADARM System

Table 1.1:Changes in the SADARM Program Schedule
                                               Sept. 1986                                 July 1987 revised Sept. 1988                    Mar. 1990 revised
  ._ -.                                        original schedule                          schedule          revised schedule              schedule
                                   --_-__-.---                                                 Submunitions and projectile
Contract award                 __ _ . . -. ._---____       .-___ Sept. 1986               Sept. 1986               Sept. 1986             Sept. 1986
Operational testing completed                                    Mar. 1991___-            May 1991                 Dec. 1991              Sept. 1993
Low-rate    initial production decision                          May 1989                 Sept. 1989               a                      Apr. 1993
                   .     decision                                June 1991                June 1991                Apr. 1992              July 1994
ii& unit equipped with 156mm SADARM                              Dec. 1991                Mar. 1993                July 1993              July 1994
                                                                                                        MLRS dispenser
Contract award                -..                                  May 1987               Sept. 1987               Sept. 1988             Sept. 1988
Operational testing completed                                      Sept. 1990             Mar. 1992                July 1993              Mar. 1994
Low-n-&      initial production     decision                                              May 1989                                        a
   . - .^                ~....--..._ -~-.- -.- ._- _- .___--._________I_ 1988 ~
                                                                   Oct.                                            Jan. 1992
i,rrst unit.production    decision
             equipped“..~with    .~LRssAoAR~--.-----‘eb.1991       Sept. 1990             Mar. 1992                Sept. 1993             July 1994
                                                                                          Mar. 1993                Mav 1994               Dec. 1995
                                                        aThe Army’s schedule did not include low-rate initial production decisions.

                                                        The Army’s estimated total program cost for SADARM has decreased by
Program Cost                                            $634 million from the original September 1986 estimate of about
Estimate Has                                            $6.3 billion. This is a net figure consisting of a $542 million increase in
Decreased,but Unit                                      development costs and about a $1.2 billion decrease in procurement
                                                        costs. Development costs have increased because of congressional and
Costs Have Increased                                    DOD program requirements and higher-than-anticipated         contractor
                                                        development costs. Procurement costs have decreased because the Army
                                                        substantially reduced the number of SADARM munitions it planned to buy.
                                                        According to Army officials, the procurement quantity was reduced
                                                        because of the changing threat in Europe. This reduction in the planned
                                                        procurement quantity has resulted in an increase in SADARM'S unit cost.

                                                        The Army’s estimated cost of the program has changed several times
                                                        since 1986. In September 1986, the Army estimated the program cost at
                                                        approximately $5.3 billion for the planned acquisition of 600,000 sub-
                                                        munitions. This cost increased to about $5.7 billion for 484,296 submuni-
                                                        tions in July 1987, and then increased to about $6.2 billion for the same
                                                        number of submunitions in December 1988. However, in May 1990, the
                                                        estimated cost decreased to approximately $4.6 billion because the
                                                        Army decided to acquire 222,756 submunitions rather than the previ-
                                                        ously planned 484,296. (See table 1.2.)

                                                        Page 12                                      GAO/NSIAD-9144BR        Sense and Destroy   Armor System
                                          Appendix I
                                          Status of the SADARM System

Table 1.2: Changes in the SADARM
Program’s Cost Estimate                   Dollars in millions
                                                                                    Sept. 1966          July 1967         Dec. 1966        Ma 1990
                                          item                                       estimate            estimate         estimatea        est Tmat@
                                          Research and development
                                          .--                                             $365.1            $589.7             $702.9         $906.9
                                          Procurement                                    4,933.0           5104.6             5,495,3        3,757.0
                                          Total                                       $5,296.1           $5.694.3           $6.196.2        $4.663.9
                                          % December 1988, the Army prepared cost estimates for the September 1988 revised program

                                          ‘In May 1990, the Army prepared cost estimates for the March 1990 revised program schedule.

                                          As shown in table 1.3, the Army has reduced the number of SADARM
                                          munitions it plans to acquire, which has resulted in an increase in the
                                          estimated unit costs.

Table 1.3:Changes In SADARM
Acqulaition Quantltles and Unit Costs                                              Sept. 1966          July 1987     Dec. 1968             May 1990
                                          Item                                      estimate            estlinate     estimate             estimate
                                                                                                      Acquisition quantities’
                                          MLRS warheads                                  50,000             59,174            59,l IO         23,712
                                          ii-mm  projectiles                            150,000            63,530             63,385          39,018
                                          .--                                                                Unit cost
                                          MLRS warheads                                 $40.608b          $44.380            $59.981         $82.384
                                          15%mm oroiectiles                               11,307c           11,420            13,609           19,453
                                          BThi$ is the total number of MLRS warheads and 155.mm projectiles being procured with SADARM
                                          bThe unit cost is based on the low-rate initial production quantity of 82,392 submunitions, which equates
                                          to 13,732 MLRS SADARM rockets. The unit cost estimate does not include the cost for the warhead/
                                          CThe unit cost is based on the low-rate initial production quantity of 15,125 projectiles.

                                          SADAKM'S technical development is in the final stages of design/testing
Technical                                 for the submunition components, the 155-mm projectile, and the MLRS dis-
Development Is in                       , penser. Through May 1990, the two submunitions and projectile contrac-
Final Design Testing                      tors conducted an extensive series of development tests, including tests
                                          of the subsystems. Under the March 1990 program schedule, the con-
Stages                                    tractors for the submunitions and projectile are scheduled to complete
                                          design and qualification tests by October 1991, and government tests are
                                          scheduled to be conducted between July 1991 and September 1993.         *

                                          The contractor’s development testing of the MLRS dispenser has been less
                                          extensive because only the SADARM dispenser section is new to the MLRS

                                          Page 13                                       GAO/NSLAD914BR            Sense and Destroy     Armor System
                        Appendix I
                        Statue of the SARARM System

                        rocket. Under the March 1990 schedule, development, design, and quali-
                        fication of the dispenser will end in March 1991, and government tests
                        are scheduled to be conducted between October 1991 and March 1994.

Submunition Component   Development testing of the submunitions and projectiles involves three
Testing                 major submunition components: the deceleration system, the sensor, and
                        the lethal mechanism.

Deceleration System     The two-stage deceleration system slows the submunition down and sta-
                        bilizes it after it has been expelled from the carrier. This system has
                        undergone several types of tests: wind tunnel, whirl tower, cable drop,
                        rocket sled, ballistics ejection, gun-firing, and rocket flight. Both con-
                        tractors have essentially completed their designs; however, more gun-
                        firing and ballistics ejection tests must be completed to verify the func-
                        tional operation of the final designs.

Sensor                  Upon activation, the dual-mode (millimeter wave and infrared) sensor
                        begins a ground search to detect targets for destruction. The sensor has
                        been extensively tested in five major captive flight test programs; in
                        drop, laboratory, radiation, and rail gun tests; and in live-fire data col-
                        lections.3 The flight tests were conducted to accumulate sufficient back-
                        ground and target signature data to design and develop the final tactical
                        sensor signal processing procedures. More than 64,000 target engage-
                        ments in various climatic and geographical environments, and against
                        the complete spectrum of countermeasures, have been conducted to
                        evaluate the performance of the sensor. The two contractors’ sensor
                        designs are nearing completion; however, the contractors must conduct
                        additional captive flight and helicopter drop tests to complete and
                        verify their final tactical sensor processing procedures before the gov-
                        ernment evaluation.

Lethal Mechanism        Upon detection of the target, the lethal mechanism fires an explosively
                        formed penetrator into the top of the target. The mechanism has been
                        subjected to a series of short- and maximum-range horizontal test firings
                        and live-fire tests. The two contractors have fired more than 180 lethal
                        mechanisms, and both contractors’ MLRS and 155-IIUIIdesigns have met
                        the specified target perforation requirement.

                        31nthe “captive flight tests” the sensorswere mountedin helicopters,which flew over targetsto
                        determinewhether the sensorscould detecttargets.

                        Page 14                                  GAO/NSIADS144BR       Sense and Destroy   Armor System

                               Appendix I
                               Status of the SADARM Systek

                               One contractor’s designs are virtually completed; designs for the two
                               lethal mechanisms have been selected, and verification tests have been
                               completed. Additional tests were to be completed and a final design
                               qualification test was to be conducted to complete the design effort. The
                               other contractor must complete testing to baseline its two designs and
                               must conduct verification and qualification tests of its final designs
                               before the government evaluation.

155-mm Thin-Wall               The If%-mm thin-wall projectile, when fired from a howitzer, delivers the
                               SADARM submunition to, and ejects it over, the target area. The projectile
Projectile Testing             has been evaluated in low-elevation and vertical gun firings, as well as
                               in static and dynamic ejection, drop, and other tests, Both contractors
                               have developed acceptable projectile designs, according to the Army.
                               One has completed its projectile development testing, and the other has
                               to select one of two designs as its final design. The two contractors are
                               required to demonstrate projectile capability in live firings.

MLRS Warhead/Dispenser         The MLRS warhead/dispenser, which serves the same purpose as the
Testing                        156-~11t1thin-wall projectile, has essentially completed its design and
                               development test phase. Development testing involves three compo-
                               nents: the fuze, the initiation transfer system, and the dispense mecha-
                               nism. All these components have been, or are being, fabricated and
                               delivered for the MLRS flight tests

Fuze                           The MLRS fuze, an existing fuze modified to meet SADARM'S requirement,
                               has completed development and qualification testing. The fuze’s Critical
                               Design Review was conducted in December 1989, and its Government
                               Safety Board Review was completed in February 1990.

Initiation   Transfer System   The initiation transfer system, which starts and times the SADARM sup-
                               munition ejection sequence for the MLRS, has completed its development
                               testing. The system’s Critical Design Review was held in October 1990.
                               Qualification testing was completed by one contractor in August 1990
                               and is in process for the other contractor.

Dispense Mechanism             The dispense mechanism, which ejects the six SADARM submunitions from
                               the MLRS warhead, has completed development testing. The dispenser’s
                               Critical Design Review was held in September 1988, and the design was
                   Y           updated in March 1990. Qualification testing, which is in process, is
                               expected to be completed in March 199 1.

                               Page 15                        GAO/NSIAD9144BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System
                       Appendix I
                       Statue of the SADARM System

Government Tests       Government submunition and projectile testing is scheduled to start in
                       July 1991 with the live firing of seventy-eight 165-1t~11   projectiles, This
                       development demonstration test will proceed through a series of tech-
                       nical tests ending in October 1992, which involve 858 projectile firings
                       to verify that the 155 -INKIprojectile meets performance, reliability, and
                       safety requirements. These tests will form the basis for a planned
                       April 1993 low-rate initial production decision for the projectile. Gov-
                       ernment tests, consisting of a 72-projectile live-fire initial operational
                       test and evaluation, are scheduled to be completed in September 1993.

                       Government testing of the MLRS-SADARMwarhead is to begin in
                       October 1991 with a performance test involving seven rocket flights per
                       contractor. This is to be followed by technical tests, involving 18 rocket
                       flights per contractor, to verify system performance and ground testing,
                       involving 16 warheads per contractor, to evaluate safety and other
                       issues. Government testing is scheduled to end in March 1994 with a
                       combined preproduction qualification test and initial operational test
                       and evaluation. This testing will involve 28 MLRS rocket flights and
                       126 submunition firings to evaluate the dispenser’s operational effec-
                       tiveness and the submunition’s performance.

                       Because SADARM'S application to the 155-1~1howitzer and the MLRS is still
Contractor Tests to    in the design/testing stage, its capabilities in those applications have not
Date Have Been         been demonstrated. However, in accordance with the 1986 congressional
Successful,According   directive, SADARM'S application to the 8-inch howitzer was tested and,
                       according to Army officials, proved successful.
to the Army
                       The 8-inch howitzer demonstration testing started in January 1989 and
                       was completed in July 1989. At the final test, Aerojet fired four projec-
                       tiles with one submunition each. The major components of three sub-
                       munitions (deceleration system, sensor, and lethal mechanism)
                       functioned correctly, and two targets were penetrated. The fourth sub-
                       munition lost its deceleration device. Alliant Techsystems, at the final
                       test, fired two projectiles, each with one live submunition. The major
                       components of one submunition functioned correctly but failed to locate
                       a target. The second submunition tangled in its parachute and self-
                       destructed on the ground.

                       The Army believes that this testing was successful and that both con-
                       tractors demonstrated improved reliability of the subsystem. According

                       Page 16                          GAO/NSIAD9144BR   Sense and Destroy   Armor System
                        Appendix I
                        Status of the SADARM System

                        to project officials, the goal of the test was achieved; the test recon-
                        firmed the system’s proof of principle and reduced risk to the full-scale
                        development program.

                        The Army continues to highly rate the importance of the counterfire
SADARM’sCounterfire     mission and has given SADARM a high priority, as indicated by its budget
Mission Continues to    request in fiscal year 1991 and the Five-Year Defense Plan.
Receive High Priority   During its 1985 assessments of artillery fire support systems, the Army
                        found that the primary deficiency in artillery fire support was insuffi-
                        cient lethality. The Fire Support Mission Area Analysis Update for Bat-
                        tlefield Development Plan, 1985, and other studies concluded that
                        current field artillery systems were limited in accuracy, lethality, and
                        volume of fire and that the required volume of fire to destroy enemy
                        targets was inordinately high and, in most cases, impractical. The
                        assessment also considered the important role that massed threat artil-
                        lery, deployed at a large numerical superiority, would play in a Soviet
                        main ground attack. With the fielding of fully armored, self-propelled
                        artillery, this threat has become less vulnerable to conventional
                        counterfire. The Army concluded that SADARM munitions, with their
                        target-sensing capability, were needed as a force multiplier to reduce the
                        field artillery’s dependence on firing a high volume of conventional
                        munitions-such       as 155-mm M483 projectiles and MLRS dual-purpose
                        (anti-personnel and anti-materiel) munitions-to     destroy targets.4 It also
                        concluded that SADARM’Starget-sensing capability would help to reduce
                        the fire support needed to defeat armored, self-propelled artillery sup-
                        porting the main ground attack.

                        The Army updated its SADARM system threat assessment as of
                        February 1990, and the update reaffirmed the need for SADARM,
                        According to Army representatives, the Army reduced the planned pro-
                        curement quantity because of the reduced European threat. However,
                        recent and continuing developments in Europe, the Soviet Union, and
                        the Middle East are greatly altering the national security environment,
                        and these events could significantly affect the requirements for SADARM.

                        4SADARMis considereda “force multiplier” becausefewer munitions would be neededto defeatthe
                        samenumberof targets.

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