Longbow Apache Fire Control Radar

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-01-27.

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

      United States
      General Accounting  Qffice
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      National Security and
      International AfTairs Division


      January 27, 1997

      The Honorable William S. Cohen
      The Secretary of Defense

      Dear Mr. Secretary:

      During our ongoing review of the Army’s Longbow Apache modification
      program located at the U. S. Army’s Aviation and Troop Command, we
      developed information that raises concerns about the pending Longbow Apache
      fire control radar (FCR) lot H contract that the Army plans to award in the next
      few days. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of these concerns and ask
      what actions the Department of Defense (DOD) plans to take in this regard.


      The Longbow Apache weapon system (AH-64D) consists of a modified airframe,
      a FCR mission kit, and the Longbow HelEre missile. The Army plans to modify
      758 Apache helicopters-227 will be upgraded from A to D models and receive
      the radar and the remainder will be upgraded to the D model and will not
      receive the radar. The FCR is a key component of the weapon system and is
      designed to provide the Apache helicopter with automatic target detection,
      classification, and prioritization and a fire-and-forget engagement capability.
      The lot I FCR contract was awarded in March 1996; the lot II contract is
      scheduled to be awarded on January 31, 1997.

      Increases in unit cost have resulted in a reduction in the number of l?CR units
      that were procured in lot I and will be procured in lot II-10 versus the planned
      13 and 11 versus the planned 24, respectively. Consequently, the unit
      production cost of lot II FCRs will be twice as much as originauy planned-$6.5
      million as opposed to $3.2 million.

                                   GAO/NSlAD-97-79R Longbow Apache Fire Control Radar
                                                                                          ‘I    _;



We have several concerns about the perform ance of the FCR and planned
award of the lot II contract. Our work, to date, indicates that

- As currently configured, the transm itter in the FCR lots I and planned lot Il
  procurem ents does not work properly in cold tem peratures without tim e
  consum ing and costly integration efforts being needed to m arry two existing
  com ponents to achieve the required power output. Although the 10 lot I
  transm itters failed the initial cold weather tests, delivery is still scheduled to
  begin in M arch 1997.

-       The transm itter being procured in lots I and II m ay not be supportable in the
        future because a m ajor supplier is discontinuing production. M oreover,
        beginning with the lot III procurem ent, the existig transm itter will be
        replaced with a new configuration; as a result, the first 21 FCRs will have a
        different version of the transm itter than the rem aining 206 FCRs to be

-       The Army plans to award a m ultiyear contract in Decem ber 1997 for the
        newly configured FCR to bring it in line with the previously awarded
        airfram e m ultiyear contract, but the new transm itter is still under
        developm ent and there have been schedule delays which could extend the
        contract award date.

Because (1) the Army has not stabilized the final FCR configuration, (2) the lot
II FCR will cost twice as m uch as originally planned, and (3) two differently
configured FCRs in the inventory will likely increase logistical support costs,
you m ay wish to consider deferring the award of the lot II contract until these
concerns are resolved. Additionally, the FCR configuration needs to be
stabilized before awarding the planned lot IlI m ultiyear contract. Therefore, we
request that DOD provide us answers to the following questions by February 28,

    2                        GAO/NSIAD-97-79R Longbow Apache Fire Control Radar

  (1) Does DOD plan to direct the Army to delay award of the lot II FCR

  (2) If not, what actions does DOD plan to take to ensure these concerns are
      resolved prior to award of the lot II FCR contract?

  We are sending copies of this letter to appropriate congressional committees,
  the Secretary of the Army, and other interested parties. Your response to our
  inquiry will also be distributed to the same congressional committees. If you
  have any questions on the matters raised in this letter, please contact me on
  (202) 512-4841 or Rob Stolba., Assistant Director, on (202) 512-8963.

  Sincerely yours,

  Director, Defense Acquisitions Issues


  3                     GAO/NSLAD-97-79R Longbow Apache Fire Control Radar

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