GAO United States General Accounting Qffice Washington, D.C. 20548 National Security and International AfTairs Division B-275846 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. BACKGROUND 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 .r ‘I _; B-275346 CONCERNS ON FCR PERFORMANCE 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 procured. - 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, 1997. 2 GAO/NSIAD-97-79R Longbow Apache Fire Control Radar B-275846 (1) Does DOD plan to direct the Army to delay award of the lot II FCR contract? (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, #iiiiiiG Director, Defense Acquisitions Issues (707199) 3 GAO/NSLAD-97-79R Longbow Apache Fire Control Radar .-,.,. .: . .. :: .. . ,‘ 1 . . -.: ,. : : Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the following address, accompanied by a check or money order made out to the Superintendent of Documents, when necessary. VISA and MasterCard credit cards are accepted, also. Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. Orders by mail: U.S. General Accounting Office P.O. Box 6015 Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 or visit: Room 1100 700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW) U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, DC Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000 or by using fax number (301) 2584066, or TDD (301) 413-0006. Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and testimony. 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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)