Decisions To Be Made in Charting Future of DOD's Assault Breaker

Gao ID: MASAD-81-9 February 28, 1981

Major issues concerning the future of the Department of Defense (DOD) Assault Breaker Program were reviewed. Assault Breaker is a concept using standoff weapons to attack moving, rear echelon armor massed deep behind enemy lines. Presently, the only nonnuclear means for attacking these targets is by the use of manned, penetrating aircraft. The advantage of Assault Breaker is that it would permit attacking these targets with standoff weapons. In this concept, different types of weapons are deployed from a communications control network. A uniquely high rate of kill is obtained at a much smaller risk and cost than present weapons permit.

DOD faces major decisions before committing large resources to Assault Breaker development including: (1) whether the testing planned in advanced development is sufficient to demonstrate the feasibility of the Assault Breaker concept before full-scale engineering development is to begin; (2) how Assault Breaker compares in cost effectiveness to other weapons that could attack rear echelon armor; and (3) how Assault Breaker's development should be managed. It is too early to assess whether Assault Breaker will fulfill its technical promise. As presently conceived, the system may incorporate assets of both the Army and the Air Force and should, therefore, involve the two services in the integrated testing of the subsystem.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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