Opportunities for Improving Management of the Navy's Aegis Cruiser Program

Gao ID: C-MASAD-81-8 February 28, 1981

The Aegis weapon system is the antiair warfare weapon designed to protect the Navy's carrier battle groups from air- and sea-launched missiles. It is comprised of advanced-design radar and related hardware and software. Two systems have been procured for the Navy's newest cruisers, the CG-47 and CG-48. The fiscal year 1981 Defense budget provides procurement funds for two more Aegis equipped cruisers.

Although a complete Aegis weapon system will not be operated until the first Aegis-equipped cruiser is launched, Navy officials are confident that their actual live tracking and simulator-assisted tests provide proof that the system will be capable against the existing and currently foreseen threat. However, serious questions surround the supply support aspects of its operational availability. The supply support policy planned for the Aegis weapon system will not ensure that the system reaches its maximum operational availability. None of the analyses conducted by the Navy or the prime contractor considered the entire system; each report examined only the subsystems of the Aegis weapon system. The CG-47 being constructed to house the system will also have another air search radar system, the SPS-49. The SPS-49 appears to be an inadequate backup for the Aegis system. Therefore, retaining the SPS-49 is highly questionable. Furthermore, this ship provides an inadequate margin for the growth required by Navy standards.


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.

Director: Donald E. Day Team: General Accounting Office: Mission Analysis and Systems Acquisition Division Phone: (202) 275-8427

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