Logistics Planning for the M1 Tank

Implications for Reduced Readiness and Increased Support Costs Gao ID: PLRD-81-33 July 1, 1981

Integrated logistics support (ILS) is the approach to weapons systems development which attempts to link development and production to deployment and operation. GAO examined the M1 tank ILS planning and strategies to: (1) identify options for improving the M1 ILS program, (2) determine whether the implementation of current planning strategies will provide adequate logistics support, and (3) evaluate alternative logistics strategies which could more economically provide effective logistics support. The review was undertaken in response to growing congressional concern over the support costs for weapon systems which have been drastically increasing while recently fielded systems are not achieving required operational readiness.

ILS has not been adequate or timely for the M1 tank program. Although recent planning efforts have improved, many supportability questions remain and opportunities exist to reduce M1 support costs. M1 program emphasis has been on achieving established design-to-cost objectives and fielding a tank within a 7-year development cycle. As a consequence of this program momentum, there was little early emphasis on logistical support and life-cycle cost issues. The ongoing DOD operational and developmental M1 testing is supposed to provide the data needed to answer questions on operational supportability. However, GAO believes that emerging results from current testing raise serious doubts that the M1 will be proven supportable before full production and fielding decisions are made. GAO is concerned that the past momentum of the M1 program will push the program forward even though many supportability issues remain. DOD believes that the M1 is supportable and that the current testing will provide adequate supportability information on which to base a sound full production and fielding decision in September 1981. GAO believes that improvements can be made in evaluating test data to measure supportability better and to provide better data on which to base upcoming production and fielding decisions. Also, information on the M1 supportability and the potential that insufficient data will be available to support the upcoming M1 program decisions should be made available to Congress.


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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