Abrams Tank

Block II Modifications Not Ready to Enter Production Gao ID: NSIAD-90-57 February 28, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's Block II Abrams tank modification program.

GAO found that: (1) proposed tank armor modifications may not have the anticipated impact on tank survivability; (2) the Army's tank weight-reduction program, designed to counteract the new armor's added stresses on the tank's suspension, may not achieve performance goals, since its effects will not be evident until the tank enters production; (3) the modifications will add 20 percent to the tank's current price and increase the cost for each tank beyond the $3.037-million production ceiling, raising concerns that program costs might exceed affordable levels; (4) the Army's acquisition schedule was risky, since it committed production funds before testing data were available; (5) the Army may not realize anticipated tank-maintenance benefits from the new system's automated diagnostics, since manual repairs would require highly skilled electronics personnel; (6) the Army had not established new tank and tank-maintenance training requirements and its training cost estimates were inaccurate; (7) the Army had not demonstrated through analyses that the integrated system would perform as expected; (8) the Army's operational evaluation assumed performance factors that overstated the new tank's cost-effectiveness; and (9) there was no basis for the Army's belief that the new tank's fielding and testing would support future tank development efforts.


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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