Longbow Apache HelicopterSystem Procurement Issues Need to Be Resolved Gao ID: NSIAD-95-159 August 24, 1995
During the Longbow Apache helicopter's ongoing engineering and manufacturing development phase, Defense Department (DOD) and acquisition officials have raised concerns about (1) the performance of the Longbow Hellfire missile against targets with multiple countermeasures, (2) the performance of the radar against stationary targets, and (3) the producibility of the missile's transceiver. The current Longbow Hellfire procurement plan is inadequate because it will procure about 3,200 missiles that are not required at an estimated total cost of between $540 million and $750 million. Moreover, a large number of missiles will be procured before Longbow Apache helicopters are available and will lose up to one-half of their shelflife. Although the Army recently agreed to conduct a Longbow Apache cost and operational effectiveness analysis for the milestone III production decision, the value of that analysis will be limited because of its timing and the Army's decision not to consider all attack helicopter alternatives, including the Comanche.
GAO found that: (1) the Army has made major program decisions concerning the Longbow Apache weapon system without fully evaluating the costs and benefits of alternative systems; (2) the Army's cost and operational effectiveness analysis (COEA) will be of limited value because of its timing and the Army's decision not to include the Comanche helicopter as a possible attack helicopter alternative; (3) concerns have been raised about the performance of the Longbow Hellfire missile against targets with multiple countermeasures, radar capability against stationery targets, and the producibility of the missile's transceiver; and (4) the Longbow Hellfire missile procurement plan is flawed because the procurement objective is overstated by about 3,200 missiles, and the missiles stand to lose significant portions of their shelf life before the aircraft are available.Recommendations
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: Team: Phone: