Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on
the Army's Javelin antitank weapon system, focusing on its: (1)
cost and acquisition plan; (2) projected effectiveness in certain
countermeasure environments; (3) threat recognition capability; and
(4) target recognition training plan. GAO found that: (1) although
the Army's acquisition cost for the Javelin is estimated to be $4.2
billion, total program costs could increase to $4.8 billion because
fielding the Javelin could take up to 25 years; (2) the Army and
Marine Corps have reduced system quantities by more than 40
percent; (3) system unit costs could increase by more than 150
percent and command and launch unit costs could increase by more
than 360 percent because of acquisition delays; (4) the Office of
the Secretary of Defense does not believe that funding will be
available during the last 5 years of production; (5) although a
Conference Committee report recommended that the Army reassess the
Javelin's cost-effectiveness because of escalating costs, a new
cost-effectiveness analysis has not been completed; (6) the Javelin
may not be able to significantly improve the Army's antitank
capability because it is not equipped to adequately counter some
enemy countermeasures and differentiate between friend or foe; (7)
the Javelin's threat identification capability is limited by the
weather, the gunner's distance from the target, and the gunner's
training; and (8) questions remain as to whether training will be
adequate to prepare soldiers to acquire valid targets and identify
friend from foe without additional equipment.
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