Index


Battlefield Automation: Performance Uncertainties Are Likely When Army
Fields Its First Digitized Division (Letter Report, 07/27/1999,
GAO/NSIAD-99-150).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's progress
toward its goal of fielding a digitized division by the end of 2000,
focusing on: (1) the high-priority systems needed to accomplish the
digitization fielding goal; (2) the acquisition status of these
high-priority systems; and (3) any performance uncertainties that could
confront the Army after its first digitized division is fielded.

GAO noted that: (1) the Army's first digitized division will be the 4th
Infantry Division; (2) while the Army's overall digitization initiative
involves over 100 systems, its December 2000 digitization goal is to
field 16 high-priority systems to 3 of the division's 4 brigades; (3)
these 16 systems can be described as command, control, and
communications systems, the majority of which will support
decision-making by commanders located in tactical operations centers at
battalion, brigade, division, and corps levels; (4) one system
represents an entirely new capability that is intended to accomplish an
important digitization objective of sharing battlefield information with
the thousands of soldiers operating outside tactical operations centers;
(5) this system is the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below
(FBCB2) system and is the critical component of the digitization
initiative; (6) fielding of the Forward Area Air Defense Command,
Control, and Intelligence system, with the first digitized division
objective software and upgraded hardware, was completed in fiscal year
(FY) 1998; (7) the delivery of the Global Broadcast Service
Transportable Ground Receive Suite terminals was delayed because the
contractor's initial design required too many terminal transit cases;
(8) although the high-priority systems are being acquired independently
of each other, the Army is coordinating and synchronizing individual
fielding schedules to enable it to meet its goal of fielding the first
digitized division by December 2000; (9) there are four key performance
uncertainties that the Army will confront when the division is fielded
at the end of 2000; (10) because the Army has recently restructured the
system's test and evaluation program, a determination of the operational
effectiveness and suitability of FBCB2 will be unknown; (11) the
operational performance of other fielded systems may be unknown because
the results of scheduled operational tests will not be complete by
December 2000; (12) the capability of automated sharing of Army Tactical
Command and Control System data within tactical operations centers will
not have been conclusively demonstrated; (13) insight into the
resolution of this issue is not likely to occur before April 2001 when a
digitized brigade participates in an exercise at the National Training
Center, Fort Irwin, California; and (14) it will be uncertain whether
digitization, with the expected interoperability of related information
systems, has achieved the expected increases in lethality,
survivability, and tempo of operations.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-99-150
     TITLE:  Battlefield Automation: Performance Uncertainties Are
	     Likely When Army Fields Its First Digitized Division
      DATE:  07/27/1999
   SUBJECT:  Army procurement
	     Operational testing
	     Defense capabilities
	     ADP procurement
	     Command control communications systems
	     Strategic information systems planning
IDENTIFIER:  Army Maneuver Control System
	     Army Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below Program
	     Forward Area Air Defense Command, Control, and
	     Intelligence System
	     Army Spitfire Satellite Communication System
	     Army Tactical Command and Control System
	     Army Force XXI Initiative
	     Army Tactical Operations Center System
	     Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System
	     Army Enhanced Position Location Reporting System
	     Army Integrated Systems Control System
	     Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal
	     Army All Source Analysis System
	     Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System
	     Army Combat Service Support Control System
	     Army Near-Term Data Radio System
	     Army High-Capacity Line-of-Sight Radio System
	     Army Asynchronous Transfer Mode
	     Army Global Broadcast Service Transportable Ground Receive
	     Suite Terminal

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ns99150 A Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense,
Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives

July 1999 BATTLEFIELD AUTOMATION

Performance Uncertainties Are Likely When Army Fields Its First
Digitized Division

National Security and International Affairs Division

B-282617 Letter July 27, 1999 The Honorable Jerry Lewis Chairman,
Subcommittee on Defense Committee on Appropriations House of
Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman: Over the next decade, the Army plans to field
dozens of new and improved battlefield systems through its
digitization initiative. Digitization involves the application of
information technologies to acquire, exchange, and employ timely
information throughout the battlespace. Use of digitization on the
battlefield is expected to increase the Army's survivability,
lethality, and tempo of operations. 1 The Army plans to equip its
first digitized division with high- priority equipment by December
2000 and its first digitized corps by the end of fiscal year 2004.

This report responds to the former Subcommittee Chairman's request
that we review the Army's progress toward its goal of fielding a
digitized division by the end of 2000. Specifically, the Chairman
asked us to (1) identify the high- priority systems needed to
accomplish the digitization fielding goal, (2) determine the
acquisition status of these high- priority systems, and (3)
identify any performance uncertainties that could confront the
Army after its first digitized division is fielded. Results in
Brief The Army's first digitized division will be the 4 th
Infantry Division. While the Army's overall digitization
initiative involves over 100 systems, its December 2000
digitization goal is to field 16 high- priority systems to 3 of
the division's 4 brigades. In general, these 16 systems can be
described as command, control, and communications systems, the
majority of which will support decision- making by commanders
located in tactical

1 Tempo of operations generally refers to a commander's ability to
conduct operations at a time and place of the commander's
choosing.

operations centers 2 at battalion, brigade, division, and corps
levels. Examples include the Maneuver Control System (MCS),
upgrades to Mobile Subscriber Equipment, and satellite
communication systems. One system, however, represents an entirely
new capability that is intended to accomplish an important
digitization objective of sharing battlefield information with the
thousands of soldiers operating outside tactical operations
centers. This system is the Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and
Below (FBCB2) system and is the critical component of the
digitization initiative.

The acquisition status of each of the 16 high- priority systems
varies. For example, fielding of the Forward Area Air Defense
Command, Control, and Intelligence (FAADC2I) system, with the
first digitized division objective

software and upgraded hardware, was completed in fiscal year 1998.
On the other hand, the delivery of the Global Broadcast Service
(GBS) Transportable Ground Receive Suite terminals was delayed
because the contractor's initial design required too many terminal
transit cases. While there will be a delay in the delivery of the
terminals, the Army expects fielding to the first digitized
division to be completed during 2000. Although the high- priority
systems are being acquired independently of each other, the Army
is coordinating and synchronizing individual fielding schedules to
enable it to meet its goal of fielding the first digitized
division by December 2000.

There are four key performance uncertainties that the Army will
confront when the division is fielded at the end of 2000. First,
and most importantly, the operational effectiveness and
suitability of FBCB2 will be unknown. Because the Army has
recently restructured the system's test and evaluation program, a
determination of the operational effectiveness and suitability of
the FBCB2 system has been postponed until at least fiscal year
2002. Second, the operational performance of other fielded systems
may be unknown because the results of scheduled operational tests
will not be complete by December 2000. For example, these tests
include the follow- on operational test and evaluation of the MCS
and the follow- on operational test and evaluation of the Milstar
satellite system's tactical communications. Third, the capability
of automated sharing of Army Tactical Command and Control System
data within tactical operations 2 Tactical operations centers
generally refer to fixed and relocatable command posts throughout
the

battlespace where commanders and their staffs prepare, monitor,
and alter the execution of battle plans.

centers will not have been conclusively demonstrated. Insight into
the resolution of this issue is not likely to occur before April
2001 when a digitized brigade participates in an exercise at the
National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California. Fourth, it will
be uncertain whether digitization, with the expected
interoperability of related information systems, has achieved the
expected increases in lethality, survivability, and tempo of
operations. This uncertainty is not likely to be resolved any
earlier than fiscal year 2002 after the FBCB2 initial operational
test and evaluation.

This report contains recommendations to the Secretary of Defense
to minimize the risks associated with fielding FBCB2 without the
benefits of operational testing and to develop a plan for
determining that digitization objectives have been achieved before
fielding high- priority systems to units beyond the first
digitized division. Background Throughout the next decade and
beyond, the Army plans to modernize its forces through an
overarching initiative called Force XXI. The components of this
initiative are Army XXI, which extends to about the year 2010, and
the Army After Next, which is looking beyond the year 2010.
Included within the modernization objectives of Army XXI is the
integration of information technologies to acquire, exchange, and
employ timely

information throughout the battlespace. The integration of
information technologies objective of Army XXI is called
digitization and will be implemented throughout the Army by the
development, production, and fielding of over 100 individual
systems. The Army's digitization effort includes a mix of high-
priority systems, lower- priority systems, and other modernization
systems. For example, FBCB2 is a high- priority system, whereas
the Battlefield Combat Identification System is a lower- priority
system. The Javelin anti- tank weapon system and the Gun Laying
Positioning System are examples of modernization systems not
designated as priority systems. According to the President's
fiscal year 2000 budget request, the Army plans to invest $20.8
billion for digitization for the period of fiscal year 2000
through fiscal year 2005.

In general, integrated situational awareness and command and
control information technologies available to Army commanders
currently extend to tactical operations centers at the brigade and
battalion levels. By extending information technologies to the
thousands of soldiers operating outside the tactical operations
centers, the Army expects to increase the

lethality, survivability, and operational tempo of its forces. 3
The Army plans to digitize its first division by December 2000 and
field its first digitized corps by September 2004. The first
digitized corps will be III Corps, consisting of the 4 th Infantry
Division, the 1 st Cavalry Division, and the 3 rd Armored Cavalry
Regiment. The Army intends to digitize its remaining divisions by
the 2010- 2012 time frame.

First Digitized Division In August 1997, the Deputy Chief of Staff
for Operations and Plans announced that the 4 th Infantry Division
would be the first digitized division Requires Fielding of 16 and
that, at a minimum, fielded equipment would include the Army
Training High- Priority Systems and Doctrine Command's list of
priority one systems and associated equipment. The Training and
Doctrine Command has identified 16 priority

one systems. They consist of command, control, and communications
systems. Each is considered a critical element within the Army's
digitization effort because of the expected contribution it makes
to achieve the required capabilities for the digitized
battlefield. Approved by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in January 1995, these capabilities
are  integrated battle command from platoon to corps,  relevant
common picture of the battlespace at each level,  smaller units
that are more lethal and survivable,  more responsive logistics
within and between theaters, and  joint interoperability at
appropriate levels. Fielding of the high- priority systems will
contribute to improving the Army

Battle Command System, which currently includes the (1) Global
Command and Control System- Army located at strategic and theater
levels, which interoperates with other theater, joint, and
multinational command and control systems, and with Army systems
at the corps and levels below and (2) Army Tactical Command and
Control System, which meets the command and control needs from
corps to battalion. FBCB2 will be the principal digital command
and control system for the Army at the brigade level and below and
will constitute the third major component of the Army Battle
Command System. While FBCB2 is only 1 of the 16 high- priority 3
The Army has framed its digitization expectations in the form of a
hypothesis: if within a digitized force different technologies and
doctrine are properly integrated across the force, then increases
in lethality, survivability, and tempo will be gained across the
force.

systems, it is the centerpiece of digitization because of its
potential to contribute significantly to achieving the
capabilities articulated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1995. 4
Nearly all of the other high- priority systems are dedicated to
enhancing the Army Tactical Command and Control System.
Collectively, the 16 high- priority systems represent a mix of
systems that have been in development or production for many years
as well as systems that began development more recently. Each of
these systems is in one of three general categories: a component
system of the Army Tactical

Command and Control System, a communications or support system for
the Army Tactical Command and Control System, or FBCB2 and its
supporting communications system. Army Tactical Command Components
of the Army Tactical Command and Control System are found and
Control System

in tactical operations centers and are expected to provide
commanders Includes Five High- Priority from corps through
battalion with an automated capability to perform

Systems maneuver, intelligence, fire support, air defense, and
logistics functions across the battlefield. The specific component
subsystems are MCS, All Source Analysis System (ASAS), Advanced
Field Artillery Tactical Data System (AFATDS), FAADC2I, and Combat
Service Support Control System

(CSSCS). Each of these component systems is considered a high-
priority system for the first digitized division and corps. Each
component system uses computers, software, and communications
interfaces to support the commander's decision- making. The
functionality of each system is expected to increase as new
software is developed. When the first digitized division is
fielded, there will be 27 tactical operations centers with varying
configurations of the Army Tactical

Command and Control System components. There are also plans to add
other component systems to some tactical operations centers in the
future. For example, the Digital Topographic Support System, when
fielded at the corps and division tactical operations centers, is
expected to allow commanders to perform terrain analysis and
produce topographic products in support of the mobility/
survivability battlefield function area. 4 For background
information on the FBCB2 program, please see Battlefield
Automation: Acquisition Issues Facing the Army Battle Command,
Brigade and Below Program (GAO/NSIAD-98-140, June 30, 1998).

Eight High- Priority Systems Tactical operations centers require
communication and support systems to Are Intended to Improve
acquire, exchange, and employ timely information throughout the

Communications and battlespace. The first digitized division
requires the fielding of six Management of Tactical communication
systems and two support systems for its tactical operations
centers. Operations Centers

The main communication system between tactical operations centers
is the Army's Mobile Subscriber Equipment. This line- of- sight
radio communication system provides secure voice, data, and
facsimile

communications services, as well as a packet switch network 5 for
rapid data communications. Two high- priority programs are
expected to enhance the Mobile Subscriber Equipment: (1) the
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), a new, commercial switch that
will replace the packet switch and improve the rates of data
communications and (2) the High- Capacity

Line- of- Sight (HCLOS) radio, which will replace the existing
radios and provide increased transmission capacity between
switches. The first digitized division requires 21 ATM switches
and 72 HCLOS radios. The Army will also enhance its land- based
communication system by fielding a Near- Term Data Radio (NTDR).
This radio will operate at tactical operations centers and will
also provide a data communications capability while tactical
operations centers are moving and Mobile Subscriber Equipment is
being put in place. The first digitized division requires the
fielding of 94 NTDRs. Since this radio is viewed as an interim
radio, no additional procurement is planned beyond the first
digitized division. It is expected that data radios needed after
the first digitized division will be provided through the
Department of Defense's Joint Tactical Radio System

program. However, the Joint Tactical Radio System architecture
development and validation is not expected until late this year
and a decision on whether that program will proceed as a major
defense acquisition program is not expected until fiscal year
2001.

To overcome the inherent limitations of land- based, line- of-
sight communication systems, the Army will be fielding three
satellite communication systems to the first digitized division.
The first system is the GBS. It is a joint Air Force- Army program
intended to provide all 5 Packet switching is distinguished from
message switching. Message switching involves the transmission of
entire lengthy messages through the nodes of a network; packet
switching involves the transmission of smaller message parts
through the network. Packet switching has become the

dominant technique for transmitting messages through a network.
Please see Gary Dickson and Alan Lloyd, Open Systems
Interconnection, Prentice Hall, 1992.

service users with a one- way, high- speed information flow of
high- volume multi- media information such as imagery, maps,
weather data, logistics, air tasking orders, and operational
orders. The Air Force is the executive

service for this program and has designated the Army responsible
for the terminal portion of the program. The first digitized
division requires one transmit terminal, called a Theater
Injection Point terminal, and 27 Transportable Ground Receive
Suite terminals.

The second satellite communication system is the Secure, Mobile,
Antijam, Reliable Tactical Terminal (SMART- T). This system uses
the evolving Milstar satellite constellation. Thus far, the system
has achieved a low data rate capability. The next step is to
achieve a medium data rate capability. 6 This medium data rate
capability is considered critical for tactical users like the
Army. The first medium data rate satellite is scheduled to be
tested with an on- position satellite in March 2000. The Army
requires 12 SMART- Ts for the first digitized division. The third
satellite communication system scheduled for fielding is an
enhanced manpack terminal called Spitfire. These terminals provide
communications through ultra- high frequency satellites and are
also capable of line- of- sight terrestrial communications. While
Spitfire is a mature system, enhancements are currently being made
to make it more efficient. The first digitized division will
require 67 Spitfire terminals.

The two systems that will support the management of tactical
operations centers are the Integrated Systems Control (ISYSCON)
and the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) systems. ISYSCON is a new
system that is expected to provide signal operators an automated
capability to manage the communications network. The first
digitized division requires the fielding of one system with 8 to
10 remote terminals or workstations. The TOC program is intended
to provide common operational and system

architectures that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of
commanders at different levels. The first digitized division
requires 27 of the new digitized TOCs. 6 Milstar's low data rate
transmissions are at speeds of 75 to 2,400 bits per second.
Milstar's medium data rate transmissions are at speeds ranging
from 4,800 to 1,544,000 bits per second, thus significantly
increasing the volume of data processed through the satellites.

FBCB2 and Its Two When fielded, FBCB2 is expected to provide
enhanced situational Supporting

awareness to the lowest tactical level the individual soldier and
a Communications Systems seamless flow of command and control
information across the battlespace. Extend Information

As the principal command and control system for the Army at the
brigade level and below, it is the linchpin of the future digital
battlefield. FBCB2 Technology Beyond Tactical

will be composed of: Operations Centers

 a computer that can display a variety of information, 7 including
a common picture of the battlefield overlaid with graphical
depictions (icons) of friendly and enemy forces;

 software that automatically integrates Global Positioning System
data, military intelligence data, combat identification data, and
platform data (such as the status of fuel and ammunition); and
interfaces to communications systems. Battlefield data will be
communicated to and received from users of FBCB2 through a
Tactical Internet. This is a radio network comprising the Enhanced
Position Location Reporting System (EPLRS) and the Single Channel
Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS). By connecting

platforms through this Tactical Internet, data needed for
battlefield situational awareness and command and control
decisions can be made available to commanders at all levels of the
Army Battle Command System. Both EPLRS and SINCGARS have undergone
recent improvements in support of the first digitized division.
EPLRS has incorporated very high- speed integrated circuitry and
an engineering change that has increased its data transmission
rate. The SINCGARS system improvement program radio has provided
enhanced data and voice communications, and allows SINCGARS to
interface with EPLRS. An advanced SINCGARS system improvement
radio enhances the synchronization capability in a

package that is one- half the size and weight of the current
SINCGARS system improvement radio. The first digitized division
will require an estimated 1,300- 1,400 EPLRS radios, an estimated
5,000 SINCGARS radios, and about 2, 000 FBCB2 systems. 7 Platforms
such as the M1A2 Abrams tank with system enhancements and the M2A3
Bradley fighting vehicle, which already have an on- board data
processing capability, will not require another computer. Instead,
the FBCB2 embedded battle command software will be used to
interface with existing software. Other platforms will require
FBCB2 computers. In November 1997, the Army's acquisition
objective was 2, 604 embedded FBCB2 systems and 59, 522 systems
requiring computer installations.

Acquisition Status of Each of the high- priority systems is being
acquired independently of each High- Priority Systems other. As a
result, the acquisition status of each system varies. For example:
Vary

 The Army fielded MCS to III Corps test units in fiscal year 1996
with an earlier version of the software than will be used by the
first digitized division. However, based on a recent initial
operational test and evaluation, the Department of Defense (DOD)
Director of Operational Test and Evaluation characterized the
earlier software version as not being operationally effective or
operationally suitable. As a result, a full- rate production
decision was not authorized and limited production of MCS,
sufficient to field the first digitized division and corps, is now
being sought.

 Fielding of the FAADC2I with its first digitized division
objective software and upgraded hardware was completed in fiscal
year 1998.  The contract for the first digitized division ATM
switches was awarded in June 1998. Fielding is scheduled for March
through June of 2000.

Although the high- priority systems are being acquired
independently of each other, the Army is coordinating and
synchronizing individual fielding schedules to enable it to meet
its goal of fielding the first digitized division by December
2000. Appendix I describes the acquisition status of all 16 high-
priority systems. Performance There are four key performance
uncertainties that the Army will confront Uncertainties Will when
the first digitized division is fielded at the end of 2000. First,
the operational effectiveness and suitability of FBCB2 will be
unknown. This Exist on Planned uncertainty will persist until the
system's initial operational test and Fielding Date evaluation in
November 2001. Second, between now and November 2001, nearly every
other high- priority digitization system will be undergoing

some type of operational evaluation. Since fielding of the first
digitized division is scheduled to be completed by December 2000,
individual system performance uncertainties will exist when the
first digitized division is fielded. Third, the capability of
automated sharing of Army Tactical Command and Control System data
within tactical operations centers will not be conclusively
demonstrated. Insight into the resolution of this issue is not
likely to occur before April 2001 when a digitized brigade
participates in an exercise at the National Training Center, Fort
Irwin, California. Fourth, it will be uncertain whether
digitization has achieved the expected

increases in lethality, survivability, and tempo of operations.
This uncertainty is not likely to be resolved any earlier than
fiscal year 2002. Operational Test and Given its importance to
achieving the objectives of digitization, the initial Evaluation
of FBCB2 Is the

operational test and evaluation of FBCB2 in November 2001 is the
most Most Critical Individual critical operational event
scheduled. This test will occur nearly a year after System
Performance Event the first digitized division is fielded because
of the Army's goal to equip the first digitized division by
December 2000. The FBCB2 test event is also Scheduled significant
because the previous initial operational test and evaluation date
of October 1999 was to have been the first opportunity to evaluate
the performance of the NTDR, TOCs, and new versions of the EPLRS
and SINCGARS radios. There may now be opportunities to evaluate
the performance of these other systems during the FBCB2 force
development test and evaluation in April 2000 as well as FBCB2
limited user tests and the division capstone exercises 8 conducted
prior to November 2001. However, we believe these systems will not
be exposed to the full rigor of operational testing until the
FBCB2 initial operational test and evaluation itself. We believe
the acquisition strategy of fielding FBCB2 before completing
operational testing exposes the overall digitization initiative to
greater risk. If the risk materializes into performance problems,
costly fixes to FBCB2 may be required. 9 In addition, FBCB2
performance problems could result in continued uncertainties about
expected increases in the lethality, survivability, and
operational tempo of a digitized force. The Army's digitization
initiative has been driven by the expectation that information
dominance and enhanced battle command capabilities will result in
increases in lethality, survivability, and operational tempo
across the force. The Army has tried to evaluate force
effectiveness at several different times; however, the results
have been inconclusive. The FBCB2 system evaluation plan
acknowledged the need to evaluate force effectiveness, but
proposed employing force- on- force modeling and simulation as a
primary tool for the force effectiveness evaluation. After

reviewing the FBCB2 system evaluation plan, the Director,
Operational Test and Evaluation, expressed concerns about this
approach as well as 8 Division capstone exercises are training
events for maneuver units. Under the restructured FBCB2 test
program, there will be two division capstone exercises: the first
at the National Training Center in April 2001 and the second at
Fort Hood in October 2001.

9 For examples of such systems, please see Weapons Acquisition:
Low- Rate Initial Production Used to Buy Weapon Systems
Prematurely (GAO/NSIAD-95-18, Nov. 21, 1994).

other aspects of the plan. His concerns were sufficiently serious
to cause the Army to reevaluate its FBCB2 test and evaluation
strategy, resulting in the revised strategy that postpones the
initial operational test and evaluation event for 2 years.

The Army considers increasing the functionality of its units as
expeditiously as possible a top priority. However, as illustrated
by its FBCB2 acquisition strategy, this high priority has
translated into significant quantities of equipment being acquired
and fielded before conclusive testing has been completed. The
fiscal year 2000 budget submission requests $66.4 million to
procure 1,640 FBCB2 units. The budget justification documentation
also projects a request in fiscal year 2001 of $62.1 million to
procure an additional 1,458 units. The total of the fiscal year
2000 budget request and the projected fiscal year 2001 budget
request is $128.5 million for 3,098 units. While the 3,098 units
account for only

about 5 percent of the projected total Army buy of about 60,000
units, the justification 10 for the low- rate initial production
is unclear at this time. Conditional approval for FBCB2
engineering and manufacturing occurred in July 1997 and included
an approval for 3,000 low- rate initial production units, then
identified as 10 percent of the total production quantity.
However, the acquisition decision memorandum did not state the
justification for the low- rate initial production approval. The
justification should be clarified later this summer when an Army
or Defense System Acquisition Review Council makes a decision on
the revised FBCB2 acquisition strategy. Other Individual In
addition to the FBCB2 initial operational test and evaluation,
other High- Priority Systems Will

critical operational evaluations include the follow- on
operational test and Undergo Operational evaluation of MCS, the
multi- service operational test and evaluation of Testing During
or After GBS, the follow- on operational test and evaluation of
the SMART- T, and the follow- on operational test and evaluation
of ISYSCON. Figure 1 shows the Fiscal Year 2000

planned evaluations of each of the 16 high- priority systems, as
well as evaluations of Army Tactical Command and Control System
interoperability and digitization force effectiveness.

10 DOD Regulation 5000. 2R states that low- rate initial
production quantities shall be minimized. The regulation states
that the objective of this activity is to produce the minimum
quantity necessary to (1) provide production configured or
representative articles for operational tests, (2) establish an
initial production base for the system, and (3) permit an orderly
increase in the production rate for the system. The regulation
also notes that the low- rate initial production quantity shall be
determined as part of the program's engineering and manufacturing
development approval.

Figure 1: Testing Schedules of High Priority Systems System
acronym Fiscal year 1999

Fiscal year 2000 Fiscal year 2001 Fiscal year 2002

O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S O N D J F M A M J
J A S O N D J F M A M J J A S

1. MCS

FOT& E

2. AFATDS

OA/ T

3. FAADC2I

OA/ T

4. ASAS

OA/ T

5. CSSCS 6. ATM

CT

7. HCLOS

CT

8. NTDR

DCX 1 DCX 2

FBCB2 IOT& E

9. GBS

MOT& E

10. SMART- T

IOT& E

11. Spitfire 12. ISYSCON

FOT& E

13. TOC

DCX 1 DCX 2

FBCB2 IOT& E

14. FBCB2

FDTE DCX 1

DCX 2 LUT 3 LUT 2

IOT& E Force Effectiveness Analysis

FDTE DCX 1

DCX 2 (Lethality, Survivability, LUT 2

LUT 3 IOT& E

and Tempo of Operation) Modeling and Simulation

15. EPLRS

DCX 1 DCX 2 (Very high speed integrated circuit

FBCB2 value engineering change proposal)

IOT& E

16. SINCGARS

DCX 1 DCX 2 (Advanced system FBCB2 improvement program)

IOT& E

Army Tactical Command and Control Systems Interoperability DCX 1
DCX 2

Test

(Army Battle Command FBCB2

System Software) IOT& E

IOT& E Initial Operational Test and Evaluation

CT Customer Test

FOT& E Follow- on Operational Test and Evaluation

Digitized LUT

Target date for fielding First Division

Limited User Test MOT& E

Multi- service Operational Test and Evaluation DCX

Division Capstone Exercise OA/ T

Operational Assessment/ Test FDT& E

Force Development Test and Evaluation

In addition to the operational testing that will conclude after
December 2000, the complete fielding of priority equipment to the
4 th Infantry Division as well as new equipment training will
remain unfinished in December 2000. Even if the FBCB2 low- rate
initial production acquisition strategy is approved, not all 4 th
Infantry Division units will be fielded with high- priority

systems by December 2000. The 4 th infantry Division has three
maneuver brigades and an aviation brigade; the 1 st and 2 nd
maneuver brigades are located at Fort Hood, Texas, and the 3 rd
brigade is located at Fort Carson, Colorado. The digitization
schedule calls for the 1 st and 2 nd brigades and the aviation
brigade to be fielded by December 2000; the 3 rd maneuver

brigade will not be fielded until 2003 when the III Corps' 3 rd
Armored Cavalry Regiment, also located at Fort Carson, is fielded.
Officials from the 4 th Infantry Division told us that the 1 st
and 2 nd brigades would probably be equipped rather than fielded
by December 2000, the distinction being that fielding includes new
equipment training. Although it is not certain when FBCB2 new
equipment training will be completed for the 1 st and 2 nd
brigades, it will probably be some time after December 2000.

Army Tactical Command Thus far, even with the introduction of new
software versions for individual and Control System

systems, the Army has been unable to exploit the full potential of
the Army Interoperability Test Has Tactical Command and Control
System because component systems Been Rescheduled to Fiscal cannot
be automatically updated when a change is made to an individual
component system's database. The component systems have achieved
Year 2001 some degree of success by sharing the same functional
data vertically at different command levels, but the long sought-
after capability to share data horizontally across functional
areas within the same command level has not yet been achieved. The
updates are accomplished either through manual inputs to other
related databases or through an electronic message to those
databases. For example, if the MCS database is changed to show a
new position location of friendly forces, that change would have
to be manually entered or changed through a message to the AFATDS
or FAADC2I databases. In addition, it presently takes 12 to 15
weeks and requires the assistance of civilian engineers to
establish each component system's original database. The Army
intends to resolve these database issues with the development and
fielding of a software package called Army Battle Command System
software.

The Army planned to test the Army Battle Command System software
at the FBCB2 initial operational test and evaluation event. The
ability of FBCB2 data to be integrated into the Army Tactical
Command and Control

System component systems was also to have been tested. As a result
of the restructuring of the FBCB2 testing program, version 6.2 of
the Army Battle Command System software will undergo an
operational evaluation during the division capstone exercise
scheduled for April 2001 at the National Training Center.
Additional operational evaluations will probably be conducted
during another division capstone exercise scheduled for Fort Hood,
Texas, in October 2001 and the rescheduled FBCB2 initial
operational test and evaluation, also scheduled for Fort Hood, in
November

2001. Force Effectiveness

After the Task Force XXI Advanced Warfighting Experiment in March
1997, Determination May Not Be which culminated in a brigade- size
experimental force engaging an opposing force at the National
Training Center, 11 officials at the Army

Known Before Fiscal Year Operational Test and Evaluation Command
concluded that they could not 2002

identify any significant increase in force effectiveness over
baseline units that had also engaged the opposing force at the
National Training Center. The Training and Doctrine Command's
Analysis Center at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, used the
data collected during the Advanced Warfighting Experiment to model
the performance of the experimental force assuming that the
experimental force had relied more heavily on the data and
information available to it through digitized systems. The
Training and Doctrine Command analysts concluded that the modeling
showed increased force effectiveness. The Training and Doctrine
Command's Analysis Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, analyzed
the results of a Division Advance Warfighting Experiment in
November 1997 and concluded that the experimental force was more
lethal, survivable, sustainable, and able to better control tempo
than a non- digitized force. However, the experiment was a
simulation- driven command post exercise without maneuver units in
the field. In our opinion, the efforts thus far designed to
measure force effectiveness have produced inconclusive results
with maneuver units in the field showing no significant increase
in lethality, survivability, and operational tempo while modeling
and simulation do show increases.

The 4 th Infantry Division's brigade- size exercise at the
National Training Center during the third quarter of fiscal year
2001 is described as a division 11 To explore the FBCB2 concept,
the Army acquired and installed sufficient quantities of equipment
to field a brigade- size experimental force in June 1996. The
experimental force then used FBCB2 prototype equipment in an
Advanced Warfighting Experiment, which culminated in March 1997
during a 2- week deployment to the National Training Center.

capstone exercise and is expected to be a rich source of data for
determining force effectiveness. The Army expects that the data
derived from a maneuver brigade engaging an opposing force coupled
with modeling and simulations will provide insight into
digitization's expected increases in lethality, survivability, and
tempo of operations. While some early analysis can be expected
within 120 days after the conclusion of the exercise, we believe
the length of time needed to analyze all the exercise data and
complete the required modeling and simulations will likely result
in conclusive force effectiveness determinations no sooner than
fiscal year 2002. This means that if current procurement plans
proceed, the Army will have obligated $128.5 million in fiscal
year 2000 and 2001 FBCB2 appropriations to buy and install about
two- thirds of the systems needed for the first digitized corps
without such conclusive determinations. Conclusions Based on the
acquisition status of the designated high- priority systems, the
Army will consider the 4 th Infantry Division as digitized by
December 2000. However, there will be limitations to this first
digitized division. Specifically, (a) not all 4 th Infantry
Division units will be equipped or trained by December 2000 and
(b) the performance of many individual systems, particularly
FBCB2, delivered to 4 th Infantry Division units will be uncertain
until the completion of their respective operational tests and
evaluations. Therefore, while the Army will have outfitted a
digitized division, its operational capability will not have been
demonstrated. Furthermore, even if all individual system
operational testing is successful, uncertainty about system
interoperability and the overarching force effectiveness issues of
increased lethality, survivability, and operational tempo will
persist. Resolution of these issues will require time, perhaps as
much as 2 or

3 years. Between now and then, the Army will be seeking funding to
continue acquisition and fielding to its second digitized division
and eventually its first digitized corps. Balancing the competing
demands of multiple acquisitions based on operational test results
and the objective of increasing the functionality of Army units as
expeditiously as possible poses a significant challenge for Army
acquisition executives. Because of the high priority the Army
places on digitization, significant quantities of individual
systems such as FBCB2 are being procured prior to conclusive
testing. We believe that such an acquisition strategy is highly
risky. Furthermore, in our view, the resolution of performance
uncertainties should be a key determinant in the pace of fielding
throughout III Corps and the Army. Unless it develops a plan
defining when and how the first digitized division will validate
that

digitization has enabled the high- priority systems to
interoperate effectively and enable increases in lethality,
survivability, and tempo of operations, the Army runs the risk of
fielding unproven systems beyond the three brigades of the 4 th
Infantry Division.

Recommendations To optimize the multi- billion dollar investment
needed to digitize all Army units, we recommend that the Secretary
of Defense direct the Army to:  Establish schedules and
procurement quantities that minimize the risks associated with
fielding FBCB2 without the benefits of operational

testing by seizing on the opportunity provided by the current
reassessment of the FBCB2 acquisition strategy.  Develop a plan
defining when and how the first digitized division will validate
that digitization has enabled the high- priority systems to
interoperate effectively so that expected increases in lethality,
survivability, and tempo of operations have been achieved. The
plan should provide for validation to be completed before
digitization is extended to units beyond the first digitized
division.

Agency Comments In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD did
not agree nor disagree with our recommendations. In its response,
DOD made two points. First, DOD indicated that Overarching
Integrated Product Teams chaired by high- level DOD officials are
addressing the issues discussed in our report and that a Defense
Acquisition Executive review of the FBCB2 program

should be conducted during August 1999. The review, DOD stated,
will include the acquisition strategy, cost, testing approach,
spiral requirements and acquisition approaches, low- rate initial
production approval request, and a determination of the
appropriate acquisition category. Second, DOD

stated that the Army's master schedule of tests and exercises will
provide intermediate confirmation of interoperability and
performance and that the FBCB2 initial operational test and
evaluation is the culmination of the test and exercise process
that includes the high- priority systems addressed in our report.
DOD also stated that the Office of the Secretary of Defense will

continue to perform its oversight function of Army digitization by
maintaining test oversight and improved reporting on the progress
of digitization. While it appears that many critical FBCB2 issues
will be addressed at the Defense Acquisition Executive review, we
remain concerned about the

number of FBCB2 units that will be acquired before a determination
is made in fiscal year 2002 of the system's operational
effectiveness and suitability. We remain equally concerned about
the quantities of other high- priority systems that will be
acquired through fiscal year 2002, before the completion of the
digitization test and exercise process. We continue to believe
that until the Army validates that digitization has achieved
increases in lethality, survivability, and tempo of operations,
there is a high risk of fielding unproven systems beyond the first
digitized division.

DOD's comments are reprinted in their entirety in appendix II,
along with our evaluation. In addition, DOD provided technical
comments that have been incorporated, as appropriate, in the
report.

Scope and To identify the high- priority systems being acquired to
accomplish the Methodology

digitization fielding goal and determine the acquisition status of
each system, we reviewed the objectives of the Army XXI and Army
After Next initiatives, the fielding plans for the 4 th Infantry
Division, and individual system cost, schedule, and performance
data. We obtained briefings from program managers, testers, and
users. We also analyzed the acquisition strategy of each high-
priority program, critical program milestones, and the
relationship between critical program milestones and fielding
plans for the first digitized division. Our designation of high-
priority systems was established in the following manner. During
the course of our review different Army organizations identified
15 to 19 systems as high- priority systems. For example, when we
met with Training and Doctrine Command officials in November 1998,
they identified 17 priority one systems. One of those systems,
Digital Topographic Support System, was not identified as a
priority one system by other Army organizations. The 16 systems
presented in this report represent a consensus of what systems
were characterized as high- priority as of November 1998. To
identify any performance uncertainties that could confront the
Army when its first digitized division is fielded, we reviewed the
test and evaluation schedules of each high- priority system. We
then compared these schedules with the fielding schedule for the
first digitized division. We also analyzed the revised FBCB2
schedule, including test events and production decisions,
regulatory criteria for low- rate initial production decisions,
and 4 th Infantry Division personnel and organizational changes
that could impact test and fielding plans. We also reviewed the
overall

objectives of the FBCB2 initial operational test and evaluation
event, including Army Tactical Command and Control System
interoperability

objectives, and plans to use new and upgraded versions of
communication equipment, weapons platforms, including Abrams tanks
and Bradley Fighting Vehicles with FBCB2 embedded battle command
software, and tactical operations centers during the test. We
reviewed Army evaluations that have studied digitized force
increases in lethality, survivability, and operational tempo, and
plans to conduct future evaluations, including those contained in
the final draft of the FBCB2 system evaluation plan.

In the course of our work, we interviewed program officials and
examined program management and budget documents, system
requirements, test plans, acquisition plans, and other program
documentation. We performed our work primarily at the Army
Digitization Office, Arlington, Virginia, and the Army
Communications and Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey.
We also gathered data from the Director, Operational Test and
Evaluation, Arlington, Virginia; Army Training and Doctrine
Command, Norfolk, Virginia; Army Operational Test and Evaluation
Command, Alexandria, Virginia; the 4 th Infantry Division, Fort
Hood, Texas; and the Army Signal Center, Fort Gordon, Georgia. We
performed our review from September 1998 to July 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

We are sending copies of this report to Representative John P.
Murtha, Ranking Minority Member of the Subcommittee;
Representative C. W. Bill Young, Chairman, and Representative
David R. Obey, Ranking Minority Member, House Committee on
Appropriations; and other interested congressional committees. We
are also sending copies of this report to the Honorable William S.
Cohen, Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Louis Caldera,
Secretary of the Army; and General James L. Jones, Commandant of
the Marine Corps. Copies will also be made available to others
upon request.

Please contact me at (202) 512- 4841 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report. Key contacts and major
contributors to this report are listed in appendix III. Sincerely
yours,

Allen Li Associate Director, Defense Acquisitions Issues

Letter 1 Appendix I

22 Summary of Acquisition Status of High- Priority Digitization
Systems

Appendix II 24

Comments From the Department of Defense

Appendix III 28

GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments Figures Figure 1: Testing
Schedules of High Priority Systems 12

Abbreviations

AFATDS Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System ASAS All
Source Analysis System ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode CSSCS Combat
Service Support Control System DOD Department of Defense EPLRS
Enhanced Position Location Reporting System FAADC2I Forward Area
Air Defense Command, Control, and Intelligence FBCB2 Force XXI
Battle Command, Brigade and Below GBS Global Broadcast Service
HCLOS High- Capacity Line- of- Sight ISYSCON Integrated Systems
Control MCS Maneuver Control System NTDR Near- Term Data Radio
SINCGARS Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System SMART- T
Secure, Mobile, Anti- jam, Reliable Tactical Terminal TOC Tactical
Operating Center

Summary of Acquisition Status of Appendi I x High- Priority
Digitization Systems System Acquisition status

MCS The Army fielded MCS with a software version called Block III
to III Corps test units in fiscal year 1996 and planned to field a
Block IV software version to the first digitized division in
fiscal year 2000. However, the results of a recent initial
operational test evaluation with the Block III software did not
permit the Army to proceed to full- rate production. The Army is
currently requesting authorization to proceed with a limited

production of MCS sufficient to field the first digitized division
and corps, using the Block IV software. AFATDS The software
versions of AFATDS are designated by year. The Army fielded AFATDS
95 to the 4 th Infantry Division in fiscal year 1996 and the
system achieved an initial operational capability in January 1997.
Annual software versions have been fielded to the 4 th Infantry
Division and the objective first digitized division

software fielding is AFATDS 99. In addition, the 4 th Infantry
Division's AFATDS hardware is scheduled for upgrade during fiscal
year 1999. FAADC2I Fielding of the FAADC2I with its first
digitized division objective software and upgraded hardware was
completed in fiscal year 1998. ASAS The ASAS has two main
components: a Remote Workstation and an Analysis Control Element.
The first digitized division requires Remote Workstations and the
Army is currently completing operational testing of these
workstations. The Army plans to field the Remote Workstation to
the 4 th Infantry Division during fiscal year 2000. While the
Analysis Control Element is not required for the first digitized
division, its operational testing is scheduled for fiscal year
2000. CSSCS The Army fielded CSSCS to the 4 th Infantry Division
in fiscal year 1996 and received approval for low- rate initial
production in fiscal year 1998. The program has a new software
release planned for fiscal year 1999. The 1999 release, version 4.
1, is scheduled for fielding to the first digitized division. ATM
The contract for the first digitized division ATM switches was
awarded in June 1998. Fielding is scheduled for March through June
of 2000. HCLOS The contract for the first digitized division HCLOS
radios was awarded in June 1998. Fielding is scheduled for April
2000. NTDR The contract option for 174 NTDR radios was awarded in
fiscal year 1998. Deliveries, including the 94 radios for the
first digitized division, are expected in fiscal year 2000. GBS
The delivery of the GBS Transportable Ground Receive Suite
terminals was delayed because the contractor's initial design
required too many terminal transit cases. The initial design,
which required 10 to 14 transit cases, was considered
operationally unsuitable. A redesign has resulted in the number of
transit cases being reduced to six for the standard configuration
and seven for the extended configuration. While there will be a

delay in the delivery of the terminals, the fielding to the first
digitized division is still expected to be completed during 2000.
SMART- T Currently, there are two Milstar satellite designs: the
low data rate version called Milstar I and the medium data rate
version called Milstar II. Through 2006, the Milstar constellation
will consist of two Milstar I satellites, which were launched in
1994 and 1995, and four Milstar II satellites, which are being
launched from fiscal years 1999 through 2002. 1 The Army needs a
medium data rate capability for the first digitized division. As a
part of the approved SMART- T acquisition strategy, the Army is
fielding SMART- Ts to the 4 th Infantry Division in fiscal year
1999 so that they will be available when the first Milstar II
satellite becomes operational. Spitfire The Army awarded the
Spitfire production contract in 1994 and will have fielded about
50 percent of its

planned 2, 402 units throughout the Army by the end of fiscal year
1999. The first digitized division units are scheduled for
fielding in fiscal year 2000. ISYSCON The Army awarded the ISYSCON
development contract in 1992 and plans to field a software version
1 to the

first digitized division in April 2000. However, a 1998 initial
operational test and evaluation identified three significant
problems: network planning, spectrum management, and network
monitoring. The system was retested at the start of fiscal year
1999 and, while some deficiencies persisted, the system was
approved for full- rate production in March. The Army plans to
begin ISYSCON fielding in fiscal year 2000.

System Acquisition status

TOC The Army awarded its TOC hardware integration contract in
February 1999. However, a competing contractor protested the
selection. The protest resulted in a stop work order to the
winning contractor in March. The program management office is
currently assessing the impact of the stop work order on the
digitization schedule. FBCB2 The acquisition status of FBCB2 has
changed significantly. The system's initial operational test and

evaluation, originally scheduled for October 1999, has been
postponed until November 2001. Despite the test restructuring, the
Army still plans to start FBCB2 production in order to field the
first digitized division by December 2000. This procurement was
projected in last year's budget request, but was to have been made

as a full- rate production decision after the October 1999 FBCB2
initial operational test and evaluation. Now, the Army plans to
proceed with low- rate initial production of 5,100 systems over a
three- year period. Approval of this acquisition strategy is
expected in August 1999. The low- rate initial production phase
decision is expected prior to the completion of the FBCB2 initial
operational test and evaluation. EPLRS The EPLRS began full- rate
production in fiscal year 1997. About 450 units have been fielded
to the 4 th (Very High Speed Infantry Division and the balance is
scheduled for fielding between March 1999 and July 2000. While
there integrated circuit, value

are no further operational tests of the EPLRS planned, additional
testing of the EPLRS is planned as part of engineering change the
FBCB2 initial operational test and evaluation. proposal)

SINCGARS The SINCGARS is in its twelfth year of production, with
over 165,000 radios fielded to date. The advanced

(Advanced system system improvement program SINCGARS is scheduled
to be fielded to the 4 th Infantry Division by December
improvement program)

1999. The advanced system improvement program SINCGARS is
scheduled for a customer test with the 82 nd Airborne Division in
fiscal year 1999 and, like EPLRS, will be evaluated as part of the
FBCB2 initial operational test and evaluation.

1 For additional information on the Milstar program, please see
our November 1998 report, Military Satellite Communications:
Concerns With Milstar's Support to Strategic and Tactical Forces
(GAO/NSIAD-99-2, Nov. 10, 1998).

Appe ndi I I x Comments From the Department of Defense Note: GAO
comments supplementing those in the report text appear at the end
of this appendix.

See comments 1 and 2.

Now on p. 16. See comment 1.

Now on p. 16. See comment 2.

The following are GAO's comments on the Department of Defense's
(DOD) letter dated July 12, 1999. GAO Comments 1. We believe that
DOD's review by the Integrated Product Team should also include
the analysis included in this report.

2. We believe that specificity and timeliness is critical to the
overall evaluation process. The Army has framed its digitization
expectations in the form of a hypothesis that, if within a
digitized force different technologies and doctrine are properly
integrated across the force, then increases in lethality,
survivability, and tempo will be gained across the

force . That hypothesis still needs to be proven. We recognize
that proving the hypothesis involves both objective and subjective
dimensions. As we recommended to the Secretary of Defense, the
Army should specify how it intends to prove the hypothesis and
build a consensus on an accepted methodology among material
developers, users, testers, those providing oversight within DOD,
and congressional decision- makers. Without an accepted
methodology, questions on the benefits of digitization will
persist. These questions, left unanswered, could weaken efforts to
provide potentially beneficial systems to soldiers as
expeditiously as possible.

Appendi I I I x GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments GAO Contact
Charles F. Rey (202) 512- 4174 Acknowledgments In addition to the
name above, Robert J. Dziekiewicz, Christopher P. Galvin, Subrata
Ghoshroy, and Paul G. Williams made key contributions to this
report .

GAO United States General Accounting Office

GAO/NSIAD-99-150

Page 1 GAO/NSIAD-99-150 Battlefield Automation United States
General Accounting Office

Washington, D. C. 20548

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Contents

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Appendix I

Appendix I Summary of Acquisition Status of High- Priority
Digitization Systems

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Appendix II

Appendix II Comments From the Department of Defense

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Appendix II Comments From the Department of Defense

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Appendix II Comments From the Department of Defense

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Appendix III

(707377) Let t e r

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