Index


Battlefield Automation: Army's Restructured Land Warrior Program Needs
More Oversight (Letter Report, 12/15/1999, GAO/NSIAD-00-28).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Army's
implementation of the Land Warrior system, focusing on: (1) the status
of the system; (2) whether the level of monitoring and oversight is
sufficient based on projected Land Warrior development costs; (3) how
the Army is ensuring that Land Warrior will be able to operate with
other digitized battlefield systems; and (4) whether technical and human
factor problems still need resolution.

GAO noted that: (1) the Land Warrior system will not be fielded by
September 2000 because Land Warrior technologies could not be developed
in time; (2) the estimated cost of acquiring 34,000 units, including
research, development, test, evaluation, and procurement, has increased
from $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion; (3) although originally planning to
use only mature technologies to permit expeditious fielding, the Army's
design incorporated technologies that had to be developed specifically
for Land Warrior, the effect of which has been to extend development and
delay fielding until fiscal year 2004; (4) oversight of the Land Warrior
program is not sufficient based on its projected development costs; (5)
despite its claim that the Land Warrior is urgently needed, the Army
grouped Land Warrior with less complex and less costly acquisitions,
resulting in the program receiving routine Army attention; (6) oversight
responsibility remained unchanged despite development problems that
threatened to lengthen the acquisition schedule and the inability of
system prototypes to pass certification tests; (7) at present, Land
Warrior will not operate with a key digitized battlefield system - Force
XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below - the Army's principal digital
command and control system at and below brigade level; (8) Army
officials obtained a waiver which allowed them to defer developing the
necessary software to make Land Warrior able to interoperate with Battle
Command Brigade and Below until after the Land Warrior equipment is
fielded; (9) to be effective, Land Warrior must be able to transmit data
to and receive data from higher command levels, thereby providing the
soldier with a relevant commom picture of the battlefield and ensuring
an integrated communications link from soldier to higher command; (10)
this link as not been established; (11) according to program officials,
the waiver was needed because Land Warrior computer architecture is not
compatible with Battle Command Brigade and Below software; (12) the Land
Warrior program manager contends the most recent program revision will
achieve the desired operability, without the need for a waiver, but
concedes that considerable hardware and software development will be
needed before this can be assured; (13) the Land Warrior Program has not
resolved technical and human factor problems that may render the system
ineffective; and (14) the Land Warrior system design has not been
sufficiently field-tested to ensure that old problems have been resolved
and new ones have been avoided.

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

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-00-28
     TITLE:  Battlefield Automation: Army's Restructured Land Warrior
	     Program Needs More Oversight
      DATE:  12/15/1999
   SUBJECT:  Defense capabilities
	     Weapons research and development
	     Command and control systems
	     Army procurement
	     Combat readiness
	     Computer software verification and validation
	     Systems compatibility
IDENTIFIER:  Army Land Warrior System
	     Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment System
	     Army Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below Program
	     Army Enhanced Position Location Reporting System
	     Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System

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

December 1999

BATTLEFIELD AUTOMATION

Army's Restructured Land Warrior Program Needs More
Oversight
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GAO/NSIAD-00-28

Letter                                                                     3

Appendixes

Appendix I:Comments From the Department of Defense

                                                                         24

Appendix II:Comparison of Land Warrior Unique Developments Original Design
and Revised Design

                                                                         28

DOD     Department of Defense

Army Land Warrior Program Acquisition Strategy May Be Too Ambitious 
Department of Defense Regulation 5000.2R describes the four major
acquisition phases. The second--Program Definition and Risk Reduction--
precedes Engineering and Manufacturing Development. During this phase, the
program becomes defined as one or more concepts, design approaches, and
/or parallel technologies are considered. This phase includes assessments
of advantages and disadvantages of alternative concepts, and includes
prototyping, demonstrations, and early operational assessments as
necessary so that technology, manufacturing, and support risks are well in
hand before the next decision point. The third--Engineering and
Manufacturing Development--translates the most promising design approach
into a stable, interoperable, producible, supportable, and 
                                                     National Security and 
                                             International Affairs Division

B-281494

December 15, 1999

The Honorable Jerry Lewis
Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman:

According to the President's fiscal year 2000 budget request, the Army
plans to invest $20.8 billion in digitization over the next 6 fiscal
years. Digitization involves the application of information technologies
that enable battlefield systems to acquire, exchange, and employ timely
information throughout the battlespace. This report responds to the
Subcommittee's request that we evaluate the Army's efforts to develop and
acquire command and control systems to digitize the battlefield.
Specifically, this report addresses the Land Warrior system.

Land Warrior, with an expected cost of $2.1 billion, is the Army's key
command and control system for infantry soldiers on the digitized
battlefield. It is intended to enable the soldier to know where both
friendly and enemy soldiers are located and to facilitate communication
between the soldier and higher command levels. The system is comprised
mainly of a computer/radio, weapon, and helmet-mounted display eyepiece
that are linked together for transmission of messages (voice and data) and
imagery between soldiers and other battlefield systems. It also includes
protective clothing, body armor, and a carrying harness to support the
weight of the equipment. 

The Army set a goal of fielding Land Warrior by September 2000. As
requested, we assessed the Army's progress in implementing this system.
Specifically, we 

o identified the status of the system;

o evaluated whether the current level of monitoring and oversight is
  sufficient based on projected Land Warrior development costs;

o determined how the Army is ensuring that Land Warrior will be able to
  operate with other digitized battlefield systems; and

o assessed whether technical and human factor problems still need
  resolution.

We previously reported on this program in September 1996./Footnote1/ At
that time, we were concerned about the high risk of the acquisition
strategy in view of significant technical and human factor problems.

Results in Brief 

The Land Warrior system, which has been in development since January 1996,
will not be fielded by September 2000 because Land Warrior technologies
could not be developed in time. The estimated cost of acquiring 34,000
units, including research, development, test, evaluation, and procurement,
has increased from $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion. Although originally
planning to use only mature technologies to permit expeditious fielding,
the Army's design incorporated technologies that had to be developed
specifically for Land Warrior, the effect of which has been to extend
development and delay fielding until fiscal year 2004. 

Oversight of the Land Warrior program is not sufficient based on its
projected development costs. Department of Defense Regulation
5000.2R provides the general criteria for managing the acquisition process
for systems such as Land Warrior and requires program managers to
structure their program to reduce risk, ensure affordability, and provide
information for decision-making. In general, Department of Defense
programs that are costly, complex, and risky receive greater oversight and
program officials must provide more information for decision-making. Also,
programs with estimated research, development, test, and evaluation costs
over $355 million are to receive departmental oversight. Land Warrior's
estimate of $588.8 million meets these criteria. Despite its claim that
Land Warrior is urgently needed, the Army grouped Land Warrior with less
complex and less costly acquisitions, resulting in the program receiving
routine Army attention. Oversight responsibility remained unchanged
despite development problems that threatened to lengthen the acquisition
schedule and the inability of system prototypes to pass certification
tests. 

At present, Land Warrior will not operate with a key digitized battlefield
system--Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below--the Army's principal
digital command and control system at and below brigade level. Further,
when this capability will be incorporated into the Land Warrior system has
not been determined. In March 1999, Army officials obtained a waiver,
which allowed them to defer developing the necessary software to make Land
Warrior able to interoperate (communicate) with Battle Command Brigade and
Below until well after Land Warrior equipment is fielded. To be effective,
Land Warrior must be able to transmit data to and receive data from higher
command levels, thereby providing the soldier with a relevant common
picture of the battlefield and ensuring an integrated communications link
from soldier to higher command. This link has not been established.
According to program officials, the waiver was needed because the Land
Warrior computer architecture was not compatible with the Battle Command
Brigade and Below system software. Although the waiver is in effect, the
Land Warrior program manager contends that the most recent program
revision will achieve the desired operability without the need for a
waiver. However, he concedes that considerable hardware and software
development will be needed before this can be assured. 

The Land Warrior Program has not resolved technical and human factor
problems that may render the system ineffective. For example, problems
include overweight equipment, inadequate battery power, uncertain battery
logistics, inadequate load-carrying design and comfort, and
electromagnetic interference. Typical of the problems encountered in field
tests were those associated with the load-carrying harness. During tests,
soldiers had problems raising their heads to fire their weapons from the
prone position because the pack attached to the harness would ride up and
press against the back of their helmets. Army officials believe that the 
load-carrying system contemplated in the most recent program revision
should solve this problem. However, the current Land Warrior system design
has not been sufficiently field tested to ensure that old problems have
been resolved and new ones have been avoided.

This report contains recommendations directed at improving program
monitoring, oversight, testing, and operability with other key Army
digitized battlefield systems. 

Background

The Land Warrior system is intended to significantly improve the
lethality, mobility, survivability, command and control, and
sustainability of infantry soldiers by integrating a variety of components
and technologies. Land Warrior includes a computer/radio, software,
integrated headgear, including an imaging display, weapon subsystem, and
protective clothing and equipment to be integrated on the individual
soldier (see fig.1). When fielded, Land Warrior is expected to operate
with digitized battlefield systems, such as Force XXI Battle Command
Brigade and Below./Footnote2/ Furthermore, the Army plans to introduce
additional technologies later on to enhance the soldier's battlefield
performance.

Figure****Helvetica:x11****1:    The Land Warrior System

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Source: PM Soldier, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

In September 1996, we reported that (1) the Land Warrior program was based
on a high risk and costly acquisition strategy, (2) Land Warrior's ability
to function with other components of the digital battlefield had not been
demonstrated, and (3) technology and human factor problems needed to be
resolved. For example, the computer/radio battery provided less than 2 of
an expected 12 hours of continuous operation and the equipment weighed so
much that soldier movement was impeded and comfort compromised. At that
time, we recommended that the Secretary of the Army defer or restrict the
purchase of Land Warrior systems until the Army 

o determined the Army Acquisition Objective--that is, the total number of
  units to be acquired;

o resolved critical technical and human factor problems;

o demonstrated successful digital battlefield integration; and 

o ensured through testing that Land Warrior-equipped soldiers would
  outperform standard-equipped soldiers. 

The Army has established its acquisition objective of 34,000 systems, but
has not implemented our other recommendations. 

There have been two major revisions to the Land Warrior program, which
originally called for fielding the system in fiscal year 2000. The effect
of both the interim revision in August 1998 and the current plan,
developed in February 1999, has been to delay fielding. Land Warrior
officials have not submitted the current plan for Army Acquisition Review
Council approval. This senior-level review authority provides guidance and
recommends program revisions to the Army Acquisition Executive and Army
Vice Chief of Staff for referral to the Defense Acquisition Board. 

Program Has Not Progressed as Planned

The Land Warrior program has not progressed as planned. The program's
research, development, test, evaluation and procurement cost estimate has
increased from $1.4 billion to $2.1 billion. Fielding has been delayed
from fiscal year 2000 to fiscal year 2004. Development has been ongoing
since January 1996 and has not yet yielded workable prototypes. The Army
initially intended to use mature technologies to ensure that it could
field Land Warrior expeditiously, but it has increasingly relied on
technologies that had to be developed specifically for Land Warrior.
Problems in completing these Land Warrior-unique developments prevented
the Army from meeting its acquisition schedule and successfully developing
working prototypes. 

Testing Problems With Prototypes Led to Major Program Revisions
---------------------------------------------------------------

In April 1998, contractor-delivered Land Warrior prototypes failed several
basic certification tests that would have permitted the system to proceed
with development testing. Failed tests included an airborne certification
test, an electromagnetic interference test, and a water immersion test.
Consequently, the Army rejected the prototypes and began restructuring the
program. For example,

o The airborne certification test was to assure that soldiers could
  parachute with Land Warrior equipment. With the load-carrying design
  then being used, the containerized computer/radio could not be worn
  under the parachute. This necessitated placing the system in a bag
  tethered to the soldier and dropping it just prior to the jump.
  However, the equipment required too much space on the aircraft and was
  too rigid and heavy to maneuver comfortably. In addition, the
  prototypes experienced hardware failures from the stress induced by
  landing shock. Moreover, the Army became concerned about soldier safety
  when several soldiers became tangled in the gear when getting ready to
  jump.

o Electromagnetic interference occurs when various pieces or types of
  electrical equipment are operated in close proximity to one another.
  Land Warrior electronic emissions exceeded the military standard for
  such emissions, raising the likelihood of electromagnetic interference
  with other electrical devices. Program officials contend that
  electromagnetic interference problems are common in the development
  phase. 

o On April 30, 1998, the contractor conducted a water immersion test, one
  of the requirements of the Land Warrior system. The purpose of the test
  was to ensure that the system could be operated after exposure to the
  immersion environment typically encountered in the field. The system
  failed the test. Substantial water leakage was observed in the
  interiors of many system components, including the squad radio, soldier
  radio, computer, and Integrated Helmet Assembly Subsystem display
  components.

Program Revision Is Not Complete
--------------------------------

As of September 1999, the Land Warrior Program has been in the Engineering
and Manufacturing Development/Footnote3/ phase for 45 months. In January
1996, when Land Warrior entered Engineering and Manufacturing Development;
the Army planned to use mature technologies--technologies requiring
minimal development--to meet an urgent need to field equipment by
September 2000. However, as development proceeded, the Army moved away
from this strategy. It began pursuing technologies requiring considerable
development. Ultimately, the Land Warrior program became more
technologically challenging than the Army projected. 

In April 1998, when prototypes failed their basic certification tests, the
Land Warrior system included (1) laser range finder/digital compass, 
(2) wiring harness, (3) video sight, (4) helmet and helmet-mounted
computer display, (5) modular body armor, (6) load-carrying equipment, 
(7) computer (hardware and software), and (8) radio (leader and soldier).
All major Land Warrior subsystems featured some Land Warrior-unique
components (see app. II).

In August 1998, the Army proposed an interim strategy based on the
original design. The interim strategy would have extended development and
delayed fielding by about 15 months. However, the interim strategy was
never implemented and in January and February of 1999, the Army began
examining a new open system design strategy--one that relied more on
equipment that was either commercially available or already in military
use. Accordingly, the Army began seeking alternative approaches, with the
goal of avoiding proprietary solutions to Land Warrior development problems.

Although not yet formally approved, the Army is proceeding with its
current revision of Land Warrior, which emphasizes commercially available
technology, such as Windows-based operating system software. The plan's
features include a new load carrying harness and computer/radio subsystem
(see app. II). Land Warrior will now incorporate the same load-carrying
system being adopted by the rest of the Army, known as Modular Lightweight
Load-Carrying Equipment. This load carrying equipment is still being
tested, but it is already considered "jump-qualified," according to Army
officials. However, the new load carrying equipment configuration will
require redesign of the computer housing and various cable connectors to
the carrying frame. It also will mean that soldiers must evaluate the
form, fit, and function as they did with the previous 
load-carrying design.

The Army believes that the current revised plan, which resulted from the
process of evaluating alternative designs, requires fewer Land 
Warrior-unique developments. Program officials believe they will be better
able to decide on necessary interfaces and technical additions. The Army
plans to assume the role of systems engineer and integrator, a role that
had been initially performed by the Raytheon Corporation. Raytheon will
retain responsibility for developing the Integrated Helmet Assembly
System, laser range finder, and daylight video sight.

Program Cost Has Increased and Fielding Has Been Delayed 
---------------------------------------------------------

In November 1998, Land Warrior's estimated cost for research, development,
test, evaluation and procurement increased from 
$1.4 billion to $2.1 billion for 34,000 systems. In August 1999, the Army
reduced Land Warrior procurement funding by about $340 million because of
competing priorities and Land Warrior's development problems. At the time
of our review, the Army could not provide a reliable total program cost
estimate for the current revised program because the design is still
evolving and funding issues are not resolved. The November 1998 cost
estimate for research, development, test, evaluation, and procurement was
$2.1 billion, and total program cost was $3.5 billion. The $1.4 billion
difference represented estimated operations and maintenance cost, much of
which is for battery supplies and resupply, storage, and disposal. 

A Land Warrior Program official told us that procurement funding was to
have begun in fiscal year 2000, when the original program called for Land
Warrior fielding. However, procurement funding has been eliminated until
fiscal year 2004. Congress has already reduced Land Warrior fiscal 
year 2000 research, development, test, and evaluation funding by 
$50 million. The official said that the Army, sensitive to congressional
concerns, wants time to allow program officials to explore new technical
approaches. According to Army officials, Land Warrior will not be fielded
until fiscal year 2004, at the earliest, which is a 4-year delay from the
original milestone. 

Land Warrior Oversight Is Not Sufficient Based on Projected Costs and
Complexity

Land Warrior has not received the management monitoring and oversight
needed based on its projected development cost, complexity, and urgency of
need. Department of Defense (DOD) Regulation 5000.2R provides general
criteria for managing the acquisition process for programs such as Land
Warrior. The regulation requires program managers to structure their
program to reduce risk, ensure affordability, and provide adequate
information for decision-making. Program acquisitions are classified as
Categories I, II, or III, depending on cost and complexity. Generally, 
Category I programs are major systems that receive more scrutiny in terms
of increased oversight and monitoring, as well as requiring milestone
decisions at the DOD level./Footnote4/ Category II programs are also
considered major acquisitions, but milestone decision authority is at the
service level. Acquisition Category III programs are not considered major
systems and milestone decisions are made within the service at the lowest
appropriate level.

In general, DOD programs that are costly, complex, and risky receive
greater oversight and program officials must provide more information for
decision-making. For example, for an acquisition Category I program, the
program manager must regularly report key cost, schedule, and performance
milestones. If certain parameters are breached, the DOD acquisition
executive conducts a program review at the Vice Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff level. This review determines whether there is a
continuing need for programs that are behind schedule, over budget, or not
in compliance with performance or capability requirements. The review
results in a recommendation to the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition and Technology regarding suitable action to be taken.

The Army classified the Land Warrior Program as an acquisition 
Category III from the beginning of Engineering and Manufacturing
Development in January 1996 until January 1997. In our September 1996
report, we recommended that the program be upgraded to acquisition
Category II status because the projected cost of the program met the basic
Category II requirement at that time. The Army implemented our
recommendation in January 1997 and Land Warrior has remained in Category
II to the present. 

Land Warrior's Category II classification was not changed when development
problems threatened the acquisition schedule during the remainder of
calendar year 1997. Further, the classification was not changed after the
prototypes failed certification testing in April 1998. The most recent
research, development, test, and evaluation cost estimate of $588.8
million now exceeds the basic $355 million requirement for an acquisition
Category I. While another program classification cannot by itself resolve
technical issues or ensure better management, a Category I designation
would ensure that development problems are surfaced to higher levels of
the department. Army officials told us in November 1998 that the Army was
in the process of reclassifying Land Warrior as an acquistion Category I.
However, as of November 30, 1999, this had not been accomplished.

Land Warrior Lacks the Ability to Communicate With a Key Battlefield
Component System

Land Warrior has not demonstrated the ability to communicate with the
Army's digitization linchpin--Battle Command Brigade and Below--and it is
uncertain when this will be accomplished./Footnote5/ Similarly, Land
Warrior has not demonstrated that it can communicate with other digitized
battlefield systems, a capability needed to ensure optimum situational
awareness. For example, Land Warrior must communicate with artillery
systems to provide or receive mapping data on both enemy and friendly
positions.

Communication Ability With Battle Command Brigade and Below Has to Be
Established
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

In December 1996, the Army required that Land Warrior and other digitized
infantry platforms operate with Battle Command Brigade and Below and its
Embedded Battle Command software. Battle Command Brigade and Below is the
principal digital command and control system for the Army at brigade level
and below. Battlefield data flows between Battle Command Brigade

and Below and Land Warrior through the Tactical Internet./Footnote6/ This
provides the Army with a common picture of the battlefield. Without this
capability, Land Warrior-equipped soldiers cannot receive messages from
higher commands and will not be able to transmit critical information,
such as the sighting of an enemy tank column, to higher command. However,
Land Warrior and Battle Command Brigade and Below cannot communicate with
each other primarily because Land Warrior's computer/radio subsystem
cannot accommodate Battle Command Brigade and Below software without added
memory and associated cooling capacity. The added memory and cooling
capacity would have significantly increased weight. 

Land Warrior is a soldier-worn, battery-powered infantry-fighting system
for which weight and power are critical design parameters. In contrast,
Battle Command Brigade and Below development has largely focused on
mechanized platforms (trucks, tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, etc.) on
which the Applique computer, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio
System, and Internet Network Controller hardware are mounted and where
weight and power issues are not as challenging. According to a Land
Warrior official, the vehicle-mounted equipment would be prohibitively
heavy to carry. Soldiers must carry their own batteries and are unable to
draw operating power from vehicle generators. 

In March 1999, the Land Warrior Program obtained a waiver from the Army
Digitization Office that would postpone the need to address operability
requirements. Battle Command Brigade and Below includes Embedded Battle
Command software. Program managers of other Army systems are expected to
modify this software to interface with their systems. The waiver request
cited inconsistencies with Battle Command Brigade and Below, which
included: (1) Embedded Battle Command software did not accommodate real
time management of the system;/Footnote7/ (2) the demand for computing
resources required to meet Embedded Battle Command software implementation
exceeded available system resources and translates to increased power
consumption, weight, and cost; and 
(3) implementation of Embedded Battle Command software functionality did
not match Land Warrior requirements./Footnote8/ 

The Army Digitization Office granted the waiver subject to the approval of
a plan to integrate the system into the digitized battlefield. The plan
must address (1) Land Warrior requirements for operating with the Tactical
Internet and Battle Command Brigade and Below, (2) a technical
implementation approach for meeting the requirements (to include critical
milestones), and (3) a test strategy to demonstrate that technical
requirements are accurately implemented. As of November 30, 1999, Land
Warrior had not responded to the conditions.

Land Warrior and Battle Command Brigade and Below use different computer
operating systems, which further complicates operability. Both programs
plan to eventually use the Windows operating system, but Battle Command
Brigade and Below will not be able to use the Windows operating system
software until fiscal year 2002, at the earliest. According to Land
Warrior program officials, they have discussed the possibility of Land
Warrior funding Battle Command Brigade and Below to begin earlier movement
to Windows-based software. According to a Battle Command Brigade and Below
official, the program has not initiated an assessment of the magnitude of
this effort. 

In our opinion, ensuring that Land Warrior will operate successfully with
Battle Command Brigade and Below will be challenging. Considering that
Land Warrior funding for Battle Command Brigade and Below operability will
not be available until fiscal year 2002, it is likely that such a
demonstration is several years away. Although the program has been granted
the operability waiver, the Land Warrior program manager told us that he
wants to redesign the computer/radio subsystem and make better use of
commercially available computer technology. He believes that using
commercial software and hardware will eliminate the original need for the
waiver and reduce the cost of developing, maintaining, and upgrading the
subsystem to commercial standards. However, he concedes that considerable
hardware and software development will be needed before this can be
assured. 

Demonstration of Operability With Other Digitized Systems Is Several Years
Away 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Land Warrior's ability to function with other digitized systems was to
have been demonstrated in previously conducted Advanced Warfighting
Experiments, such as the Task Force XXI experiment in March 1997 and the
Division experiment in November 1997. However, Land Warrior prototypes
were not ready at the time and did not participate. Because of budgeting
problems, program officials were not certain about the extent to which
Land Warrior will participate in the Joint Contingency Force Advanced
Warfighting Experiment/Footnote9/ scheduled to begin in September 2000.

Technology and Human Factor Problems Remain

Certain technology and human factor problems have not been resolved. In
December 1996, the Army completed an Early Operational Experiment that
showed that power, equipment weight, and human factor issues still needed
to be addressed. Until April 1998, when the Land Warrior prototypes failed
their tests, the Army had been conducting risk reduction exercises to
resolve the problems. Although the Army has not met its equipment weight
and battery power requirements, it has made progress. Soldiers experienced
weight shifting and other comfort problems during and after an Early
Operational Experiment that were so troublesome that the Army decided to
change its load-carrying equipment configuration. Electromagnetic
interference problems happened because the original design's cable
connectors and cable shields did not prevent unacceptably high emissions. 

Equipment Weight Requirement Is Being Redefined
-----------------------------------------------

Program officials told us that the Land Warrior Operational Requirements
Document is being revised and will not specify a numeric weight
requirement. Land Warrior will replace equipment items and enhance
equipment capabilities without increasing the weight of a typical
soldier's combat load, which has been redefined as 91 pounds. The current
Land Warrior weight is about 90.5 pounds. Land Warrior officials said that
the difference from the previous requirement of 80 pounds comes as a
result of reassessing the equipment to be carried and actually weighing
instead of estimating the equipment normally carried on an extended
patrol. The new requirement will also permit the Army to accept greater
weight if it results in sufficiently improved functionality. 

Land Warrior Will Use New Load-Carrying System 
-----------------------------------------------

The initial Land Warrior load-carrying design consisted of an over-the-
shoulder and around-the-waist harness, plus accompanying backpack. Weight
distribution was centered near the middle of the back, which worked in
some situations, but not in others. For example, in Early Operational
Experiment field tests held from October through December 1996, soldiers
experienced problems lifting their heads to fire from the prone position
because the backpack would ride up and press against the rear of the
helmet. In addition, when soldiers rolled onto their backs to execute
ground maneuvers, the system's bulk held them too far from the ground,
resulting in temporary helplessness--the so-called "turtle-on-its-shell
effect." 

The Army recently decided to move to a load-carrying system called the
Modular Lightweight Load Carrying Equipment system, which shifts the
weight load to achieve more soldier comfort. According to Land Warrior
officials, initial testing has been promising. If the Modular Lightweight
Load-Carrying Equipment system becomes the load-carrying system for the
current Land Warrior revision, the waist belt will have to be redesigned
to accommodate a new computer and battery pack.

Battery Power and Logistics Remain Problematic 
-----------------------------------------------

The final power source has not yet been determined for Land Warrior and
program officials are still exploring alternatives. Land Warrior is
required to sustain continuous operations for 12 hours using battery
power. Batteries tested to date have produced about 4 or 5 hours of
continuous operations. The Army has made technological advances using
lithium-manganese batteries that, in controlled testing, have achieved the
required continuous operating times at various temperature extremes.
However, the batteries have yet to be field tested in Land Warrior or in
any totally integrated systems environment. 

Other battery issues relate to usage and replacement. Specifically, the
problems of how the Army will get the needed quantities of replacement
batteries to the field, store them until needed, and dispose of the spent
batteries have not been solved. Batteries will have to be dispensed on the
battlefield in the same manner as ammunition and food and disposed of as
hazardous material. Whatever the solution, battery logistics will be very
expensive. The Army estimates that over half the $1.4 billion of estimated
operations and maintenance costs are related to Land Warrior battery
resupply, storage, and disposal. Although the Army is considering using
rechargeable batteries for training purposes, it plans to field disposable
batteries. 

Electromagnetic Emission Problems Persist 
------------------------------------------

According to program officials, the electromagnetic emission problems are
the result of the Land Warrior's cable connector and cable shield design,
which leak too much electricity. The program manager believes that the
risk of not meeting the standard has been reduced as a result of recent
improvements to the cable connectors and cable shielding. 

Conclusions

Land Warrior is no closer to fielding today than it was when development
began in January 1996. The program has been in the Engineering and
Manufacturing Development phase for 45 months and program officials are
still evaluating alternative designs and attempting to resolve technical
problems. The Army has not demonstrated that it can deliver workable Land
Warrior prototypes that meet test requirements with the requisite safety
and comfort to the soldier. We believe that the Program Definition and
Risk Reduction phase more accurately reflects Land Warrior's status than
does the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase.

The Land Warrior program has been solely overseen by the Army even though
projected research, development, test, and evaluation costs justified DOD
oversight. We believe that Land Warrior would benefit from the higher
level departmental oversight accorded acquisition Category I systems. If
more management attention is not focused on Land Warrior, the Army may
face the same problems in fiscal year 2004 when fielding is now scheduled.

If Land Warrior/Battle Command Brigade and Below operability is not
assured before fielding, the full value of Land Warrior cannot be
realized. Land Warrior-equipped soldiers run the risk of not having the
required battlefield situational awareness and not being fully integrated
with higher command levels as currently required. Further, if Land Warrior
does not meaningfully participate in the Army's Advanced Warfighting
Experiments, the Army cannot test the system's ability to operate with
other components of the digitized battlefield. 

Land Warrior continues to be challenged by technical and human factor
issues. Although progress has been made, we believe that high priority
should be given to building fully functional prototypes that meet all
basic requirements and should include thorough field testing. Otherwise,
the Army runs the risk of costly changes after committing to production.

Recommendations

In order to ensure that Land Warrior development is completed before
systems are fielded, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army to return the Land Warrior program to the Program
Definition and Risk Reduction phase until workable prototypes are
produced. Further, we recommend that Land Warrior be 

   1.reclassified as an acquisition Category I system to ensure
         appropriate program monitoring and oversight; 

   2.required to demonstrate operability with Force XXI Battle Command
         Brigade and Below before any systems are fielded to minimize the
         risk of Land Warrior-equipped soldiers not having adequate
         battlefield situational awareness; and 

   3.required to thoroughly field test prototypes and ensure that they
         pass water immersion, electromagnetic interference, and airborne
         certification tests before any systems are fielded.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

In view of the significant changes and revised design to the Land Warrior
system, Congress may wish to consider withholding further funding until
the Army determines what it plans to develop and provides a detailed
approach, including revised cost, schedule, and performance estimates, to
acquire and field the system.

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation

In commenting on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with two of our
four recommendations. The Department's comments are included as appendix I. 

DOD did not agree with our recommendation to return Land Warrior to the
Program Definition and Risk Reduction acquisition phase, stating that
doing so would set the program back 1 to 2 years and result in increased
costs due to the delay. DOD also stated that Land Warrior has been
demonstrated successfully by field soldiers, that it is continuing its
drive to integrate off-the-shelf products, and that the program conducted
competitive prototype demonstrations of a fully integrated computer/radio
subsystem at the end of October 1999 to further improve the system--
reducing weight and costs. 

We continue to believe that Land Warrior should return to the Program
Definition and Risk Reduction acquisition phase until workable prototypes
are produced. Land Warrior development and testing results to date are
characteristic of activities in the Program Definition and Risk Reduction
acquisition phase rather than the Engineering and Manufacturing
Development phase. As defined in DOD Regulation 5000.2R, the Program
Definition and Risk Reduction acquisition phase includes prototyping,
demonstrations, and early operational assessments so that technology,
manufacturing, and support risks are well in hand before the next decision
point--Engineering and Manufacturing Development. For Land Warrior to be
legitimately in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase,
application of the same DOD regulation would require the Army to be able
to translate the most promising design approach into a stable,
interoperable, producible, supportable, and cost-effective design and to
demonstrate system capabilities through testing and prototyping. The Army
is not in such a position. Stability, interoperability, and supportability
are yet to be achieved. The Army has not produced and demonstrated any
complete and workable prototypes that meet test requirements with the
requisite safety and comfort to the soldier. However, the issue is larger
than one of categorization. Since the Army is currently exploring new
technical approaches, returning Land Warrior to the Program Definition and
Risk Reduction phase would reduce the risk of prematurely committing to an
unproven or unsupportable design. 

Further, regarding DOD's point on delay and costs caused by return to the
Program Definition and Risk Reduction phase, we note that the Land Warrior
program has already experienced substantial cost growth and a 
4-year delay from the original estimated fielding date. In addition, the
Army will need to conduct additional testing prior to production
regardless of acquisition phase. Doing so during the Program Definition
and Risk Reduction phase would provide the Army with greater flexibility
if designs need to be changed. We believe that investing in additional
development will provide greater assurance that fielded Land Warrior
systems will be cost-effective. While it is encouraging that the Army
recently found demonstrations of off-the-shelf Land Warrior components to
be successful, we believe that the unavailability of a complete Land
Warrior prototype for testing purposes supports the need for our
recommendation. 

DOD concurred with our recommendation that Land Warrior be reclassified as
an acquisition Category I system, stating that the Army has reached a
similar conclusion and is currently staffing a recommendation to do so. 

DOD did not agree with our recommendation to require that Land Warrior
demonstrate operability (interoperability) with Force XXI Battle Command
Brigade and Below before any systems are fielded. DOD stated that the
draft report we provided for comment assumes that the Land Warrior system
must run the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below application. The
Department's response stated that some Force XXI Battle Command Brigade
and Below functions are of value to the Land Warrior systems, as this
would maximize government-off-the-shelf reuse. However, it stated that the
Land Warrior system is a weapons systems first, while Force XXI Battle
Command Brigade and Below is a command and control software application. 

We believe that DOD's response indicates misunderstanding of our
recommendation. Our central issue in this recommendation focuses on
operability (interoperability), not commonality. As stated in our draft
report, if Land Warrior and Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below
interoperability is not assured before fielding, the full value of the
Land Warrior system cannot be realized. Land Warrior-equipped soldiers run
the risk of not having the required battlefield situational awareness and
not being fully integrated with higher command levels as is currently
required. While maximizing government-off-the-shelf reuse is a worthy goal
if practical, our concern is that operability of Land Warrior with 
Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below may not be assured before
fielding. In December 1996, the Army required that Land Warrior operate
with Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, and its Embedded Battle
Command software. In March 1999, the Land Warrior Program obtained a
conditional waiver from this requirement, citing fundamental
incompatibilities. The waiver was granted subject to the approval of a
plan to integrate the system into the digitized battlefield. The plan was
to address (1) Land Warrior requirements for operating with the Tactical
Internet and Battle Command Brigade and Below, (2) a technical
implementation approach for meeting the requirements (to include critical
milestones), and (3) a test strategy to demonstrate that technical
requirements are accurately implemented. As of November 30, 1999, the plan
had not been submitted for approval. Operability with Force XXI Battle
Command Brigade and Below can be achieved either by using Embedded Battle
Command software or by designing a Land Warrior-unique software
application interface. If Embedded Battle Command software is not used,
the Land Warrior-unique application must result in software that allows
the systems to work together. We have clarified our recommendation to make
clear that we are concerned about the lack of interoperability between
Land Warrior and Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below and that we
continue to feel that this interoperability needs to be demonstrated
before any systems are fielded.

DOD agreed with our recommendation that Land Warrior prototypes must be
fully tested with soldiers in field environments and that it must
successfully undergo water immersion, electromagnetic interference, and
airborne certification tests. DOD further stated that other stringent
tests by components and of the fully Land Warfare integrated system must
and will be conducted. We note that the Department's response does not
state when such testing will be completed. Our recommendation specifies
that field tests should be accomplished before any systems are fielded.

Based on the Army's negative response regarding our recommendations
concerning the proper acquisition phase for this program and the need for
interoperability with Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below, we have
added a matter for congressional consideration. We ask Congress to
consider withholding further funding until the Army determines what it
plans to develop and provides a detailed approach, including revised cost,
schedule, and performance estimates, to acquire and field the system.

Scope and Methodology 

To identify the status of the Land Warrior program, we interviewed
responsible officials, collected pertinent documentation, and analyzed
plans from both DOD and the Army. In the course of our work, we also
visited the Program Manager-Soldier and Program Manager-Land Warrior at
Fort Belvoir, Virginia; and the U.S. Army Soldier Biological and Chemical
Command, Natick, Massachusetts. With Army officials, including those from
the Training and Doctrine Command System Manager for Land Warrior and the
Combat Development Division, U.S. Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia,
we discussed the status of the Army's revised Land Warrior acquisition
strategy, including the program events that necessitated the
restructuring, alternative developments, and design strategies. We also
reviewed plans for low-rate initial production, and revised fielding
schedules. Additionally, we analyzed changes to the cost, schedule, and
performance milestones.

To evaluate whether the current level of program monitoring and oversight
is appropriate, we interviewed responsible officials in DOD and the Army
and reviewed Land Warrior program documentation, including program cost
estimates and DOD and Army acquisition regulations. In the course of this
work, we also visited the Program Manager-Soldier and Program Manager-Land
Warrior at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. We also discussed related matters with
officials from the DOD Office of the Director, Test Systems Engineering
and Evaluation, and Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation.

To determine how the Army is ensuring that Land Warrior will operate with
other command and control systems, particularly Battle Command Brigade and
Below, we reviewed Land Warrior program interoperability requirements with
Army officials, the Land Warrior prime contractor--Raytheon Corporation in
El Segundo, California, and subcontractor officials. We reviewed the
Army's plan for obtaining a waiver from using the Battle Command Brigade
and Below Embedded Battle Command software and assessed its impact on
interoperability. We visited the above facilities and also witnessed a
Land Warrior/ Battle Command Brigade and Below interoperability
demonstration at the Land Warrior contractor software test facility,
Fullerton, California.

To assess the technical and human factor problems requiring resolution
before the Army makes a production decision, we discussed related
technical issues with Army program officials. We also discussed test and
evaluation issues with DOD officials from the Director of Operation, Test,
and Evaluation and Director Test Systems Engineering and Evaluation, and
the Army's Operational Test and Evaluation Command and Test and
Experimentation Command, as well as contractor personnel. We reviewed the
results of the Early Operational Experiment conducted from October to
December 1996 and the ensuing risk-reduction exercises. We also reviewed
the Army's plans for addressing outstanding technical and human factor
problems prior to entering production. 

We performed our review from November 1998 through November 1999 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

We are sending copies of this report to Representative John Murtha,
Ranking Minority Member, Subcommittee on Defense, House Committee on
Appropriations; C.W. Bill Young, Chairman, and Representative David Obey,
Ranking Minority Member, House Committee on Appropriations; Senator Ted
Stevens, Chairman, and Senator Robert C. Byrd, Ranking Minority Member,
Senate Committee on Appropriations; and other interested congressional
committees. We are also sending copies to the Honorable William Cohen,
Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Louis Caldera, Secretary of the Army;
General James L. Jones, Commandant of the Marine Corps; and the Honorable
Jacob Lew, Director, Office of Management and Budget. Copies will also be
made available to others upon request.

If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact Charles F.
Rey at (202) 512-4174 or Arthur S. Fine at (617) 565-7571. A key
contributor to this report was Joseph Rizzo, Jr.

Sincerely yours,

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Allen Li
Associate Director
Defense Acquisitions Issues

--------------------------------------
/Footnote1/-^(GAO/NSIAD-96-190, Sept.11, 1996).
/Footnote2/-^Acquisition Issues Facing the Army Battle Command, Brigade
  and Below Program (GAO/NSIAD- 98-140, June 30, 1998).
/Footnote3/-^cost-effective design and demonstrates system capabilities
  through testing and prototyping.
/Footnote4/-^The Secretary of Defense also has the authority to delegate
  this oversight.
/Footnote5/-^In September 1996, we reported that Land Warrior had not
  demonstrated its ability to function with other components of the
  digitized battlefield, including Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and
  Below.
/Footnote6/-^The Tactical Internet is a radio network comprising the
  Enhanced Position Location Reporting System and the Single Channel
  Ground and Airborne Radio System. When platforms are connected through
  the Tactical Internet, commanders at all levels of the Army's Battle
  Command System receive data needed for battlefield situational awareness
  and command and control decisions.
/Footnote7/-^This refers to the ability to preempt and prioritize
  processes so critical messages have system priority over noncritical
  messages.
/Footnote8/-^For example, the Embedded Battle Command Communications
  Manager module works with a vehicle-mounted Single Channel Ground and
  Airborne Radio System--System Improvement Program or Enhanced Position
  Location Radio System. It does not provide the necessary interface or
  control to soldier-worn Land Warrior Single Channel Ground and Airborne
  Radio System--System Improvement Program compatible radio or the Land
  Warrior squad radio. The Command and Control message parser module does
  not address all the message requirements of the Land Warrior system.
/Footnote9/-^The purpose of the Joint Contingency Force Advanced
  Warfighting Experiment is to improve the warfighting capability for
  light contingency forces by determining which new systems or linkages
  improve battlefield communication and increase the lethality and
  survivability of the forces.

COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
=======================================

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The following are GAO's comments on the Department of Defense's letter
dated November 30, 1999.

GAO Comments

   1.    Our report recognizes that the Army has begun examining a new
         open system design strategy--one that relies more on equipment
         that was either commercially available or already in military
         use. However, we also indicate that, at the time of our review,
         such a strategy was not yet formally approved. While we are
         encouraged that the Army recently found demonstrations of off-the-
         shelf Land Warrior components to be successful, we note that the
         unavailability of a complete prototype for testing purposes
         reinforces our position regarding returning Land Warrior to the
         Program/Risk Reduction acquisition phase.

   2.Although DOD concurred with our recommendation that Land Warrior be
         designated an acquisition Category I system, we remain concerned
         that this has yet to be accomplished. When we began our work in
         December 1998, we were told that the Land Warrior program was in
         the process of being designated a Category I system. 

   3.We are concerned that operability of Land Warrior with Force XXI
         Battle Command Brigade and Below be assured before fielding. The
         waiver granted to the Army postponed the need to address
         operability requirements. The waiver was granted subject to the
         approval of a plan to integrate the system into the digitized
         battlefield. Such a plan would include Land Warrior requirements
         for operating with Tactical Internet and Force XXI Battle Command
         Brigade and Below. As of November 30, 1999, the waiver conditions
         had not been met.

COMPARISON OF LAND WARRIOR UNIQUE DEVELOPMENTS ORIGINAL DESIGN AND REVISED
DESIGN
===========================================================================

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
| System/component       : Original design: Revised design              |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Software               :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                        : Land Warrior   : Land Warrior unique but     |
| Program language       : unique         : minimized with emphasis     |
|                        :                : on commercial and           |
|                        :                : customized software         |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Software operating    :                :                             |
| system                 :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                        :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Weapon Subsystem       :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Weapon                :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Laser rangefinder     : Land Warrior   : Land Warrior unique         |
| and digital compass    : unique         :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Wiring harness        : Land Warrior   : Land Warrior unique         |
|                        : unique         :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Video sight           : Land Warrior   : Land Warrior unique         |
|                        : unique         :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Thermal Weapon Sight  :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Close Combat Optic    :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Laser Aiming Light    :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                        :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Integrated Helmet      :                :                             |
| Assembly Subystem      :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Helmet                : Land Warrior   : Considering Standard Army   |
|                        : unique         : helmet or variant           |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Helmet display        :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Day/night sensor w/   :                :                             |
| display                :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                        :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Personal Clothing and  :                :                             |
| Individual Equipment   :                :                             |
|                        :                :                             |
|                        :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Modular body armor    : Land Warrior   : Adopting Marine/Army        |
|                        : unique         : Program body armor          |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                        : Land Warrior   : Adopting Marine/Army load   |
| Load carrying equipment: unique         : carrying equipment and      |
|                        :                : adapting for Land Warrior   |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Nuclear, Biological,  :                :                             |
| Chemical Suit          :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Ballistic Laser Eye   :                :                             |
| Protection             :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                        :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
| Computer Radio         :                :                             |
| Subsystem              :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Computer              : Land Warrior   : Commercial item             |
|                        : unique         :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Soldier radio         : Land Warrior   : Commercial Wireless         |
|                        : unique         : Network Card Radio          |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Leader radio          : Land Warrior   : Repackaged Army radio or    |
|                        : unique         : commercial radio            |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Global Positioning    :                :                             |
| System                 :                :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  System Control Module : Land Warrior   : Land Warrior unique         |
|                        : unique         :                             |
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
|  Hand held display     : Land Warrior   : Commercial touchscreen      |
|                        : unique         :                             |
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 (707393)

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