Results of Forthcoming Critical Tests Are Needed to Confirm Army Remotely Piloted Vehicle's Readiness for Production.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC NATIONAL SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIV
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For several years, the progress of the Armys remotely piloted vehicle program was slow because of relatively low funding and numerous technical problems. Better progress has been made in the past year. Several technical problems appear to be resolved, although not yet demonstrated in system flight tests. The Army has intensified the systems development and is expanding its planned role on the battlefield. This expansion is being done through several system enhancements now in development which could increase program costs well beyond the current 2.4 billion estimate. Critical system flight testing has just begun and is not due to be completed until just before the planned initial production contract award in July 1985. This schedule would require the Congress to approve production funds in 1984 before most of the critical testing is under way. It appears prudent for the Army to delay its request for initial production funds until fiscal year 1986, except for long lead items. This would delay the production of the first units by as little as 3 months and would give the Congress the benefit of critical test results before approving production funds.
- Pilotless Aircraft