Sergeant York: Concerns about the Army's Acquisition Strategy
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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The Sergeant York air defense gun system was being developed to fill a void in the Armys air defense in the forward battle area. The system was to engage enemy helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft used m close air support. It was to have a three-member crew, and its armament included twin 40-mm. radar-directed computer-controlled guns. In all, 614 gun systems were to be procured at a cost of 4.04 billion. The Sergeant York was to be acquired under an accelerated strategy, the objective being to field the weapon as quickly as possible with substantial cost savings. This accelerated approach featured parallel development by two competing contractors a skunk works approach to contracting, which gave each contractor the flexibility to trade off some requirements in order to lower costs a short combined development and operational test and a concurrent follow-on development and initial production phase. The strategy also emphasized minimum government management during system development and restricted access to contractors and contractor information to avoid leaking proprietary or competition- sensitive information and to reduce the likelihood of a protest from the contractor not selected for production.
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