Department of the Army Historical Summary: FY 1976
Research, Development, and Acquisition
The Army maintained a strong research, development, testing, and evaluation (RDT&E) program during the period of this report to sustain the total materiel acquisition process and to assure that the American soldier was equipped and supported with modern weapons of high quality. The escalating cost of new weapons systems and the competition of other national priorities for adequate funding did not however, abate. To meet this challenge the Army placed a premium on efficiency in RDT&E management and materiel purchasing.
Budget and Management
The president’s fiscal year 1976 budget requested $2,181.7 million for the Army’s RDT&E program; however, Congress reduced the amount to $1,970.4 million, which consisted of $1,853 million in research and development and $117 million in operational systems development. The congressional cutbacks resulted in modifications to a number of development programs, involving weapons, intelligence and communications, and research in the areas of manpower and human resources. In addition, the Department of Defense deferred a number of projects dealing with advanced forward area air defense, the ballistic missile defense advanced technology program, site defense, surface-to-air missiles, surveillance, target acquisition, and night observation, and major range and test facilities.
Based upon fiscal guidance provided by the Army’s Budget Review Committee, the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Acquisition limited its funding request for fiscal year 1977 to $2,501 million; the office also submitted several unfunded requirements to the committee and requested that they be funded. The Army’s Budget Review Committee responded by raising the funded figure to $2,560 million, which was included in the Army’s budget submission to the Department of Defense, but program and budget decisions by Defense and the Office of Management and Budget reduced the request to $2,376 million. In the fiscal year 1977 Department of Defense Appropriation Act, Congress provided $2,280.8 million in appropriations and $9.9 million for RDT&E surcharges on foreign military sales.
Before the end of the reporting period, work on the fiscal year 1978 RDT&E budget request was well under way. In September 1976, the
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Acquisition submitted a request of $2,740 million to the budget committee for review.
Congress authorized $25.5 million for military construction in support of the RDT&E program for fiscal year 1976, but appropriated only $13.9 million for this purpose. Major projects funded were an animal research isolation facility at Aberdeen Proving Grounds ($7 million) and mobile optical equipment sites at White Sands Missile Range ($2.3 million). The Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Fort Rucker, Alabama, a $9.1 million project, was authorized but not funded.
Based upon planning and programming guidance furnished by the Defense Department in early February 1976, the Army developed a Program Objective Memorandum that included the following amounts for research, development, testing, and evaluation:
1976 Transition Quarter
Amount (in millions of dollars)
For some time the project manager has been a principal in developing new weapons systems. Usually a colonel or a general officer, the project manager has been able to expedite the timely and economical development and delivery of weapons systems. Project managers also handle other complex programs, such as foreign military sales, materiel standardization, and expansion of the production base. Recently, the Army took a number of steps to improve the attractiveness of a career in project management. Selection of project managers is now handled in much the same way as officers are selected for troop command positions or promotion, and the position was raised to the equivalent of brigade command. The Army has also established a Project Manager Development Program to prepare officers for this level of responsibility by pointing them toward jobs in project managers’ offices, research and development agencies, and positions related to materiel acquisition.
Cost reduction in materiel development was the major theme of sixteen senior-level seminars conducted for Defense and private industry managers during the spring of 1976. Specifically, the seminars focused on requirements, program strategies and constraints, cost and schedule estimating, selection of contractors, and contract implementation and management. They succeeded in bringing to the forefront policy and management deficiencies and the need for an early awareness of technical problems. The lessons learned and management techniques derived from the seminars should improve the Army’s materiel acquisition process and provide better and less expensive equipment for the American soldier.
To help keep costs in line the Army used the Total Risk Assessing Cost Estimate, which assured more thorough consideration of risk and uncertainty in estimating costs. The technique was applied to all major development programs, with the result that ten fiscal year 1977 and nineteen fiscal year 1978 cost estimates have been revised.
The Modernized Army Research and Development System began prototype evaluation tests, which should be completed during the first half of fiscal year 1977. It will provide research and development managers at all levels with performance, schedule, and resource information.
On 14 April 1976, the research and development element of the Army staff directed the Army Research Development and Acquisition Information Systems Agency to begin work on a new system. Called the Standard Army Research, Development, and Acquisition System, it will provide comprehensive information to support the full range of Army programs in the areas of research, development, testing, evaluation, and acquisition. It will integrate and improve Army automated data systems used in the development of the cycle for the planning, programming, and budgeting system. In addition, it will identify alternatives for allocating funds with regard to appropriations, functional areas, priority categories, individual projects, and procurement line items.
Research and Technology
During the past year the Army supported programs covering a wide range of disciplines involving basic and applied research, exploratory development, and a limited amount of advanced development. The objective of these programs was to expand the science and technology base and provide the building blocks for new and improved weapons, systems, materiel items, and methodologies.
The Army published the first edition of the Science and Technology Objective Guide (STOG) in May 1976 to provide governmental, industrial, and educational research facilities with a single source of guidance for developing science and technology programs that meet Army needs and priorities. It will also enhance communication between those facilities and Army operational agencies, and help management measure progress in the science and technology base. The guide is to be revised annually and will replace all other Army research requirement documents. The Army Scientific Advisory Panel met in July 1976 and examined the relationship between the STOG and Army laboratories, specifically seeking to determine whether the laboratories’ technological research would lead to desired system capabilities. The results of this effort will be included in the next edition of the guide.
A part of the military engineering research and development program during the past year was obtaining the technology needed to develop
components for the Army Terrain Information System (ARTINS), an automated system that will provide rapid and accurate terrain intelligence to commanders in the field. Research was centered at the Army’s Engineer Topographic Laboratories. This system will be tied in to the corps-level Tactical Operations System and will draw information from a continuously updated data base through a number of specialized programs, each of which would deal with a specific item of intelligence, including cross-country speed, line of sight, cover and concealment, and fields of fire.
The ARTINS cross-country speed prediction program will incorporate computer aided terrain mobility analysis techniques that the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station has developed. These techniques can provide cross-country speed predictions based upon terrain testing, vehicle identity, and weather conditions. Under the ARTINS adaptation, a tactical mobility problem would be fed into a corps- or division-level computer. A graphic response on a high-speed printer would then be fed through a high-speed copier to produce transparent overlays for military maps. Use of a cathode-ray tube would provide even more rapid displays.
The Engineer Topographic Laboratories also demonstrated the feasibility of a digital data editing system that can eliminate up to seven-eighths of the editing time required in the production or revision of topographic maps. Known as DIODE, for digital input/output display equipment, the system was installed at the Defense Mapping Agency Topographic Center, where it will undergo engineer and service tests.
During the year, Army scientists evaluated commercially available remote ceiling and visibility sensors under various atmospheric conditions to determine their utility in meeting the Army’s need for such a device to support both low-flying, close-support, fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft operations and artillery operations. The evaluators determined that the commercial products were too large and too costly and that an AN/GVS-S laser range finder modified to perform measurements of cloud heights would be a better alternative. By 30 September 1976 the Atmospheric Science Laboratory and the Combat Surveillance and Target Acquisition Laboratory had completed design work on the modified range finder, and construction of a model was under way.
In other atmospheric science matters, tests conducted during the year showed that polar orbiting meteorological satellites gave more precise vertical temperature radiometer data on upper wind fields to calculate nuclear fallout winds from satellites system to bring this prediction capaparachute from high-altitude balloons. The Army has begun work on the nuclear fallout winds from satellites system to bring this prediction capa-
bility to the field commander; also, a new cloud-screening system moved from exploratory to advanced development.
In its research on bulk explosives, the Army concentrated on defining system concepts for requirements such as a conventional alternative to the atomic demolition munition, and it reviewed the current status of commercial explosives development as well. The Engineer Waterways Experiment Station conducted tests in various climate and soil conditions to determine spacing, depth of burial, and size of charges required to provide the most efficiency in antitank ditching. All work was under the Military Engineering Applications of Commercial Explosives program. A technology transfer report on antitank ditching with explosives got under way, with completion expected in December 1976.
In the civil works area, ice engineering research activities during the reporting period included an extension of field and laboratory tests on techniques for deicing lock walls. Test results indicate that the use of a chemical coating on the lock walls will provide an effective means of deicing, as will the use of ice booms. Construction of the $6.7 million Ice Engineering Facility at the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, New Hampshire, continued. The facility, which is scheduled for completion in December 1978, will include a refrigerated test basin, a recirculating refrigerated flume, and a large cold room. The facility will provide for the first time a controlled environment in which a variety of solutions to ice problems can be simulated without resorting to costly field evaluations.
Highlighting the Army’s Human Resources Research Program during the reporting period was the initiation of a major field test to determine whether the number of female soldiers in a military unit had a measurable impact on unit performance. Work continued on a joint human resources and medical research effort related to helicopter aviation. New research will emphasize subjects related to unit training and the role of women in the Army.
The two aircraft research projects involving the Army and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration moved forward during the year. Additional components of the XV-15, tilt rotor research aircraft, were built and tested, and the first prototype XV-15 was transported to the Bell Helicopter Textron flight test facility for completion of assembly and integrated systems testing. The first rotor systems research aircraft was ready for testing on 7 June 1976. Readiness reviews for helicopter flight tests and escape system sled tests were finished, and the first of five escape system sled tests was completed on 22 September 1976.
Flight testing of the XH-59, advancing blade aircraft, resumed during the year. The tests confirmed certain advantages and shortcomings of the advancing blade concept, which is a coaxial counterrotating, hinge-
less rotor system. The aircraft control system was quite responsive, noise levels were low, retreating blade stall was virtually eliminated, and hover performance was improved by the absence of a tail rotor. Structural loads in the rotor and control system ranged from low to moderate and indicated potential for substantial weight reduction. Weak directional control power in partial power descents and autorotation was observed. In future testing, improvements in autorotation directional control at low collective settings and high flare angles will be emphasized.
In the area of avionics, attention centered on efforts to improve nap-of-the-earth (NOE) operations, especially at night and under adverse weather conditions. At the close of the reporting period plans were under way to test a number of alternatives that showed promise of improving NOE communications. The Laser Obstacle Terrain Avoidance Warning System came through flight testing successfully during the year. Meanwhile, the AN/ASN-128 Doppler navigation subsystem, which will be used in the utility tactical transport aircraft system and in AH-15 helicopters, neared the end of competitive engineering development.
Also successfully completed during the past year was the small turbine advanced gas generator program, which developed gas generator technology for advanced aircraft engines and auxiliary power units in the 200 to 800 shaft horsepower (SHP) range. All technical objectives were met or exceeded. In a related development, a program was started for an 800 SHP advanced technology demonstrator engine that will provide significant improvements in fuel consumption and horsepower and will be less vulnerable and easier to produce and maintain. Development contracts were also awarded for advanced transmission components for 1980-90 aircraft.
The Army made a number of gains in developing aircraft survivability equipment during 1 July 1975-30 September 1976. These included painting approximately 1,400 aircraft with a new, low-reflectance paint, approval of low-glint canopies for observation and attack helicopters, and the development and operational testing of infrared suppressors for OH-58 observation helicopters and RU-21 fixed-wing aircraft. A number of items dealing with aircraft electronic warfare self-protection were in various stages of advanced or engineering development, including optical warning location and detection devices, infrared jammers for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, a lightweight radar jammer for helicopters, general purpose chaff and flare dispensers for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, and the missile launch detector system. The Army added two new electronic warfare equipment items to its inventory during the past year: the AN/APR-39(V) 1 radar warning receiver for helicopters and the AN/ALR-46 radar warning receiver for fixed-wing aircraft, which the Air Force procured for the Army.
During the past year flight tests were completed on an all-composite, multitubular spar for the AH-1G’s main rotor blade. Simulated tests using a helicopter equipped with an advanced cyclic electrothermal rotor blade system were conducted on the Canadian National Research Council’s Ottawa spray rig, and prototype development was begun on synthetic and operations flight training simulators for the CH-47 cargo helicopter (2B31), the AH-1 attack helicopter (2B33), and the UH-60 utility tactical transport aircraft system (2B38).
Improvements were made in the way of airdrop equipment. Installation of an anti-inversion modification on the Army’s main personnel parachutes, TIO and MCl-1, was well under way. Eighty percent of all field stocks were modified during fiscal year 1976. With this change the Army expects to correct a malfunction that accounted for 95 percent of all parachute failures. A Dragon missile jump pack prototype has been developed that allows the paratrooper to use both the Dragon and his M16 rifle immediately upon landing. A rigging system was also developed during the past year that allows airdrop of supplies and equipment to Navy ships at sea.
The Army’s tactical nuclear weapons modernization program included a number of projects to improve NATO’s nuclear forces. The new eight-inch nuclear projectile, keystone of the modernization program, was a joint Army and Energy Research and Development Administration undertaking. The projectile will be able to destroy company-size armored formations. During the past year, the Energy Research and Development Administration completed successful structural and functional firings of the warhead and the firing of set designs and also confirmed the safety of the projectile. In another project the Army determined that there was a need for a 155-mm. nuclear projectile for use with new NATO and U.S. howitzers of extended range. The Army also started modernization projects for the Lance and Pershing missiles.
In the field of electronic warfare, engineering development of several systems neared completion and were scheduled to begin Phase II, operation and development testing. The antiradiation missile program was expanded to include development of generic antiradiation missile seekers and field test instrumentation for antiradiation missile tests.
The first field test of the Tactical Operations System was begun in March 1976, but was suspended in mid-April because of the problems encountered in the software. Since that time emphasis has been placed on correcting deficiencies in preparation for a resumption of software and hardware integration testing.
The problems that had beset the development of the Dragon night sight (AN/TAS-5) were alleviated as the redesign of the system’s inte-
grated sight and tracker device neared completion. In other night-vision actions, the TOW (AN/TAS-4) performed well during Phase II development testing, the long-range night observation device began the second phase of development and operational testing, prototypes of the tank infrared elbow were fabricated, and a production plan was approved for infrared common modules that should reduce development and production costs for both man-portable and vehicular infrared systems. For image intensification devices, production was under way for a number of second-generation systems that use microchannel plates, which are smaller and lighter than their predecessors.
Following the completion of competitive testing, Hughes Aircraft Company received the contract for producing the artillery locating radar (AN/TPQ-37). The company also completed all five engineering development models of the mortar locating radar (AN/TPQ-36). Product qualification testing at Yuma Proving Ground was successfully completed on four of the five models. Comparative test and evaluation of the AN/TPQ-36 and the Marine Corps hostile weapons locating system was conducted and the Marine Corps decided to terminate the project.
In other actions related to command, control, and surveillance, the Stand-Off Target Acquisition System continued to perform well under a variety of test situations, and plans for an expedited program to provide interim equipment for Europe were being prepared. The Air Defense Command and Control System (AN/TSQ-73) was installed at the Air Defense School for training and for joint testing of the Tactical Air Control Systems/Tactical Air Defense Systems, and a new digital message device was developed for the Tactical Fire Direction System.
The advanced attack helicopter (AAH), a twin engine, single rotor helicopter designed specifically for use against tanks, remained one of the Army’s high-priority items. Contractors completed developmental flight tests on the AAH airframe, and four prototype aircraft were delivered to the Army in May 1976. Competitive testing was completed in September and selection of a winner was expected in December.
In February 1976, the Defense System Acquisition Review Council approved the full-scale development of the Hellfire modular missile system as the primary antitank weapon on the advanced attack helicopter. This decision followed cost and operational effectiveness analyses that indicated an advanced attack helicopter armed with the Hellfire missile would be more effective than one armed with the TOW. Following the review council decision for the Hellfire missile development, a request for proposals was released. Proposals from Hughes Aircraft Company and Rockwell International were under evaluation at the close of the reporting period.
After slightly less than four years of development and approximately 700 hours of contractor flight testing, the Army accepted the Boeing Vertol and Sikorsky utility tactical transport aircraft system prototypes for competitive evaluation on 20 March 1976. During the flight evaluation, which will continue through November 1976, the Army’s attention will focus on operational suitability and logistic support of the prototypes. A Source Selection Evaluation Board composed of approximately 150 military and civilian members convened in May to evaluate production proposals submitted by two competing companies. Test data and results from the four-year development phase and the competitive test phase are being used by the Source Selection Board in analyzing the proposals. Field testing of the General Electric T-700 engine, which will power both the utility tactical transport aircraft and the advanced attack helicopter, continued to show good results.
Other new Army aircraft development programs did not fare so well during the past year. Efforts to establish an advanced scout helicopter (ASH) program first met with delays. Then Congress declined to provide fiscal year 1977 funding for the project, which led to the closing down of the ASH Project Manager’s Office on 30 September 1976. Fabrication of a heavy lift helicopter prototype continued.
The program to modify 290 AH-1G Cobras to the Cobra/TOW configuration and the procurement program for 305 new Cobra/TOW (AH-1S) aircraft made good progress. Milestones reached in the modification program included completing the initial production test, fielding of support equipment, and training of personnel, all in January 1976; deploying the modified aircraft to Europe in February; attaining a production goal of fifteen aircraft per month in April; and completing an accelerated 600-hour reliability, availability, and maintainability test in May. A procurement contract for the AH-1S aircraft was awarded in December 1975, first flight with the improved main rotor blade was conducted in July 1976, and development contracts for an improved turret and a wing stores management and remote set fusing system were let in June 1976.
The Defense System Acquisition Review Council reviewed the CH-47 modernization program in October 1975 and approved a program to design, test, and flight-qualify three prototype aircraft. After increased funding had been approved, the Army awarded an engineering development contract to Boeing Vertol in June 1976. Preliminary and critical design reviews were conducted on schedule, and at the close of the reporting period work was proceeding on design of the transmissions, hydraulic, and flight control systems.
Regarding new components for the TOW system, Texas Instruments received a contract in October 1975 for engineering development of the
TOW thermal night sight. Development continued on an improved TOW vehicle and cover to protect the weapon and crew against artillery fragments and small arms fire.
McDonnell Douglas received a high-rate production contract for the Dragon missile system in August 1975, and other firms signed contracts for Dragon day trackers and missiles. In other Dragon matters, engineering development of a second-generation thermal night sight, the Night Tracker, began in late September 1976, a requirement for a viscous-damped mount to improve Dragon accuracy was established and development of a new launch simulator for training got under way.
Following successful proof of principal flight tests and favorable reviews by the Army and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the SAM-D missile program once again entered full-scale engineering development. In May 1976 the revived program took on a new name—Patriot. A major modification to the Patriot contract in August 1976 authorized completion of full-scale engineering development at an additional cost of $425 million. Shipment of the first tactical prototype Patriot fire control section from the contractor to White Sands Missile Range was completed in June, with the equipment performing successfully in search and track missions against a manned aircraft.
The improved Chaparral missile entered production during the past year, and two additional improvements, an electronic target identification device and a smokeless missile motor, were on schedule and within cost estimates. A project to reduce sun glint given off by the transparent canopy that protects the gunner got started, but was later terminated because of funding restraints and indications that the problem was not as severe as originally believed. The Army also completed plans to demonstrate an all-weather version of Chaparral.
In other missile matters the Vice Chief of Staff approved twelve new product improvements for the Hawk missile in April 1976, the Pershing II development program continued on schedule, the Stinger air defense missile neared the end of a highly successful engineering development, and the nonnuclear Lance program progressed. High costs associated with developing the Roland missile led to a review of the program and a renegotiation of the development contract. By the end of September 1976, work on the Roland was progressing satisfactorily and was holding to new development cost projections of $265 million.
Testing of XM1 tank prototypes during the February-May 1976 demonstrated that both the Chrysler and General Motors models met or exceeded Army requirements. In accordance with agreements between the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany and with NATO standardization policy, the Army postponed selection of a winner until
it had completed an investigation of concepts incorporating selected components of the German Leopard 2 tank into the XM1.
The program to make the M48 tank look like and fight like the M60 tank continued, and, by the end of September 1976, 401 M48’s had been converted to the new M48A5 configuration. Preliminary study, design, fabrication, and testing of forty-nine improvements for the M551 tank were completed, and contracts for the improvements kits were awarded. The Army also signed contracts for laser range finders and solid state ballistic computers that will be placed in the M60A1 tank, which will be redesignated the M60A3. Test results and cost effectiveness analyses indicate that these two improvements, along with the addition of new, passive night sights, will increase the M60’s fighting capability by over 30 percent.
The mechanized infantry combat vehicle (MICV) program continued in engineering development throughout the reporting period. Difficulties with the transmission were not resolved, and the backup Allison transmission moved into consideration as an alternative to the problem-plagued General Electric transmission. A special task force, convened at the direction of the Secretary of the Army to review the project, confirmed the need for the infantry combat vehicle, but recommended that command and control of the vehicle be placed in a separate, two-man weapon station. These recommendations, which would permit the use of a common vehicle for MICV command and control and for reconnaissance operations, will be presented to the Secretary of the Army for approval early in fiscal year 1977.
During the year, the Army established the requirement for the development of a new medium-caliber air defense gun that would be able to move with and provide close air defense support for armor and mechanized forces. The new gun would be fielded in the 1980’s and would be organic to all Army divisions, except airmobile and airborne divisions, which will retain an improved Vulcan air defense gun.
Following a general officer review in February 1976, the Army decided to extend development of the XM204 light towed 105-mm. howitzer for one more year to insure that the hop and side slope problems observed during operational testing had been eliminated. The validity of a 105-mm. howitzer was confirmed by another general officer review in August 1976; however, the following month a study was begun to determine what type of light unit direct support weapon will be needed in the future.
In other howitzer matters, the XM198 medium towed 155-mm. howitzer remained in the second phase of development testing. Minor problems and defects in the traversing and elevating mechanisms were corrected. Overall performance was good and a general officer review
in August 1976 recommended that the howitzer be type classified. The M110E2 heavy self-propelled eight-inch howitzer was redesignated the M110A1 and adopted as standard in March 1976; in September, Watervliet Arsenal completed the first production run of the new cannon. Development of a muzzle brake and reduced flash propellant for use with the M110A1 began during the year.
The Copperhead, a terminally guided 155-mm. projectile designed to provide field artillery units additional capability to destroy stationary and moving hard-point targets, underwent a number of design changes during engineering development. These included the addition of folding wings that permit the projectile to fly under relatively low cloud cover and maneuver toward a target and the use of plastic components rather than metal ones wherever possible. The Copperhead is being developed so that it can be fired like any other artillery ammunition. For this reason, howitzer crews will not need additional training.
With regard to scatterable mines, the artillery-delivered antipersonnel mine was accepted for Army use and entered production. Development of the artillery-delivered antitank mine continued, and test firings of dummy rounds and reliability tests on mine components were started. The ground-emplaced mine scattering system completed engineer, design tests, and prototypes of the dispenser were fabricated. The development program for the Gator mine, which includes an air-delivered antitank and antipersonnel mine, was transferred from the Air Force to the Army by the Department of Defense; design concepts have been developed, and test hardware has been procured.
In other development matters, Phase II operational and development tests were completed for the lightweight company mortar system, and development of the XM235 squad automatic weapon continued to make good progress.
International Research and Development
On 1 July 1975, responsibility for day-to-day management of international research and development matters was transferred from the Army staff to what is now the Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development, and Acquisition retained responsibility for international military research and development matters and provided the Development and Readiness Command with policy guidance for overseeing the program.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took several initiatives during the year in the area of standardization. An Ad Hoc Committee on Interoperability was created to pursue standardization in tactical communications, cross servicing, tank gun ammunition, and fuels
and to implement NATO standardization agreements. An Armaments Standardization and Interoperability Division was also established to promote standardization and interoperability. NATO endorsed a plan to study and develop a periodic armaments planning system to insure the interoperability of future equipment. As a starting point for the study, NATO members were invited to submit a tentative list of their national plans for main armaments procurement over the next five years in an effort to develop an integrated equipment replacement schedule.
Cooperative research and development within NATO during the past year has resulted in encouraging progress in a number of key programs. The United States and the Federal Republic of Germany are conducting bilateral studies on the future role of surface-to-air missiles with the aim of achieving interoperability and standardization of future ground-based air defense weapons. The United States is currently testing subsystems of the German Leopard 2 to achieve maximum standardization between the Leopard 2 and the XM1. In mid-1976 the United States entered into separate agreements with Germany and Great Britain to follow up the 1975 Tank Main Armament Evaluation Program with further tests of 105-mm. and 120-mm: tank guns; the United States is also participating in a NATO small arms test and evaluation program to select a second NATO standard cartridge and standard rifle. American 155-mm. howitzer projectiles and propellants currently under development are being designed to conform to the standards set forth in a standardization Memorandum of Understanding ratified by the United States, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy.
Outside NATO, the Army gave Australia a prototype XM204 towed 105-mm. howitzer and an XM198 towed 155-mm. howitzer for testing and evaluation. Indications to date are that the Australians have been impressed with their performance and may wish to procure either or both to modernize their field artillery.
President Ford requested $362.3 million for Army aircraft procurement in his fiscal year 1976 budget message to Congress. Of this amount, $122 million was for new aircraft, $127.7 million for modifications, $54.2 million for spare and repair parts, and $58.4 million for support equipment and facilities. For the period 1 July-30 September 1976, the president requested $59.4 million under the Aircraft Procurement, Army, appropriation. Major procurement actions taken during the period included a December 1975 contract for thirty-eight new AH-15 Cobra/
TOW helicopters and a July 1976 contract for twenty-two more. A contract for two UV-18A’s, Twin Otter aircraft, was awarded in January 1976. The UV-18A was procured off-the-shelf for the Army National Guard in Alaska to provide year-round command, administrative, and logistic support between the 1st and 2d Scout Battalion headquarters and remote villages throughout western and northern Alaska.
The president’s fiscal year 1976 budget proposed $460.8 million for Army missile procurement. From this request Congress deleted $34.2 million—$6 million from the Hawk procurement request, $1 million from Lance, $3.4 million from the AN/TSQ-73 missile finder, and $23.8 million from the Interim Airborne Target Acquisition System.
The Army accepted 10,754 Dragon missiles and 754 trackers during 1 July 1975-30 September 1976. In September 1976, the Army awarded “winner-take-all” multiyear contracts to Raytheon for missiles and to Kollsman Instruments for trackers at substantial savings over the previous dual-source prices. The production capacity of the winners will allow each to satisfy anticipated Dragon procurement by January 1978. International interest in buying Dragon missiles increased to six countries, with orders totaling about $336 million.
In other missile procurement matters, accelerated production of the TOW missile continued during the fifteen-month period, and 21,419 missiles and 1,382 launchers were delivered. A low-rate production contract for the TOW night sight is scheduled to be awarded to Texas Instruments in March 1977, with deliveries starting in May 1978. Attention given to foreign military sales continued, with orders from twenty countries totaling approximately $469 million. The improved Chaparral missile entered production, and a production contract was let for fifty-two Chaparral fire units. Foreign sales of the Chaparral continued to be high. The Improved Hawk missile procurement program provided triangular air defense battery sets for three Hawk batteries, and for procurement of 520 Improved Hawk missiles at a total cost to the Army of $71.8 million.
The major procurement activity for weapons and tracked combat vehicles remained the acceleration of tank production. The average monthly production rate for the M60 tank rose from fifty-four in calendar year 1975 to seventy-four in calendar year 1976. The 885 M60A1 tanks produced during the fifteen-month period exceeded programmed production by nine tanks.
In support of the Army’s accelerated tank production program, Blaw Knox Company’s East Chicago foundry was turning out armor casting sets at a rate of seventy-five per month by the end of 1976, and its Wheeling, West Virginia, facility had begun to turn out turret and hull castings. The Chrysler hull and turret machine lines at the Army Tank Plant, Lima,
Ohio, were completed on schedule. By the end of 1976, Chrysler had machined twenty-three turrets and two hulls. The gun mount line established at the Army Tank Plant to augment production at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, began operations and met its thirty per month goal by producing 368 gun mounts during the year. By May 1976, Teledyne Continental had the ability to deliver 250 engines per month. To meet this pace, Detroit Diesel Allison Division increased its combined transmission and transmission kit production rate to 200 per month.
Ammunition procurement, as in fiscal year 1975, was limited by provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act that prohibited use of service funds to support allied requirements. Because of this curtailment, Congress reduced the amount originally requested for ammunition procurement for the period by over $100 million.
The sharp drop in ammunition production during the last two years affected the ammunition production base; numerous production lines and plants were inactivated and many people were laid off. This, in turn, led to increased cases of mothballing production equipment and maintaining unused facilities.
Despite these cutbacks, the Army continued a multibillion dollar program to modernize its ammunition production base of the World War II era. Congress appropriated $211.2 million in fiscal year 1976 and $148.1 million in the transition quarter for the modernization program out of the total ammunition production base program funding of $308.1 million and $166.6 million, respectively. Funds to begin construction of a new 155-mm. M483 improved conventional munition manufacturing complex at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, were requested in fiscal year 1976. Although Congress appropriated $45.2 million for the initial funding of the complex, it also restricted the construction of new facilities to existing ammunition plant locations. Congress also appropriated $110.4 million to construct a new metal parts manufacturing facility for the 105-mm. projectile at the Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant, Texarkana, Texas. New, production facilities were financed for the 155-mm. artillery-delivered scatterable mine munition, the M732 artillery proximity fuze, the new 105-mm. M735 kinetic energy tank round, and the 155-mm. improved conventional round and accompanying grenades. Design of a $500 million RDX/HMZ explosive manufacturing facility was begun with $7.4 million in fiscal year 1976 funds. The remaining dollars in the ammunition production base program supported active ammunition plants and an intensive manufacturing technology program.
The Other Procurement, Army, appropriation financed procurement of tactical and support vehicles, communications and electronics equip-
ment, and other support equipment. Appropriations for fiscal year 1976 and the transition quarter, by activity, were as follows:
(In Millions of Dollars)
Fiscal Year 19761
Transition Quarter 1
Tactical and support vehicles
Communications and electronics equipment
Other support equipment
Total—Other Procurement, Army
1 Figures are based on the fiscal year 1976 column of the president’s budget for fiscal year 1978.
The Army made additional headway in its program to replace noncombat vehicles of military design with commercial ones, since the use of commercial vehicles lowers acquisition costs, eliminating expensive design and test phases. Long-range plans were made to convert selected portions of the tactical wheeled vehicle fleet to either a commercial truck onto a truck using primarily commercial components, such as engines, transmissions, and axles. Fiscal year 1976 purchases included 272 34-ton breakbulk/container semitrailers, 250 40-ton low-bed semitrailers, 13,375 1 1/4-ton pickup trucks, and 34 telephone maintenance trucks.
Return to Table of Contents
Last updated 7 September 2004