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GAO: Army Must Consider Risks in Rapid Dev’t of Next-Gen Combat Vehicles 

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the U.S. Army needs to consider potential risks such as cost uncertainties and program delays when prioritizing the rapid development of next-generation combat vehicles (NGCV).

GAO said in a report released Thursday that such obstacles could also lead to delays in engineering reviews, resulting in an increased risk of technical problems in the NGCV platforms.

According to the report, the Army implements both traditional and middle-tier acquisition approaches and was able to mitigate risks in NGCV programs like the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle and Mobile Protected Firepower. However, the watchdog noted that the Army postponed crucial system engineering assessments and took steps that are inconsistent with GAO’s best practices.

GAO noted that implementing leading practices in program management that reflect cost uncertainties and appropriate engineering reviews "could improve Army's ability to provide insight to decision makers and deliver capability to the warfighter on time and at or near expected costs."

The Army has taken actions such as establishing cross-functional teams to oversee program requirements and coordinating with other Department of Defense entities for cost and risk assessments.