M119A2 Howitzer Production Readiness Assessment
The Office of the Joint Program Manager LW155 (JPMO LW155) located at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey has overall developmental and production responsibility for a number of Army programs that are in a variety of acquisition cycle phases. One of these programs is the M119A2 105mm Howitzer. The JPMO LW155 maintains managerial oversight for the M119A2 to ensure that total system risks are adequately addressed. The JPMO requested the support of the Best Manufacturing Practices Center of Excellence (BMPCOE/WILLCOR) to provide independent assessment support.
The M119A2 105mm Howitzer is an Army towed artillery system previously deployed in support of Army forces. Production was discontinued in 1996 In order to satisfy modularity and increasing National Guard requirements, a requirement for 430 additional 105mm howitzers has created the need to reopen the M119A2 105mm Howitzer production line. The M119A2 system was last produced at Rock Island Arsenal (RIA). The cannon for the M119A2 was last produced at Watrervliet Arsenal (WVA). Schedule imperatives require that M119A2s be made available to Brigade Combat Teams as quickly as is possible. A "Make/Buy" decision was made to acquire the new production M119A2s from RIA and cannon from WVA in FY 2005. Production efforts have begun at RIA and WVA. Long lead materials are being procured and preproduction activities are underway at each of the Arsenals. The optical fire control is being procured through separate contracts with industry. The planned production program requires a ramp to 10 systems per month to meet immediate needs. The JPMO requested that BMPCOE/WILLCOR conduct an independent production readiness assessment of the M119A2 105mm Howitzer Program and identify the risks associated with restarting production.
WILLCOR assessed the production readiness of the M119A2 105 mm Program and the risks associated with re-startup of the production line and transition into Production and Deployment. This assessment addressed the risks associated with the technologies involved, the strategies chosen, and the contractor/industry capabilities to produce the final product for the Army in the quantity and timeframe envisioned. To complete this task, WILLCOR drew heavily on its experience with industry in developing the Best Manufacturing Practices Database, its Systems Engineering Model and expertise, and its Producibility Guidelines Document (NAVSO P-3687).
The work effort for the M119A2 Program included meetings and discussions with members of the following organizations: the JPMO; Tank, Automotive and Armament Command (TACOM); Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC) Rock Island Arsenal; Watervleit Arsenal; fire control contractors; and their respective subcontractors and suppliers as required to support the assessment. This effort edalso encompass presentations by Arsenal personnel, contractors and subcontractors as well as tours of their facilities. The principal efforts were directed to analyses of the following:
- Existing contractual arrangements
- Adequacy and thoroughness of documentation and technical data package
- Proposed Acquisition Strategy and current Program Plan
- Risk associated with system integration
- Capability of Government Arsenals and existing contractors to meet production goals
- Relationship between design authority and Arsenals with respect to quality assurance and process control
- Arsenal and contractor manufacturing processes and risks in those processes
- Impact of GFE/GFI on production
- Schedule realism
- Readiness of Government Arsenals, supporting contractors, and subcontractors to transition into Production and Deployment