Army Orders Tests On Controversial Gun
Jan. 11, 1985
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Army said Friday it had awarded a $4.7 million contract for a final series of tests of the trouble-plagued Sgt. York air-defense gun.
The contract was awarded to the Ford Aerospace and Communications Corp., the weapon's manufacturer, to support a new testing program this spring, said Lt. Col. Miguel E. Monteverde, an Army spokesman.
The tests, ordered by Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, will determine whether the Army acquires any more of the Sgt. York units, which are also known as the Divad, for Division Air Defense.
''This contract is for one more series of tests to cover Secretary Weinberger's order,'' Monteverde said. ''This will be the make-or-break test.''
The $4.5 billion Divad project is designed to provide the Army with a radar-controlled, twin-cannon gun that can protect U.S. forces from enemy aircraft. The cannons and radar-control unit are mounted on a tank chassis.
The Army has so far acquired 146 Divad units out of a total planned purchase of 614. Weinberger set aside the scheduled purchase of the next 117 units last year, however, amid persistent reports the mobile gun unit did not operate as well as expected.