Priority rests on the Network

Priority rests on the Network

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said unequivocally that updating the Army’s collection of tactical radios, mapping programs and smartphones known as the Network remains his top modernization priority.

He listed the Army Network ahead of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, and the Ground Combat Vehicle in an article he wrote and the Army published Tuesday. Keeping the Network as the No. 1 modernization priority ahead of a new vehicle fleet or even the M-4 carbine is nothing new.

The question is: For how long?


Odierno’s predecessors, Gen. Martin Dempsey and Gen. George Casey, held the Army Network in the same esteem. This October, the Army is set to deilver Capability Set 13 — the latest collection of next generation battlefield radios and communications system that will deploy to Afghanistan with the 10th Mountain Division in 2013.

It’s the first of many capability sets the Army will roll  out to continually update their Network. Army leaders chose to outfit the infantry brigade combat teams first. Stryker Brigades will get the next look followed by the thank and Bradley units.

At the last Network Integration Evaluation held at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M., questions from soldiers and industry leaders started to grow louder about the Army’s commitment to the Network after the delivery of Capability Set 13.

NIE officials have said quietly they don’t expect the two NIE’s scheduled for this fall and spring to be as large as the previous two even though the evaluation is still relatively new. Curbing growth might work in the NIE’s favor, though, as some defense industry leaders warned that it was growing too large and losing the ability to react quickly to rapidly advancing technologies.

Keeping digital communication systems up to date demands continued focus. It’s a far cry from other Army acquisition programs such as the JLTV, which the Army expects to drive for decades. Consider how fast a traditional cell phone became irrelevant in light of the flurry of smartphones that have more computing power than most two-year-old PCs.

Army leaders have worked hard to amend an acquisition system that has struggled to keep up with technology. He said basing their acquisition strategy on balancing capability with cost will keep the system agile. Outrageous requirements lists are a thing of the past, Odierno has said, especially ones with no consideration for costs.

With planned defense spending shrinking, it’s a wonder if the Army can keep its focus on the Network and avoid the distractions of replacing the vehicle fleets.

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I notice ICC or Improved M-4 wasn’t even mentioned. Looks like with budget cuts the Army will have to settle for just two programs for years tom come. I think NIW and JLTV will win out.

The PiP for the M4 will happen no matter what. As for the IC I really am not sure, there is nothing any of the IC rifles offer that make them worth the cost of changing to a new rifle. You have to remember it’s not just a new rifle, its new manuals, armor’s courses, training, spare parts, there is a whole lot more to changing rifles than just a new rifle.

The PiP fixes this because they can just replace parts as they wear out, also if the PiP is done right we can easily have an M4 that can be just as good as or better than any other rifle out there.

The operating system is not the weak link in the M4, its the 60yr old TDP its built off of just take a loot at HPT, its an old dated method of making sure bolts are made right, the testing is not powerful enough to break the bolt so 99% of all bolts pass, but you also get a 40% reduction in bolt life. give the M4 a CHF barrel with a new bolt and a FF rail and you will have a M4 that can easily get 20,000 rounds bolt life and barrel life. That is a cost effective way to get a better rifle in soldiers hands, and IMO is the best option.

These are all COTS and out there, give the LMT the enhanced BCG designed specifically for SOCOM Block II(never made it to testing) M4A1’s this includes a special carrier with sand cuts and extra dwell time as well as a new bolt with a stronger steel, better heat treat, and better design, a CHF barrel with double chrome lining(life FNH does for the M249) and a FF rail like the DD RIS II or the KAC URX rail. That would be my choice in upgrades that will easily fix any issue the M4 has.

OH and quit using CLP.….I can never say that enough, a lube with a flash point of 250*F should never have been considered for a rifle.……EVER.

Speaking of low flash points.

Anyone ever make the combat expedient mistake of lubing a machine gun with WD-40?

You only make that mistake once.

LOL

what about the tavor? i understand the israelis are replacing all of their m4s/m16s with that. is it even in the competition?

The Tavor is not. They also no longer use the Tavor, they use the X95.

Why the Israelis chose it is complicated, part of it was they wanted a rifle made there so they could be proud, despite the fact that bullpups suck as combat weapons.

The other reason is 99% of what they see for combat takes place in close quarters street, I’m not saying a bullpup is ideal, but according them the bullpup design gives them the MK18 barrel(10.4″) in a package the size of the MP5.

I don’t ever see the US going to a bullpup, it’s a horrible design for a rifle.

@ dog face

i have never tried WD-40 as a lube but I can only imagine lol. I have always used SLIP2000EWL or when desperate motor oil, both have flash point near or above 500*F. Though I am currently doesng some testing of that Frog Lube paste to see how it is and so far I am impressed, but it will be a few months until I know for sure how it truly does.

I think that the military should not use smart phones and what not the raidoes half to be hard to break

I am new at commenting so if this post is hard to read or dose not make sense now u know y :)

I used the Steyr AUG, RNZA, “bullpups suck” is simply proproganda, they have their problems,but they also have their compensations, Having a rifle length barrel in a carbine length package is IMO worth not being able to collapse the stock. everything in life is a compromise.

These days I use no liquid lube in my hunting rifles, I clean and dry them and use graphite powder. wouldn’t work in wet areas or stop rust, but in dry areas it’s great

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