Army, industry slam CBO’s scathing GCV report

Army, industry slam CBO’s scathing GCV report

The two defense companies who have won $400 million contracts from the Army to help design the Ground Combat Vehicle have dismissed the scathing GCV report done by the Congressional Budget Office saying its analysts used the wrong vehicle in its analysis.

Officials from BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems said the CBO used the wrong notional model of the GCV that doesn’t account for the change in requirements made by the Army or the advancements made in the technology development phase of the program. Industry representatives also criticized the way in which the CBO weighted their comparison of the GCV.

The CBO report compared the GCV against existing vehicles to include an upgarded Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), the Israeli Namer Armored Personnel Carrier, the German Puma IFV, and the current Bradley IFV. Taking into account cost, survivability, mobility and lethality, the CBO ranked the GCV below each alternative to include the current Bradley.

Along with BAE Systems and General Dynamics, the Army had its own response to the report that was issued just a week prior to Congressional budget submissions. The service highlighted its own report comparing the GCV against many of the same vehicles. In it, the Army found that none of the existing vehicles could match the requirements the service seeks in replace the Bradley IFV.

The Army tested the GCV against these existing infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers in 2012 at White Sands Missile Range during a Network Integration Evaluation.

“Currently fielded vehicles are optimized for performance within their expected. operating environments, but are limited with regard to specific GCV capability performance areas,” said Ashley Givens, an Army spokesman, in a statement. “Although all assessed [Non-Developmental Vehicles] met some of the critical GCV requirements, none met the minimum set of GCV requirements without needing significant redesign.”

One of those key requirements is carrying nine squad members inside the vehicle. Industry representatives claim the CBO did not give this requirement enough weight inside their analysis. On a 100 percent scale, the CBO gave the maximum number of passengers a weight of 10 percent. Other factors such as “protection and survivability” and “lethality” received 40 percent and 30 percent respectively.

Lethality is another issue the defense companies had with the report. The CBO used a notional vehicle with a 25 mm cannon for its analysis rather than the 30 mm cannon that Army officials now plan to mount to its top. CBO started the study before this change was made.

“With 30 percent of the score going to lethality, this tips the scale heavily in favor of Puma, the only vehicle in their study with a 30mm cannon,” said Peter Keating, a spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, in a statement.

One aspect the CBO does give the GCV program credit is the price. By using a cost figure of $28.8 billion for the program, the CBO is assuming the Army can drop the per vehicle cost down to $13 million. However, the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation agency estimated in 2011 the GCV could cost $16 to $17 million per vehicle.

In determining the notional GCV that the CBO used in its study, the analysts anticipated the program will have to make trades in capabilities in order to meet that $13 million ceiling. Those trades helped lead the CBO to determine that an upgraded Bradley or a Puma would provide the Army a better vehicle for more than half the cost.

Industry and service leaders worry what effect the CBO report will have on future funding for the program. The Army has already decided to delay the program by extending the Technology Development phase by six months.

Service leaders have tabbed the GCV as the Army’s top vehicle modernization program. The Army plans to spend $28.8 billion to develop and build 1,748 GCVs between 2014 and 2030, according to the CBO report. Army officials hope to pick the company that will build the fleet by 2019.

The Army plans to continue to study existing vehicles and what aspects have led to success in combat, Givens said. It will also pursue technological advancements that the defense industry is pursuing in GCV’s development.

“The Army continues to fine-tune the vehicle requirements to support cost targets while continuing to evaluate requirement trades that better aligns with the goal of an affordable and achievable vehicle,” Givens said in a statement.

One such advancement is the hybrid drive that BAE is pursuing in its research. Mark Signorelli, BAE’s vice president and general manager for ground combat vehicles, said the hybrid drive would offer GCV a significant advantage over current vehicles when considering the gas costs and logistics trail.

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“Lethality is another issue the defense companies had with the report. The CBO used a notional vehicle with a 25 mm cannon for its analysis rather than the 30 mm cannon that Army officials now plan to mount to its top. CBO started the study before this change was made.
“With 30 percent of the score going to lethality, this tips the scale heavily in favor of Puma, the only vehicle in their study with a 30mm cannon,” said Peter Keating, a spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, in a statement.”

It takes very egineering effort to implement larger caliber weapons into a Bradley.
Over the years, the platform has been tested, with various turrets, mounting guns up to 40mm
Upgunning a Bradley and/or a Bradley replacement SHOULD be par the course in the platform’s evolution.
A real stretch is adding the option of an adaptable missile box that isn’t just for TOWs: Boeing’s Avenger evolved beyond just Stinger pods, so a Bradley follow-on should have the option of using TOWs, Javelins, guided 70mm rockets, any number of smallform/man-portable missiles.
Allow the armament to be easily scaled to the threat, just as we want to see its armor packages scalable.

that should read, “It takes very little engineering effort to implement larger caliber weapons into a Bradley.”

Yet again, the Army proves that nobody can make them put both the cost and effectiveness of THE SAME VEHICLE on a single chart. They never did it in the AoA, or the AoA update — why should they start now?

I happen to know that any change in component systems has a huge systems engineering effort. So the idea that you can just plop a new system on and drive off is just plain wrong. You will also still have 25mm on the remainder of the non-IFV Bradley fleet. Then there is the Army testing process that would require almost a complete RAM test and analysis.

It’s interesting to note that the Puma was the base vehicle in one of the proposals for the TD contract awards. That proposal was rumored to be one of the selectees, but then got cut when the program reduced from 3 awards to 2. Maybe if they would have selected that proposal, there wouldn’t as scathing of a report from the CBO.

The Bradley TD has an unmanned torrent and seats 9. I understand that is not a cheap option. On the other hand, it has to be cheaper then building new build vehicles.

Also BAE tested their hybrid drive on the Bradley originally. I don’t see why t hat hybrid drive cant’ be inserted into the BFV since it has been done already.

Well of course the the pork spenders hate the report it bashes the run away spending and waste this program makes. Overall its up to congress to see this pork program to live or die not some dumb General.

Let’s replace GCV with program XYZ and fund it for 30 years at a cost to the US taxpayer of billions of dollars and then cancel it right before it goes into production and replace that program with program PQR and after another 30 years and more billions of dollars spent cancel it right before it goes into production, because the defense contractors like it that way, and 60 years later we’ll still be using the same piece of crap we are using now and telling ourselves how lucky we are and how the old weapons are still the best. And let’s make sure no one is held accountable for the billions of dollars wasted, while the defense contractors laugh all the way to the bank.

Where did you find what the Bradley (- turret) looked like?

The CBO often does good work. I liked their “Technical Challenges of the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle Program” report http://​www​.cbo​.gov/​s​i​t​e​s​/​d​e​f​a​u​l​t​/​f​i​l​e​s​/​c​b​o​f​i​l​e​s/a

They screwed the pooch with this one.

The Army’s non negotiable requirements for a nine man squad and 30mm weren’t weighted appropriately by the CBO yet the CBO didn’t make the case for why they know better than the Army. It’s an INFANTRY fighting vehicle. If it doesn’t deliver enough Infantry to the battlefield it isn’t fulfilling its role. Typical bean counter ignorance confusing a tank with an IFV.

So, can one of these 9-seaters fit inside a V-22? because if it can’t, then the Army needs to changes its “hard requirement.” Plus, most of these requirements criteria fall away along the too-long development path, and turn out as no-so-critical by the time the production model is awarded.

What’s lacking here is any semblence of an acquisition strategy. We need to drive the development harder and compress it into a total of 3-years. If it doesn’t work, then just upgrade what we’ve got (because it worked when we faced a quasi-army on the Iraqi desert). You don’t need an armored Rolls-Royce to fight a bunch of insurgents. They’ll take you out with their cheap, mod-them-by-the-thousands, “up-gunned” Toyota pick up! It’s no wonder the U.S. hasn’t won a war since WW2.

Sorry, this does not compute. Why would the ARMY care whether or not the 9-seaters would fit in a V-22? They Army isn;t buying V-22s and the Air Force is only buying them for CSAR type missions. The USMC is not using the V-22s to move mechanized vehicles either so I’m wondering why would ask that question since none of the services are using V-22s to move armored vehicles.


From an Israeli site non the less. I find that they have they have had the solution to the current problems with protection for years. This article came out years ago.

The Bradley moves the fuel tanks outside. Removes the turret bustle also, clears room for 12 troops total. Insert the hybrid drive and be done. We already have the hulls, and this goes in line with the m113 replacement perfectly.

They are intent on wasting money it seems, if you go with the puma, it has a remote turret and and less troop capacity. The Bradley TD makes the most sense, I don’t know why we just don’t go with that and secure the future.

I’m not in this Defense acquisition and procurement business, I don’t know the processes involved and the strategies. But I guess what I’m struggling with in general is, what is the strategy and benefit of coming out on day 1 of initiating the Program saying something like; “Ok guys, we’re going to spend a maximum $28.8B on combined development and purchase and we’re going to buy 1,748 units by 2030″. Huh?

It’s like USAF saying we’re going to order 1,763 F-35A by 2037. Huh?

So my question would be… Why can’t Army just put out an order with basic requirements, such as:

–base weight: is so and so tons and must have all around protection vs such and such a baseline round
–max weight: is so and so and must be able to add-on both additional armor protection, plus next-gen soft-kill/hard-kill protection against rockets and missiles.
–Offer 2 turret configurations to start (one manned and one remote weapon station) with a 30mm-40mm gun system main armament, plus secondary armament options and incorporate modular engineering to integrate future weapon systems/missile launcher, etc.
–minimum clearance.
–minimum range.
–9 troops
–some water capability
–NBC, etc
–ISR, etc

Then simply say something like:

“We want delivery of combat capable vehicle to start by 2019″. “We want AS AFFORDABLE a price as you can offer us per base vehicle based on at least 1,000 vehicles through 2030″. and “There will be an option for up to 800 additional vehicle orders to fill requirements, at increased annual build rates starting by 2024 and possibly extending into 2032, etc”.

That’s it! Why not just flat out ask, “give us the most affordable unit price quote you can give us for a base line vehicle”. We’ll pay between 50%-90% of development costs to be negotiated… “give us a quote for your estimated R&D costs expected to fill this requirement”. “Submit your offers within 12 months and we’ll run it by GAO and CBO and get back to you within 6 months thereafter”. “Thanks for your participation and interest”.

I don’t know, as I said I am completely naive and ignorant of this whole defense acquisition strategy and process… but it just seems like, if there was NOT some more direct and cost-effective method of acquiring a ‘good enough’ and reliable solution, for about 1/2 the total Program cost and delivered more reliably, on schedule, then why not insist on inventing an innovative method to achieve such an acquisition process goal?!? Thanks for any input!

WTF why do my post keep disapearing?

You missed the jist of what I was saying.
The Bradleys have already served as test beds thru the years implementing larger caliber guns.
The Bushmaster series was tested up thru not just 30mm, but also 35 and the “Super 40″ caliber.
Yes, they were concept turrets developed solely to trial the weapons, not a production-ready system,
but they kept the original turret ring diameters and all the main components of the hulls (chassis, powerplant, etc).
And if we examine various aftermarket/secondhand turret developments for similar AFVs, we see it is no far stretch to implement in the end.
See the RCWS30 system that the Israelis already developed, see the progress of various installations of the 40mm CTAI gun system, even the “older” 35mm TALON turret developed thru AAI Corp would’ve required little refinement to be a production-ready system.
This is not complex to implement, as the engineering research and turret/weapon design work is already done.
I never suggested new turrets was as user-friendly plug-and-play as rebuilding your home PC, which you seem to have interpreted it as.

First of all, that is, basically, how weapons are procured now with the exception that we pay approximately 110% of the development costs. The extra 10% is profit. When the DoD asks the contractors to “give us the most affordable unit price quote you can give us for a base line vehicle” typically the defense contractors give them exactly what they want — a big lie. They give the lie for the same reason the program office wants the lie, because the program is competing for funding with other programs. The best way to get funding is, naturally, to promise the most for the least. That’s how you end up with aircraft half big enough to carry the desired sensors and bs like that. Once a program is up and going, then it takes on a life of it’s own.

The best way to buy a weapon is to buy it the way you buy weapons when you go to your local gun store. You buy a weapon sight seen, right, not a “pig in a poke”? You cycle the weapon’s action. You might shoot one at the range. You probably asked friends that have the weapon what they think of it.

The US Army buys its weapons by the hundreds of thousands if not millions. There is no reason they should ever have to pay for development costs. They should set a date for the prototype weapons to show up for the demonstration, have soldiers experienced with they type of weapon being bought or at least the type of warfare the weapon is intended for show up and learn how to operate the weapon. They should try the weapons out for a few weeks and rate them best to worst. The Army procurement office should negotiate the best price they can get for the best weapons, and buy the best they can get for the best price.

You missed the subtext, majr0d. The point is that CBO used the Army’s very own criteria, weights, and alternatives from the GCV AoA. If those criteria and alternatives are no longer relevant or correct, then neither is the AoA — including the justification for getting through Milestone A.

If the Army wants to back up and re-do the AoA with their new set of priorities and requirements, as part of the “AoA Update” they were supposed to do, that would be fine. Presumably they would add the K21 back into the set of candidates to be compared. They might even finally show a chart like the one the CBO showed — cost versus capability for all of the alternatives being considered.

The bottom line is that the cost delta between the proposed GCV and any other alternative is the size of the entire proposed AMPV program. Are you willing to cancel AMPV (or some future program of equal importance and value) to get GCV? If not, you shouldn’t be willing to accept GCV as the preferred alternative.

Some concrete data from the GCV CDD v2.2 (28 March 2012), Table 4, rounded to nearest %.

Attribute Relative Importance
Lethality 20%
Protection 22%
Mobility 13%
Capacity 5% (of which non-crew size is only 20%)
Sustain. 13%
Power 11%
Network 9%
Transp. 7%

It wasn’t a “pure Puma” they were proposing. it was a stretch Puma with an MGV turret, and so was a developmental system, not off-the-shelf. Lots of component level reuse, though.

Unobtainium. And a complete non-sequitor.

I voted up Maj Rod posting here, not because I 100% agree, but it seems to me that the issues he raises are valid. I of all people have challenged his “nine man squad or bust” dogma, but failing to consider troop carrying capacity is IMHO very deep fail. I still need to read the report in detail to understand what the deal with lethality is all about. If Puma meets the Army’s armament requirement and other designs didn’t, how is that a problem ? Does a 5mm cailber difference make one vehicle a “tank” and another a proper infantry carrier ? I don’t think so. All of ‘em will outshoot a PzKpfw II — and Stryker won’t. I do have the impression that CBO did nothing more than a spreadsheet analysis with the data they were given, and while I reserve judgement on that — the results will speak for themselves — at least for those who are both expert and objective, and not just policy warriors looking for excuses to do what they want.

Mine also

“The point is that CBO used the Army’s very own criteria, weights, and alternatives from the GCV AoA.” No the CBO did not.

“CBO’s TWO metrics took slightly different approaches to combining improvements across the four categories. The primary metric arrived at a measure of overall improvement by combining the improvement in each category via a weighting scheme derived from the one the Army used in its analysis of alternatives for a new GCV.1” (I emphasized “TWO”) from p37 of the report linked to from the above article.

The CBO measured SOME of the vehicles in the AoA (though measuring the M1 would not be constructive to selection and increases the risk of folks confusing an IFV with a tank) and developed two approaches to evaluating the GCV and only one of those approaches was “derived” from the Army system which according to your numbers (I’d like a link to the document) is not the same as what is in the recent report.

Increasing the gun to 30mm is not going to significantly impact performance or require the AoA to be done again (though the evaluation of the data may need to be addressed).

I’m not saying the Army is totally correct in its approach to measuring. I have heard from people at the AoA that a turretless Bradley was present but I don’t see the data. The Bradley Tech demonstrator uses a remote 30/40mm and fits the nine man squad. Why no discussion? I don’t doubt there is some massaging of the data to promote a new weapons program. That’s not to say that a new vehicle isn’t needed. I just want the best 9 man squad IFV for the battlefield. Best defined as can it do the job and can we afford it.

Sorry Greg. My four attempts at responding got deleted by the administrator. Thanks though.

Wow, that was a helluva post, Dfens, very well said and I totally concur with that vote. Coincidentally, some variation of that exact ‘best method’ you spelled out was actually what I was sensing (after I had posted my initial question) would be the best route — i.e., buying a system when one is needed (maybe throwing a bone out and putting a heads up to industry 2 years in advance to get your best kit ready and primed, we might be heading to market soon) and then comparing the optimal system on the market and probably just taking some update and upgrades being proposed or in development into consideration too (for which I personally don’t have a problem with Defense jointly assisting in costs, as required).

But one of the problems I’m trying to wrap my head around for instance, is basing so much of the requirement and estimated pricing and development costs, etc, for something which won’t even begin deliveries for another 6 years, etc. and pre-conceive that you will require 1,748, or whatever through 2035, etc. Well, what if technologies advance and better systems are available and cheaper, on the market by the time that 6 years rolls around? What if the threats and requirements change? What if financial or the strategic or political landscape has changed?

Just as an anecdotal, an ancestor of mine was the secretary of equipment acquisition for the Navy back in 1908 when the whole thought of wanting to launch aircraft off ships for surveillance was popping into people’s minds. The proposal was sent up the chain to Secy of the Navy to request acquisition of a test aircraft for evaluation. The first request was rejected since it wasn’t thought the aircraft available weren’t mature yet. Yet about a year and a half later, a deal was negotiated to have the manufacturer (Curtiss) supply a test aircraft and provide the test pilot, to demo a launch off the modified deck of a Cruiser! After a few more tests and trials including a pontoon landing by another variant and a demonstrated landing on the deck of a modified Battleship and after the training of the first USN pilot, about 6 months later, the US Navy, sold on the capability and operation, placed an order to buy their first A-1 aircraft.

OK, correction accepted, but the point remains.

The weights CBO attributed to the Army are from “Tab I” of the AoA report package. They differ slightly from the weights in the CDD, in that cost and growth potential were not included as decision factors in the CDD. If you assume the same 25% weight on cost and normalize the remaining CDD numbers to that, you get numbers that are mostly very close to the ones CBO cites — including the 5% weight on capacity.

Furthermore, the “Tab I” page that CBO cites has a list of explicit attribute rationales. It states bluntly that, while some leaders consider capacity to be important, it was not deemed critical. That begins to sound like disagreement within the Army about what matters most in an IFV.

The CBO “secondary metric” gives a higher weight to capacity than any analysis the Army has presented to OSD and Congress. But before we can compare any of the allegedly superior new designs coming out of the TD phase, we would need to get real cost estimates for them.

My understanding is that the big difference between 25mm and 30mm currently is the availability of air-burst munitions at 30mm. There are development efforts for a 25mm version, but they are still not ready for prime time.

The Army did an excursion to look at what a Namer with a 30mm gun would be worth, as part of their AoA update. It looked pretty good by the Army’s metrics.

To defend CBO a little (I’m not affiliated with them), they did the same spreadsheet analysis that the Army reported in their AoA report, except they did it with the actual vehicle the Army was proposing to buy (at the time), rather than the unaffordable version the Army evaluated. The AoA never directly compared the cost and performance of the stripped-down new start option against the other alternatives.

Dave – As I’ve said before I’m the last guy to say the Army is getting all of this extremely complicated process right. You seem to be a process guy. Fine, we need those but my focus is on the end state. I am a product guy concerned with what we get rather that the byzantine labyrinth of how we get there. Whether that 9 man squad nonnegotiable gets translated into the weights by engineers overseen by warfighters is another matter (process vs product).

I would like to read the Tab I verbiage. Context is important and I’m not prepared to accept that your interpretation is accurate considering EVERY document I’ve ever read from the Army says the nine man squad is non-negotiable. Sounds pretty critical and non-controversial to me vs, some un-named officer(s).

The nine man squad has ALWAYS been a non-negotiable for every infantry carrier after the Bradley (e.g. Stryker). When I worked on FCS the Armor school consistently pressured the Infantry school to lower the squad requirement for the FCS IFV to lower cost and technical difficulty. Problem is it doesn’t get the job done! We knew that after Desert Storm (and relearned it in Iraq). The Infantry school rejected that school of thought definitively. I’ve repeatedly explained and documented that rationale as has the Infantry school and even the CBO in this report AND the previous one. Conspicuously, a contrary argument has NEVER been provided (even by the CBO). This should be quite convincing that the proponent and experts of Infantry feel so strongly and the CBO hasn’t argued.

From the CBO’s latest report, “Another key goal is the capacity to transport a nine-member infantry squad on the battlefield—something that the current Bradley IFV, which has room for only seven soldiers in addition to its crew, cannot do. The Army’s rationale is that keeping the squad together in one vehicle will improve the effectiveness of the squad when soldiers first exit the vehicle, which is central to success in combat (see Box 1–1).” Consider in the latest CBO report, no requirement gets more explanation than this non-negotiable yet we still have some that continue to try to question the issue.

Other elements, branches or individuals in the Army are not qualified nor charged with determining how the Infantry does its job or what it needs. It would equate to the Infantry school dictating what the next main battle tank should look like. We have input, we defer to the branch. I’m sure you’ll find individuals that disagree with the nine man squad just like you’ll find someone to disagree with ANY decision. The reasons, credibility, experience and number of those individuals count. There is no argument among the Infantry that must fight from this vehicle but heck what do they know? Beancounters know better.

There’s a vehicle that carries the crew of 3 and the nine man squad. Increases clearance 80% (10” to 18”). Can accommodate a “V” hull. Is no longer than the Bradley. Mounts a 30 or 40mm gun and is under 40T.

It’s strange that this post has been deleted over four times in two different threads.

BTW, how did the turretless Bradley do in the AoA?

Don’t know if it was the model you posted but it went 1 Puma 2 new Bradley 3 GCV 4 Namer. Problem l see with the whole mess is just what precisely is most important? The Army never placed manned turret as a number one criteria. Seems like they are just cherry picking reasons to say no so they can have the GCV.

Don’t doubt the Army isn’t cherrypicking to get to the GCV but so is the CBO and others to get their cheapest or BFF vehicle. I’m not playing that game.

There were nine vehicles at the AoA. “The vehicles considered by the Army during AoA were the Bradley M2A3; a turretless Bradley; A Stryker Double V-Hull Infantry Carrier; the Swedish CV9035; the German-made Puma; and the Israeli Namer.” http://​www​.fas​.org/​s​g​p​/​c​r​s​/​w​e​a​p​o​n​s​/​R​4​1​5​9​7​.​pdf

Remember what you said about cherrypicking?

There were nine vehicles at the AoA. “The vehicles considered by the Army during AoA were the Bradley M2A3; a turretless Bradley; A Stryker Double V-Hull Infantry Carrier; the Swedish CV9035; the German-made Puma; and the Israeli Namer.” http://​www​.fas​.org/​s​g​p​/​c​r​s​/​w​e​a​p​o​n​s​/​R​4​1​5​9​7​.​pdf

Why did the CBO only mention four? The Army isn’t the only organization that can be accused of cherrypicking.

BTW, I’d consider it silly to mandate a turret before you mandate how many grunts an INFANTRY Fighting Vehicle should be taking into combat. What’s the primary purpose of this vehicle anyway to support the Infantry or get them to the fight? This stems from the confusion of many that assume tracks=tank.

Dunno, maybe the others finished so far behind the GCV the CBO didn’t bother looking at them?

I agree on the manned turret argument. The gun might jam so they need to clear it rationale is silly. We are talking about a major maneuver warfare scenario so a couple guns are likely to jam.

The Army should probably stick to the one thing CBO said was clearly in the GCV’s favor, which was the power/electronics. If they beat that drum loud enough at least they’d be consistent.

Honestly it’s all pretty silly.

The Army logic can be maddening . Reading the recent report I don’t doubt there is an aspect of politics to the whole matter. The report documented how the Army was willing to compromise on many things to get cost down like an AT missile capability and initially a gun larger than 25mm and is potentially willing to lower survivability in the future if cost is an issue. p12 (NOTE: Not the nine man squad).

I also found the combat simulation modeling results fascinating. p14 The GCV is only much more effective in missions like late Iraq where the truth is we don’t need large armored vehicles maneuvering through built up areas. Then the GCV was equal or less effective in lethality in mid to high intensity conflicts where the Bradley did as well or better. What that tells me is a continuing focus of fighting the next war like the last one even though we will hopefully not engage in another nation building exercise soon (granted the enemy has input in that decision) and if so MRAPs could be rolled out again.

Maybe CBO is being directed by Congressional members to hold their feet to the fire. There are some disgusted with cost overruns and the lousy procurement performance. I wish Congress would just tell them you have $X million per vehicle max. Spend it on whatever you like but that is all you are getting, so you might wanna include frugal in one of your requirements.

I’m not so sure the CBO is being charged by congress or suffers the same phenomena all organizations deal with, multiple people with multiple opinions and different priorities. For instance, the document is full of verbiage that I’ve heard in the Infantry community AND verbiage I’ve heard from the Armor and bean counter side. The issue is balancing different perspectives is a challenge. Note in the end the document uses the dollar as the ultimate measure of effectiveness. That’s decidedly a funding centric approach.

I’m for treating every branch the same. I’m OK with your approach but that means admitting we don’t necessarily give our troops the best and it’s not the military’s fault.

Getting a politician to be decisive is only a little bit easier than having one take responsibility. Not easy, easier.

How do remote weapons stations (such as Kongsberg’s CROWS RWS) fit into this picture (forgive my ignorance)?

The Kongsberg’s CROWS RWS is a lightweight system relatively (.50 cal and 40mm grenade launchers).

There are remote weapon stations that can field light cannons. The advantage to RWS is it frees up some room inside the vehicle (reloads for the weapons are carried inside so the bigger the cannon/missile the more room inside the vehicle. RWS also tend to reduce the overall height and some of the weight of a vehicle. The downside to RWS is you can’t touch the weapons while under cover so maintenance/reloading has to be done exposed. Since RWS are exposed they are a bit more susceptible to damage than manned turrets.

I have seen relatively small (you could mount them above a hatch RWS that can field a light/medium machinegun and a medium AT system like the Javelin (there is serious consideration of placing one over the CDR’s hatch on future Bradleys.

I just don’t see any alternative but capping program $ and telling branches this is all you are getting, buy whatever, develop whatever, but this is all you are getting. I’m all for spending $ on R&D to get cutting edge for some stuff, like a B3, stand off missiles, ABM, the kind of thing you are going to need for the Hail Mary type mission. I just think using that approach with every single thing we field is what had led to the mess that is procurement.

In the IFV scenario I’m not sure the best quality IFV is what is going to determine the outcome of a large maneuver warfare scenario. Particularly when the OTS options being looked at are all good quality equipment that will do just fine.

Same philosophy should apply to things like the LCS. You can’t tell me on the one hand you don’t intend for the thing to really go into combat and it is just going to do some flag waving, presence, partnership training type missions, and then expect me to greenlight a cutting edge expensive design.

The whole process is rotten but at least stories like this give me some hope Congress might start imposing some sanity on the Pentagon. The story about the navy memo and analysis on the surface fleet and assumptions about what we need and are buying also give me hope. We shall see l guess.

Seems like an intriguing option, but one thing I notice in that article is that interior space was increased by “removal of the turret bustle and fuel tanks.” Does that mean this new version carries less fuel and thus has a shorter range?

Majr0d, the reason for CBO’s selection of platforms is that they’re using the 2011 AoA as baseline. The CV9035 for instance was not considered then but part of the 2012 AoA update (see the fine print of the report).

The fine print cites the 2011 AoA ” and Department of the Army, personal communication to CBO staff, May 2012.”

On p19 the CBO report states that though the Puma was said to carry seven later data pegged it at six. Seems strange to me that they could actually get that info in time about the Puma and set up a completely different fielding plan (5 per platoon vs. 4) and not include other vehicle data?

“Reports suggest the Army’s AoA for the GCV did not identify an existing, less expensive combat
vehicle that would meet the Army’s requirement. The vehicles considered by the Army during
AoA were the Bradley M2A3; a turretless Bradley; A Stryker Double V-Hull Infantry Carrier; the
Swedish CV9035; the German-made Puma; and the Israeli Namer.” p9 http://​www​.fas​.org/​s​g​p​/​c​r​s​/​w​e​a​p​o​n​s​/​R​4​1​5​9​7​.​pdf

Were there two AoA’s?

The B3 will be just as important to its crew as the IFV is to its (and imagine how many brigades can be outfitted for a billion+). The crew firing the standoff missile is as happy about its ability to stay out of harm’s range than the grunt in the IFV is to his standoff weapons.

When you pick and choose you’re choosing favorites based on a bias. That’s what makes the issue so difficult. I don’t know if the Army needs a GCV any more than the Air Force needs a B3. Both the Bradley and the B2 have their strengths and weaknesses. I will say we haven’t lost a B2 to enemy action EVER.

OTS vehicles will not do just fine. The Namer is too heavy to deploy quickly and the Puma doesn’t keep the Infatry squad together so it can fight immediately from the vehicle vs. having to link up under fire to start the mission.

Agree on the LCS. I’m no naval expert but being able to take a hit and have enough sailors to do damage control would concern me greatly if I had to take this thing into combat. Just like the Army’s myopia over IED’s is driving the GCV program to huge size and weight dimensions it might be argued that the Navy’s lack of direct naval combat and damage control might be making it prepare for the next war like its fought the last ones with ships that don’t have to go into the thick of the fighting to effectively project their combat power.

Guest – as I understand it the fuel tanks were moved outside the troop area to the flanks of the vehicle.

Actually, I’m an outcomes guy — my big concern is that the Army is going to (again) get NOTHING for their time and money, because they can’t tell a straight story and do even the simplest processes right.

It’s simply not true that “the nine-man squad has ALWAYS been a non-negotiable” for a post-Bradley IFV. That may be the position in TRADOC, but it has not been the Army’s public position.


1. Task Force 120 (summer 2009) was intended to analyze the Army’s top priorities for ground systems in the wake of the cancellation of FCS. They briefed the final results of their “Ground Combat Attribute Balancing Analysis” in the fall of 2009. In the analysis for HBCT IFV, the weight given to dismount capacity was .32*.141 = 4.5%

2. The Ground Combat Vehicle Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) dated 10 Dec 2009 did not list dismount capacity as a capability gap of existing systems. It did list numerous capability gaps related to lethality, protection, mobility, and C4ISR.

3. The GCV CDD that I quoted above covers direct fire, indirect fire, infantry carrier, and recon missions in all 3 types of BCT. It refers back to the ABA quoted above for warfighter-adjudicated attribute weights. (It does not give explicit weights for the IFV mission; I was mistaken about that above). It also says “[the] ABA attribute categories included capacity, considered by TRAC as a critical design parameter for the vehicle mission roles of interest; capacity is not a KPP.” Again, that sounds like disagreement within the Army about how important capacity is.

4. The cost/benefit analysis attached as Tab I of the AoA Report to Congress (September 2010) gives a weight of 5% to dismount capacity. The text it uses to explain that attribute is:

“Carrying capacity: The number of dismounted soldiers the vehicle can carry is an important attribute to some leaders, but it is not deemed critical”

There may not be any argument among the Infantry about how important dismount capacity is, but there certainly seems to be very senior resistance from somewhere.

That list doesn’t look right.

The original AoA (Dec 2010) did a detailed comparison of three vehicles:
M2A3 OIF (base case, for comparison only)
M2A3 Block II (proposed upgraded 7-dismount Bradley)
ACT 3010 TARDEC Design Concept (aka GCV DC)

They also did a partial assessment of Puma and Namer, but never showed those results side-by-side with the three above. They justifiably dismissed the Caiman MRAP, Abrams tank, and Stryker S-MOD that they were required to include by the AoA guidance. They also screened out many foreign vehicles (CV90, K21, etc.) on the grounds that they did not meet minimum acceptable standards in some category — usually force protection.

An excursion looking at how the Bradley Block II would score if it had a 30mm gun was also done.

The GCV DC won handily, but was deemed unaffordable at an estimated $23M each. At that point, the Army proposed (in an appendix) stripping the GCV DC design down until it only cost $13M each. The $13M design was not evaluated for performance, and was not compared directly against the other alternatives.

I didn’t make up that document. The link is on the FAS site but the document is from the Congressional Research Service “The Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV)
Program: Background and Issues for Congress” January 2, 2013 http://​www​.fas​.org/​s​g​p​/​c​r​s​/​w​e​a​p​o​n​s​/​R​4​1​5​9​7​.​pdf I also saw pictures at the time of some of the vehicles as the AoA was one in Texas. Ft Bliss I think.

How about a link to the documents you’re quoting from?

BTW, if the list given to congress isn’t right and you are the CBO was wrong to include the Puma (selectively picking winners) since it wasn’t fully evaluated. The Puma option always struck me as strange because they changed the platoon to five vehicles admitted it would change training and doctrine but didn’t include that in the analysis.

Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that you made it up. I think CRS may have been confusing GCV and AMPV with their “turretless Bradley” alt.

As far as I know, the documents I’m quoting are not available online.

Namer and Puma were evaluated against all criteria (including cost) in the original AoA, but using a less-detailed methodology. The Army said they couldn’t get the data to do the full-up detailed simulations they were using for Bradley Block II and GCV DC effectiveness in various scenarios. The AoA reported all of the same outcome measures for Puma and Namer; just with fuzzier error bars, and not on the same chart or table with BB2 and GCV DC.

The one thing that CBO did clearly invent themselves was the 5-for-4 option with Puma. The Army has insisted all along that, whatever they buy, it will be 1-for-1 with the Bradleys they replace.

You are confusing weight for analysis with requirement (process over product). You think acquisition is a “simple process”? Yeah, you’re a product guy (or “outcome” as the process guys like to refer to it :).

In such a supremely complicated process you can find a phase or document that doesn’t mention the nine man squad. Doesn’t mean that was always going to be raison d’etre of the vehicle. It’s like saying if the caliber of the gun isn’t specified it doesn’t mean it wil have one (again process over product). Think the nine man squad isn’t important? Find an Army approved document that lists the Infantry squad as less than nine…

The IFV fills secondary roles on the battlefield. Those other roles the IFV may be pressed into do0n’t need to carry and Infantry squad so of course there is no pressing need to carry a nine man squad.

ONE SENTENCE (with no rationale or name) in an appendix from the VOLUMES of discussion about a nine man squad in ONE document (let alone every other) and you interpret it as very senior resistance? Again, having experienced this with FCS there is a desire by a few outside the Infantry community (the PROPONENT for the IFV for the Army) that are willing to negotiate on that requirement. They aren’t infantrymen, are nameless and are looking for the easiest route. Heck they don’t have to live with it. It’s just a bullet on an OER or DoD civilian eval.

BTW, you might check every document after the INITIAL cababilities document for the GCV (and the Stryker ICV before it). The nine man squad is/was a nonegotiable.

Didn’t think you were accusing me of making stuff up. Just wanted to document who is saying what so the reader has the best info to decide for themsleves. I’m not offended. Thick skin and iron sharpens iron.

I’ve read a couple fo articles that said there was a turretless Bradley at the AoA in Texas.

Actually, on the RCWS-30 Mk2, you can access the weapons under cover.

No, you cannot access the weapon from under cover. You can reload the gun from under cover, that’s it. You cannot troubleshoot a stopage, reconnect a feed chute, clear a misfeed, unload the weapon or maintain it from inside the vehicle.


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