Army budget delays GCV, protects network

Army budget delays GCV, protects network

The U.S. Army’s fiscal 2014 budget would delay development of the Ground Combat Vehicle by more than a year while funding programs to improve its battlefield communications network.

The ground service stands to lose at least $2.27 billion under the Defense Department’s spending plan unveiled yesterday for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The reduction is part of a larger Pentagon strategy to shift emphasis away from the ground wars of the past decade and toward threats in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Army’s base budget, which excludes funding for the war in Afghanistan, would total $130 billion. That’s the least of the three major services and 1.7 percent less than what the Army is expected to receive this year.


The service is also grappling this year with automatic budget cuts, known as sequestration, and shortfalls in war funding due to higher-than-expected transportation costs. The situation is straining all operating budgets within the military, especially the Army’s, officials said.

“Army has biggest problem,” according to a budget briefing slide. The result is many non-deployed units won’t be ready for missions by the end of this year. In addition, training and flying hours for active-duty soldiers are projected to slide next year.

The Army’s active-duty component would decrease by 32,100 soldiers, or 5.8 percent, to 520,000 soldiers. The budget would provide a 1 percent increase in basic pay, a 3.9 percent rise in basic allowance for housing, and a 3.4 percent bump in basic allowance for subsistence.

The service is requesting $1.7 billion less to buy and develop weapons than it did last year. “The reduction reflects the Army’s acceptance of measured risk to accommodate a tightening fiscal environment,” according to a briefing from Maj. Gen. Karen Dyson, director of the Army budget, and her deputy, Davis Welch.

The Army plans to delay by 18 months development of the Ground Combat Vehicle, a new tracked vehicle to replace a portion of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet. The plan, which may be in jeopardy, is to extend the period to develop the technology and to pick one rather than two contractors for the prototyping phase, known as engineering and manufacturing development.

General Dynamics Corp., based in Falls Church, Virginia, and the U.S. subsidiary of London-based BAE Systems PLC have received contracts valued at about $450 million apiece to develop the systems.

Meantime, the service would keep funding improvements to its battlefield network, which it now describes as its “foremost investment priority.” The Army plans to spend $4.3 billion next year procuring electronics and communications equipment, almost half of which is slated for network-related programs.

These include the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, a satellite communications system for the war zone; Joint Tactical Radio System, a family of digital radios for troops and vehicles; Joint Battle Command — Platform, a software system to track troop movements; and Distributed Common Ground System, a network of workstations, servers and other computer equipment.

Soldiers with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, are deploying to Afghanistan this spring with the service’s next-generation communications system that includes smart phone-compatible radios developed under the Joint Tactical Radio System and Nett Warrior programs.

The Army also plans to spend more than $5 billion buying aircraft, including 65 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, 38 CH-47F Chinook helicopters and 19 MQ-1 Gray Eagle drones; $2.1 billion purchasing medium-duty trucks, vehicles and generators, among other support equipment; and $1.6 billion acquiring Strykers and upgrading the Paladin self-propelled howitzer, Bradley and M1 Abrams tank, among other weapons and tracked vehicles.

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Kill the GCV, it is a waste of money. Just upgrade the bradley or use a turret-less bradley. If you are trying to prioritize the GCV seems to be the lowest priority that they are holding on to for some reason.

What am I missing, is the GCV really that urgent?

With Greg. Thus begins the long process of killing the GCV boondoggle. Like ICC it take months to kill it. waste of money and yet the Army is spending millions to upgrade the M-2/3 Bradley.

Make the marines pay the Army back for: (1) All the weapons and systems that the Army paid for the R&D and the marines eventually purchased the final products, (2) Pay the Army for all the medic, and medivac helo support provided the marines in Helmand Afghanistan, (3) increase the payment for each marine that goes to the Army schools like, Airborne, Tanker, Ranger etc. The Army has to maintain these schools and equipment yet the marines pay very little for each of their service members attending.

That is why it was called combined arms.

I undertand your point though. Maybe they should have charge back like we do in the IT world. If the publication department wants more storage, then yes you can have it right away, but when the time comes you will get a bill via charge back.

Also for force protection of the BFV they were working on an electromagnetic armor that would deform the penetrator and reduce its effectiveness. Why was this not finished?

Info on the magnetic armor is below:
http://www.defense-update.com/features/du-1–04/pa

Not sure what happened to my response here.

For one it is called combined arms. I am not good leaving marines to die because only an army asset is available, so your position is a little silly.

Second, I do agree somewhat with what you say. You could in effect have charge back. We do that in the IT world all of the time. An example is this.

A company has many departments including an IT department. Department A needs more storage for a project. That requires more disks for the Storage Array or SAN so expensive. The IT department buys the disks, but charges back the costs to Department A when end of the year fiscal stuff is up.

So the Army could provide the Marines with whatever support they need, but if there was a charge back then the books would be even.

For instance, if there was charge back a marine in charge might make the decision to launch an GLMRS instead of calling for air support first.

Of course this means nothing when lives are on the line of course so this is just for illustration purposes. I don’t have the answer but there has to be something more efficient.

I for one think they should use more artillery and less airstrikes.

Greg spot on, kill the GCV, to heavy.…upgrade the bradley fleet like what is being accomplished w/Abrams…Get OUT of the ‘stan by end of 2014 period and get back to the air-land battle doctrine based on “Forced entry” by airborne/air assault troops. Contiuning upgrading the patriot battrey sys & statcom & tact telecom equip. Then select a tactical wheeled vehicle platform to replace humvee.…I think that’s a start!

sour grapes? join the Marines

There’s a lot to be said for the now defunct process of generating requirements based on national defense strategy focusing on the threat. GCV takes requirements gold plating from the ridiculous to the sublime. How in the world does this system support the “new” Pacific strategy? What this thing looks like is what the generals wanted for OIF/OEF instead of MRAPs. The Army needs to support the national strategy with a vehicle that can fight in the Pacific with strategic transportability and tactical mobility. And oh yeah, please put a weapon on it that isn’t a pee-shooter.

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