Army Secretary Defends GCV, Helo Plans

Army Secretary Defends GCV, Helo Plans

The U.S. Army’s top civilian pushed back against critics who say the service’s next-generation combat vehicle is the wrong choice to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The so-called Ground Combat Vehicle “is a highly viable program,” Army Secretary John McHugh said during an April 30 breakfast with reporters. It’s “one of our critical modernization efforts going forward,” he said.

The Army plans to spend $38 billion to develop and build 1,904 of the tank-like tracked vehicles to replace a portion of its fleet of Cold War-era Bradleys, according to a Government Accountability Office report from March. They’re designed to carry more armor, firepower and troops — as many as a dozen soldiers, including a nine-man infantry squad and three crew members.


Whether the vehicle will survive the downturn in defense spending is uncertain. The Defense Department’s budget request for fiscal 2014, which begins Oct. 1, recommended delaying the program by a year partly in response to automatic budget cuts and a strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific region.

The White House’s Congressional Budget Office in an April report concluded it would cost $29 billion to buy 1,748 of the vehicles through 2030 — almost twice as much as potential alternatives already on the market. For example, purchasing a similar number of German Puma or Israeli Namer infantry fighting vehicles would cost $14.5 billion and $19.5 billion, respectively, according to the report.

McHugh seemed to downplay the assessment, saying its assumptions were out of date.

“Most of the analysis that I’ve seen and the criticisms of it were based on data that was available a year and a half to two years ago,” he said. “We’ve made very substantial changes in the program.”

To reduce the vehicle’s cost, the Army has decreased the number of technical requirements to between 200 and 300, down from more than 900, McHugh said. The service also decided to fund only one rather than two contractors through the next phase of development — a move expected to save $2.5 billion, he said.

“It does add risk, we understand that,” McHugh said. “But we think it’s manageable risk.”

The Army in 2011 awarded two contracts to begin developing the technology for the vehicle: $450 million to the U.S. subsidiary of BAE Systems Plc, based in London; and $440 million to General Dynamics Corp., based in Falls Church, Va.

McHugh also defended the Army’s agreement with Chicago-based Boeing Co. to reuse transmissions to test new AH-64E Apache helicopters for service in Afghanistan.

The transmission manufacturer, Northstar Aerospace Inc., based in Bedford Park, Illinois, last year filed for bankruptcy, disrupting its ability to deliver the products on time, McHugh said. The Army worked with Boeing to revise the manufacturing process so that after the helicopters pass flight-qualification training, the choppers grounded and their transmissions are removed to test other aircraft, he said.

The arrangement has attracted the attention of Congress.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., the ranking member of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, during a hearing last week asked Army officials, “Could you explain why the Army could take delivery of a helicopter that can’t fly?”

The Army isn’t paying any additional cost, McHugh said. The service withholds $900,000 from each frame that isn’t fully outfitted and delivered, he said. “We don’t close out payment until we actually have the transmission reinserted and it is delivered appropriately to theater,” he said.

The service didn’t have any other practical alternatives, McHugh said.

“The one option other than the path we’re on would have been pretty much shut the line down. That would have killed the delivery of the systems to the Army,” he said. “It was an unconventional approach, but it was an unconventional situation.”

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Wait a second, now only one contractor is going ahead in the GCV? Haven’t they learned anything about the pitfalls of sole-source contracting? The Apache transmission situation won’t be a big deal for now, but the GCV only having one contractor is another big red flag.

It can’t swim, which makes it useless (in addition to its’ stupid weight).

Reposting some of the notes re the RDS-21 to DefTech for completeness’ sake.

Army should’ve given them an RDS-21 contract to deploy to the entire fleet ahead of Block III. It seems like they could’ve used the business. Now they are owned by Canadians.

German Puma and the Israeli Namer are less than half the price and in these cash short times we will not buy yhem. Whats up with that?? Does any one know if these vehicles are of a good quality and can do the mission. If so why arent they looking at them seriously?? Anyone. Thanks in advance.

The Puma is a truly excellent vehicle held back in the US Army’s view by only holding 6 men. It’s cost and weight make up for that overall, but the Army is pushing hard for a 9-man carrier. We’d need 5 pumas per unit versus 4 namers or 4 GCVs. The Namer holds 9 men, and has wonderful durability, but is heavy, weakly armed and expensive. However, with the exception of the weapons, it meets or exceeds the other GCV capabilities and is off the shelf. As a comparison between those two, 5 pumas cost $34.5 million and weigh in at 175 tons total. 4 Namers cost $44 million and weigh in at 272 tons total.

Where the hell did you get that a Namer costs $11 million a piece!? The darn things only cost $3 Million each.

Secondly, if you want firepower on the Namer you can mount the Rafael RCWS MarkII 30mm+7.62mm+ 2x SPIKE LR on the thing… hell, even throw in an APS like TROPHY or IRON FIST, and still come out cheaper than the Puma.

Really now. I got the figures from the CBO, who got them from the US Army. Ask the army where they came up with that, although methinks it is because of lack of mass production. Also, due note the specification of the Rafael “Samson” Model RCWS also adds over 1.5 metric tons to the already very hefty Namer, and would require re-engineering to make room on the chassis. (It’s a pretty big system) And yes, I have the actual specifications for the Samson series to look this up.

Care to point out where in the CBO report they cost a friggin $11 Million dollars? The IDF reported a cost of $3 Million dollars per unit per a 130 unit order (which has grown since).

Secondly, the Namer is already in full rate production in both the U.S. (by General Dynamics) and Israel.

There is also no “re-engineering” required, it has already been certified on the chassis. You can see it mounted and firing on the Namer here: http://​youtu​.be/​J​9​n​0​Y​w​N​2​R2k

It also does not take up any internal volume for a full load of ammunition, and the Namer has more than enough space to hold any reloads you want without losing internal soldiers like the Bradley. It was already built into the original design the ability to hold in special compartments ammo for the RCWS-30:

“The IDF considers developing future multi-purpose support versions of the Namer, armed with the Samson weapon station, mounting much heavier 30mm automatic cannons as well as the Spike guided weapons. The current design of the Namer is already prepared for such installations, offering protected storage for weapons separated from the fighting compartment and strengthened roof able to carry the extra loads.”

Finally, the Puma (base model) costs over twice as much as a Namer, even one equipped with an RCWS and APS.

.…just remove the Turret on the Bradly.…really.

Thank you for pointing out that there is a Variant of the Samson 30mm that can fit the Namer, I had not heard of this. I had only heard of smaller versions of the Samson being mountable. The price is on page 2 of the recent CBO report on the GCV and alternatives (Report 4044), giving a source of a US Army Headquarters report. I don’t know why the price discrepancy is so much, and you’d have to ask the army.

I’m at a loss for words after reading some of that report:

1)- How the heck they got to $11 Million a vehicle I will never know, the Namer was supposed to be $1.5 Million, and came in over budget at $3 Million each. How the hell a U.S. purchase, lacking the RCWS and APS yet, can be nearly triple the amount I have no idea.

Add to that the fact they assume another $300 million in development costs (what the hell for, it’s in mass production FFS and all the systems are already integrated and standard!).

2)- They completely did not take into account adding an RCWS-30 MarkII, despite the vehicle being specifically designed initially to take that turret.

3)- They keep downplaying the fact that even according to them (without the APS), the Namer would be 33% more survivable than the Bradley (though it should be even more, but who knows what metrics they used).

4)- They also downplay in the metrics the fact that the Namer, along with the proposal for the GCV, can carry 25% more troops overall than any of the other options.

The more I read about the GCV program, the more it sounds like a bullsh!t program who’s only intention is securing a budget for upgrading the Bradley by selling screwed up metrics to Congress and making upgrading the Bradley look like a golden bargain. It completely stinks to high heaven.

And you have a vehicle that still isn’t survivable on the modern battlefield.

1)My guess is that would be the cost for setting up bigger scales of production, as the current lines are only capable of 5 per month. You’d also need to build up much more spare parts infrastructure, and I also think that was factored into build cost.

The development cost is simple, they have to have US standardized components such as radios and computers switched around. Nothing major, but that’s what the cost is.

2)I don’t understand this either, they based the vehicles off of the army’s AoA, though.

3) They weight maneuverability into survivability as well, which is why the Namer is hurt there. The Namer is very big, very heavy and isn’t as fast as other IFVs. Past a certain point, no amount of armor is worth the extra hit rate from the bulk.

4) Which is actually awarded alot of points to the Namer in the equation. But that cost and bulk brought it way down.

On the third point, they mentioned that it was actually 4% higher on the mobility charts than the Bradley.

But which brings me back to why I think this program is a sham.

The most important metric of this program should be survivability. The Bradley was proven useless in Iraq due to it being unsurvivable (U.S. Army’s words, not mine) compared to even there mere MRAP.

If you want a survivable vehicle, it’s going to be heavy, there is no two ways around that and physics. And if that’s not what you are looking for, then why bother with the program? Any vehicle that would come out of this program that is not heavily armored will just end up like the Bradley in Iraq, useless.

And mind you, the threats the Bradley faced overall in Iraq were pretty laughable compared to most modern threats. Aside for a a few large IED’s, it didn’t face anything that impressive. And even so it was still deemed unsurvivable.

One of the reasons the Israeli’s came out with the Namer was because of the experience in Lebanon against massed modern ATGM and large IED threats, the U.S. hasn’t even faced a modern ATGM threat yet… luckily.

One more thing, how the hell did they Puma suddenly cost by the CBO only $6.9 million dollars!?

The 405 unit German order costed them $4.34 Billion USD, or $10.7 Million a unit, back in 2009; and the damn things still don’t work properly and have been reduced buy (which drives up the costs even further).

This whole CBO report just stinks to high heaven.

Being only 4% better is not enough to beat the Puma. And yes, the Bradley proved to be very weak to mines. The Puma though will hit less mines, and has the proper gear to ensure crew survival even if the vehicle is wrecked. Floating seats and Double-V are standard. The Puma can also add 10 tons of extra armor when needed, and as for ATGMs, the much better agility and much small signature of the Puma are going to be more important than the extra armor, especially if it’s top-attack. The Bradley would still do well in conventional ATGM scenarios, it has countermeasures and agility. It is just wimpy against mines. Aka IEDs.

Because the German order included building up the factories and supply lines to build the Puma, which is now already done. This is why the Namer is so expensive, having to build new factories for the Namer. 5 units per month would equip the US in a few decades.

You are not going to outmaneuver a modern ATGM, let’s put that to rest

Also, the Namer was designed to resist top attack weapons (another less from Lebanon, where the Kornets were firing DOWN unto the tanks from the heights). For an idea of just how much top armor the Namer has, just compare it to the Merkava 4 (which itself has a copious amount of top armor): http://​farm9​.staticflickr​.com/​8​3​7​2​/​8​4​9​8​5​0​6​4​6​0​_​946

But like you said, the U.S. already figured the cost in the $300 Million dollars development costs for the Namer (which is already being produced in the U.S.). They also included it in a separate $500 million for the Puma.

It still doesn’t explain how the Namer suddenly costs nearly three times as much, and the Puma magically costs nearly 1/3 less.

Someone either made a big accounting error, or they are purposely throwing out some strange (and very suspicious) numbers.

*lesson

No, development is R&D. Manufacturing costs would be in the adjusted unit price.

Maneuverability is however important against old ATGMs, and to make countermeasures work properly. Plus, there is no denying the smaller target signature of the Puma. And as to the effectiveness of that top armor, Merkavas were still killed by Kornets in top-attack, causing a speed up in deployment of the trophy APS. And you don’t need a heavy vehicle to mount APS.

Nope, page 29 of the report:

“Furthermore, because the Puma is already in production, CBO
estimated that only $500 million in development funds
would be needed to integrate it with U.S. forces and set
up a full or partial production line in the United States.”

The last line there.

I’m just guessing here, they literally took all the unit price numbers from the Army, the CBO didn’t come up with them. The last idea I have is that they count building up subcontractor plants as needed for the Namer. I don’t know why the army decided those were the unit prices.

It can’t swim so it is useless? Are you confused with the Marine ACV or something? The newer Bradley models can’t swim either. Nor can the Puma, Namer, or CV90.

The Puma as it is isn’t acceptable due to the 6 man infantry squad. That defeats one of the primary goals of the whole program. You’d need a new variant of it.

Army says no more Tanks but wants to continue FCS II, I mean GCV! Sorry folks it going to be another over priced technology spin out program and will eventually be killed off.

I agree 100% on the one source & GD no less, is their Electric Boat Div. president Veleotis still a wanted felon?

spot on, hasn’t had his second cup of java yet…lol

Russ: take the projected number needed, purchase 1/2 that number with Puma’s & do service life & operability & elint upgrade on the last run of Bradley’s save a ton of cash!

The Namer is the Merkava tank without the turret. Don’t know about the Puma but the Germans build good Panzers.

Even a vehicle specifically designed for the specific mission of survivability on the modern battlefield “isn’t survivable on the modern battlefield” http://​www​.wired​.com/​d​a​n​g​e​r​r​o​o​m​/​2​0​0​8​/​0​1​/​i​t​-​w​a​s​-bo… . you gold plated weapon conceptualizers need to zip it and listen to real professionals.

The AOA report on which the COB report was based, was followed up by a scathing critique by the CAPE, resulting in extensive additional research and analysis on these foreign systems and other alternative options. Engineering improvements to the Namer and PUMA were examined to get them closer to meeting the needs of the Soldier, and improvements were even made to the GCV requirements. The COB ignored all of that new data. To date the majority of the findings show that it would be inefficient to bandaid the shortfalls of the Bradley and these other systems. Our potential enemies already outperform us and are already engineering their next generation of improvements. We need to leap ahead, not crawl ahead, just to catch up. 10 years of investing in the Mideast campaigns, while other countries invested in advancing their militaries has been devastating.

I wish one could make the case that GCV is FCS II. Unfortunately, this argument doesn’t hold water. FCS had a common chassis with eight mission variants. The ICV plaform specification was substantially different from GCV in terms of weight and armor protection. Although GCV “might” spawn other variants, that is not in the program baseline, as it was in FCS. I can’t see the Army building a tank or a howitzer on top of this chassis, certainly not without substantial reengineering (in the same sense that the M109 “reuses” the M113 chassis). FCS was the logical culmination of the 1988 (!!) Armored Family of Vehicles Task Force Study. As far as I’m concerned, and until evidence to the contrary emerges, I think we can all assume that concept is dead.

That was in fact the concept that the SAIC/Boeing/Wegmann team proposed. Sorry that this is such an inconvenient fact for some people.

Since when is the White House responsible for the CBO. Last I heard it was part of the Legislative Branch, not the Executive Branch, and the Director is appointed by the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate. Why would anyone blame poor CBO performance on the White House?

Good heavens, if they are going to try to put 12 men in the back, they might as well consider the AMTRAC.

its pointless to really ask why the biggest PORK spender in the US Army wants to spend more pork. Like ICC GCV is a blunder with the army already upgrading current fleets of Bradleys, so I doubt GCV will replace the M-2/3 at all. I also doubt they will buy the Puma and Namer either. With sequestration coming to the budget in3 months. You wil see more pork spender like Mchugh have temper tantrums over there pet projects running into walls or being cancelled. Over we either buy a new APC or upgrade the Bradley enough with pointless cost blundering competitions that will not be adopted.

Now, does it make sense that the White House would have a Congressional Budget Office? Should correct that.

Most things are sole-source. Having multiple sources just doubles your price most of the time. Who’s the 2nd source for aircraft carriers? SSBNs? ICBMs? SLBMs? Bombers? Tanks? Seeing a trend here? There’s barely enough work to keep one contractor afloat for most things let alone multiple. But hey, please continue with your, “ZOMG MIC gonna steal the world!!!!!” BS.

There’s a difference between funding two developments, then choosing the one you like better, versus funding only one development and being stuck with whatever they develop, at whatever cost.

Development cost is typically about 5% of the total cost of a ground combat system. Saving money on development by “accepting risk” on procurement and O&S costs is always the wrong choice. It’s doubly wrong when you do it because you really can’t afford all of the things you’re trying to do right now, even if you underestimate their costs.

Also, pushing for more capacity isn’t terribly worth it it’s cheaper to buy multiple smaller carriers. Almost no military on the planet has a 9 man IFV, and most aren’t rushing to fix that issue. (With the exception being the Namer, as always.)

And how many soldiers would have died if not for the MRAP’s?

Take your nonsense elsewhere.

to answer your question, a lot. i’m not suggesting mrap’s are not good. if you could think straight you’d understand. you must have some severe psychological bias or stake in gcv to be closeminded to alternatives.

And what is the alternative?

A Bradley like vehicle that the Army doesn’t allow to leave the base because it is, in the words of the Army itself, “unsurvivable”.

So what is your magic solution that defies the laws of physics?

Ok by your logic we can’t leave the bases.

Terrible but true. After all IED’s can blow up anything if they are big enough.

The MRAP is unsurvivable on the modern battle field. Seen how many are going to stick around? Not many. Too big, too ungainly off the roads.

The Namer and other super heavy APC’s are great.…as long as you don’t leave the same continent.

We need cheaper, more general purpose APC’s which are designed for one thing. Getting men around the battlefield and keeping them safe from light fire and such. Want a 30mm and tow missiles? Build a light tank like we have needed for a while.

It doesn’t make sense to build a APC the size of a main battle tank or larger then send it into the heat of battle. If it looks like a tank some ass hole will attempt to use it like one.

Joe, you need a kick in the posterior, then a dictionary. Thank you for giving me a great laugh tonight, I read your comment above about the Bradleys’ uselessness. Your incredibly careless attribution of the Bradley’s uselessness to the Army is stunning. here’s a piece of counter evidence to set the record straight: http://​www​.defense​.gov/​N​e​w​s​/​N​e​w​s​A​r​t​i​c​l​e​.​a​s​p​x​?​I​D=2
I also recommend Thunder Run by Zucchino to you

I also recommend the facts to you: http://​strategypage​.com/​h​t​m​w​/​h​t​a​r​m​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​/​2​0​120

Any IFV could have done the initial thrust into Baghdad in 2003, stop pulling our chains. A friggin BMP would have fared well against the joke that was the Iraqi army at the time.

No, of course a big enough IED can blow up any vehicle. But now you have made the devices far more complicated, made them fewer and farther in between and have reduced the effectiveness of all IED’s when you go with heavy armor. The armor also protects you against EFP devices that would endanger any lighter vehicle.

There is a reason why MBT’s weigh these days between 60–70 tons. A vehicle that is supposed to keep up with MBT’s in combat should be armored against the same threats.

And by your “continent” logic, then MBT’s would be stuck stateside as well; but that isn’t the case.

MRAP’s also serve a specific niche of an occupation force (outside of the M-ATV), they are fine for that.

If you want a simple lightly armored and armed battle taxi, then you already have the M-113. If you want a bigger monstrosity, then take the Bradley. And if you want to go with the MBT’s into the dangerous areas and offer them infantry support, then you are going to need a heavy MBT.

And by the way, BAE, etc, obviously agree with me with their GCV proposal, including variants that make the Namer look lightweight.

If you know of any other way to defend against IED’s, EFP’s, top attack munitions, ATGM’s, enemy vehicle fire, etc, in a single vehicle, please let us know.

Amen

This was an argument I attempted to make in previous discussions on this board. I’m surprised Major Rod has not made an appearance to set this discussion straight. TMC, Major Rod, where are you guys ? The Army needs you. :)

You did see the dustup over DCGS-A and Palantir between Secretary McHugh, General Odierno and Duncan Hunter the other day, didn’t you ? Paraphrased: We’ve spent 10 billion dollarson this system and can’t afford to but on COTS solution that competes with it, so we can train troops in Georgia to use that same deployed COTS solution in Afghanistan…Lance, even you can’t make this stuff up.

It seems that the army has opted for the BAE solution, which weighed in at 80 tons, just when the rest of the DoD is trying to *shorten* and *reduce* its logistical burdens.

Obviously this represents something of a problem, in that a GCV that weighs more than an M1A2 cannot cross the same bridges.

JCross, buying multiple vehicles might be cheaper in the short term, but you’ll pay for it down the road having to maintain and fuel twice the fleet. No other military is investing much in a 9 man squad because either a) they don’t have 9 man squads or b) they’re not busy fighting ground wars. For our style of warfare, we’ve found a serious need to have the squad together and able to go into the fight as a singular unit. The Stryker brigades have been doing this for a decade and have more than proved the concept. The Namer doesn’t quite work for us mostly because of weight issues. One of the leading concept vehicles for the Bradley replacement may weigh as much as an Abrams. That’s insane. The Namer isn’t quite that heavy, but it’s close enough to be graded down.

Which modern battlefield? The MATV or Buffalo will probably fair better than a Bradley against a pair of stacked 155mm artillery shells IED, but they’re not going to lead the charge into an armor vs armor fight, not going to conduct a recon mission, and not going to go ANYWHERE off road.

It’s not twice the fleet though, it’s only a 20% increase in fleet size. And these smaller vehicles get better fuel economy and aren’t constrained in cities as much. The Namer and GCV both for example have similar weight, size and fuel economy as the Abrams, and correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we seen little use of the Abrams outside of the initial campaigns in Iraq & Afghanistan? They’re simply too big and too costly to use for many missions.

Which is exactly why a heavy APC/IFV is needed.

Except that you need five vehicles instead of four to transport the same amount of troops (regardless of the armor issues), so there goes your fuel economy out the window. In addition, you now have additional logistic strain keeping five vehicles instead of four in the field.

25% is 5 instead of 4. So you’d only need a 25% fuel economy boost, and I’m quite confidant that a 36 ton vehicle can do that versus a 67 ton vehicle. Also, besides fuel, at 67 tons, that’s a much bigger deal for logistics. 5 67 tonners weighs much less than 4 36 tonners altogether, and logistics is very much a tonnage game. (Bridge capacity, airlift and sealift payload, truck and winch capacitites.) It may take more room physically, but it would take less fuel and much less weight with the lighter vehicles. And it would be more distributed as well, a 40 ton capacity bridge can take infinite amounts of 36 ton IFVs given time, but not a single 67 ton one. Ask the Abrams guys about that issue.

When I said double, I meant a single GCV replacing two Bradleys. The weight issues mean it costs more and takes longer to deploy, road conditions notwithstanding.

Joe, I’m not sure if you were advocating for MRAPs or not. The problem the MRAPs presented was we created a vehicle so good at surviving that it wasn’t capable of doing anything else. War is a game of trade offs and we have to decide at what point we’ve armored up as much as is practical before we’re cutting into combat effectiveness.

And I don’t disagree with that notion.

I’m not saying to replace every single Bradley or M-113 with a Namer. What I am saying is purchase enough Namer’s to accompany your initial and main assault forces (including M1A2’s, etc), and then let the occupation forces use MRAP’s or similar vehicles that are more economical afterwards.

But for the initial and intermediary heavy combat, use the Namer.

But like I said, that issue is fine when you consider the fact that this vehicle will be facing the same fire as an Abrams that it is meant to accompany.

Yes, you might be somewhat more limited in your theoretical movements. But let’s be realistic here, the main thrusts against the most heavily armed enemy areas are not going to happen without Abrams. The Namer is lighter than the Abrams, it will be able to accompany them no problem.

The Namer is lighter than the Abrams by 1.5 metric tons, which is the exact weight of the necessary 30MM RCWS turret to make it a true IFV. And the exterior dimensions are basically identical with about 30% better fuel consumption. The Namer does serve a purpose though. Maybe they could buy a certain fraction of Namers to serve in close-in heavy assaults, with a lighter IFV for most operations. It would seemingly be the best of both worlds, as the Namer is just too big to be a true multiuse vehicle.

The weight is similar to two Bradleys, but that would be a big, big sacrifice in Armament and Capacity.

This is my notion personally, buy a Heavy IFV for the Assault troops, maybe call it something like a Infantry Assault Vehicle, and use a lightweight for the bulk of the fleet. Heavy IFVs like the Namer are only good in a few niches, much like most MRAPs. Although the M-ATV is a proper good all-around armored car, and the one truly great thing that resulted from that program.

In my opinion, the GCV should NOT be the same weight as two Bradleys. As for sacrificing the second vehicle, the Army is willing to sacrifice the extra 25mm gun if it gets a complete squad to the fight together.

The Puma does not hold 9 (an important requirement for the Army), and the Namer is too heavy and underarmed. It is amazing to me how Congress continually upholds welfare and cronyist/porkbarrel programs that the country cannot afford while criticizing military programs that are necessary. No wonder they have barely a 20% approval rate on a good day.

Don’t blame the mideast wars for our failure to modernize. Non-OCO modernization funding was well above average during those wars; we paid for the wars with an IOU.

The failure to modernize was due to the same “we need to leap ahead” thinking that you are promoting here. It’s why we spent tens of billions on FCS, TSAT, LCS, DDG-1000, JTRS, FAB-T, ABL, and a stack of other expensive ‘transformational’ programs that produced nothing worth having. Leaping ahead doesn’t help if you’re leaping into a cravasse.

Puma and Namer have two huge advantages over the new-start GCV, though:
1. They exist
2. They are affordable
Neither of those is certain, or even likely, for the new start.

As for “military programs that are necessary”, how did GCV get to be top priority? The Army itself admitted the other day that M113 is the “weakest link” for the armored brigades. Bradleys can do the mission; M113s cannot. So why isn’t AMPV the top priority program?

LOL, Veliotis has not worked at or been associated with Electric Boat in over 30 years but go right ahead and rake that mud!

“The one option other than the path we’re on would have been pretty much shut the line down. That would have killed the delivery of the systems to the Army,” he said. “It was an unconventional approach, but it was an unconventional situation.”___________________________________________________________

I like this guy(McHugh), he actually know what the frac he’s talking about. I do have a question, why would we buy Combat Vehicles from Germany or Israel when we have the capability to build them here? or better yet, why would some in congress want us to?…I would like to see Congress explain that one to the American populace.

I didn’t realize the upgrading the Army Combat Vehicles was PORK. I always thought PORK was some Senator or Congressman getting funding to build a bridge to nowhere.….explain your assessment to us…please.

Actually, the article didn’t say if the SecArmy had decided to purchase anything from BAE Systems, it just said “The Army in 2011 awarded two contracts to begin developing the technology for the vehicle: one to BAE systems, and one to General Dynamics. You are right about the tonnage though, the M1A2 only weigh 69.5 tons, may be a few more pounds uploaded.

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