Army Considers Killing Ground Combat Vehicle

Army Considers Killing Ground Combat Vehicle

The U.S. Army due to budget cuts is considering scaling back, delaying or even canceling major modernization programs, from the Ground Combat Vehicle to the Armed Aerial Scout helicopter to the battlefield communications network, officials said.

A few hundred acquisition programs, from the biggest to the smallest, have already been negatively affected by the automatic, across-the-board reductions, known as sequestration, as well as the recent government shutdown and the stop-gap funding measure known as a continuing resolution, according to Army Secretary John McHugh.

“I find it difficult to envision any significant number of our developmental initiatives that won’t be affected,” he said during a press conference at the first day of the annual Association of the United States Army conference. “Ground Combat Vehicle — name your favorite acquisition developmental program, it’ll probably be affected.”


His comments were echoed by Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno. The Army needs to invest in numerous weapons systems, including the Humvee replacement known as the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or JLTV, the Bradley replacement known the Ground Combat Vehicle, helicopters such as the AH-64 Apache, UH-60 Black Hawk and the CH-47 Chinook, as well as the battlefield network, said Odierno, who spoke alongside McHugh at the briefing.

“We need all of that,” he said. “We can’t afford all of that.”

The Defense Department faces about $500 billion in automatic cuts through 2021. That’s in addition to almost $500 billion in reductions already included in 2011 deficit-reduction legislation. The first installment totaled about $37 billion and began March 1 after lawmakers were unable to reach an alternative agreement on taxes and spending. The second installment totals about $52 billion and is set to take effect Jan. 1.

“Functioning like this is just dysfunctional,” Odierno said.

The leaders criticized the lack of flexibility under the across-the-board reductions. They also railed against the lack of a full-year defense budget. The current continuing resolution funds the government at levels similar to last year, preventing the military from undertaking new or even prioritizing programs.

With that flexibility, “it’s just dollars but dollars in the wrong places,” McHugh said.

Heidi Shyu, the service’s top weapons buyer, said the cuts have sliced some $10 billion from her portfolio over the past couple of years. Her office is working to reduce equipment inventories in tandem with decreases in the overall force structure.

The Army already plans to shrink from more than a half a million active-duty soldiers today to about 490,000 around 2017. That figure, however, may drop to 380,000 if sequestration remains in effect, Pentagon officials have said.

“We’re not going to buy as much stuff because we don’t need [it],” Shyu, the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said during a separate briefing with reporters.

Programs at risk of being delayed or canceled include the Ground Combat Vehicle, or GCV, which is designed to replace a portion of the fleet of Bradley fighting vehicles, and the Armed Aerial Scout, which is designed to replace the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, Shyu said.

In the current fiscal environment, “creating new programs is very difficult,” she said. “We have to go in belt-tightening mode.”

At the same time, the Army is trying to protect its investments in science and technology and research and development because “that’s where your significant modernization breakthroughs come through,” Shyu said.

 

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Full disclosure — civilian here. I profess absolutely no knowledge about military matters. To all of those with more expertise than I have, what do you think needs to happen? Protection of the current military budget? A shift toward/away from materiel costs? Control of personnel costs? To me, reading military/acquisition news just seems so fragmented — one program or another getting supported or cancelled, retired Generals getting large pensions while injured veterans wait forever for medical compensation. It’s hard for me to see what the larger goal is.

Your comment about military news being “fragmented” is important. As the geographically detached superpower our military needs/wants list shifts constantly to cover every possible contingency. That we don’t have a pressing need for many of the expensive weapons we buy anymore doesn’t help with this lack of direction. We spent the Cold War buying and building ourselves into a stalemate until the USSR collapsed under its own weight, but now with those very weapons and forces (proven to work well in Desert Storm and OIF), we spent the next 20 years getting our hands dirty with 3rd world troubles, but still trying to be ready in case a worthy opponent popped up. It’s difficult to chart a procurement/training course when the boss says “do everything” so we spend trillions hoping to get the right mix where one of our ideas/toys/programs ends up perfect for the problem and the rest are good enough to help out.

To your specific questions: Personnel — people are expensive. Hiring, training, and retaining quality people takes time and money. An infantryman can be trained in a year. The man who leads 1000 of them takes a couple decades. With a volunteer force that means any lapse in manning takes years to build back up. Add in a good economy and war weariness and the bill goes up. Equipment — we get into so many different types of conflicts that we need a little bit of everything and a lot of specific things, though we never know which until we need them. Because we value cutting edge technology, protecting troops, and rarely get into economies of scale the price tag is very high.

The rub: People are expensive and the most difficult to replace, but also the easiest budget item to cut. You can lay off a soldier with a pen stroke, but not so with a $50 billion weapons program employing 20,000 laborers and engineers and supported by most of the Senate. The other catch to cutting a weapons program is our military industrial base is so centralized/monopolized that any disruption to the system could mean the end of an entire capability. We build tanks in one factory in the US. We built 10,000 M1 Abrams tanks over 20 years out of that factory. We have all that we need and they’re nearly invincible. Except for systems upgrades every few years they ran out of things to do at that factory. Do we shut it down and hope those workers are still around in a decade when we want to build something else? The Marines were going to build the EFV out of the same factory, but that plan was scrubbed with a Plan B only on Powerpoint and no more funding to put against it.

The “larger goal” as you put it is to keep the institution moving along without disruption. Because we’re so fragmented we want to have our cake and eat it too. We want endless funds for trained and equipped troops to fight any war, but when that war comes we treat it as a distraction to perpetuating the system. Finishing the current war becomes less important than starting the next one because future wars dictate what we will buy. Because our national ambitions/goals/budgets are never in alignment we are hugely wasteful, but we can’t/won’t fix ourselves.

Good. It’s unnecessary. It’s made for large ground wars vs other IFV/tanks, and occupy cities etc. That won’t happen anymore. You guys wouldn’t want to have a huge fleet of newly built (probably inferior)IFV’s in a desert lot? Spend it on the air force and shipbuilding. Bradley is enough for Iraq like opponents (which won’t happen anymore). Buy and design new choppers etc.

By the way, I like to know why US contractors can’t built a good ground combat vehicle? Look at the German PUMA IFV, much better. Why is that? Much smaller German contractors build much better stuff. They even compete in US competitions. Is it the better Diesel engines/transmissions? Lighter weight, more agile, and same firepower. Or the Swedish CV90.

Looking to reduce military costs ? Why not consider stopping NATO and the UN ? Why does the USA think it should police the world anyway ? There are many people that do not want a one world order. Plus,the WTO is not pro American. Find something Made in USA at Walmart.

MRAPs’and MATVs’ were disasters I would suspect that these will be of equal uselessness. The Kiowa is a good bird and should not be replaced just updated etc. Most military vehicles fail to accommodate the average sized guy, they are packed with useless and cumbersome equipment that present additional dangers to the occupants. The programs that spit these things out is just a scam on the military and public. We need to get these retired military commanders out of the private biding process. It is an embarrassment and a shame that these programs were ever conceived and presented.

Prioritized! How much does the Army, Navy, & AF “need” new or better combat equipment? What type of war will we be fighting next? No we cannot fight all types of wars at the same time. It seems we will be fighting an asymmetrical war against stateless religious groups who may have chemical weapons.

What speaks loudest is that our generals/future senior executives in major contracting companies got Congress to buy a single engine aircraft that is, to date, our most expensive weapons system. Brilliant. From that purchase, anything goes.

When the Military have to fight they have to get funding from congress, in peace time they have to maintain their equipment and have enough Money to fight a war for 90 days because that’s how long it takes congress to fund them and get their Ammo and fuel and food to fight. This has always been a money waster because if you don’t use your money you lose it, so if a unit has to go to war it takes time to be ready for war. So if they could somehow overcome these issues Like fuel food ammo on demand that would help, when they make new equipment it takes time to test them to find flaws and of course everyone knows that contractors pass the buck onto the Tax payer but is the only way they can stay in the game. War has never been a easy task and in early times armies didn’t go off to war until they had enough men money and equipment, maybe we could just eliminate war and the expense!

Read Mgen Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” and it will all become clear—We can’t stop feeding the Machine(ourselves, our congress, our DoD)

The Pentagon doesn’t really need new equipment. It bases it modernization plans (and funding needs) on privately-owned industrial production schedules (usually set by retired flag officers who know how to take advantage of the not-paying-attention citizenry). If you look at equipment modernization and advanced technology versus wars won, the U.S. hasn’t won anything since WW2, when we produced MORE than Germany and Japan.

After all, how many carrier battle groups, submarines, bombers or tanks does it take to kill one insurgent? the brutally honest anser is NONE!

Our countries whole system of rewards heaps the greatest benefits to those highest in authority. The higher you go in the military generally the greatest intellect of the individual men. Just as with the 1% in our private economy most payments go to the few. We probably have the highest percentage of trained warriors in the ranks of our private citizens in our history. The real expense in the military budget goes for the tools of war and these tools provide jobs. We as citizens have to scream like hell whenever we hear of a solider getting a shitting deal. Just like in the Mafia the shit rolls down hill and the money runs up.

Yes, just sign a contract with Bofors, now owned by American United Defense, to build the CV series in the USA with some minor tweaks for American comm gear ect. This was recommended back in 2006 http://​www​.g2mil​.com/​S​p​r​i​n​g​2​0​0​6​.​htm If that were adopted in 2006, the Army would have an entire fleet of new, modern armored vehicles, but our corrupt retired Generals wasted all the Army’s money on profitable R&D projects for contractors.

One way to reduce DOD procurement costs would be to remove all serving military officers as technical officers on awarded contracts. The problem is especially serious among young Lieutenants and Captains who are assigned to the procurement organization for a tour of a few years. Military culture requires that they discover (i.e., invent) a serious problem in the ongoing contract, force a corrective action, get a good effectiveness report and move on to the next tour in another country of school. The required, and likely unnecessary, correction in a fixed price contract raises the cost and delays delivery. The solution: keep military officer in the contracting business only as advisors and with no veto power – let civilians handle contract management.

What they need is some auditable book keeping!!

I find this good news we DONT need a Bradley replacement since the Bradley out preforms all Russian and Chinese APC and can go for another decade in upgrades minimum. The Bradley can be updated with a M-2/3-A4 and the hull/chasse can be scratched for more room. As for the AAS I find it too short of why replace the OH-58 now??? Until the new generation of helo/aircraft hybrid comes next decade why bother getting ride of a small utility and scout helicopter which has done well in combat. This Generals who have the dumb idea of it has to be new to be good in the years past 2000 mentality needs to change some weapons may be old but they work and don’t need replacement. Need to stop the Army mentality of if its not broke fix it till it is. I think modernization that needs to come s for the Navy and Air Force who stagnated in the last decade and with new Pacific pivot coming we need air and sea power ALOT more than useless land projects. So some good news today.

This probably isn’t all bad news: from a logistical standpoint, this thing was going to be a nightmare — at 80 tons, its heavier than an Abrams tank and can’t cross the same bridges.

While I only have seven years experience in the military in my past experiences, I can see with the escalation of terrorist around the world, this is no time to be cutting back on the military capabilities in order to protect this Nation. I will say, however, that the United States should by all means stop attempting to be the police of the world and keep its nose out of the affairs of other nations. If the leaders of this country over the past 50 years had done this, wasting all the monies it has given to other countries, our financial plight would not be what it is at this very moment. America doesn’t own America anymore, thanks to the politicians that have ‘borrowed” their way into this financial fiasco. Who owns America these days are those that own the “Federal Reserve Bank and System”, which just so happens to be richest of the wealthiest people within the world. And, America does not own the “Federal Reserve Bank”, but allows the Bank to produce worthless backed money, and then loan that same worthless money to the Federal Government at high interest. Our taxes do nothing to reduce our national deficits, but shore up the Federal Reserve Bank, so that it can continue to rape the citizens of this country. Why don’t you as an individual tax payer, ask your federal representative why there has only been one partial financial audit of the Federal Reserve Bank over the last 30 to 40 years? And guess what will happen? Absolutely nothing!

You hit the nail on the head with the Federal Reserve audit! I’m not particularly fond of bashing the rich in general, but they need critics just like everyone else in a free 1st Amendment enforced Democratic Republic.

Although I agree with Smedley — it is a racket — the fact is, that the racket is all we got at times. The best cure for the “racket” is going back to the draft for our Armed Forces. Draftees and their families will not put up with these high jinks, and it becomes a natural damper to meddling in the world where it is not needed or necessary. It would take a truly brave congress to propose such a change back to the way it was!

Not to mention the fact that robots are already fighting a growing portion of our missions. Soon we may have cheaper machines that don’t even need personnel in them to fight a battle. Imagine how small you could make a very effective GCV with no requirement for personnel, or even armor! Advancements in artificial intelligence could bring these assets close to the target, and missions corrections could be downloaded by satellite, or other centralized mission control, perhaps even laser communication from forward transponders. I’ve seen experiments with independent bots using just insect like intelligence that can avoid obstacles, crowd source with other bots, and complete simple missions without aid of any kind. they don’t even have to be of behemoth size. This also frees up the power source requirements and makes fuel cell power more practical. New developments in making hydrogen, have made it possible to manufacture it on the spot from water or algae gleaned from the very battle fields they operate from. Solar fractured hydrogen has reached 5% efficiency, and will soon reach break even at 10% with the nano technology that has rapidly advanced this field. I’m not talking about fracking H2O with electricity, this is a direct sunlight conversion!

Smaller, faster, cheaper could be the mantra of the modern battle field, as mass manufacture of these designs makes economy of scale possible. No need for a stealth fighter if it doesn’t have a pilot, and can maneuver at speeds that would crush a human operator. I see it coming — and nothing will stop it — money is the brute force of this reality.

Let’s turn back the clock about 60 years. Defense contractors come up with a piece of equipment that the military needs and once they get it working, the military buys it. It is NOT cheaper for the DoD to pay for research and development. This one measure would save the DoD Billions each year. It would also promote competition among defense contractors, create more jobs and get real-world solutions in the hands of military men and women faster.

The sequestor was designed to gut the military from the git go. Proof was that 50% of all cuts incurred would be taken against defense spending, which is only 18% of the Federal Budget. It’s what Obama and his party wanted all along. Boehner and McConnell were absolute DRONES for agreeing to it. They wrongly assumed Obama would never allow it to happen. From day one, I said it’s PRECISELY what Obama wanted to happen. Oh, he hates the cuts on the non-defense side, but the more cutting of the military he can do, the better.

Clinton did the same thing. The lion’s share of federal spending cuts in the 90s were against defense, including the intelligence community. It’s what Democrats and RINOs do so they can finance their pet social welfare projects.

Cuts in the 90s were expected and reasonable, but not the cuts we got. But this time around it’s going to be even more painful. The left doesn’t believe in the federal government sticking to its Constitutionally mandated responsibilities. Defense is one of them. Rather, the left wants to massively expand — and has done so successfully, with the help of go along to get along establishment Republicans — the federal governments power to the point that is has repeatedly violated the 10th amendment. This has been done on purpose in order to set a precedent. People are so used to the Constitutional being violated by the very ones who swore to uphold it, they aren’t alarmed at all by it. And that is how tyranny takes hold.

As a former police officer turned military officer, I’m appalled at what government at all levels has been able to get away with. And the biggest threat to our liberty yet is this trend of ‘militarizing’ our police forces. There are way too many agencies with SWAT teams. There are way too many no-knock and/or middle of the night Gestapo/KGB styles raids being conducted. Innocent home owners have been killed all across the country in such raids due to mistaken addresses, wrong/false information about wrong doing, etc. But I digress.

The point is, the government needs to get back into its box and do what its supposed to do rather than trying to everything to all people. By doing the latter, it is failing in its Constitutional missions MISERABLY.

Excellent overview. *Note: I am NOT trying to start an argument. Simply stating MY view, which I won’t go into detail on, here. OK? First, I believe that the idea of “personnel being expensive” is just plain WRONG, simply because we are DOING IT WRONG. Rather than be a bottomless money hole, any Military base can in fact be made to be INCOME PRODUCING / PROFITABLE.
Second, use that M1 Abrams tank factory as an example. It was basically designed and built in the PRE-DIGITAL AGE. It is simply GREED, IGNORANCE, and a lack of both imagination, and political will, that makes your comment, above, at all still true…We have not YET BEGUN to properly WAGE PEACE.
But THANK-YOU, “tmb2”, for the “base” comment upon which I placed a *fulcrum* and a *lever*.…and I don’t mean a MiG 29… more later. Thank you, TOO, “Guest”…

Well, “Cherry Six”, when the SHTF, will YOU stand with $$ Trillions and the “1%”, or will you fight on the side of millions of ARMED American Citizens…???…
Lord have mercy on the billionaires, when the SHTF…
~silentum~;~excubitor~
*Semper*Fidelis*AMERICA*
I support the ongoing military coup…

Maybe they should pay regular prices for toilets seats and/or hammers

Or go forward a few years to Eisenhower’s farewell speech about military industrial complex.

The real fix would be just that. Have people (who know what’s needed) come up with a concept. Put it out and have conglomerates come up with a FIXED price.

Now if the military comes back and say they want a shiny plastic knob on that wicket, redo the price.

Not the defense contractor say “Well, when we came up with the low winning bid, we didn’t calculate the actual cost”. We need to say sorry. But you’ll need to eat that cost.

I’m half tempted to even suggest that we do the only thing that the USSR did right. Nationalize. But I am a little afraid that would stifle innovation. But as long as fair wages are paid and most profits arent going to CEOs and people like Darleen Druyan, we can find smart people who still believe in the U.S. To run them.

Brad, how does a military base produce revenue? We don’t make anything to be sold. I said personnel are expensive because that’s true of any business or industry. Personnel costs (salaries, healthcare, training) usually counts for the largest line item of any budget. In the DoD its almost 50% of total spending. How does a tank factory sitting idle because it has nothing to produce constitute greed and ignorance?

2013 is the 21st Century, *NOT* 1984…Please try to comment accordingly, Gareth…
Cheaper Chinese toilet seats and hammers are just as good as those we got decades ago from Japan, and then Taiwan.…
And the mark-up profit for the Military Industrial Complex is much greater, so can we stick to the GCV, please?…Or at least the GCV-Drone?…We have a limitless supply of *CYBER*TROOPS*…

THANK-YOU!…I missed the “Darleen Druyan Caper” the first time around, but thanks to YOU, and google/wikipedia, now I know what happened there…OUCH!… She shoulda’ done at LEAST 9 YEARS in Federal Prison, and been stripped of her pension…
There should be a Darleen Druyan Memorial of SHAME on the Pentagon front lawn…

OK, lemme try to answer, without writing a BOOK…
First, “produce revenue” is analog thinking…Look at the latest energy-consumption reduction strategies the Air Force is using at their bases…Younger troops who understand business AND natural ecosystems are designing new paradigms into old infrastructure…“closed loops”, and “cycles” are some of it…Also, better diet, exercise, mind/body awareness, less smoking, drinking, drugs, etc., all mean much less in healthcare costs… You’re still assuming that just because it WAS that way, that it must still be that way NOW, or tommorrow… If that “tank factory” can ONLY produce tanks, there’s something WRONG with Management, NOT the workers, or the factory itself… You’ve never read Buckminster Fullers “Critical Path”, have you?…Come back and talk to me AFTER you’ve read that book…He will get your head on straight…

I’m just wondering — how many of our troops are still alive because they were riding in an MRAP or MATV when they rolled over that IED?

Because taking your ball and going home DEcreases US influence mister HACK. If you don’t know geopolitics, read up on it first.

They also are trying to kill the F-16 due to its cheap cost

What the Bradley desperatly needs is an up-armed cannon. A gun that can punch holes in an enemy tank.
As proved in Iraq the 25mm M242 Bushmaster is usless. Too light for heavy armor, too heavy for personnel.
From personal experience what it really needs is the Mk 44 30mm Bushmaster. The Mk44 has 60 percent logistics commonality with the M242 and 90 percent operator and maintenance training commonality.
I would like a little face time with the idiot who thought a 25mm was the way to go.

Bon jour, mon ami…Relax, “c4246” is what’s called an “isolationist”…
He’s probably a member of the “Republican” political party, and therefore he’s paranoid, and angry…
NATO / OTAN is here to stay, for the next few decades, at least, as is the U.N.…
But, sadly, yes, there are several million Patriotic Americans who are deathly afraid of America’s continuing role as one of the World’s last remaining Superpowers, along with Russia, and China, and India, and Brazil, &etc… We’re on the *SAME*TEAM*, still… (sorry about that EURO currency situation, though…!…)…

According to the only substantive study that I’ve seen… some. Certainly dozens, maybe hundreds. Nowhere near the thousands that DoD routinely claims, though, because IED attacks had already peaked and dropped to much lower levels _before_ we managed to get those vehicles to the field.

Saving lives is good — but there are probably ways to spend $20B that would have been even more effective at saving lives and accomplishing missions. Even in the civilian world, you expect better return for that on health and safety programs.

I think it’s hilarious that the Army jumped up and down and turned purple when CBO opined that GCV was too expensive for the moment and that AMPV should be a higher priority — and now the Army is essentially agreeing with everything CBO said. I’m not holding my breath for that “Oops, my bad” though.

It is not just the military going into private industry you also have government workers going into private industry that push these programs.

Thank-you, Dave, for that…Can you post a link, or some reference, to that study you mentioned?…
And, is DoD REALLY so pathetic, that they routinely and grossly OVER-state the “lives saved” statistic…???… I’m just askin’, that’s all…
One of the biggest problems with the GCV, & MRAP / MATV, too, is that we need them in the first place…
Then, we need HOW MANY…???… What do we DO with all that…???…
Leave them all in Afghanistan…???…What a *MESS*, huh…???…

Might as well get used to it general. As long as the democrats control the senate there will be no budget. Nor, is military readiness a democrat/administration priority, or even a consideration.

I’d be happier if America had Civilian control of the Military, and Gov’t…and Industry, too…Instead of the Global Banksters…
We’d have fewer, shorter, less costly wars, with Civilian control…

Buy the best for the value which is not necessarily based on cost. Get rid of all special programs that benefit so called minorities and tend to increase cost. This is business, not social engineering. The best will rise to the challenge regardless of status. Streamline the acquisition process and strongly punish those that commit fraud or theft or deviate from established rules, now simplified. Accountalbility, you play, you pay.

Spooner… Can the Bradley’s turret and turret ring stand up to the weight and recoil of the Mk 44 30mm Bushmaster? Would require a redesign of the turret and major modification to the hull to gain reliable operation? Do you need bigger turret drives? How much more power do you need to drive a heavier stabilized turret? Do you need a bigger alternator? How much more power are you going to vector from the engine to a bigger alternator thru the HMPT-500’s PTO? Do you need to ugrade the HMPT-500? Do you need a bigger engine or are you willing to accept less power being vectored to the tracks? Are you going to fund continued development of L3’s HMPT-800-EG transmission, and is L3 capable enough to deliver that? Much remains to be seen, and there is still no such thing as a free lunch.

It is inevitable. The draft is coming if we do not stop policing the entire global oil producing world and all the other places where our companies have invested to pull resources.

JTR– your spot on with the questions. Even little things can make a huge difference. In Vietnam they tried mounting two M-2’s on a 113, one at the TC and one in the rear, and after firing a can of ammo through them both firing at the same time, they found the hull was warped. The army needs a true light tank that is easily air transportable. You cant make anything impervious to enemy fire so limit even add on armor to reactive.
Oh and make sure its independently tested so the troops don’t get an over priced piece of crap.

“that won’t happen any more”

In the past that statement meant the death of millions of men to whom that indeed happened.

European companies have to compete across national boundaries, and so work hard to win. US companies have to swim in water polluted by corruption in the government procurement system, and are forbidden by ITAR from competing abroad unless the corrupt government permits it..

When told about an expensive hammer, Harry Truman said “Find me the guy who wrote the check”.

As a previous Route Clearance Commander. I can tell you for a fact the MRAP, specifically RG 31s did save lives. With the MK5 versions, they can withstand up to 300lbs of HME, that doesn’t mean your bell didn’t get rung or that you had injuries, but most of my men did walk away from a direct blast. That doesn’t mean that insurgents didn’t adapt either, because they did. No matter what technology comes out, there will always be a way to defeat armored vehicles, but for now I will gladly take an MRAP any day of the week Vs an up-armored 1114 or 1151. For the Record our company encountered over 300 IEDs during a 12 month period. So I can speak on experience for the MRAP, and I did not have any KIAs involving the MRAP.

Yeah, DB Cooper, but when they put those M-2’s on skate rings, and fired them full auto, they could get the M113 airborne for short hops…TC’s loved it, because then they qualified for *WINGS*…
Keep up the good work, yur a geneyus…

It’s long past time that America instituted “CUNS” — Compulsory Universal National Service — Either Military, Civilian, “non-profit” sector / human service / higher education, *SOMETHING*…
Reinstating the Draft would be a darn good start…

I feel best when I knew I could trust a government official, who would not allow the false information to be past around the medias. I served 26 years and for a country who worries about people on the other side of the world, and while the citizens here starve, die, suffer the effects of what we do.
Maybe we should make being a career veteran a requirement for political office of any kind. We have many in office today will and did refuse to serve in the armed forces, they are ready to commit the forces to tasks that they avoided. A career politician is not a reference of you ability to protect the way of life or the government they are suppost to serve

The Government of America is a PLUTOCRACY — a gov’t of the RICH, by the RICH, for the RICH…
Sorry, but that’s just how it is — but not how it’s supposed to be…
I’d rather see a gov’t of the Military, by the Military, FOR the PEOPLE…
A true WARRIOR serves ALL the people, not only the ones that put money in his pocket…
When a guy in Congress — a politician, says they will “fight” for you, well, that’s just words, just a LIE…
But when a WARRIOR says they will fight for you, that means “fight to die”, if necessary…That isn’t a LIE…
But a WARRIOR — a Military person, lives and works, and fights so EVERYBODY can live…
We don’t need to waste so many $Billions on “defense spending” — that’s what “politicians” do…
Go ahead, Pentagon, scrap the GCV, we don’t need it… Stop wasting our Billions. WARRIOR UP!…

People have to realize that materiel requirements have to be established and the lengthy process it takes to establish and approve these requirements. To go along with that once the vehicle/equipment has been built and meets all these very specific requirements any future changes will more than likely spur additional upgrades to stay within the already established requirements. Take the A3 Bradley for example, over the last 10+ years it has received several upgrades in armor and technology and is not meeting those requirements or getting ready to. Right now I am only speaking in reference to Size, Weight and Power requirements. So does adding a new technology or materiel (i.e. 30mm cannon, communications, etc.) cause a capability gap or is it just adding to a current gap that needs to be addressed? I could go on and on but short story long. There is typically a 5–7 year process in coming up with a materiel solution and sometimes it can take upwards of 10 years (with proper staffing, approval, development and testing) for the whole process to be ready for full scale production. I’m sure I have missed some things or left a lot out but I am not an acquisition officer nor do I claim to be.

Simplistic responses to hugely complex questions: First, the U.S. military doesn’t set priorities and responsibilities, the civilian government does, and while that same govt. has throttled military spending it has added responsibilities (huge increase in Pacific). Additionally, the Army and Marine aviation fleets have or are about to reach their airframe hours, AF F-15’s/F-16’s close behind, even the B-2 is coming up on 7000 hours; the Navy desperately needs new light combatants as it’s destroyers and cruisers are not only old but run old technology; the immense investment in the two LCS designs are to date disasters and the F-35, while the three versions are going to be effective, they are behind schedule, creating severe problems for all the countries that have bet the farm on them. We have been at nearly continuous war for 20 years and our military equipment is exhausted, yet Congress not only does not pay proper attention to the potential consequences, it doesn’t much care about its veterans. As a result, more and more potential recruits are now preferring LWP than enlisting. We are going to see a huge downsizing of the Marine Corp and with the continued deterioration of America’s relationship with the entire rest of the world, we can expect to see countries begin to demand that we abandon some of those 1170 foreign based military bases we maintain while at the same time we are continuing to try to expand into Africa. We have waged war on terror for so long that the effects of that war — more and more hatred and poverty — ought to be apparent, yet we persist. We used to export ideals, now we are the largest seller of weapons in the world, which is using those weapons with abandon.

The Navy has long insisted on twin engines because of reliability issues with one engine and, you know, oceans. Today, aircraft engines develop far more thrust and are far more reliable, thus that choice. When the three versions of the F-35 were finalized, production of the F-22 had not yet been cut off. The two planes were designed to work together In some areas, the F-35 is actually superior, but not for air superiority. Now, there are only about 184 operational F-22’s, far fewer than required by the commitments given to the Air Force. There will be no more, and if anyone were to even broach the idea of a “Sixth Generation” fighter to Congress, they’d get shot by the Tea Party activists who have swung 180 degrees — militarily speaking — from the traditional Republican desire for War, War, War. One final point, the comment about ‘most expensive weapons system’ is disengenuous, since the plane is to replace virtually all tactical aircraft in eight air forces. A better parameter would be per-aircraft cost versus performance. That cost is dropping down below $100m and should continue to drop. Man, that is a lot of money!

If you are correct, and the Bradley can go another decade, then they have to begin the process to replace it last year. Meanwhile virtually all our helicopter fleets have bumped up against their airframe hours limits, the exceptions being some of the newer UH-60’s. The Marine helos are in particular exhausted. Name one single fighter, destroyer, cruiser, frigate, helicopter in our military that doesn’t require rapidly growing amounts of maintenance to keep it running. I can think of one, the F-22, and if you haven’t noticed, it’s already an old design. War eats hardware as well as people, and we’ve been at war a very long time.

Sheesh. It wasn’t the Senate that thought up sequestration genius, nor was it the Dems, who have, in fact, traditionally believed that shooting foreigners was not a useful foreign policy. We entered Iraq with a military that those peace-loving Dems built, and it did fine. Since 1991, we’ve been nearly continuously at war, we are hated virtually everywhere, we have MORE terrorists and our military is exhausted. Dems wanted roads, bridges, jobs, clean energy, clean air and water, regulations to prevent economic collapse; Reps wanted a 600 ship fleet, no regulations, no medicare, no health insurance, no thought for returning veterans. Well, the Dems haven’t done much in that area either. We now have almost one thousand two hundred military bases OUTSIDE of the U.S. and we are shooting missiles at ‘suspected terrorists’ on three continents, returning to the Philippines, basing in Australia and in general doing everything possible to wage war. Thankfully, that gives our children and grandchildren an option other than NJAS — no job after school.

Everything you’ve suggested is social engineering, which is another way of describing war. From Reagan to today our middle class has lost ground and the proportion of wealth it formerly controlled has transferred up the food chain. The nation has regained the GDP it lost in 2008, but virtually ALL of that new wealth has gone to the 1%, virtually none to the middle class which hasn’t gotten a raise in five years. Today, it is far, far more difficult for the poor, no matter race or culture, to be move up to higher economic strata. In fact, social and economic mobility in this country is now far lower than in virtually all advanced nations. Oddly, in concert with this near-collapse of our middle class we have seen a similar collapse of our systems of education. Funny how that works. Whose idea was that? That’s the guy you want to shoot. (hint, Grover Norquist).

Because we have a Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) always meddling in changes to the Contract Baseline Capabilities, seeking a better mouse trap and telling the Contractor how to design build the material solution TRADOC wants.. This drives costs up and up as Contractors see $$$$‘s with each contract change.

It takes forever because we have a Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) always meddling in changes to the Contract Baseline Capabilities, seeking a better mouse trap and telling the Contractor how to design build the material solution TRADOC wants. This drives costs up and up as Contractors see $$$$‘s with each contract change.

Well, that’s the danger of consolidaton and being a ‘country’ as opposed to a union. Which is why America’s complacency on all levels is understandable, and I hope fixable. Your government’s oversight of the private sector is shockingly lacking, even in the subject of DEFENSE contractors. I hope we Euro’s don’t fall into the same trap, with our defense consolidations going forward.

Eh? The AIFV mounted a 25mm, and it’s a 25mm on an M113 hull.

Agreed, “VikingWarrior”, but it ain’t just TRADOC — there’s lots of bureaucracies that provide NO VALUE ADDED, except to employ useless Tax parasites…
By streamlining the Stovepipes and Funnels, we can actually emply MORE folks, get MORE productivity,
and BETTER equipment FASTER, at LOWER COST…
Go ahead, Wall St. FAT CATS, and GLOBAL BANKSTERS, HOWL at the moon for your soon-diminishing returns…*WE* *AMERICANS* are already finalizing plans for the NEXT 4 years AFTER Obama…
We don’t CARE what the Army does with the GCV…
LOOK OUT World, here comes MAIN St. USA…

HOPE = CHANGE…Relax, ConEuro,…
America is a CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY, operating with a republican overlay…
Our Town’s Sister City, Einbeck, Germany, visited recently, and the TALKS were amazingly productive,
the Choral Concert was SRO (…standing room only — we had to turn folks away to avoid overcrowding!…), and 3D Printing & rapid prototyping are going to be dominant drivers of the Industrial resurgence happening here now…The coming regime change in 2016 looks VERY EXCITING…
Honestly, we do NOT CARE what the Army decides about the GCV…

Um, “blight_”, I think either “DB Cooper” is an adult troll, or he has some lingering head trauma from his only recorded parachute jump…I’ve seen that “”” .50cal warping an M113 hull””” garbage on OTHER Blogs / posts…just sayin’…

It’s an example of using the internet as a reference without sufficient sanity-checking.

I always check my sanity at the door before I log onto the interwebs.
Sanity isn’t safe on the internet.
Thank God someplace still is.
But, to remain TOPICAL, the BEST NexGen GCV is gonna be a FLEET, of redesigned
Bradleys, and Puma’s & MRAPs, & M-ATVs, and whatever whatever NATO-Ally is producing.
Both the MATV, and MRAP can EASILY be retrofitted with MUCH different sized and types of wheel / tire combos, that will provide vastly different mission performance profiles, and which can easily be swapped from mission-to-mission even at the smallest FOB…
TFT — Total Force Transformation will render the cumbersome, current DoD-down, TOP HEAVY, red-taped acquisition process obsolete…
The GCV is ALREADY OBSOLETE, and it ain’t even fielded, yet…
The comment from “JRT”, above, is worth re-reading, not getting sidetracked by trolls…

Grover Norquist (GN) is responsible for the collapse of our educational system? I always thought It was the unionization of teachers & the increase in admininstrators starting at local, state & up to federal level. The “Dept. of Education” when chartered by the federal gov’t was intended to maintain metadata on school districts & student performance. It has now morphed into another nameless, faceless, that’s not my job fed. agency that dictates educational policy to the states. We now have a “top down” education system, instead of a local school board up one. When Chicago teachers went on strike their “base” pay was 78K/yr.…& 25% of Chicago’s “education system” employees’ have no contact with students, & yes Rahm caved & they got their raises, your blaming that on GN??.….. A school system where a “under-performing” teacher can’t be fired..PERIOD! Call it what it is a failed school system, their stats speak 4 themselves.….Take a look at D.C.‘s system & Dr. Rhee’s attempt to reform it, she spent more time in greviance hearings over the reduction in vending machines in teacher lounges, than trying to correct the broken textbook procurement system.…. yeah now that I think about it GN was behind that as well, not the lapdog pro-democrat unions.…. I’m 57 y’s/o & all I hear is “more $$$ for education”, & all I see is the increase in the failure or school systems to educate our children.… the stats speak for themselves… ohhh yeah I forgot it was GN’s plan all along, u belong on the Huff!

…hey, “KrazyCOL”, whoz is dis “Grover Norquist” of whom you speak…???…
…he ain’t a *QUISLING*, izz hee…???…
“Rahm & Dr. Rhee” = Tweedle Dumm & Tweedle Dee…
The Idiocracy will never be clever enough to develop even a mediocre GCV…
And the best Democracy can do, is the status quo of GCV development…
But it takes Republicans to FLUSH billions down the Tax Toilet, on such a snazzy-lookin’ GCV as pictured above…

no “CUNS” that just leads to pot heads harvesting their “crops”, under the front of doing conservation “work”, bring back “The Draft” PERIOD.…. You wear the uniform of your nation! While I don’t agree at ALL with Rachel Maddow, or anything she say’s or believes in, her book Drift…nails it, spot on, the seperation of membership in a society, without being willing to fight for its values & freedoms in the military while being a member of its social network! Gen. Abrams (A Gen.Officer, I respect & hold in high esteem!) had the foresight to make the military volunteer after Vietnam, his calculus of its long term effects however were unfortunately flawed.

Fine, bring back the DRAFT, PERIOD, “KrazyCOL”…but as for “CUNS”, I’d rather see American potheads harvesting a domestic crop, and shut down the Mexican cartels, and the Canadian indoor cultivation empire…AND a CCC or WPA-type “work-4-welfare” to replace all those EBT-Queens & Hands-out Kings we have now…Make EVERY CONUS Military base 100% self-sufficient, self-feeding, and income generating, by *GROWING*ORGANIC*food crops on-base, with compulsory National Service workers…Give them the hand tools, and make those Enviros * & “Greens” put their sweat where their rhetoric is…The more mechanically inclined can manufacture domestic GCV’s in the Base Factory…
You picked a GOOD FIGHT…BRING IT ON, “KrazyCOL”…
~Tom Clancey, Jr. / .rides.legacy.773. / ~silentum~;~excubitor~

What a delusion… DAPRA was pretty sure this was happening thirty years ago. Thirty years later and it still looks to be around thirty years off.

All this would achieve is shift the burden of development and maintenance from the hardware to the software. Less crews and more coders. The F-35 program already struggles with complex code, but compared to a hypothetical AI drone it’s code is about as complex as a cereal box.

Moor’s Law means transistors are cheap and getting cheaper. But having enough computational firepower isn’t half or even a quarter of the way to having AI, let alone cheap AI. Cutting edge, multi-million dollar UAVs hunting for targets can’t even approach the level of cognition displayed by a honeybee finding nectar.

Computers are fast but still very stupid. Changing this will require codes far more complex than anything yet contemplated. It may even require fundamentally new approaches to designing computers, which are not even visible on the horizon right now. Creating all this will be far more complicated than even the most sophisticated stealth aircraft. Compared to the complexity of even a small animals brain, with billions of sub components and nearly uncountable connections organized on multiple levels, the F-35 is about as complicated as paper airplane. I am fairly sure the parts count on that only numbers in the tens or hundreds of thousands.

What makes you so confident what we can build will be any simpler? What you are proposing is slightly more complex than an iPad.

What’s “DAPRA”…???…
“Dance And Prance and Romp Around”…????.…
“Design Another Piece of Redundant Armor”.…????…
“Duck And Pray & Retreat Anyway”.…????.…
Why are you going on about the F-35.…????.….It ain’t the “F-35GCV”…???…
WAIT!…I GET IT, “Guest”…You’re saying the F-35 would make a GREAT GCV.…????…
Despite *MOORE’s*Law*…the F-35 WOULD make a good GROUND COMBAT VEHICLE…

Over 23 years of military service I’ve noticed that every time we get involved in a military conflict everything is declared mission essential and the spend sprees begin, including new housing and amenities stateside.
One of the follies of this is the MRAP situation. 5400 of them were purchased. When Afghan began to wind down $7 billion worth of them were scrapped! This is NOT smart equipment management! MRAPS worked!! Could they have not at least have been provided to countries riddled with mines? Or UN Peacekeeping forces? Or turned into ambulances? WHY SCRAP THEM???.

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