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By Julian Nettlefold

23 Oct 13. Brig. Gen. David Bassett, PEO Ground Combat Systems and Colonel Bill Sheehy, PEO Ground Systems Portfolio, gave a detailed update on U.S. Army Ground Combat Vehicles during AUSA.

PEO Ground Combat Systems comprised of:

Heavy Brigade Combat Team covering the Abrams Tank, Bradley IFV, M113 APC, Paladin, M88 Recovery Vehicle, Paladin PIM, Knight family of vehicles.

Ground Combat Vehicle Project Management Office

The Ground Combat Vehicle Program uses an incremental or block approach to develop and procure ground combat vehicles based on technology maturity, schedule and affordability while addressing key operational gaps in force protection, vehicle capability and full spectrum fighting capability. The first Ground Combat Vehicle, to be delivered seven years from technology development vehicle will be the Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), offering a highly survivable platform for delivering a nine-soldier infantry squad to the battlefield.

“Our main task over the coming years is to bring the capability of our fleet back to that which we had before the Iraq and Afghan wars which has resulted in less off-road capability and manoeuvrability. The key Programs we are addressing are replacing M113 under AMPV, recover lost performance in Stryker and Bradley, recover lost performance by improving weight and power margins and to improve network integration. Key Programs include bringing the M88A1 Recovery Vehicle up to M88A2 standard to enable recovery of heavier vehicles in the fleet by one, not two vehicles, proceed with the Paladin PIM upgrade contract and complete EMD to be ready for production by the end of EMD and to establish the A3 Bradley BFIST Laser Designation Vehicle into full rate production. To put this in context, thirty seven key Programs are moving from production to sustainment in 2013. The cost of this sustainment will put pressure on the main budget. We are sharing ‘lessons ‘learnt’ with others and are working with TRADOC and Sandia Laboratories using the CPath analysis tool to model requirements by mission not platforms to see which roles can be satisfied by multiple platforms. ” Brig. Gen. Bassett said.

Brig. Gen. Bassett said that the U.S. Army was no longer selecting the ‘Good’ and the ‘Bad’ Options, it was looking at wider issues such as Technology and the Industrial base to work programmes within the constraints of the Budget and Sequestration.

BG Bassett said that he was working five issues to fulfil the various Ground Systems Programs.

1.Supporting the Current Fleet. He used the Stryker ‘V’ Hull upgrade as a case in point. This had resulted in spectacular survivability for Stryker crews and the vehicle coupled to improved reliability for the user in theatre the 2nd Cavalry Regiment.

In September the Project Manager for the Stryker Brigade Combat Team received the approval from the Army Acquisition Executive to begin the procurement of a 3rd brigade of Stryker Double V-Hull vehicles.

The Army currently has nine Stryker Brigade Combat Teams with the traditional flat-bottom hull, and two with the newer Double V-Hull, or DVH, design. The procurement of the 3rd brigade will be made by exchanging one flat bottom hull brigade for a newer DVH.

The initial 66 vehicles have already been awarded, with the remainder planned in the future. The procurement of the 3rd brigade, which consists of 337 total vehicles, will be based on the availability of funding using an incremental approach. The Army expects to execute the entire procurement during fiscal years 2014-2016, subject to availability of funding. While the fleet as a whole will be more modernized the total number of Strykers within the Army’s inventory will go unchanged.

The new DVH brigade will be produced using the Stryker Exchange Program which was initiated by the Project Manager for the Stryker Brigade Combat, in partnership with Annist

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