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25 Feb 14. The decision to cancel the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program had nothing to do with performance, a US Army official said Wednesday, describing criticism of the program as “unfortunate.” Heidi Shyu, the Army’s acquisition executive, said the decision not to acquire the vehicles was entirely based upon difficult budget math forced by spending cuts. “Everybody attacks GCV, which is really unfortunate, that’s one program that’s doing remarkably well,” Shyu said speaking at the McAleese/Credit Suisse Conference. “Those contracts are not falling flat on their face, that program isn’t having technical issues, they’re executing really well. It is strictly the fact that we don’t have the money.” The Army has faced criticism in recent years for cancelling programs, including the high profile Future Combat Systems. A 2011 Army report found that the service had spent more than $30bn on cancelled programs since 1995. The GCV has faced criticism for the cost as well as the weight of the proposed vehicle, with the Congressional Budget Office even recommending in 2013 that the Army not buy GCVs. But Shyu said the decision to cancel was about the budget calculus. “Even if you cut 100,000 troops today, you couldn’t squeeze out the money,” she said. “There’s no other place to squeeze the money. Our choice, literally, was do we cut the money out of the GCV and wait until we come out of the bathtub to give us a next generation capability, versus not funding any of the [engineering change proposals] on our existing platforms. That was the trade space that we were in.” Shyu said that given the need to improve the service’s existing equipment, there wasn’t much of a choice.
“There’s no way to guarantee that the Army is not going to fight for the next seven years, therefore I put a freeze on our current existing platforms to just roll to the next generation.” (Source: Defense News)
26 Feb 14. BAE Systems yesterday rolled out the first pre-series vehicle in a major upgrade of Norway’s CV9030 armoured vehicle fleet. The CV90 Norway project will deliver a fully-digitised flexible fleet of 74 infantry fighting, 21 reconnaissance, 15 command, 16 engineering, 16 multi-role and two driver training vehicles. The multi-role vehicles can fulfill different functions, including mortar carrier and logistics roles. Deliveries of the production vehicles start in January 2015 and continue to 2017. The new vehicle fleet has significantly enhanced protection, survivability, situational awareness and interoperability, incorporating lessons learned from Norwegian, Swedish and Danish operations in Afghanistan with CV90. The vehicles will run on the latest rubber tracks, combat-proven by Norwegian forces in Afghanistan. The roll out was attended by Öystein Bö, Secretary of State Norway and Carl von der Esch, State Secretary for Sweden. Norway’s existing 103 CV90s, delivered from the mid-1990s, represented the first export contract for CV90. In June 2012 BAE Systems Hägglunds received a $750m (£0.5bn) contract from the Norwegian Government to upgrade the fleet. As part of this programme, BAE Systems Hägglunds is also building more than a hundred all-new vehicle chassis to take Norway’s CV90 fleet to 144 vehicles in five different configurations, including a variant equipped with a sensor suite for improved surveillance capability. “This is excellent news, not just for Norway, but for all current and prospective CV90 customers. That’s because our continuous development work on a wide range of existing variants helps ensure that we can keep all users’ vehicles at the forefront of technology at the lowest possible cost and risk.” Norwegian industry is playing a major role. One partner is Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace, which leads a team of Thales Norway and Vinghøg. The Kongsberg team is r