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THE FUTURE SHAPE OF THE ARMOURED FORCE

THE FUTURE SHAPE OF THE ARMOURED FORCE
By Julian Nettlefold

12 Feb 12. Scott Davis, Program Executive Officer, PEO Ground Combat Systems gave a comprehensive media briefing during AUSA regarding the future structure of US Ground Combat Systems up to 2020.

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.

Stryker Brigade Combat Team comprised of:

Infantry Carrier Vehicle, Mobile Gun System, Commander’s Vehicle, Engineer Squad Vehicle, Anti-tank Guided Missile Vehicle, Reconnaissance Vehicle, Mortar Carrier Vehicle, Fire Support Vehicle, Medical Evacuation Vehicle, NBC Reconnaissance Vehicle.

Robotic Systems Joint Project Office comprised of:

Autonomous Navigation System, Common Mobility Platform, M160 Anti-personnel Mine Clearing System, Remote Control, MARCbot, PackBot Family, TALON Family, Mini-EOD, XM216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle.

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.”

”These are tough times for the Abrams, Bradley and Stryker folk as Bradley comes out of production in 2012, Abrams in 2014 and Stryker in late 2014, we are looking at FMS to provide new markets to keep the lines humming and retain key personnel for future projects. To put this in context, thirty seven key Progarma 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.” Scott Davis said.

The Army is looking for ways to fill the gaps that will emerge when production of new Bradley and Stryker vehicles ends between 2012 and 2014.

Scott Davis said that the PEO was now in the process of fielding the Victory General Vehicle Architecture which would give every vehicle a common vehicle architecture. BATTLESPACE is running a feature on this in the June issue.

Armored Multipurpose Vehicle (AMPV)Program

A key Program for the PEO is the replacement of the 6000 M113 fleet, the Armored Multipurpose Vehicle (AMPV)Program, which the Pentagon made a formal acquisition program on Feb. 9.

The M113 was cancelled because of its lack of mobility, its inadequate force protection and the overall growth potential of the platform. However, the Army found no fault with the mission equipment packages. Therefore, the Army intends to harvest the M113’s MEPs and use them on the new platform.

“When it comes to repla

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