Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Pentagon is adrift...the US Army's Light Vehicle Program is the perfect illustration...

Thanks to Jonathan for the link!

via National Defense.
The Army is looking to procure a new scout vehicle for infantry units. But funding constraints and other priorities could hold the project back as the service pushes forward with its modernization plans.
The Army is undertaking an effort to restore “tactical mobility” to its infantry brigade combat teams, according to service officials. This includes equipping air assault forces with all-terrain “ground mobility vehicles,” or GMVs. But the unarmored trucks would create operational concerns.
Lt. Col. Scott Coulson, chief of the maneuver branch at the Army Capabilities Integration Center, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), said the GMV would not have much survivability.
If there’s a bad guy “with a machine gun and here comes 12 GMVs, that’s going to be a very bad day” for us, he said.
To prevent infantry units from unknowingly moving into the enemy’s crosshairs, the Army hopes to equip cavalry squadrons with light recon vehicles, also known as LRVs.
“LRV is intended to fill the capability gap right now inside the reconnaissance squadron,” Coulson said. “In the infantry brigade combat team, we do not have a dedicated platform that is capable of rapid mobile reconnaissance and fighting … to support expeditionary missions.”
And then this...
“We’re looking for something that has better mobility than the current Humvee has right now,” Maciuba said. “We’re looking for something that has a significantly improved lethality, perhaps to the point of a medium-caliber weapon, [and] we’re looking for something that has the protection necessary so that it can survive” when it encounters the enemy.
The Army wants a six-person vehicle that can be sling-loaded or, ideally, carried internally on a CH-47 Chinook troop transport helicopter. It also wants something that can store a suite of command-and-control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, officials said.
I was a bit impressed by this US Army program.  It seemed that they dumped the protection at all costs paradigm and finally globbed onto the idea that maneuver is a type of armor all its own.  Obviously it wasn't IED proof but again.  Mobility, mobility, mobility would help defeat that threat.

Now we see them defaulting back to the protection thing.  Even more concerning we're seeing requirement creep in the idea of mounting a medium calibre weapon.

I really expected better from them.  One question though.  They talk about budget woes for a program this small?  Just wow.  The F-35 has taken the Pentagon behind the building and is raping it with a cactus.

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