Friday, December 23, 2016

US Army releases plan for modernization thru 2050...

Story is here via  The highlights are below.
Ground Vehicles

From 2018 to 2022, the Army plans to improve the mobility and lethality of it's vehicles. They'll do that by fielding the Ground Mobility Vehicle, Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as an interim Light Reconnaissance vehicle and introducing the Armored Multipurpose Vehicle to replace the "obsolete" M113 armored personnel carrier. The service will also add 30mm cannon to their Europe-based Stryker unit, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. That's because the unit is outgunned by their Russian counterparts.
In addition, development will be done on the Future Fighting Vehicle, which will replace the Bradley. The Army also wants to develop next generation power trains.

2023-2027: The service wants to improve Stryker lethality through weapons and optics upgrades, continue development of the FFV and introduce autonomous ground recon systems.
2028-2050: The focus will be on the Army's armored forces. New direct fire systems will be introduced, such as a new main battle tank, which would replace the legendary M1A2 Abrams. The Bradley Fighting Vehicle will also be replaced by the Future Fighting Vehicle.

2018-2022: Several things are planned for this time frame. One, complete the Aviation Restructuring Initiative, which pairs AH-64 Apaches with unmanned systems to replace the OH-58 Kiowas. Two, continue modernization of the AH-64 fleet to the E-model Apache Guardian variant, the UH-60 fleet to the M and V model variant, and improve the CH-47F heavy lift chopper.
It also plans to complete the demonstrator phase of the Future Vertical Lift program, which is the future of Army aviation. Boeing/Sikorsky and Bell Helicopters are competing there with the SB-1 Defiant and V-280 Valor, respectively.
2023-2027: The Army plans to begin the fielding of the CH-47F Chinook Block II, complete the AH-46E and UH-60M/V fielding, integrate the Improved Turbine Engine Program (ITEP), improve surviability and visibility, field a runway-independent unmanned aerial system (UAS) and develop the Capability Set 2 and 3 of Future Vertical Lift. Set 2 is similar to the Navy's SH-60 Sea Hawk and Set 3 is the UH-60 Black Hawk replacement.

2028-2050: The Army hopes to field the FVL Capability Sets 2 and 3 aircraft and the CH-47 Block III.
Why do I seriously get the feeling that the US Army of the near future will be virtually identical to the force we have today?  I don't mean that as a bad thing but I'm seeing more of an upgrade path going on than some type of revolutionary development scheme being cooked up.

As a sidenote, the UH-60V?  Never heard of it.  Time to Google!

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