Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Budget Wars! Army sends wish list to Congress.

Thanks to Jonathan for the link!

via Defense News.
It also addresses other capability gaps that have come to the forefront as the service increases its concentration on the European theater to deter an aggressive Russia’s possible unwelcome military advancement into Eastern Europe. 
The Army would spend $1.8 billion beyond the 2017 budget to upgrade its armor formations, a direct answer to capability demands in Europe. 
According to the list, the service would accelerate Abrams tank production by two Battalion sets -- recapitalizing older tanks into a new version. 
Bradley Fighting Vehicle production would be sped up to build one cavalry squadron set. The Army would also ramp-up the pace to modernization of 140 Stryker armored fighting vehicles to the Double V-Hull (DVH) variant as well as the production of 18 M88A2 Hercules armored recovery vehicles, which would accelerate the pure-fleet of M88A2 for all Armored Brigade Combat Teams and ABCT support units. 
Among other armor formation upgrades, the Army would procure battalion mortar capability for three ABCTs and would fund research and development to increase fire power of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle with a 30mm gun. 

US Army Europe has also lamented a capability gap in short-range air defense (SHORAD) and the wish list asks for $1.3 billion to pay for modifications to the Patriot Air and Missile Defense System, procures Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, accelerates Stinger air defense system modifications and a service life extension program and also would fund modifications of the Army’s Avenger short-range air defense systems. 
 Electronic warfare is also a growing concern and the Army would speed up the procurement of ground and air electronic warfare capabilities, an area where Russia is considered to be more advanced. 
The Army is also asking for $2.5 billion for 10 new-build AH-64E Apache attack helicopters and advanced procurement for an additional 10 aircraft, 14 new-build CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters, 17 LUH-72A Lakota light utility helicopters, and 12 additional Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft. 
Story here. 

How can the Army be so smart, yet so stupid at the same time?

Concentrating on upgrading and rebuilding their force is in keeping with the line from the new administration.  The talk concerning worries about Russia?  Not so much.  The Trump Administration doesn't agree (and I'm with them) but the Think Tank community is also coming around to thinking that they are down the list of threats (and that's if we can't pursue common interests).

ISIS, Iran, N. Korea, and China as an economic foe all rank ahead of Russia according to the latest thinking.

I also don't understand the emphasis on aviation.  I don't see the planning to move the Airborne Light Tank forward and no talk about modifying ATACMS to attack ships at sea.

When the Army was fighting for survival and looking for a place in Air-Sea Battle that's all they talked about.  With Russia being the foe of choice for McCain and the other Neo-Cons in Congress they're reverting back to old habits.

That type thinking will cost them.

This was a chance for the Army to re-tool and pivot toward being ready for a fight in the Pacific.  Instead they're opting for the comfortable terrain of Europe where the fight will never come. 

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