10 September 2010

Upheavals in Army's Modernization Plans Being Defended

Despite the massive overhaul of contracts and programs for the US Army, LTG Bolger (G-3/5/7) says there is a plan.

Despite the cancellation of many of its largest acquisition programs of the past decade, the Army has a coherent plan for modernizing its forces, a senior service official said.

“Now most folks in this room would probably say that in wake of the cancellation of the Future Combat Systems, the Army really does not have much of a modernization strategy, but I would disagree,” said Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, the Army’s deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and policy (G-3/5/7), speaking Thursday at a breakfast meeting here.

“Our Army has modernized dramatically in the last decade, if you think about it,” Bolger said. “We’re organized differently and we fight differently. We did it all at war and in fact, I would tell you, we did it because we’re at war.”

Canceled in 2009, FCS was the largest Army program to get the ax in the past decade. In 2002, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld canceled the XM2001 Crusader program, designed to be the next-generation self-propelled Howitzer. With the cancellation of FCS, the Army lost the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, also intended as a replacement for the M-109 self-propelled 155mm howitzer.

In 2007, the Army ended its Joint Common Missile program, an effort to replace Hellfire and Maverick missiles. The Joint Air-to-Ground Missile program, currently in competition, picks up where JCM left off.

The service also canceled the Comanche helicopter program and its replacement, the Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter.

The Army’s latest effort to replace the Bradley fighting vehicle with the Ground Combat Vehicle suffered a delay Aug. 25 when the Army canceled its request for proposals and announced it would release a new one within 60 days.

By: Brant

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