View Full Version : U.S. Army Looks Forward to New Generation of Ground Vehicles

05-13-09, 07:32 AM
U.S. Army Looks Forward to New Generation of Ground Vehicles
Michael Barkoviak - May 13, 2009 7:20 AM

The U.S. Army is working with contractors to build new vehicles

As the U.S. military still tries to adjust to fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army plans to develop new combat vehicles that will be specifically designed to fight insurgents who are implementing small arms fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

According to Army Chief of Staff General George Casey, the new manned ground vehicle will be deployed overseas within five to seven years, as the Army is just now beginning development of the new vehicles. In the 2010 military budget approved by the Pentagon, at least $26.23 billion will be spent on upgrading ground vehicles used by the Army and Marine Corps.

The military has been highly criticized over lack of modernization of its vehicles that troops depend on when they go out on patrol. It took years before the government began to re-enforce the armor on Humvees used by Marines and Army soldiers.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates already has $87 billion of manned vehicles he wants to remove from the Future Combat Systems program operated by the Army. Boeing and Science Applications International were the two companies leading the project, which is now officially dead.

To the dismay of private contractors working on the vehicles, Gates wasn't overly impressed by the armor used to defend soldiers from IEDs. The FCS contract will now be re-written so the companies involved, including BAE Systems and General Dynamics, can still be involved in the project.

Gates also wants the government to focus more on tackling insurgents and guerrilla battles, even though the military was better geared towards conventional wars against official military enemies. The U.S. government looks forward to using the Stryker vehicles, along with the MRAP All Terrain Vehicles that use integrated armor and advanced safety equipment. Both vehicles will be able to handle the rough, mountainous terrain of Afghanistan, military leaders say.