View Full Version : New infantry carrier vehicle in works for U.S.

09-10-2009, 01:18 PM
The Army’s vice chief of staff said Thursday that the service plans to begin replacing its M113 and Bradley armored vehicles with a new infantry carrier vehicle within the coming decade.

Gen. Peter Chiarelli laid out new details of the Army’s new modernization strategy at an Association of the United States Army breakfast, focusing on the Ground Combat Vehicle effort. Army acquisition officials announced the GCV effort after Defense Secretary Robert Gates killed the 27-ton Manned Ground Vehicles portion of the Army’s Future Combat Systems program in the fiscal 2010 defense budget, criticizing the design as ill-suited to survive current battlefield threats.

“The Ground Combat Vehicle represents one of the most important combat development and acquisition decisions we are going to make in a long time,” Chiarelli said.

These futuristic vehicles, which the Army hopes to develop and begin fielding within seven years, will be designed to be flexible enough to fight in any environment and adaptable enough to be upgraded with technology that surfaces decades into the future, Chiarelli said.

The outdated M113 personnel carrier will be the first to go between now and 2018, according to a chart Chiarelli referred to in his talk. While he gave no specific date, the Bradley fighting vehicles will likely be retired as well.

“When it comes to the Bradley, we will reset the Bradley, but we know there is a point in time in the future where we will divest ourselves of the Bradley,” Chiarelli said. “We want to develop the Ground Combat Vehicle which we see in its first iteration as an infantry fighting vehicle.”

The Army plans to continue upgrading the M1 tank, the Stryker family of vehicles and the Paladin 155mm self-propelled howitzer, Chiarelli said.

The vice chief’s comments came as the Army senior leadership is preparing to brief Gates on the findings of “Task Force 120,” a working group led by Training and Doctrine Command’s Army Capabilities Integration Center, to create a new strategy for modernizing Army BCTs. The task force’s findings will include a blueprint for how BCTs will fight in the future.

“I can’t tell you what the GCV will look like, but I will tell you that in the past 120 days, we have thought our way through how we are going to move forward,” Chiarelli said.

The Army officially began the acquisition process for the GCV Sept. 3 when it issued a “sources sought” solicitation to the defense industry, inviting companies to show the service what they have to offer in future vehicle concepts. The Army will hold two industry days, one in October and one in November, to discuss requirements with industry, Chiarelli said. The dates have not yet been set.

In addition to the new vehicles, Chiarelli also described how the Army intends to develop and field “capability packages” to BCTs in two-year increments out to 2026 to coincide with how brigades deploy for roughly a year, return home, reset, train-up and prepare for their next deployment.

The Army is conducting a 23-day Limited User Test at Fort Bliss, Texas on the first of these capability packages. The equipment, formerly known as “spin-outs” under the FCS program, includes sophisticated network gear, unattended ground sensors, a small unmanned ground vehicle, a hovering unmanned aerial vehicle and the Non Line Of Sight Launch System, also known as “rockets in a box.” The plan is to field the first set to BCTs beginning in 2011.

But not all sets will look alike, Chiarelli said. Based on battlefield conditions, the Army plans to tailor these packages at the beginning of each two-year increment to ensure units have the equipment they need. Packages could include former FCS spin-out technology, vehicle upgrades, battlefield innovations or Mine Resistant Ambush Protective vehicles if necessary, Chiarelli said.

However, all capability sets will include what Army leaders maintain as the key to the BCT modernization effort — the network.

“Soldiers get four important things from the network — I know where I am, I know where my friends are, I know where the enemy is and I can bring precision fires on that enemy,” Chiarelli said. “The information they receive over the network isn’t simply nice to have; it can often mean the difference between living and dying on today’s battlefield


09-10-2009, 06:14 PM
Awesome. Any pictures for this new vehicle? Systems like this are really cool. They are very modular, and have many applications. Take the LAV/Stryker series, for example. There's the basic models, then Air Defense, Anti Tank, Logistics, Command & Control, Mortar, Engineering...etc.

I'd like to see a mobile AA variant(miniguns and SAMs) of this vehicle. We're definitely behind in the game, in this category.

Are there any plans to incorporate a "hardkill" defense mechanism(ie- Arena-E, Trophy...etc) in the vehicle design? What about IED protection?