An Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine

WASHINGTON: The Navy rebuffed today a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the service is too optimistic about the cost of its new nuclear missile submarine. Still, whatever the final cost, it’s certain to be high — so high the Navy officially admits its own figures show the sub is unaffordable under current budget plans. In… Keep reading →

BAE Systems and General Dynamics, the companies developing the Army’s new Ground Combat Vehicle, struck back at the Congressional Budget Office over a CBO report arguing the GCV would be inferior to the German Puma troop carrier. The contractors’ essential argument: CBO based its scoring on an out-of-date concept for what GCV would be, and the prototypes now in development are a lot better.

“CBO stated they are using ‘GCV Concept after Trades’ from the original Army AoA (Analysis of Alternatives) delivered in March, 2011. This might account for the poor qualities given the GCV in the study,” General Dynamics Land Systems spokesman Pete Keating told Breaking Defense this morning. “The GCV requirements today and the two contractor offers are significantly different vehicles from the Army conceptual vehicles in the 2011 AoA.” Keep reading →

[updated] WASHINGTON: The Army’s proposed Ground Combat Vehicle would offer less combat power, at a higher cost, than buying the German-made Puma already in production or even just upgrading the Army’s existing M2 Bradley, according to the Congressional Budget Office. CBO issued a report today assessing different alternatives to upgrade Army heavy brigades‘ infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), tank-like war machines with tracks and turrets designed to carry troops into combat.

[Click here for the GCV contractors BAE and General Dynamics critiquing the CBO report] Keep reading →

[updated with quote from Army source] WASHINGTON: The battle over the Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle isn’t only about one war machine and what it may weigh (80-plus tons) or cost ($13 some million). It’s just one front in a larger war over the Army’s armored heart and its role in the nation’s strategy.

As budgets tighten and the military reorients from Afghanistan to the Pacific, the nation can get by with “substantially smaller ground forces,” said Andrew Krepinevich, the influential director of the Center for Strategic and Budget Assessments. A former Army officer himself, Krepinevich has repeatedly called for cutting the Army in favor of air and naval forces. In particular, he told Breaking Defense, out of all the Army’s various branches, “armor/mechanized infantry is certainly a bill payer.” Keep reading →

What may weigh more than an M1 Abrams tank and carry 12 soldiers? The Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle. New weight estimates for GCV, released this week by the Congressional Budget Office, will likely go over like a lead ballon with the program’s critics in Congress and in the Army itself.

Depending on the model and add-on armor package, an M1 weighs 60 to 75.5 tons. According to the CBO report, the General Dynamics design for the GCV weighs 64 to 70 tons. BAE s proposal is still heavier, at 70 to 84. Keep reading →