Styrker-armored vehicles, from 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. Saber Junction 15 includes 5,000 troops from 17 NATO allied and partner nations.

WASHINGTON: The annual defense bill authorizes $411 million to upgun the Army’s Stryker vehicles. The compromise goes with the Senate’s higher funding levels: $314 million for modification work and $97 million for R&D. That’s a heady increase from the $0.00 the president’s budget included for the initiative, which emerged mid-year as a response to Russian aggression… Keep reading →

Army cuts by installation

WASHINGTON: This afternoon, the Army announced the painful details of long-awaited cuts. The service must shed 40,000 active-duty troops between now and October 2017, with almost half of them coming from 26 installations across the country. The hardest hit: Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska — all of which… Keep reading →

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Military Deals With Humvee Vulnerability

WASHINGTON: Stryker manufacturer General Dynamics may not be a lock to upgun the eight-wheel-drive armored vehicle, the Army’s top acquisition official made clear today. “We’ve laid out four different courses of action” to improve the vehicle’s lethality, said Heidi Shyu, and some of those courses involve competition. “It’s going to be driven by who needs… Keep reading →

GDLS photo

WASHINGTON: Between fear of Russia, urgency from the Army, and lobbying from General Dynamics, funding to upgun the Army’s GD-built Stryker armored vehicle has grown 350 percent in three weeks. In mid-May, the House approved a $79.5 million addition to the administration’s budget request. Yesterday, the Senate, not to be outdone, voted $371 million — four… Keep reading →

Gen. Jon Hyten

WASHINGTON: The US Army has the most disruptive space technology right now. So says the head of Air Force Space Command, Gen. John Hyten. Hyten was asked about the technology in the space domain at breakfast this morning by my colleague Mark Thompson of Time magazine. Now in the good old days, the head of Space… Keep reading →

Styrker-armored vehicles, from 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, arrive at Smardan Training Area, Romania, March 24, 2015. Saber Junction 15 includes 5,000 troops from 17 NATO allied and partner nations.

Amidst rising anxieties over Russia, one of the last US combat units still based in Europe, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, has asked for bigger guns. The House Armed Services Committee is already setting aside money for the urgent upgrade, which the Army staff officially approved yesterday in a memo obtained by Breaking Defense: In brief,… Keep reading →


CAPITOL HILL: The House Armed Services Committee wants to add up to six F-35B STOVL jets to the Marine Corps budget, even as it demands new oversight into Lockheed Martin’s long-troubled F-35 program. The House draft National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2016 would not add any F-35Cs, the Navy variant. Instead, it will include up to a… Keep reading →

US Army slide

HUNTSVILLE, ALA: The lethally under-armored M113 “battle taxi” will celebrate its seventieth birthday before the Army replaces it with a new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle. Under current plans — which assume spending levels well above those allowed by the Budget Control Act (aka sequester) — AMPV production at contractor BAE Systems will max out at 180… Keep reading →

US soldiers exercising in Japan as part of "Pacific Pathways"

PENTAGON: From hunting jungle animals to communicating across the ocean, US Army soldiers learned much in the first Pacific Pathways wargames that Iraq and Afghanistan never taught them. Those exercises are part of the service’s effort to reinvent itself as it shrinks, heading from a wartime peak of 570,000 to 450,000 or below. Instead of prolonged, large-scale… Keep reading →


This morning, a House Armed Services subcommittee passed its markup of its part of the annual defense bill that would — among many other things — freeze some funding for the Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle Program. AMPV is the service’s biggest weapons program left standing after sequestration’s budget cuts, and contractor General Dynamics had protested the competition… Keep reading →

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