The Army has half a million M4 carbines, the lightweight version of the Vietnam-vintage M16. So if the service was going to invest in a replacement, it wanted a “leap ahead” that would, among other things, cut in half the number of times the weapon jammed – a criterion the Army has not made clear… Keep reading →
“Everybody loses, go home”: That’s what the US Army told the six gunmakers competing to build a new Individual Carbine to replace the widely used M4, itself a derivative of the venerable M16. Of course, it would have helped if the Army had told the competitors the right kind of ammo to fire (more on… Keep reading →
CAPITOL HILL: The best case for sequester is still a disaster – but we’re not going to get the best case. That’s the common denominator from a range of budget options rolled out today by an extraordinary alliance of four thinktanks. Their consensus recommendations to cut military readiness, Army brigades, Navy carriers, Air Force ICBMs,… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: Defense contractor General Dynamics has taken hits from the Army, from the Pentagon’s independent Director of Operational Test & Evaluation and from us about its role in the troubled Joint Tactical Radio Systems program. Now, in an interview this morning, the president of GDC4S (that’s General Dynamics Command, Control, Communications, & Computer Systems), Chris Marzilli,… Keep reading →
What’s a few billion between friends? You can download the details below – more than 100 pages of them – but here are the bottom lines of the 2013 reprogramming requests the Pentagon has submitted to Congress: For fiscal year 2013, the administration wants “reprogramming authority” to reshuffle an extraordinary $9.6 billion between accounts in… Keep reading →
Part outsider, part incumbent, Harris Corp. is eagerly upsetting applecarts by taking on defense industry colossus General Dynamics and other established contractors in its bid to grab a hat trick in this year’s Army radio competitions. The largest service is expected to make awards in three of its largest communications programs this year as early… Keep reading →
As the Army prepares to choose the new builder of its handheld digital radios, the incumbent contractors are tryiing to convince Congress to keep other companies out. The incumbents are General Dynamics, which publicly apologized to the Army over its half of the program last year, and Rockwell Collins. The Army’s own chief of acquisitions,… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: While the Army can keep troops headed for Afghanistan trained up and ready to go, the ongoing budget gridlock threatens its ability to prepare for crises around the world – from North Korea to Syria – conflicts that would require a very different kind of training than the counterinsurgency tactics the force has focused on… Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: What does America need an army for, anyway? The question has bedeviled policymakers since the Founding Fathers, who wrote their distrust of large ground forces into the Constitution. The question returns as budgets come back down after every land war.
This time around, the Army leadership has not given the country a clear answer, which hobbles it in the current budget battles — and perhaps in the next shooting war as well. While the service itself struggles to define its future role, a new Army-sponsored report from the influential Center for Strategic and International Studies here is offering its own answers, answers that push not only civilian policymakers but the Army’s own leaders outside their comfort zone. Keep reading →
WASHINGTON: The Secretary of the Army defended today what he admitted was “an unconventional approach” to fielding the service’s cutting-edge AH-64E Apache Guardian attack helicopter, saying the only alternative to the current complex workaround would have been to “shut the line down” for a time.
“I will grant the unconventionality of it,” John McHugh said. “You could say it was an unconventional approach, but it was an unconventional situation.” Keep reading →