WASHINGTON: The US Army is deploying extra stocks of heavy weapons to Europe to deter Russia’s increasingly naked aggression. These are the most advanced ground weapons America can field — but the tanks and other heavy fighting vehicles in this buildup are the same ones we had the last time the Russians were a danger, back… Keep reading →

Army Secretary John McHugh

WASHINGTON: The top question on defense lawmakers’ minds right now is: “Can we trust you with the people’s money?” And no large military organization has a worse record in that respect than the US Army, with its unhappy track record of canceled programs and wasted billions dating to before 9/11. It’s such a sensitive and high-stakes question that, when I started to ask Army… Keep reading →

Heidi Shyu

AUSA: The Honorable Shyu, as everyone in the military calls the head of Army acquisition, is often bright, humorous and insightful. Today, she got passionate in public, clearly frustrated at the painful limits that the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration have forced her to adopt. American military power has traditionally rested on technological overmatch. We… Keep reading →

M109 Paladin

Sometimes dark clouds really do have silver linings. The winding down of two wars and the automatic spending cuts called sequestration have been brutal for the Army budget. The service recently had to cancel its top-priority weapons program, the tank-like Ground Combat Vehicle. But even if sequestration continues, said one leading analyst, ground vehicle spending… Keep reading →

M1 Abrams tanks in Iraq

UPDATED 2:00 pm Tuesday with detailed 2015 budget figures WASHINGTON: The 2015 budget effectively kills the Army’s top priority weapons program, the 60-plus-ton Ground Combat Vehicle — as we’ve been predicting since November — but GCV did not die in vain, the Army’s acquisition chief insists. “We sacrificed the GCV” to save programs upgrading electronics… Keep reading →

M2 Bradley

Massive government documents typically hide some gold nuggets of information. In today’s report from the Pentagon’s independent Director of Operational Test & Evaluation, a famously tough grader known as DOT&E, there’s one detail that is going to make defense contractor BAE Systems very happy: “Results from the third underbody blast test also demonstrate that the… Keep reading →

Northrop Grumman's MADDS armed robot (based on an earlier unarmed 'bot called CaMEL) captured in the act of firing.

More robots, fewer people. That’s where the US military is headed in the future. But what kind of robots? Army Gen. Robert Cone, four-star commander of the powerful Training and Doctrine Command (aka TRADOC), said that the service is studying how robots could help replace 25 percent of the soldiers in each of its 4,000-strong combat brigades. That’s because the… Keep reading →

BAE technicians work on the "hotbuck" testbed for their Ground Combat Vehicle design.

As storm clouds loom over the Army’s controversial Ground Combat Vehicle, both contractors competing for GCV say they’re focused on completing the program of record still on the books. But if the Army slows the program down — a near-certainty at this point — both BAE Systems and General Dynamics told me they are ready to adapt. In… Keep reading →


WASHINGTON: “It’s not his call,” the Army general said. The general was the Army’s director of strategy, plans, and policy, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow. “He” is the Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. James Winnefeld, Snow’s superior by two stars and about three layers of bureaucracy. And “it”? “It” is all about how… Keep reading →

The Army won't ne able to replace its '80s-vintage M2 Bradleys, like the one show here in Iraq, for a long time to come.

PENTAGON: Do we still need a big Army that can wage big wars? Hell yes, the Army generals say. Will the Army get a new Ground Combat Vehicle to replace the 1981-vintage Bradley Fighting Vehicle that currently carries foot troops into battle? Probably not for a long, long time. That’s my assessment based on an exclusive… Keep reading →

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