Home » Weapons » Armor » Army Abruptly Cancels Ground Combat Vehicle Competition (Updated)

Army Abruptly Cancels Ground Combat Vehicle Competition (Updated)

by Greg on August 25, 2010

The Army has canceled the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) solicitation because the service decided, after an internal and external review, that the current Requests for Proposal (RFP) do not accurately reflect Army requirements and a changing acquisition strategy, sources tell us.

A contract for the new vehicle was very close to being awarded, we’re told. A restart of the GCV competition is expected fairly soon, a new RFP may be out within 60 days, and the Army intends to stay within the original seven year timeline to field a new vehicle.

A contentious debate has taken place among Army officials regarding the new infantry fighting vehicle’s lengthy requirements list, a debate fed by an Army and OSD staffed “Red Team” analysis which scrutinized vehicle proposals and the lethality of modern and future battlefields, as well as disagreement among leadership about the service’s GCV acquisition strategy. The new RFP will reflect the Red Team’s findings as well as the Army’s analysis of alternatives.

The proposed GCV, which is intended to replace the Army’s Bradley fleet, was getting a bit unwieldy, sources say, as builders attempted to meet the many requirements. The Army will issue a formal announcement this afternoon. Lawmakers (the few who are available in late August; more like their secretaries) were notified of the GCV cancellation this morning.

Updated: The GCV competition was cancelled so the Army can “better ensure an achievable, affordable, and timely infantry fighting vehicle,” according to an emailed Army announcement. The cancellation will result in a six month delay of the program, although the service intends to field a vehicle within seven years after a contract is awarded.

“In conjunction with the Red Team recommendations, the Army determined that it must revise the acquisition strategy to rely on mature technologies in order to reduce significant developmental risk over a seven year schedule following the initial contract award. The refined RFP will result in a vehicle that provides soldiers with critical armored protection in the modern combat environment.”

The emailed announcement says details of the specific RFP are still being finalized and the service expects to issue a new solicitation within the next 60 days.

– Greg Grant

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{ 120 comments… read them below or add one }

ErgoQualms August 25, 2010 at 9:11 am

But, can Block 2 feel… love… yet?

Or was that only the XXI+ models?

In all seriousness, i honestly do believe a restart was in order. I mean, using armor and whatnot for survivability only works so far; eventually itll be so slow someone can just walk alongside it with a plasma cutter…hell, look at ww2 Germany and their Maus prototypes; survivable to a point, but they were slow, couldnt travel too many places, and ultimately you built fewer of them with a larger amount of cash. And weapons will always be developed that can knock out armor.

I fear that is what might happen here; though hopefully another prototype will come around that is…mobile…

Or we could skip to the inevitable alternative and make mobile amphibious firebases…actually…

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chaos0xomega August 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

My taxdollars say thank you!

My guess is that they weren't happy with all the "bling" on the roof. Either that, or they finally figured out that they can say "No" to the defense industry

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William C. August 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Your blaming the defense industry for this? Clearly this is a case of the Army realizing maybe a vehicle with a 75 ton max weight is a bit too much.

However I have no clue what half of that stuff on the roof is. Is it me or does it have TWO independent thermal imagers?

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Mr_GoodKat August 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm

One is for the RWS. Also has the boomerang acoustic tracker and all the Satcom and GPS communication antenna's.

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EyesWideOpen August 25, 2010 at 1:27 pm

It's a turret.

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Oblat August 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

The defense industry has a culture of always blaming the customer for being ripped off.

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Marcase August 25, 2010 at 11:19 am

Again ?!?!

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Raraavis August 25, 2010 at 11:26 am

It is too light.

The new competition will be for 150 ton fighting vehicles that have helicopter landing pads on the roof.

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chaos0xomega August 25, 2010 at 11:28 am

Of course! And in order to keep up with the limitations of the Air Forces transport aircraft, it will be equipped with rocket thrusters and disposable wings!

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JEFF August 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

I love how people can complain weight and everything else but really don't propose anything better. The proposals had it at around 50 tons for its basic configurations, which is how it would be transported. The higher 70 tons was with the addition of bolt on armor. This is suppose to be about a Bradley (30.4 Tons) but with 1/3 more troop transport space, with improved mine resistance, and have improved power generation with a more efficient engine. Just based on material characteristic mine resistant armor or altered geometry add between 5 and 10 tons. While the troop space is about 20% increased volume, meaning about 5 tons for the extra external surface area. At this point you are upto 40-45 tons, without looking at the engine or upgraded electronics or other features like differences in armament. So 50 tons is not unreasonable based on the requirements and the other 20 tons is optional or part of specialized loadouts.

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JEFF August 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

When you take into consideration, that by increasing transport space you will need 2/3 as many GCV as Bradleys to transport the same number of soldiers while needing fewer drivers and operators as well a reduction in the number of necessary maintainance personnel. Now 91.2 tons is shifting upto 100 tons. So on a larger formation scale, for a 10% weight increase you're getting improved survivability, improved speed, improved electronics, improved fuel economy, and improved maintainance.

Maybe you can argue that its trying to do too much. Maybe you're willing to sacrifice armor and survivability to lighten it while maintaining its other capabilities. Those are the trade offs that can be made. You have to look at whats actually being proposed and what the actual short falls in moving that direction are. Everyone new to be more survivable it would have to be heavier, and a 10% increase for all those things is pretty decent.

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Cole August 25, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Jeff, you keep saying that we will need 2/3 as many GCVs as Bradleys. How? There are 4 Bradleys per platoon and can't see how you wouldn't have less than 3 GCV for the 3 squads…and I'll wager the Army will want to keep four for other weapons and the platoon leader.

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Cole August 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Second, believe the Bradley does a poor job of seating troops. The troop compartment sans cupola appears to be about 6.5' wide and 6' long to hold just 4 troops…and then it shoehorns two more in next to the cupola if diagrams in FAS.org and GlobalSecurity.org are correct. The cupola holds two which seems unnecessary, The engine uses up about 10 x 4.5' longitudinally (can you say transverse?) which adds length to the vehicle…yet it is still just a bit over 21' long compared to a 30' EFV that weighs just 78K lbs with all that transformer gear!

What happened to KISS. Three rows of three troops (add center row and put side rows over the tracks). That retains the Bradley's six foot of length for troops. Even the new versions with armor tiles only weigh about 74K lbs if globalsecurity.org is correct. A similar length GCV would weigh around 80K combat loaded with 30mm protection. Seems like a far better way to exploit 12' of width and area above the tracks instead of the stupid looking side pods.

IMHO, you gotta retain the capability to get two GCVs aboard a C-17 or LCAC.

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JEFF August 26, 2010 at 6:52 am

I agree the Bradley isn't the best layout. Its just the current equivalent from which the Army's notions of the GCV come from. I think they'd make a more sensible approach.

While I think its important to have lighter vehicles capable of C-17 transport, in the way its currently done, its simply not possible if you want them to have mine and IED resistance. The need for protective capabilities right now out weigh the need for deployment speed. I'd be a proponent for a GCV variant that maybe loses the turret to make up the excess weight that prohibits it from being tranported in pairs on a C17, just to retain that capability, but it would be more of a niche vehicle than the main squad level combat vehicle.

JEFF August 26, 2010 at 6:38 am

To retain the capabilities that are being emphasized with this design concept, you will retain squad effectiveness with fewer vehicles. I was trying to compare them in like terms instead of apples and oranges. I'm inclined to go with what you're saying; that in practice they'll want to still have 4 vehicles instead of 3. Either way it all comes back to an effective increase in an area of capabilities the Army and Congress want to see improve. Even if it limits aspects of performance, at least on paper it is an improvement to "need" fewer vehicles.

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blight August 25, 2010 at 11:33 am

General Motors submitted a proposal for armored fighting vehicles called Bolos. They are to have VLS support, MLRS, 155mm howitzers, LRAP and embark UAVs. GM promises that Block 2 models will be fully submersible.

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William C. August 25, 2010 at 12:24 pm

It better be nuclear powered like BAE's 250 ton AFV. Theirs will also have a garage for a full platoon of scout HMMWVs.

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TrustButVerify August 25, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I thought the Mk I only had a 150mm main gun and a pair of rotary cannons.

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blight August 26, 2010 at 9:11 am

True, but I suspect BAE wants to build something like the Mark XXX right off the bat. We can name our Bolos after the supreme court justices and state governors…

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A.Lentz August 25, 2010 at 8:50 pm

i would not laugh about the 155mm gun, that is actually on boards as part of some european designs..

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Jacob August 26, 2010 at 4:10 am

MAMMOTH TANK ASSEMBLED!!

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Cav August 26, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Don't forget the Artificial Intelligence that makes Shakespeare references, enjoys Vivaldi and helps serve as chaplain to the crewmen. Keith Laumer is laughing in his grave.

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Mastro August 25, 2010 at 11:53 am

I think the defense contractors heads exploded when the insurgents used IED's that could shred a Stryker.

"But we designed everything around 14.5 mm protection only!"

Can the industry make something that will shrug off an RPG but weigh less than 30 tons?

Skip the broadband- the grunts will just download porn with it.

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William C. August 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm

WTF? The Army came up with the specifications for the whole Interim Armored Vehicle program and the Stryker won. It wasn't a case of the GD saying "buy this".

it probably is possible to make something that will shrug off an RPG at that weight, but not newer models of RPG.

Personally I think they should go for a vehicle with a 40 ton "clean" weight but then can be fitted with plenty of modular armor.

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Mastro August 27, 2010 at 10:19 am

I guess I did imply that the contractors were the ones who came up with the lightweight spec- it was the army all the way- who fell in love with the Rapid Deployment idea.

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blight August 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm

It's kind of a tradeoff. You could opt for an aluminum vehicle with ERA, but it might not do well against 14.5mm HMGs.

I suspect the modern opponent isn't going to use HMGs-RPGs are man-portable, and ATGMs can strike from farther away.

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jeff August 25, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Upgrade the Bradley with a lighter, more powerful diesel enigine (they are out there). Intgrate the add-on belly armor into production, replace the TOW launcher with a SVML loaded with Javelins. Even with 4 javelins in an SVML it would be a significant weight savings over the TOW. Maybe switch to kevlar band tracks.

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DualityOfMan August 28, 2010 at 5:42 pm

There are already at least some Bradleys with Javelins.

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Robert A. Fritts September 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm

We are the only country that uses BFVs, Why? Because in every competition for AIFVs since the early90s the BFV always finished last. Dardo, Warrior and many wheeled vehicles were always better. All of the major competitions of the 90s were won out right, by large margins) by the CV90 series. Nothing beats the video of the CV90 in Holland 1992ish, when the CV90 crew completed the offroad course it went back and towed out the Bradley and Warrior(daisy chain style) at the same time as both got stuck. The CV90 crew then completed the course while towing the two other vehicles. But we soldier on with excellent training as our advantage.

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Nick August 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Wait, isn't this what the Stryker platform was supposed to cover? Maybe they forget they developed it…

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William C. August 25, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Stryker was never supposed to replace the Bradley.

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secret August 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Those are not two independent thermal imagers. They are Commander's Independent Viewers. They allow the operator a pivotable view of the battle space. One is for the vehicle commander. The other is for the squad leader in the hull, performing recon.

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noquarter August 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Who is responsible this ****** rendering. Give me the plans and I’ll bust out a better one for them in no time.

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Maxtrue August 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm

It would make more sense that troop carriers are of one type and convoy protection (anti-ied, anti-missiles) another type. A larger bomb zapper with DEW anti-projectile systems for and aft could provide protection and not create the hopeless task of an everything vehicle.

Basic types with modularity seems best.

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Henry B August 25, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Not so much weight or capability but my guess is the price tag; at least 5 mil per copy. That will not go very well, now. But it still could be a better deal than a major refit and upgrade of the BIFV.

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STemplar August 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Love to see the Red Team's work. I think the consensus here probably mirrors the Army's decision that a do all platform was too big, too pricey, and probably not much better at anything than something more conventional and available OTS now.

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Robert A. Fritts August 25, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Yes I know I cut and pasted this from a post on the Marines EFV, but we should buy off the shelf, when SUPERIOR equipment is availible. The Patria Rosomak and the Hugglands-BAE CV-90 series of vehicles already have all of the features our various services are looking for and we ignore them to develope Multi-$billion projects that DO NOT work.

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KENE August 31, 2010 at 10:08 am

IS THE ARMEY GOOD

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Robert A. Fritts August 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm

On my last rotation to a-stan my company was paired up with a Polish Company equipped with the Rosomak(Wolverine) IFV. Now it was superior to the Stryker in almost everyway. I saw one get hit with a RPG-9 from 200 meter which detonated on the side of the drivers station, but did not penetrate. well we come to a river and we have to find a fiord point to cross. The Rosomak crews seal up a few hatches plunge into the river and start zipping around very fast looking for our crossing point. Mil specs say it can get 10Kts in the water. The line mechanics told us they can get 35KPH in the water once they tweak to motor. These guys said they water skied from them in Poland. Comes with 30mm, 40mm, and twin 120mortar(AMOS). Sights, C3 and Armor all first rate. Costs less than $3MillionUS with the mortar(most expensive). Buy them off the self. USMC problem solved. Now when a US defense Contractor gets involved we may be able to get them in 12 years for $30million a piece and it will not float(oh thats my Stryker).

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Bob August 25, 2010 at 6:16 pm

You want to buy foreign?? You want to pay foreign union workers to build IFVs for Americans, while American union workers are unemployed? Not good.

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Icysquirrel August 25, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Take the 90% savings and spend them on job creation programs or some actually useful R&D, instead of reinventing the wheel (and making it square in the process) in the name of "buying American."

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Joe Schmoe August 25, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Or better yet, buy a vehicle that will be produced in the U.S., i.e.- the Namer.

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Thomas L. Nielsen August 26, 2010 at 1:51 am

….or get over the whole "Not Invented Here" thing and negotiate a good license deal with the manufacturer.

Regards & all,
Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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mat August 26, 2010 at 8:52 am

Rosomak aka Patria AMV is the budget line among 8×8 but its generation ahead of striker that vas developed from a older version of Piranha so value per money in striker isn't that great . Amphibious wersions of 8×8 general swim at leasurly 8-10km/h ,for 35km/h would need a rocket booster .But the marines EFV is definetly bad compromise,if you want radt swimmer build a platform(landing craft to do it not kiting out an APC with mega size engines for water propulsion and all sorts of gadgets that make it hugely expensive and oversized.

blight August 26, 2010 at 9:15 am

M249=Belgian
M240=Belgian
Rheinmetall gun for Abrams=German
76mm gun on the FFGs=Italian?
M3 Carl Gustav=Swedish

Should I go on? Or are pork-barrel project vehicles exclusively American?

(Though the Stryker is a GDLS project based on a Swiss LAV design…)

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Pat August 31, 2010 at 12:13 am

The LAV-25 is based on the MOWAG Pirhana vehicle from the Swiss as well. The Rosomak weighs about 4.5 tons more than the Stryker AGS and about 6.5 more than the IFV version. It also doesn't carry a full American rifle squad. It's designed to stop 30mm rounds, which is more than the American vehicle is designed for. I get the impression that Rosomak and Stryker are intended for very different roles on the battlefield. The Rosomak sounds like a wheeled Bradley while the Stryker is a rapid deployment system not intended for a high threat environment. Oh yeah, and Rosomak's cause 2.1 million Euros per unit (just under $2.7 million) in 2004 to the Stryker's $1.4 million in 2003.

Different vehicles that can't be directly compared to one another without starting an intense discussion on needs versus capabilities.

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Robert A. Fritts September 1, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Having both retired from the military and worked for a Union(steelworkers and CWA) I hope we buy exactly ZERO dollars of anything produced by American Unions!

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Joe Schmoe August 25, 2010 at 4:03 pm

My guess is that they will purchase the rights to produce the Namer, hell they already have several production facilities for the Namer already set up in the U.S. .

Hell that is basically a better IFV at around the same weight and already combat proven AND cheaper.

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Robert A. Fritts August 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm

You are exactly right except the Namer is already in production and it would be $millions, if not $billions, to start US Production. Just Buy them. Also Look at what the Danes, Dutch, Turks, Italians and Israelis have done with M-113s and combine it with the electric drive from FMC and save $billions

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Joe Schmoe August 25, 2010 at 8:46 pm

One of the two production lines for the Namers is in the U.S., the other is in Israel.

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mat August 26, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Namer is great for ISRAEL where heavy is allways better,but for US forces that always fight abroad it oversized to heavy and to expensive , German Puma is somewhere mid way from clasical IFV to Namer and has huge weight carying capacity for future upgrades. The problem with any US vehicel nov days is that it seems as if thet can not operate without add on armor packages ,even Abrams has added side armor ,so imagine deploying namer and also adding add on kit you end up with a vehicle aproaching 90tons ,that is a problem for roads and bridges and logistics in general.

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Joe Schmoe August 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm

How did you get 90 tons?

The Namer is already equipped with all the armor it would ever need, for god sakes man it has more armor than a Merkava 4 which is the most armored tank in the world.

They are also this year adding a 30mm autocannon with spike missile launchers to the Namer.

Also this GCV contest has its participants at 60 tons already, so why not include the Namer?

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mat August 26, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Abrams started life at 55 tons now it weighs at 65 + ad on tusk kit you are looking at 70tons . Namer baseline already weighs 60,has no turret ,so adding one will grow its weight. As far as i understand what they were looking at is german Puma that runs at cca 31tons in baseline and has and uparmoring capability to 43 tons+ so could potentialy up the armor compared to Bradley by 30%,another proposal is based on Cv90 armadilo that is ab it lighter with light unmaned turret and blaseline of 27tons and add on armor of cca 9 tons. The thing here is to strike a balance of mobility ,protection and airlift capability. And 60+ ton namers are hardly airmobille.

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Addicted August 26, 2010 at 9:57 pm

WHY ARE MY COMMENTS DELETED? – JOE SCHMOE

@Earlydawn August 25, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Why are we asking a question that there's already an answer for? If you're engaging in COIN and facing IEDs, use the MRAPs that we bought at tremendous cost. This vehicle should be intended for standard conventional operations.

One-size-fits-all options tend to get the disadvantages of both..

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JEFF August 26, 2010 at 7:14 am

I think the main concern is of a future threat utilzing a hybrid of conventional and insurgent forces with stronger coordination.

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STemplar August 25, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Yah, I agree, I also bet that's the conclusion(s) drawn by the Red Team which is why make it having MRAP capabilities when you won't use it in that role anyway. If we are replacing the Bradley, then just replace the Bradley. Field a solid new IFV with the available cutting edge tech and I think we will be just fine, or grab something OTS that is upgradeable/scalable and you don't even have to wait 7 years to start fielding it.

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Larry August 25, 2010 at 5:30 pm

"The proposed GCV, which is intended to replace the Army’s Bradley fleet, was getting a bit unwieldy, sources say, as builders attempted to meet the many requirements."

For that you get the "Understatement of the year" Award.

A BIT unwiedly???

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Jeremy Akers August 25, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I was intimately involved in submitting a proposal to the first RFP, after only a brief review of the survivability requirements it was obvious that they lacked the same protection demanded from industry for our current light vehicle fleet. This only further reinforced my belief that GCV was headed down the garden path where TACOM promised a fresh program, and then regurgitated FCS under another title, managed by the same determined group that drove FCS off a cliff.

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Howe August 25, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Thank god.
This program was like a fat kid at Mcdonald's, eventually ya just just have to say NO MORE!

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Greg August 25, 2010 at 10:15 pm

Greg left out the part where they were torn between a new vehicle and upgrading the existing fleet. The existing fleet upgrade would be

I think they are just going to upgrade the bradleys and strykers. will be something like the bradley technology demonstrator which seated 9 with a remote torrent and other stuff plus it still would be about 30 tons. They were already talking about giving it a 800hp engine already. Stryers to the lav-h or something. Its the cheapest and smartest thing to do we are in a recession. Why build new hulls when you can upgrade, and that still means jobs.

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greg August 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm
Matthew G. Saroff August 26, 2010 at 12:19 am

I forgot to add. When their requirements had a submission tipping the scale at 70+ tons, it was time to try again.

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Paralus August 26, 2010 at 12:26 am

OTS is the better option. PUMA has modular armor.

CV-90 has options like the Armadillo APC, the regular IFV and an armored gun system that can mount a 120mm cannon.

What the heck was BAE thinking pitching another FCS? The Hagglunds CV-90 is a much better option.

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Max August 26, 2010 at 12:28 am

This is the kind of stuff that makes defense projects go deep into the red and get cancelled. The military can't make up its mind about what they want even after many millions have already been wasted. They always want the "latest and greatest" no matter how much it costs, and the taxpayers are the bigtime losers.

IMO we need a lot more incremental improvements on existing platforms of all 3 services rather than these Rube Goldberg contraptions they keep coming up with.

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POG August 26, 2010 at 6:25 am

The fundamental flaw in the Army's acquisition strategy is that the Army has no capability to project or visualize the outcome of their requirements. So Industry's implementation of those requirements always comes back as a huge surprise. The Army's weight and cost goals for the cumulative pile of requirements is just wishful thinking. They think industry can violate the laws of physics just because the Army put constraints in an RFP.

This happens because the Army is trying to cut corners and get this thing out fast in order to hold onto the GCV funding wedge. The right approach is to put the three big teams under contract to develop concepts for different sets of requirements. The three industry teams and the Army could iterate the requirements and conceptual designs until a low risk, combat effective set of requirement emerged.

Then the Army would release those requirements in an RFP for the three way competition. There should be little surprise at that point. No "OMG. Is that what we asked for?"

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JEFF August 26, 2010 at 7:21 am

I'm actually inclined to say with the GCV their expectations were reasonable. All the things they wanted would have fitted in the proposed weight, and modularity would have helped with system deployment. I think its cancelation however is the direct result of the Army's unclear strategy and probably driven by "wanting something better."

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William C. August 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I agree. Though the wait was indeed rather high.

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William C. August 26, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I meant weight.

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JEFF August 26, 2010 at 7:12 am

I'm sure its growing area of distribution and how far apart a unit is spread that is driving this.

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JEFF August 26, 2010 at 7:18 am

I think larger isn't warranted, but I do see one critical point… a fully remote turret cuts down on the turret weight which also cuts down on the necessary supports for the turret. Most everyone can agree that anything derived from GCV could really benefit from weight reduction.

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johnnie August 26, 2010 at 8:42 am

The army does what it's told. In contracting, it wastes the maximum amount of money because that's the profit margin that the owners of everything demand.

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blight August 26, 2010 at 9:18 am

Or we could go back to the tank/APC combo…though the Russians seem to have no problems putting a meaningful turret onto their IFVs without turning them into bloated animals.

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Maxtrue August 26, 2010 at 10:51 am

Okay, perhaps I don't have sufficient IQ to understand, but someone please explain why protection must be a function of every vehicle. If we don't have an answer for the escalation of threats, why not divide carriers and fighting machines from defensive machines? As in the case for LCS, the purpose seems lost in the attempt for an ultimate Swiss army knife.

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William C. August 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

You clearly don't know what your talking about. There have been improvements in everything since the Bradley was introduced. New composite armors, better ERA, huge improvements in optics and sensors, reliable unmanned turrets (saving space in the hull), better engines and powerplants, more capable weapon systems, you name it. Though I will agree with you that certainly less has been invested in R&D since the end of the Cold War.

FCS MGV was supposed to take advantage of some of these developments, no doubt GCV would as well, yet problem with GCV was that it too heavy. What other "lame defense systems" are on offer? I want to see the full extent of your ignorance.

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Oblat August 27, 2010 at 8:47 am

They didn't take the first step towards cancelling the GCV just because it was too heavy they cancelled it because greedy contractors like yourself were trying to force too much lard through the system and promised to deliver an under-performing overpriced porker.

Really do you ever post anything here which isn't out of your own narrow self-interest ?

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STemplar August 26, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Seems like the Army should sit down and decide what they would like the vehicle to do, then go out and look at what there is OTS. Pick the OTS stuff they like, point to that and tell industry, can you make it better at X, Y, and Z? Then industry would probably be able to say, we can make X and Z a little better but Y might go up. They need to stop reinventing the wheel every time we go for a system.

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tomatojuice August 26, 2010 at 5:11 pm

If i was to get a tank… ill go with
http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080605184

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New Englander August 26, 2010 at 5:48 pm

There was never any suggestion that the GCV could be air-landed by the venerable C-130, even the latest, more powerful C-130J model. C-130 transport was perhaps _the_ crucial heralded requirement for the FCS MGV, and one of its absolute failures to achieve given conflicting armor and thus weight requirements.

Instead, the C-17A or C-5s are the target for any air-cargo above 40,000 lbs (realistically 32,000 lbs to 36,000) lbs. capacity of the C-130.

Without being an apologist for the aerospace industry, or neglecting the ton-mile efficiency proposition of strategic sea-lift or pre-positioning, it makes one wonder why OSD's urge to terminate C-17 production is not more explicitly linked to GCV requirements.

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Jon Jonsson August 26, 2010 at 6:04 pm

this really reminds me of a movie called "the pentagon wars" , a specific line that goes "what you want me to do , paint "im a troop carrier not a tank please dont shoot at me" in 51 languages?"

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ChabossD August 26, 2010 at 7:05 pm

"Just another new weapon cancelled in the obama disarmament"

Not defending Obama, I don't like any side of politics, all parties and politicians are equally insane, more or less, but I just had to correct you on that one: it's not the 'crazy peacenik left' who is trying to disband the entire army who's responsible for the trimming of military fat. Maybe some, sure, but look to Sec Gates instead, you know, the awesome Def Sec appointed by Bush whos actually got a good head on his shoulders? The truth is there are plenty of right-wing military brass and top-tier officials who also see the need to consolidate and trim down the US armed forces, not only to make them leaner, meaner and more mobile but also to cut down on exorbitant and rising costs. But I guess you would prefer the country to go even broker just for the sake of being gung-ho and 'stickin it to the libs' while shooting our guns in the air?…

"What if the IFV is split into two vehicles"

Having two versions of the same IFV (one to carry troops the other to protect the first) would essentially mean building two vehicles to carry the troop load of just one. What if the 'protector' version breaks down? So on average, that's like building Bradleys that can only carry 3 troops apiece (they can currently carry 6) because every one of two made could hold 0, bringing the average down. Not very economic, or practical.

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Uncle Bill August 27, 2010 at 2:40 am

Wow, you put a lot of words in my mouth. I am extremely concerned about waste and realize that every system cannot be built and many shouldn't. But hasn't Obama cancelled every program building weapons for the future? FCS, F22, EFV, LCS, Space shuttle, Space program,GCV, ABL and on and on. I'm just saying if he was trying to disarm the country would it look much different then it does now?

And I'm not sure about the two vehicle idea, just throwing it out. If the protector vehicle is disabled the transporter retreats, under power, as opposed to dismounting and retreating on foot, or possibly continues on to the objective. But after taking a hit that disables the gunship the troopers are alive. I started thinking about this since the requirements list is requiring a vehicle weighing 50-100 tons. Two lighter vehicles could be air transported.
I'm picturing two bradleys, one with the turret removed and the weight spent on armor and electronics. The other with the passenger space converted to a small scale VLS with a hundred or so missiles as well as a RWS. The boys in the transporter could have screens that make it appear they are in and driving the gunship. The transporter could just automatically follow the protector. The protector would take frontal incoming and hit IED's first. Enemy would have to pick between two targets. The hardware is all there, just need the software to make it work.

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Brian Mulholland August 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Might this reflect Secretary Gates' taking a hard look and counting how many technologies the GAO was going to describe as "not mature?"

A Namer, by that or any other name (haw) is too heavy for any conceivable Hercules variant to carry. So if we go that route, we need a new aircraft to replace the C-130. Not in the budget.
I wonder if the YC-15 could've lifted it?

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Jeff M August 27, 2010 at 2:46 am

If I were a soldier I wouldn't care about the tracks, tanks treads are so WW1. Just put those automated turrets on the MRAPs, give them more powerful guns, make them faster and make them stronger.

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Guesty McGuesterson August 27, 2010 at 10:10 am

Oh! Well THAT makes sense! Sounds straightforward enough, why didn't we think of that before? Golly.

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blight August 27, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Words like "automated turrets", "more guns", "faster" and "stronger" is what got us into this GCV fail.

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William C. August 27, 2010 at 7:54 pm

What? No, those are things this vehicle should introduce. But substitute more guns for "better guns".

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William C. August 28, 2010 at 1:30 am

I don't mean putting all of this stuff on MRAPs. Those are too heavy as it is… but I am talking about GCV.

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blight August 28, 2010 at 11:00 am

Wheeled vehicles can't crush cars or people, nor can they pivot. However if you blow a wheel you hopefully have lots more, whereas if you throw a track life isn't so good. However it begs the question of how easy is it to get enough flats to become a mobility kill, versus what is required to destroy a track.

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STemplar August 28, 2010 at 4:27 pm

The trade off between wheeled and tracked boils down to where are you going to operate. They both have their respective strengths and weaknesses. In the end we need both.

The problem with the GCV is the do everything mentality. Everything means really big and heavy. If you want a 9 man squad and a high level of protection in the baseline model, it is going to be like 40 tons at least before you even start talking about weapon systems and comm equipment and such.

The Army really needs to sit down and ask some basic questions like, what missions would we actually make this vehicle perform? Where are we likely to deploy? What threats do we think it will really face in those missions? Ask all that, is it really going to be used in a mission where it will face a day in and day out IED threat? Is it going to be used against an enemy where we need a heavy cannon on every vehicle? What are the most needed attributes as opposed to the least needed?

It seems like the Army didn't do any of that and just told industry, make it do everything. So they did. Can't really blame industry.

I don't necessarily support the Israeli Namer per se, but it seems like the ISraelis have been pretty successful without ever having fielded and IFV. Might be something to think about. Seems like casualties tend to be our biggest mission obstacle and maintaining public support. Maybe a big tough APC is all we need.

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blight August 29, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Our big tough APC better not be so tough we can't even airlift it to where we want it. I mean, look at the Abrams. It's so big we probably won't ship many, if any, to Afghanistan. The same might be true with a sufficiently enlarged APC, and we will end up fighting with the weapons we are able to lift, not just the ones we wish we could airlift.

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STemplar August 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm

We don't airlift though. That's a nice concept, but at the end of the day it isn't how we operate. You can fit 2 Bradleys in a C17 right now, but that is the limit of what a C17 can do. Increase the size/weight for a 9 man squad and it is highly unlikely you will be able to carry 2 of any new design in the C17 simultaneously. So if you are only going to be able to carry one in a C17 and maybe 2 in a C5 you've got about a 60 ton cap to be able to do that. No reason to not go that big really, since you aren't going to fill pretty much any of the RFP specs and not get down to one per C17 trip.

Like I said though, these aren't for air deployment and were never meant to be. that is the role the Stryker was meant to fill. These will be forward deployed in depots and MPF squadrons.

Uncle Bill August 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm

At this point I think we can blame all our problems on one person.

But everyone, including me, has panned the GCV proposals, but what is the answer? Some day propulsion and armor and weapons may be lighter. But what is the solution today? Maybe two vehicles isn't the answer, maybe 3 or 4 would be better. Lighter, specialized modules, that snake thru the battlefield with more effect than 4 brads. What's your idea?

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Brian Mulholland August 27, 2010 at 8:17 pm

MRAPs and Strykers haven't handled Afghanistan's terrain as well as tanks and Bradleys … because the latter have tracks.

Talk about a complete reversal from DefSec Rumsfeld's emphasis on lighter vehicles with a lot of communications and networking. ….. nothing replaces armor when you get hit.

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blight August 28, 2010 at 11:01 am

If I recall correctly, Canada is deploying Leopards, LAVs and M113s, and someone is using those Bv 206's…

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Dow August 28, 2010 at 7:18 am

60 billion for GM to build electric golf carts – not a cent for defense!

Imam obama.

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Maxtrue August 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/08/army-ground

If pigs had wings they could fly…..

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GentPC August 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

Just looking at what I assume was a proposed mock up of this thing I can only think….I can make something better using Lego!!! Doesn't simplicity mean anything any more? Good god the A-10 which is the most low tech combat aircraft in the USAF arsenal, and which no one wanted, is still around and still going through upgrades to keep it in service. Will someone keep facts like that in mind???

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roland August 28, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Maybe one day in the future all our warfare mechanism will be antigravity flying machine.
Have anyone seen a Nazi anti gravity flying machine? Take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnsgRbCKkN8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jl0N-TUUuQ&fehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WNb-rUBlYk&fe

This is home made anti gravity object: http://www.veoh.com/collection/ufo-channel3-canal

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anonimous August 30, 2010 at 2:15 am

Be careful,crack kills.You should use less

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Thomas L. Nielsen August 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Dude, are you SERIOUSLY going to tell us you believe that drivel???

The pictures of "Nazi Flying Saucers" in the first YouTube clip have been debunked so many times it makes me want to spit just looking at them. THEY'RE FAKE!

And don't get me started on the "do-it-yourself-antigravity-machine" – but the "Scottish Scientists Only" warning should be a hint…….

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Maxtrue August 30, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I don't think Roland was serious…….

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Robert A. Fritts September 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm

I'm not into flying saucers except in cheesy movies, but go to the Luft46 web page and you will see the future and past of all modern US and Russian aircraft.

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Maxtrue August 28, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Roland, the days after 9/11 the mean temperature across the US dropped. This was due to the cooling effect of airline exhaust. Livescience suggested otherwise. One plan for global cooling is to add reflectants to aviation fuel to utilize this concept.

Anti-gravity? I'd love to see the carbon footprint of that endeavor. JSFs, hyper velocity weapons, DEW, rail, stealth, fuel cells, meta-material and plasma shielding even mininuclear energy reactors are all things that are here at least in proof of concept.

The hardware in machines and ships we're going to crank out in billions will deploy over a decades while they're improved and tested. By then I hope the new generation technical wonder's integration will have been anticipated in both doctrine and machine. I have some doubts however about the level of smarts future soldiers will have to possess to master these things, unless we subcontract a level of "operators".

I doubt you or I will be around to fly in anti-gravity saucers, but we'll likely see some unprecedented things…..

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Maxtrue August 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

excuse me Roland, I meant the mean temperature increased due to flight grounding. This showed that airline exhaust was cooling the atmosphere over the US. Sorry to have confused. You can just Google this to see the data…..

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blight August 29, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Light tracks will probably be the way to go in Afghanistan, considering dirt roads and poor infrastructure. In general, wheeled vehicles seem to have higher ground clearance, which may help when it comes to IEDs. I suspect a V-hull on a tracked vehicle is probably not going to work so well by comparison, as it'll just vent the blast into the tracks and completely immobilize the vehicle. I wonder if the same is true of wheeled vehicles…

At least in Afghanistan we aren't being idiots and sending unarmored Humvees to get blown up, followed by improvised modifications and armored Humvees, then MRAPs. The MRAP should keep American troops safe; but Petraeus already alluded to the fact that being safe doesn't mean we're going to win. We can hide out in Kabul and be safe all day and lose the war.

Key West should probably go, and give the military free reign to procure without undue influence by the industry. This would probably mean pushing procurement decisions to lower ranks, below where the industry-types begin trolling for influence.

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Kevin C August 29, 2010 at 10:59 pm

The CTA 40mm turret was looked at by the Army in 1999, why they went with the Bushmaster is something to look in to.
link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CTA_International

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Dee August 30, 2010 at 11:35 am

Of course it's not ready for primetime as the current RFP fails to fulfill the attack helicopter role. Some career govt. official screwed up and neglected to include language indicating this thing also needed to also replace the AH-64.

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roland August 31, 2010 at 1:23 am

The thing is the technology is already out there. The only thing we need is to use it, test it and apply it than having our kids play around our design sketches.

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roland August 31, 2010 at 1:54 am

We can do better than what we have on the picture above, just use your immagination and adopt the technology that is already out there, who knows it could save us all one day.

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howard September 27, 2010 at 12:02 pm

IF THEY ASKED…i’d suggest updates to s far
as datacomm stuff and lots more big guns
and longer range ammo.

why change the basic platform which is
so successful that 6,000 + of them are
in existence?

scrap the new platform costs and put
more into the things that do the killing.

the artists conceptions show these
as having some puny undercalibured gun
and a turret that makes most cell towers
look small.

much much too obvious a target.

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JEFF August 26, 2010 at 7:10 am

I used to be a fan of that notion, but its really not as simple as that. Any new vehicle will be born of the same box on track concept with a lineage to M113, but upgrading M113s isn't worth it. The cost of refurbishing each hull and upgrading the armor is about $8-10M a piece. The price of upgrading the engine to handle the weight and the power generation needs of the electronics suite and the cost of integrating the electronics is another probably another $5-8M. Thats $13-18M to bring it upto modern standards. The GCV target price is about $20M a copy with specialized variants soaking up more. The M113 has no primary weapon so its at best going to rely on a pair of .50 cal and not a cannon. IF you're truly strapped for cash $2-7M a copy is good savings, but when you consider the other aspects of the GCV's design intent those "savings" are potentially out weighed by service life savings of the GCV.

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JEFF August 26, 2010 at 7:10 am

I'm all for the continuing use and upgrade of a number of M113's but not as the primary infantry fighting vehicle of the Army. Certain units are suppose to maintain a more rapidly deployable foot print, the GCV will ruin that. An modernized M113 could serve in that niche role while minimizing costs of a parallel effort.

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Dave August 28, 2010 at 7:26 am

That is the problem.

We automatically accept figures like "13-18 million per hull".

Times 8000 that is a ludicrous amount of cash.

.

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Cole August 26, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Jeff, the FCS MGV was close to 30 tons with all the active protection bells/whistles and sensors you see here. If they had added a 5,000 lb belly V-kit it still would have been around 66,000 lbs. How did it jump to 53 tons in the light version? A 30' foot EFV carrying 20 Marines is under 80,000 lbs and apparently is beating IEDs. Why not a 12-man smaller GCV?

Second, if we were still worried about the Fulda Gap with POMCUS and a logistical infrastructure in place you could go with a 50 ton GCV. Instead, we may end up again in Iran trying to secure the Straits of Hormuz from Diego Garcia or in South Korea, or Taiwan trying to get there from Louisiana. No easy commutes there. No easy logistics to support more vehicles getting 1 mpg and unable to cross 3rd world bridges. If the Army wants to be stateside based and still wants relevant, supportable heavy BCTs, some portion of it must be air deployable, IMHO.

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tee August 27, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Like and the CTI remote 40mm turret. The turret has an internal ready-to-fire storage of 60 rounds of two types, and an integral remote controlled machine gun unit attached to the side of the turret, also equipped with ready to fire 1600 round belt. And only weighs about 1.5 tons. That will give it a lot of firepower and still be able to carry enough troops. Just a thought.

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Blight August 29, 2010 at 8:09 pm

well, we cant exactly send tanks through the khyber, unless you what the Taliban capturing heavy armor…

It's airlift or by land through a neighboring nation.

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STemplar August 30, 2010 at 5:12 am

I'm not talking about a few tanks to support COIN ops, I am talking about a deployment where we intend to move multiple BDEs into a conventional fight. A few here and there is no big deal for using airlift.

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