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Future Ground Combat Systems

The U.S. Army Modernization Strategy addresses the challenges of the future operational environment and directly supports the 2018 National Defense Strategy's (NDS) line of effort, "Build a More Lethal Force." This strategy outlines the ends, ways, and means for modernizing the U.S. Army to win future wars, and is underpinned by advanced training and doctrine.

This strategy balances modernization, readiness, force structure, and end strength with available resources to accelerate modernization. This is essential to achieve overmatch and sharpen the Army's competitive advantage to deter, compete and win against any adversary. This strategy leverages smart and bold institutional reform to unify the modernization enterprise under one command. It also promotes a culture of innovation, discipline and accountability.

In October 2017, the Acting Secretary of the Army and Chief of Staff of the Army established six Army modernization priorities to focus future investments. Army senior leaders redirected $1.1 billion, constituting 80 percent of total available science and technology funding, to these priorities:

  • Long-Range Precision Fires
  • Next Generation Combat Vehicles
  • Future Vertical Lift
  • Army Network
  • Air and Missile Defense Capabilities
  • Soldier Lethality

Army Futures Command will unify the Army modernization enterprise to develop and support the delivery of new warfighting capabilities faster and more cost effectively. The new command will focus on learning and evolving through more rapid innovation, experimentation, demonstration and rapid prototyping to support the delivery of the next generation of weapons, vehicles and equipment essential to conduct Multi-Domain Operations, the Army's concept for future warfare.

The 2010 Army Modernization Strategy (AMS) described how the U.S. Army plans to modernize and transform to provide our Soldiers with an affordable mix of the best equipment available to succeed in both current and future full-spectrum military operations. The AMS explains how our modernization efforts will help bring the Army back into balance to meet our current and future challenges. The strategy focuses on three primary lines of effort: developing and fielding new capabilities; continuously modernizing current equipment; and fielding and distributing capabilities synchronized with the Army Force Generation model.

Some of the systems already fielded or in development in accordance with 2010 AMS principles include: the Ground Combat Vehicle, which will overcome capability gaps in current systems; the Extended Range Mulit-Purpose Unmanned Aerial System, which gives commanders longer dwell time and increased Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability; and the Joint Light Tactical vehicle, which will provide both the Army and Marine Corps a multi-mission capable light tactical family of vehicles that will provide mission-dictated scalable protection.

The Strategic Long Range Cannon is an S&T program independent of other programs. The Strategic Long Range Cannon will provide a surface to surface strategic fires capability to complement a Long Range Hypersonic Weapon to deliver a projectile at strategic ranges. Initial ballistic testing begins in FY19, with full technology demonstration in FY23 and first unit equipped occurring in FY25. The LongRange Hypersonic Weapon will leverage a common hypersonic glide body and the Navys 34.5 booster. Testing will begin in FY21 with prototype fielding in FY23.

The Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) is the replacement for the current ATACMS missile and will provide significant range increase and volume. Flight tests begin 1QTR FY20 with two contractors providing prototype missiles to proceed quickly to a limited qualification to field a baseline capability in 1st Quarter FY23. The Cross Functional Team plans to spiral additional missile capabilities (moving target, advanced navigation, enhanced lethality, extended range) within 3-5 years after fielding the base missile.

Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA) expands the current Paladin artillery system providing significant range increase and lethality overmatch with munition enhancements. Using Section 804 authorities (for rapid prototyping for both armament and ammunition) provides the ability to field ERCA capabilities in FY21, and then incrementally increase system and munition lethality, rate of fire, and crew protection (70km and 10 rounds/minute respectively) with the inclusion of an autoloader, beginning in FY23.

Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program replaces the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, with first unit equipped 1st Quarter of FY 2026. It will include technologies to regain the lethality, mobility, power, and protection necessary for Armored Brigade Combat Teams to safely maneuver Soldiers to a positional advantage on the battlefield. Army Senior Leaders and industry partners have been extensively involved in the development of the vehicle's requirements.

Robotic Combat Vehicle program has three variants Light, Medium, and Heavy Vehicles that will deliver decisive lethality, increased situational awareness, and formation overmatch in a future multi-domain battle operational environment. The first of three Soldier operational experiments is 3rd Quarter FY20. The Robotic Combat Vehicle will achieve First Unit Equipped status in FY29. The Army has a detailed experimentation program between FY20-23 to inform future fielding requirements. The Army will make its first Robotic Combat Vehicle acquisition decision in FY23 based on autonomy and lethality technology maturity.

The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle provides Armored Brigade Combat Teams with modern General-Purpose, Mortar Carrier, Medical Evacuation, Medical Treatment, and Mission Command vehicles that can move at the pace of next generation combat vehicles and is able to incorporate future technologies. The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle is currently in Low Rate Initial Production and operating within cost/schedule/performance parameters. Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle will achieve First Unit Equipped status in 2021 by fielding an equipment set to an Armored Brigade Combat Team.

The Mobile Protected Firepower will provide Infantry Brigade Combat Teams with a protected capability to apply immediate, lethal, and sustained long-range direct fires. The Mobile Protected Firepower is designed to engage armored vehicles, hardened enemy fortifications, and dismounted personnel. The program is in the Rapid Prototyping phase with Prototype Deliveries from two vendors beginning in the 2nd Quarter of FY20.

The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a joint Army and Marine Corps program, which consists of a Family of Vehicles that can perform numerous key mission roles as it fills a gap in today's light tactical vehicle fleet. The JLTV family of vehicles is designed to restore payload and performance that were traded from light tactical vehicles to add protection in recent conflicts, giving commanders an improved protected mobility solution and the first vehicle purpose-built for modern battlefield networks. The JLTV program remains on schedule and on budget to replace a significant portion of the Armys High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle fleet. The program had a successful Full-Rate Production decision in June 2019 based on successful Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation (MOT&E).

Maneuver Short Range Air Defense Artillery program will reach First Unit Equipped by equipping one platoon with four interim solution vehicles in FY21. Maneuver Short Range Air Defense Artillery will reach interim operating capability (IOC) with the enduring, directed energy solution in FY24. The Army intends to field initial Maneuver Short Range Air Defense Artillery capability of 144 systems to four battalions beginning in fiscal year 2021 followed by an enduring capability for additional battalions. The system integrates a turret with multiple selectable effectors integrated onto a Stryker A1 vehicle. The first competitively acquired prototypes are starting weapon system integration with the vehicle at General Dynamics. These fieldable prototypes will be used for test, qualification, and first unit equipped. The enduring capability will include kinetic and directed energy effectors. The FY 20 budget includes requests to begin transition of the Multi-Mission High Energy Laser technology maturation initiative to a program of record.

(16) Indirect Fire Protection Capability: This program will achieve First Unit Equipped by fielding two batteries of Iron Dome in FY20 and will reach enduring IOC in FY23. The Army has contracted to purchase and will use two Iron Dome batteries as an interim Indirect Fire Protection Capability solution. Further experimentation and integration testing, in conjunction with the USMC, will enable Army evaluation to determine the best componentized configuration for the enduring solution. The Army will evaluate the Iron Dome systems performance and the feasibility of integrating it with the Integrated Battle Command System to determine its viability as an Enduring Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 solution. The Army plans to use high fidelity digital models of the system components to assess the Iron Dome systems performance against Indirect Fire Protection Capability Increment 2 threats.

Lower-Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor program will reach First Unit Equipped by fielding four radars to one battalion by the end of FY22. The Lower-Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor will down-select to a single vendor in FY19 and begin prototyping using other transaction authorities in FY20 to reach First Unit Equipped. Lower-Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor will provide significant improvement over current PATRIOT radar enabling incremental growth. Based on assessments of available technologies and industrys ability to rapidly deliver an affordable functioning radar system, the Army may employ an incremental approach to fielding a 360-degree capability over time. A Sense-Off was conducted in 3rd Quarter FY19 to ensure a full, fair, and open competitive environment for all potential industry participants. The Sense-Off will help the Army identify current and available technology and inform future growth potential.

Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle & Automatic Rifle program consists of four sub-areas, the Automatic Rifle, the Rifle, ammunition, and Squad Fire Control. Under current program milestones, the Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle & Automatic Rifle will achieve First Unit Equipped in FY22. The Army will select rapid prototyping vendors in FY20, select a system in FY22, and complete fielding to the close combat force in FY28. Next Generation Squad Weapon capitalizes on advancing technologies to increase performance at range, integrate squad fire control systems, improve ergonomics, leverage lightweight case technologies, suppress signature, and integrate powered rail designs. The Automatic Rifle will replace the Squad Automatic Weapon and the Rifle replaces the M4A1 in the Close Combat Forces. Next Generation Squad Weapons are in the Middle Tier Acquisition/Rapid Prototyping phase and if funding is restored will remain on track for a First Unit Equipped in 4th Quarter FY22.

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Page last modified: 23-02-2020 16:41:36 ZULU