US Army Looking Hard At Modernization Plan


This article first appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report.

The U.S. Army is engaged in a holistic evaluation of its modernization and procurement plans, including Future Combat Systems (FCS), its vice chief of staff asserts.

Gen. Pete Chiarelli says the so-called midcourse review includes a "soup-to-nuts" look at FCS. The Army needs to "understand where we are and where we need to go," Chiarelli told reporters at a Defense Writers Group breakfast Jan. 21. He would not predict the outcome of the review, which he said should be complete by late February and would incorporate lessons learned from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"We've done a lot to FCS since its inception," the four-star general said. "The Manned Ground Vehicles are not the same today as they were envisioned five or six years ago."

The Army's second-highest officer stressed survivability is an issue reframed by the current conflicts. "We have a 360-degree war," he said. "Survivability is not just an issue for tanks and Bradleys. It's an issue we've had to address with the entire force."

The review encompasses numerous other aspects of Army modernization, including procurement. Chiarelli said he supports an acquisition approach with faster results: "As I look at the amount of time it takes us to move from requirements to a fielded system, does [the 1960s-era procurement system] really work in today's world?"

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-- Christian

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