Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey offered tentative details about the future Ground Combat Vehicle at the Association of the US Army conference, saying it would probably weigh around 25,000 pounds and carry nine to 10 troops.
The Army chief of staff told me when I asked how much a GCV would weigh that he had been to the Oshkosh plant in Wisconsin last week where he was told that a vehicle capable of resisting IED strikes would have to weigh around 25,000 pounds. This may be a mistake. He may well have meant to say 25 tons. We have contacted Army public affairs to check on this.
Regardless, Casey told reporters that the first version of the vehicle "would probably" be "too heavy" and he acknowledged those who say the Army is risking much as it plans to deploy the first vehicles within five to seven years. But he answered those critics, saying "it just makes sense that we ought to be able to do this."
Also, the new vehicle will bear "nine to 10 troops," Casey said, but he cautioned that "we are not at the point where we know what it will look like."
The Office of Secretary of Defense will get its first detailed look Wednesday at the outlines of the revamped program when the Defense Acquisition Board performs an in process review of what the Army has done so far. No decisions are set to be made but Gates and his people will clearly be watching the Army's initial decisions very closely.