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Army Dishes $1 Billion for GCV; Design Pending

The Army requested $143 billion for 2011 in the base budget, a modest increase over the $140 billion the service received last year from congress. But that’s not all. The Army requested an additional $102 billion in the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, formerly known as the supplemental war requests. The vast majority of the OCO request is for military personnel and operations and maintenance, only $9 billion goes towards procurement.

For research, development and acquisition, the Army is asking for $31.6 billion. A large chunk of that, nearly $6 billion, goes to buying new helicopters and drones. The Army is adding a twelfth Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) in 2011 and is beginning to buy new helicopters to outfit a thirteenth by 2015. As for drones, the plan is to ultimately equip each of the 10 active divisions with a Sky Warrior company for reconnaissance, surveillance and strike missions.

While the design of the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), the replacement for the cancelled FCS ground vehicles, has yet to be finalized, the Army is still spending nearly $1 billion on the program. Army budget chief, Lt. Gen. Edgar Stanton, gave a rather fuzzy answer to a reporter’s question about where the money is going if the vehicle design is still up in the air. Apparently, all that money is going towards design and other development efforts. We’ll try to run down more information on that one.

Here are some quick hits from the Army’s 2011 shopping list:

• $1.3 billion to buy 48 UH-60M Blackhawk and 24 HH-60M medical mission helicopters • $1.1 billion for 40 new CH-47F Chinook helicopters • $494 million to buy 16 new Apache Block III aircraft • $394 million to upgrade existing Apache Block II models • $459 million to buy 26 MQ-1 Sky Warrior drones • $682.7 million to buy Infantry Brigade Combat Team modernization packages • $1.6 billion for continued development and testing of other networking and battle command capability packages • $480 million to buy 78 Patriot PAC-3 missiles • $164 million to buy 715 Javelin missile • $291 million to buy 2,592 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System missiles • $414 million for M1A2 Abrams System Enhancement Program (SEP) • $447 million to buy 83 Stryker wheeled vehicles • $918 million for 2,959 medium and heavy trucks • $421 million for the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical communications system

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