Future of Army Combat: McCain Wants Ambition, Army Offers Caution « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary: Sen. John McCain wants an ambitious plan for new ground vehicle designs and new kinds of combat units from the Army. So does the Heritage Foundation, which has provided much of the brain power for the Trump administration. But the Army isn’t on board: Burned by past program meltdowns like FCS and GCV. the service is focused on incremental upgrades to existing weapons,
McCain & co. have plenty of suggestions. As Senate Armed Services staffer (and retired Army colonel) James Hickey reiterated today at a Lexington Institute briefing on Capitol Hill, McCain’s recent white paper calls for
leap-ahead investment in new technologies “such as electronic warfare (jamming) and unmanned ground vehicles (robots)”;
new unit organizations such as “Multi-Domain Combat Brigades” with long-range missiles and offensive cyber, or reconnaissance-strike brigades riding new combat vehicles, such as
a new design for a multi-mission ground combat vehicle, albeit using existing components to save time and money;
a new “highly maneuverable, short-range air defense system” to accompany combat units and protect them from drones, helicopters, and attack aircraft;
“major investments” in Army missiles and munitions, both defensive — like Patriot and Stinger — and offensive — ATACMS, Guided MLRS, and the Paladin howitzer; and
rapidly upgrading five of the Army’s nine active-duty Armored Brigade Combat Teams to the latest models of existing vehicles, the new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, plus Active Protection Systems (APS) to stop incoming anti-tank missiles.
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