Vehicle Modernization Programs

Two Ground Combat Vehicles (GCV) models, developed by BAE Systems / Northrop and GDLS / Lockheed Martin teams will be evaluated for the future Army procurement of vehicles replacing M-113s and Bradley IFVs. Photo: BAE

Contrary to the Army planner’s foresight in the 2000s, this decade is not about grand programs, but on reconstruction, reconstitution and incremental building of forces. Those military units that survive the cuts will have to do more with less. For the defense industry, it means that there will be fewer platforms to build but more parts and kits resets, modifications and modernization to deliver.

Doing more with less also means more effective processes. Hence, saving energy costs, in fuels, batteries, and harnessing renewable energy in affordable costs would become more popular. It also means fewer soldiers mastering more skills, for which training, simulation and expert assistance will be critical. Among these modernization programs are the replacement of M-113 armored carriers. At present, the leading candidate is the Bradley platform, made by BAE Systems. Currently, the Heavy Brigades in the US Army are equipped with the Bradley infantry carrier and scout vehicle.


BAE is offering to replace the M-113 support vehicles such as medical evacuation, medical treatment, mortar carrier and command post vehicles with Bradley chassis versions. In addition, the company is supporting the reset of existing vehicles – earlier in October the company was awarded $97 million contract to reset 146 Bradley Fighting Vehicles as part of the vehicle’s life cycle support program.

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The Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) is one of two Army new starts, along with the Joint Tactical Light Vehicle, procured under a joint program with the Marine Corps. BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) are competing on the GCV, while Lockheed martin, Oshkosh Defense and AM General race for the JLTV. For some, losing a program could spell doom. While Oshkosh (which recently celebrated the delivery of the 100,000th military vehicle) maintains its military trucks production lines and BAE Systems has high hopes for the continuation of Bradley platforms, For GDLS and AM General, the GCV represent the single large-scale prospect for the future.

 

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The M-1A2 Abrams tank, Various Bradley variants, GCV, M88 Hercules and M-109 Paladin SP Howitzers will form the future Heavy Brigade. Photo: BAE Systems

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