A view from the past, a look into the future

As the US Army is assessing future technologies that could maintain or increase the Brigade Combat Team's (BCT) overmatch, improve operational capability and reducing the logistical tail required for continued operation, BAE Systems presented at AUSA its vision of the Army's future technological thrust

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A view from the past, provides a look into the future. BAE Systems developed this 70 ton hybrid-electric powered vehicle for the U.S. Army Ground Combat Vehicle; after the GCV program was cancelled the company has utilized the vehicle to demonstrate how the same platform could turn into a 40 ton combat vehicle, using next generation technologies that are already available today. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
A view from the past, provides a look into the future. BAE Systems developed this 70 ton hybrid-electric powered vehicle for the U.S. Army Ground Combat Vehicle; after the GCV program was cancelled the company has utilized the vehicle to demonstrate how the same platform could turn into a 40 ton combat vehicle, using next generation technologies that are already available today. Photo: noam Eshel, Defense-Update
A view from the past, provides a look into the future. BAE Systems developed this 70 ton hybrid-electric powered vehicle for the U.S. Army Ground Combat Vehicle; after the GCV program was cancelled the company has utilized the vehicle to demonstrate how the same platform could turn into a 40 ton combat vehicle, using next generation technologies that are already available today. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

BAE systems is displaying at AUSA the prototype it has built for the cancelled Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program few years ago. In its current incarnation as technology demonstrator, this impressive vehicle has reduced weight, trading off the large and heavy armored turret for a surrogate unmanned turret based on the company’s Mk 38 B2 unmanned turret (a U.S. version of Rafael’s Typhoon) augmented with a high power laser weapon. At a weight of about 40 tons the vehicle will be powered by a single 6R 890 turbocharged diesel engine developing over 600 kW of power at 4250 RPM, this engine is charging a high capacity Li-ion battery that has been tested and proven safe and reliable for military use.

BAE systems displayed at AUSA it's vision for the 2025 armored mobility. The platform on display is the vehicle BAE developed for the cancelled US Army Ground Combat Vehicle program. The vehicle on displayed was stripped of its original turret, carrying the Company's Mk 38 remote weapon station BAE is producing with Israel's RAFAEL for the U.S. Navy. The white module on the right side represents a high power laser weapon that can be operated by the vehicle, relying on the vehicle's powerful hybrid propulsion drive system. The laser unit comes with integral target acquisition and beam director while the turret mounts a 25 chain gun and uses the Toplite EO system for ISR and target acquisition. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
BAE systems displayed at AUSA some of the innovations it is recommending the US Army could include in it’s Force 2025 Vision. The platform on display is the vehicle BAE developed for the cancelled US Army Ground Combat Vehicle program. The vehicle on displayed was stripped of its original turret, carrying the Company’s Mk 38 remote weapon station BAE is producing with Israel’s RAFAEL for the U.S. Navy. The white module on the right side of the turret represents a high power laser weapon that can be operated by the vehicle, relying on the vehicle’s powerful hybrid propulsion drive system. The laser unit comes with integral target acquisition and beam director while the turret mounts a 25 chain gun and uses the Toplite EO system for ISR and target acquisition. Photo: Tamir Eshel, Defense-Update
This engine, developed by MTU provides constant charging for the hybrid drive. Two engines were necessary to drive enough power for the 70 ton GCV, but a more modest 49 ton future vehicle will require only one such engine, delivering enough power for propulsion, systems and the laser weapon.
This engine, developed by MTU provides constant charging for the hybrid drive. Two engines were necessary to drive enough power for the 70 ton GCV, but a more modest 49 ton future vehicle will require only one such engine, delivering enough power for propulsion, systems and the laser weapon. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
This high capacity Lithium ion battery pack is storing the electrical energy to power two drive engines. This power source feeds all electronic systems on board, and it also packs enough energy for bursts to drive the high energy laser weapon.
This high capacity Lithium ion battery pack is storing the electrical energy to power two drive engines. This power source feeds all electronic systems on board, and it also packs enough energy for bursts to drive the high energy laser weapon. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Force 2025 Vision

In 2014 the US Army began the process of development and refinement of the view of how Army forces will be shaped in 2025 and beyond. Entitled Force 2025, the Army is discussing force employment; science and technology and human performance optimization; and force design. In force employment the Army defined how decentralized, distributed, and integrated operations will be conducted 10 years from now.

For the next decade the Army plans to reshape, optimise its combat units into Brigade Combat Team 2025, equipped and trained to increase their expeditionary capability these units will be globally responsive, downsized and manpower and vehicles, these elements will also be tailored to best perform as part of joint task forces in specific areas.

The vehicle is driven by two electrical engines running on AC current provided by the li-ion battery through the distribution unit seen on the right. The advantages of electrical propulsion is there is no need to run the engines when the vehicle is idle, while power bursts are managed through the regulator, when needed for performance, therefore running the diesel charger at optimal speed for maximum fuel economy. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update
The vehicle is driven by two electrical engines running on AC current provided by the li-ion battery through the distribution unit seen on the right. The advantages of electrical propulsion is there is no need to run the engines when the vehicle is idle, while power bursts are managed through the regulator, when needed for performance, therefore running the diesel charger at optimal speed for maximum fuel economy. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update

Among the contingencies they will be prepared for will be homeland defense, counter-proliferation operations and ability to counter advanced threats.

To meet these goals combat elements of 2025 must maintain overmatch of any opponent, forces should be modernised in mobility, protection and firepower, providing improved lethality, longer range precision and reduced footprint, size and power consumption.

Integration of robotics, particularly in manned-unmanned operations is considered a priority, as also the extension of range, particularly with aviation assets. Regardless of robotics advancements, optimisation of combat systems will also address human performance – in cognitive load engineering and performance enhancement.

Currently, TRADOC is working with Science and Technology stakeholders to identify additional technologies that can mature and be fielded to BCTs by 2025 to set the conditions that will fundamentally change the way the Army fights in the far-term.

Such technologies are assessed by their ability to maintain or increase overmatch, increase the unit’s capability above the current level and improve the unit’s self sustainability in expeditionary deployment, reducing the logistical tail required for continued operation.

This driver's position displayed at BAE Future Technology Demonstrator for the Army Force 2025 Vision at AUSA 2014 shows the drivers' display consoles, proving 120 degrees coverage, in addition, live images from side and rear cameras provide 360 vision to the driver and commander. direct vision blocks augment this indirect view with periscope vision. Five blocks are positioned just below the raised hatch line, providing 180 degrees coverage.
This driver’s position displayed at BAE Future Technology Demonstrator for the Army Force 2025 Vision at AUSA 2014 shows the drivers’ display consoles, proving 120 degrees coverage, in addition, live images from side and rear cameras provide 360 vision to the driver and commander. direct vision blocks augment this indirect view with periscope vision. Five blocks are positioned just below the raised hatch line, providing 180 degrees coverage. Photo: Noam Eshel, Defense-Update