Friday, December 1, 2023

Hard-kill systems, robotization and autonomy at the heart of developments in the US Army armored corps

After having evolved very little for 30 years, the armored corps of the US Army is preparing to begin a vast modernization program giving pride of place to hard-kill systems, robotization as well as autonomous systems.

The AUSA exhibition, which is held until today on the outskirts of Washington, is an opportunity, each year, to take stock of current and planned developments in terms of land armament and strategy for the forces. American land forces, and consequently, for their allies. But with the war in Ukraine, the Sino-Taiwanese crisis, and the various tensions at different levels of gestation on the planet, the 2022 edition takes on a very special dimension.

It was in fact on this occasion that the US Army presented its new engagement doctrine which will replace that drawn up in the early 1990s on the basis of the end of the Cold War, and that the Biden government published the new National Security Strategy governing the international and security action of the United States for the years to come.

It was also during this show that the new equipment which should join the US Army and the American forces during 2023 and beyond was presented.

Indeed, the US Army, like the other branches of the Pentagon, will begin in the coming months the great transformation that began in 2017, when it became obvious that China, but also Russia, would become major geopolitical competitors in the world. beyond 2020, while the so-called “traditional” areas of tension will also deteriorate.

This is how the US Army began the BIG 6 super Program, supposed to be a repeat of the BIG 5 super Program from the early 1970s which notably gave birth to the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, the M108 self-propelled gun, the UH-60 Black Hawk maneuvering helicopter, as well as the Patriot anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system.

Very ambitious at the start, BIG 6 quickly confronted certain budgetary realities that did not make it possible to simultaneously finance the 6 major pillars, and this was transformed with the arrival of Joe Biden at the White House, into a global effort, but progressive in this area.

And 2023 will be a crucial year for this major effort to modernize the US Army, since 24 of these programs will enter service or be supplied for testing to American forces, including for example the new "light" tank Mobile Protected Firepower or MFP which will be based on the model proposed by General Dynamics Land Systems , as well as the Integrated Visual Augmented System or IVAS combat and augmented reality glasses , the new Next Generation Squad Weapon assault rifle or even the anti-aircraft systems and anti-drone DE-SHORAD .

The MFP light tank will soon reinforce the American armored corps
The first Mobile Firepower Protected from GDLS will be delivered in 2023. Surprisingly lacking a hard-kill system in its design phase, the US Army is now planning to equip it in the short term to respond to growing battlefield threats.

But the attention within the AUSA show is first captured by the competitors participating in the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, or OMFV , program, intended to replace the Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

After several unsuccessful programs and tens of billions of dollars spent in vain over the last 20 years, the US Army has in fact adopted an effective and reasonable process to select the replacement for the venerable Bradley which is reaching the end of its effectiveness. operational.

Beyond the 5 competitors competing for this contract for more than 2,000 front-line armored vehicles, including Rheinmetall, BAe and GDLS, appear to be the favorites, the Chief of Staff of the US Army, General James C. McConville, outlined the lines that will direct the effort to modernize the American armored corps in the years to come during a press conference given at the opening of the show.

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Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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