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US army to develop next-generation combat vehicle

WASHINGTON: The US Army said Thursday it had awarded nearly
dollar 900 million in contracts to British arms manufacturer BAE Systems
and US firm General Dynamics to develop its next-generation ground
combat vehicle.

The Pentagon said it had given dollar 450
million to BAE and dollar 440 million to General Dynamics to develop
“competitive, affordable and executable designs for a new Army Infantry
Fighting Vehicle (IFV)” over the next two years.
The vehicle,
which is expected to be able to transport nine infantrymen, is due to be
operational by 2018, replacing the aging Bradleys and Strykers, it said
in a statement.
The Pentagon, whose budget has doubled since the
September 11, 2001 attacks, is bracing for drastic cuts in the coming
years as the United States attempts to rein in the spiraling deficit.
launch of the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program before the severity
of the cuts is known allows the Army to ensure it will not die on the
chopping block.
“Given the economic environment the nation
currently faces, the Army recognizes that it is imperative to
continually address requirements as we build a versatile, yet
affordable, next-generation infantry fighting vehicle,” Secretary of the
Army John McHugh said, according to the statement.
“This is an important milestone in our Army’s modernization program,” said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey.
is the first combat vehicle designed from inception for an IED
(improvised explosive device) environment. It will provide armor
protection and the capability to maneuver cross-country with the
nine-man infantry squad.”

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