The Army can no longer throw money at our industry to create the revolutionary wonder tank--light, fast, lethal, and survivable. And it won't try:
The Army for decades has been chasing the holy grail of land warfare: A combat vehicle that is light enough to travel by air but also has sturdy armor shielding to protect occupants against bomb blasts, and big enough guns to blow out the enemy.
The Army has poured billions of dollars into this pursuit over the past 15 years, and has failed every time. The latest effort, known as the infantry fighting vehicle, was terminated in 2014.
The lesson for the Army: It needs to set realistic goals and get on with modernizing the armor fleet before current vehicles become hopelessly outdated, said Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster Jr., deputy commanding general of the Army's Training and Doctrine Command for futures and director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center.
“We are downscaling expectations, based on what we know industry can deliver,” McMaster said Feb. 19 during a breakfast meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C.
The plan is to start updating existing vehicles and gradually progress to a new design as technology and budgets permit, McMaster said.
Holy Hell. And he even mentioned smaller squads for the mechanized infantry (and this may be the way to get it) and evolving our tanks, including with more fuel efficient engines.
I do believe that my Military Review article (page 28-33) on this subject was on the general's reading list.
Let me quote the very last part of that article, anyway:
The tentative assumptions of 2001 will change by 2025. When they do, the Army will rue its failure today to accept that the wonder tank will not be built.
We've finally accepted that we can't build the wonder tank. Hallelujah.
While I'm at it,let me toss in this essay on the value of heavy forces that I submitted for an essay contest that fell through the cracks between editors, and which I put up on this blog nine years ago.