Sunday, December 31, 2006

Still Stomping the Furry Little Mammals

Technology was supposed to create a Future Combat System (FCS) that made heavy tanks obsolete.

The M-1 Abrams main battle tank will not be heading for the tar pits:

Experiences in Iraq have shown the US Army that the Abrams tank will constitute a significant portion of the combat force well into this century, as there are no viable substitutes for it.

So we will upgrade the tank for service for another twenty years--until 2027.

I wrote before the Iraq War showed the value of our heavy armor that the Abrams was not obsolete:

Barring successfully fielding exotic technologies to make the FCS work, the Army must consider how it will defeat future heavy systems if fighting actual enemies and not merely suppressing disorder becomes its mission once again. 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.

Based on the Iraq War, we now know that the Future Combat System cannot become the wonder tank. It cannot provide with technology what the Abrams provides with sheer bulk.

The Abrams is the closest thing we've got to a wonder tank so far. And we'll be keeping it around. Our enemies surely won't like that.