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

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

The AUSA exhibition, which is held until today on the outskirts of Washington, is the opportunity, each year, to take stock of the 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 is indeed on this occasion that the US Army presented its new doctrine of engagement which will replace that drafted at the beginning of the 90s on the basis of the end of the Cold War, and that the government of Biden published the new National Security Strategy framing the international and security action of the United States for the coming years.

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

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

This is how the US Army started the BIG 6 super Program, supposed to be the repetition of the BIG 5 super Program of the early 70s which notably gave birth to the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, the M108 self-propelled gun, the UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, as well as the Patriot anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense system.

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

And 2023 will be a crucial year for this major US Army modernization effort, since 24 of these programs will enter service or will be provided for testing to US 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 asCombat and Augmented Reality Glasses Integrated Visual Augmented System or IVAS, new Next Generation Squad Weapon assault rifle or anti-aircraft and anti-drone systems DE-SHORAD.

The MFP light tank will soon come to reinforce the American armored corps
The first GDLS Mobile Firepower Protected will be delivered in 2023. Surprisingly lacking a hard-kill system in its design phase, the US Army is now considering equipping 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 program, or OMFV, intended to replace the Bradley infantry fighting vehicles.

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

Beyond the 5 competitors who compete for this contract of more than 2000 front line armored vehicles, including Rheinmetall, BAe and GDLS, appear as the favorites, the Chief of Staff of the US Army, General James C. McConville, charted the lines that will direct the modernization effort of the U.S. Armored Corps in the years to come during a press conference given at the opening of the show.

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