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By Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Army will be moving $31.5 billion over the next five years from lower-priority programs to the service’s top-priority needs, according to undersecretary Ryan McCarthy. The 2020 fiscal budget will ensure that the service branch’s top priorities of readiness and modernization, the “Big Six” , remain on track.

“All six of the Army modernization priorities will have vast increases, and you will see a sustained push to the readiness portfolio because we made hard choices inside of our budget,” McCarthy said.

The Big Six include: long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift, a mobile network, air and missile defense, and soldier lethality.

This year, the Army plans to launch a competition for new armored vehicles; award development contracts for scout aircraft and helicopter engines; conduct key tests of long-range missiles, anti-aircraft defenses, rifles, targeting goggles, and multiple battlefield networks; and field new electronics for command posts.

Overall, McCarthy said, “We are trying to enable the National Defense Strategy” — which prioritizes preparing for high-intensity war with China and Russia — “and have taken some pretty dramatic steps in order to get there. We’ve been very consistent about where we were trying to take the Army… with that comes some very difficult choices.”

McCarthy would not give details about which programs have been cut, restructured or canceled. The question is whether Congress will accept the painful cutbacks, slowdowns, and outright cancellations required.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the Hill have objected to taking money from military construction, which would impact readiness, military families, and home-state jobs.

By constantly shifting money to top priorities in both near-term readiness and long-term modernization, Army Secretary Mark Esper expects the Army to hit a critical turning point within the next four years, and barring any unforeseen crisis, the Army will reach its readiness goal by 2022.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

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Army Sgt. 1st Class Phillip Kennedy Johnson is the author of graphic novel “The Last Sons of America.”

 

A gritty future where nobody in the U.S. is able to have children after a biological terrorist attack will soon be brought to life as a Netflix original movie starring “Game of Thrones” star Peter Dinklage — all from the imagination of an Army sergeant.

Based on the post-apocalyptic graphic novel “The Last Sons of America,” which Sgt 1st Class Phillip Kennedy Johnson wrote while serving as a trumpet player with the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Army Field Band. The adaptation will be produced by Matt Reeves, writer and director of the upcoming Warner Bros. film “The Batman,” Netflix announced earlier this month.

 

The U.S. Army  recently awarded Raytheon Co. a $406 million contract to supply the service with aviation radios over the next five years.

Raytheon will manufacture up to 5,000 ARC-231A radio systems that will be installed on the Army’s existing helicopter platforms.  The radios will be installed on a variety of Army helicopters, including the UH-60 Black HawkUH-72 Lakota utility helicopter and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

The ARC-231A radio features continuous full power transmission at high temperatures and altitudes, and excellent receiver performance across all frequency bands.

 

 

Army, Marines Order Armored Vehicles

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Two Army deals worth a total of $575 million for Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles “mark the beginning of low-rate production for the highly mobile, survivable, multipurpose vehicle designed to meet the mission of the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams,” according to BAE Systems, the company that makes the AMPV. The Marine Corps awarded General Dynamics $37.2 million for 60 hardware kits to reset its Light Armored Vehicles. “The hardware kit addresses key obsolescence and readiness issues and consists of a modern powerpack, driveline system, driver’s instrument panel and a new turret slip ring,” the company said.

Army to Buy Iron Dome Air Defense System to Protect Soldiers

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By Debbie Gregory.

It’s the world’s most used missile defense system, intercepting more than 1,500 targets with a greater than 90 percent success rate since being fielded in 2011. Now the U.S. Army has announced its intent to buy a limited number of Iron Dome weapon systems from Israel to protect its soldiers on the battlefield.

Iron Dome is an effective, truck-towed mobile air defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.  Rafael teamed with Raytheon on the production of Iron Dome’s Tamir interceptor missiles to engage incoming threats launched from up to 40 miles away. It can be operated in all weather conditions including fog, dust storm, low clouds and rain. It features a first-of-its-kind multi-mission launcher, which is designed to fire a variety of interceptor missiles, depending on the threat.

“It’s the world’s most used missile defense system, intercepting more than 1,500 targets with a greater than 90 percent success rate since being fielded in 2011,” according to Raytheon’s website.

Air and missile defense is one of the Army’s top modernization priorities in an effort to replace its Big Five weapons platforms — which include the Patriot air defense system — by 2028.

“The Iron Dome will be assessed and experimented as a system that is currently available to protect deployed U.S. military service members against a wide variety of indirect-fire threats and aerial threats,” said Col. Patrick Seiber, spokesman for Army Futures Command. “Protection of our soldiers is paramount; they deserve the tools needed to fight, win and return home safely,” Seiber added.

“While Iron Dome has been in operational use by the Israeli Air Force since 2011 and proven effective in combat, it should be noted that the U.S. Army will assess a variety of options for its long-term IFPC solution,” Seiber said in a statement.

Raytheon is working toward production of a U.S. version of Iron Dome called the “SkyHunter missile” that could someday defend forward-deployed American forces.

Veteran and Military Business Owners Association, VAMBOA,

 

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