US Defence Acquisitions: Key Questions Confront the Army's 'Ground Force Modernization Initiative'

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The US Army is preparing to start a new GCV (ground combat vehicle) acquisition programme by evaluating contractor proposals for technology development. The Army appears to be embarking on a more knowledge-based programme than previously planned, focusing on costs and technical maturity. Yet, to deliver the first production vehicle in 7 years, the programme must complete technology development in 2 years and engineering and manufacturing development in 4 years. Key questions on GCV pertain to how urgently it is needed, robustness of the analysis of alternatives, its cost and affordability, plausibility of its schedule, and whether mature technologies will be used. Addressing such questions is essential to getting a good start on demonstrating the match between GCV requirements and resources by the end of technology development.