BAE systems is displaying at AUSA the prototype it has built for the cancelled Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program few years ago. In its current incarnation as technology demonstrator, this impressive vehicle has reduced weight, trading off the large and heavy armored turret for a surrogate unmanned turret based on the company’s Mk 38 B2 unmanned turret (a U.S. version of Rafael’s Typhoon) augmented with a high power laser weapon. At a weight of about 40 tons the vehicle will be powered by a single 6R 890 turbocharged diesel engine developing over 600 kW of power at 4250 RPM, this engine is charging a high capacity Li-ion battery that has been tested and proven safe and reliable for military use.
Force 2025 Vision
In 2014 the US Army began the process of development and refinement of the view of how Army forces will be shaped in 2025 and beyond. Entitled Force 2025, the Army is discussing force employment; science and technology and human performance optimization; and force design. In force employment the Army defined how decentralized, distributed, and integrated operations will be conducted 10 years from now.
For the next decade the Army plans to reshape, optimise its combat units into Brigade Combat Team 2025, equipped and trained to increase their expeditionary capability these units will be globally responsive, downsized and manpower and vehicles, these elements will also be tailored to best perform as part of joint task forces in specific areas.
Among the contingencies they will be prepared for will be homeland defense, counter-proliferation operations and ability to counter advanced threats.
To meet these goals combat elements of 2025 must maintain overmatch of any opponent, forces should be modernised in mobility, protection and firepower, providing improved lethality, longer range precision and reduced footprint, size and power consumption.
Integration of robotics, particularly in manned-unmanned operations is considered a priority, as also the extension of range, particularly with aviation assets. Regardless of robotics advancements, optimisation of combat systems will also address human performance – in cognitive load engineering and performance enhancement.
Currently, TRADOC is working with Science and Technology stakeholders to identify additional technologies that can mature and be fielded to BCTs by 2025 to set the conditions that will fundamentally change the way the Army fights in the far-term.
Such technologies are assessed by their ability to maintain or increase overmatch, increase the unit’s capability above the current level and improve the unit’s self sustainability in expeditionary deployment, reducing the logistical tail required for continued operation.