Covid-19: US Army identifies weapons testing efforts as a potential challenge

by Ashley Roque

US Army acquisition officials are navigating the ongoing challenges of producing and testing new weapon systems during a global pandemic, and said they have identified several lines of effort that may be affected.

Bruce Jette, the army’s assistant secretary for acquisition, logistics, and technology, and Army Futures Command head General Mike Murray hosted a virtual media round table on 3 April to discuss their ongoing assessment of Covid-19 and the defence industrial base. The duo emphasised that their analysis is evolving day to day and there are no insurmountable hurdles to overcome at this time, while encouraging industry to come forward if contracting changes need to be made.

“If any of the primes should find that they have a specific Covid-19 impact … they need to come in for a contract modification and or consideration. They just they just need to go through the regular channels, and we’ll get that done,” Jette said, noting that the service is keeping a 21-page running tab on programme projections out to 30, 60, and 90 days.

The US Army recently test fired an Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) system prototype at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Testing on another prototype at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland has been delayed due to Covid-19. (US Army)

The US Army recently test fired an Interim Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense (IM-SHORAD) system prototype at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Testing on another prototype at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland has been delayed due to Covid-19. (US Army)

While the service continually updates this list, Gen Murray said a few programmes may be changed. The army, for example, may have to delay an upcoming soldier touchpoint for its Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) programme, an ongoing effort with Microsoft to militarise the company’s HoloLens 2 augmented reality (AR) system to include One World Terrain and Nett Warrior.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/covid-19-us-army-identifies-weapons-testing-efforts-as-a-potential-challenge

US Army acquisition officials are navigating the ongoing challenges of producing and testing new wea...

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