New civilian leadership inside the US Army and Pentagon will be central to forthcoming budget plans and moving ahead with new equipment development. However, for now, US Army Futures Command head General John Murray said he is not anticipating sweeping changes when it comes to service plans to develop new weapons to better compete with peer competitors.
The four-star general answered questions during a 25 January virtual Center for Strategic and International Studies event on the army’s six modernisation priorities – Long-Range Precision Fires (LRPF); Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV); Future Vertical Lift; The Network; Air and Missile Defense; and Soldier Lethality – and addressed potential funding questions as the service prepares for a new secretary.
“I have a firm commitment from the chief of staff of the army [General James McConville] that we will not change our modernisation priorities,” Gen Murray said, adding that these six lines of effort have been proven out during modelling and simulation, and wargames.
Pictured here is a December 2019 flight test of Lockheed Martin’s Precision Strike Missile (PrSM) prototype, which is being developed under the US Army’s Long-Range Precision Fires portfolio. The Biden administration is in the midst of naming political appointees, including inside the Pentagon, which could alter service modernisation plans. (US Army)
When it comes to potential funding cuts throughout the department, he noted that it is “too early to say” what might happen but said he remains “fairly optimistic” since the army trimmed roughly USD30 billion from the equipping portfolio to pay for new weapon development.