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Pentagon budget 2023: Army cuts ‘enduring' ground vehicle investments, continues modernisation programmes

Shown here is a Bradley vehicle at Fort Stewart, Georgia in 2016. The US Army‘s FY 2023 budget request includes plans to select three companies for the next phase of its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) competition, a future platform designed to replace the Bradley fleet. (US Army )

The US Army wants to continue developing future ground combat vehicles in 2023 and has laid out plans to curtail funding for a host of legacy vehicles to help pay the bills.

To date the Pentagon has not released justification documents supporting its fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget request along with a five-year spending plan. However, army officials are detailing a broad overhaul of the service's ground combat vehicle investment portfolio by shaving dollars from ‘enduring' programmes, kickstarting production of newer vehicles, and investing in future platform development.

“Across the army equipment portfolio, we balanced…between continuing the momentum on modernisation and targeted upgrades on our enduring equipment overall,” Brigadier General Michael McCurry, the director of force development, told reporters on 29 March.

More specifically, this plan includes cuts to the M1 Abrams tank upgrade programme with a request for USD656 million for 22 vehicles, down from the USD1.1 million lawmakers provided the service in FY 2022. The army is requesting USD671 million for 102 upgraded Strykers next year, USD493 million to buy 27 M109A6 Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) vehicles (a savings of USD170 million over previous plans), and USD279 million for its Bradley modification effort (a savings of USD181 million), according to Brig Gen McCurry and the Pentagon procurement programme appendix.

BAE Systems, which produces the Bradley and PIM, warned that if Congress approves these cuts, it could drive up prices and hurt the industrial base.

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