3. Modernization Strategy
Dominate the Maneuver Battle is one of the Army's modernization objectives. The Mounted Forces section of Annex B, Combat Maneuver, in the 1996 Army Modernization Plan Annex supports this objective by providing an assessment of the Mounted Forces' strengths and weaknesses. The Annex also outlines a modernization program to correct deficiencies and exploit strengths. It calls for the following major improvements to continue our modernization program: increase target acquisition, digitize the battlefield, increase lethality, increase survivability, and improve force structure.
The AVT umbrella program addresses the needs identified in the Annex for a lighter, more deployable "Heavy" force that retains high levels of lethality and survivability. Many of the technologies and components within this section are candidates for product improvements to fielded systems, such as the M1A2 Abrams Tank.
Under the AVT programs, there are six Advanced Technology Demonstrations (ATDs) which are designed for integration into future vehicle concepts but also provide potential for upgrading existing vehicles. Collectively, they seek ways to reduce the size and weight of combat vehicle structure and subsystems by: reducing the requirement for conventional armor through countermeasures and active protection; reducing crew size through an integrated/automated crew station; improving the lethality of cannons and ammunition; and demonstrating lighter, more survivable vehicle structures using composites with enhanced target acquisition and improved C2 through shared situational awareness.
The AVT programs are applicable to all ground vehicles but emphasize improvements in capabilities of light and heavy systems. Payoffs should include increased lethality; improved survivability through advanced armors, hit avoidance, and signature management, including inherent signature reductions; reductions in the number of ships required to deploy and sustain a heavy force; greater flexibility in the use of ground, sealift, and airlift assets; and greater tactical mobility and agility. The ATDs that support AVT are:
- Composite Armored Vehicle (CAV)
- Hit Avoidance
- Target Acquisition
- Direct Fire Lethality
- Battlespace Command and Control
- Future Scout and Cavalry System
AVT will provide a basis to modernize our existing fleet while providing a new strategically mobile, tailorable, and modular combat force able to defeat any threat anywhere in the world.
During FY96, five Integrated Concept Teams (ICTs) were formed to address solutions to user-defined requirements. These ICTs, along with their primary focus, are as follows:
- Abrams ICT (current fleet modernization). S&T activities will target technology transfer to M1A2 Abrams upgrades. The insertion of required technology will be facilitated by ongoing electronic upgrades.
- Future Scout and Cavalry System (FSCS) ICT. This ICT developed the program with a goal of fielding a new FSCS by FY2006. Specific attention is being given to stealth, a wide array of sensor capability, connectivity to the digitized battlefield, and survivability.
- Future Combat System (FCS) ICT. The FCS ICT devised a program to develop and field a "leap ahead" combat program to be fielded between FY2015 and FY2020.
- Suite of Survivability Enhancements System (SSES) ICT. The SSES ICT will coordinate the development of a suite of survivability enhancements for ground combat vehicles. This technology will protect the mounted force from known enemy threats.
- Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below (FBCB2). The FBCB2 ICT will conduct a concept review of C2 functions and will define required operational capabilities within Armor Center proponency for CAC2 at brigade and below.