Where is the United States Army headed? What is the future?
The best ones to ask that question of is Army Futures Command. They are the ones whose task is to modernize the Army.
#1: When Established
I mentioned that the Army Futures Command is quite young… This Army Command was activated in July of 2018. They estimate that Army Futures Command will be fully operational in August of 2019.
#2: 3 Elements Of Army Futures Command
There are 3 elements to Army Futures Command. They are:
- Futures and concepts… This consists of assets needs and opportunities if a threat arises. This will work hand in hand with TRADOC doctrine, training programs, and manuals.
- Combat development… Balance the current state of technology and the cash-flow requirements of the defense contractors providing the technology, that they become deliverable experiments, demonstrations, and prototypes.
- Combat systems… Multiple experiments, prototypes and demonstrations
Army Futures Command Priorities
The following are the areas with the greatest need in modernization. Army Futures Command has these as their priorities.
#3: Long Range Precision Fires
Using the current Paladin Cannon, they are doubling the range. Operational tests are scheduled for 2020. Future plans is the Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC), for a hypersonic projectile.
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#4: Next Generation Combat Vehicle
AFC is looking at much small and lighter ground combat vehicles that are optionally unmanned. In the current…
- Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle in limited tests.
- A ground mobility vehicle competition.
- Mobile Protected Firepower. Vendors have been chosen to build prototypes.
- Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle
- Robotic Combat Vehicles
- and a Next Generation main battle tank
#5: Vertical Lift Platforms
A competition to replace UH-60 with Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft. One prototype has been built. If the plan is successful, this technique will mean more efficient helicopter production in larger numbers.
#6: Mobile & Expeditionary Army Network
The primary thrust here is interoperability with other military networks. Multiple vendors have been granted funds to develop an all-in-one Army network. There is also a huge call for AI experimentation for electronic warfare.
#7: Air & Missile Defense Capabilities
There are 2 primaries in the works here:
- IFPC Multi-mission launcher
- Maneuver Short-Range Air Defense with laser cannon
And in the future plans… An Integrated Air and Missile Battle Command System (IBCS) award.
#8: Soldier Lethality
Giving our men and women the tools that will put them beyond the enemies technology is another must.
A next-generation squad weapon is in the works with testing planned at Fort Benning in 2019. Also, enhanced night vision is expected to be fielded in 2019. And a synthetic training environment, an augmented reality system to aid planning, using mapping techniques, even at squad level will begin fielding by 2021.
Army Futures Command is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Many are wondering if this command will be able to do what has not been done in many years… Bring the Army to a modern level.
There is much hope.
What are your thoughts?
Leave all comments and questions below.
About The Author
Greg Boudonck is a full time freelance writer and the author of over 50 books. He served in the United States Army in the early 1980’s and enjoys writing about military subjects. You can see Greg’s books on Amazon by searching his name and you can also visit his website at Lancerlife.com.