Last month, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Dr. Bruce Jette, canceled one of the Army’s most important modernization programs, the competition to build the Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV). This decision must be seen as something of a blow for the newly established Army Futures Command, and for the Army’s broader effort to streamline and speed up its ponderous acquisition system. While the Army has promised that the program will be restarted after an “operational pause,” the problems with the OMFV procurement suggest that reforming Army acquisition maybe even harder than anyone expected. The Army is on the verge of repeating the OMFV experience in its effort to design and develop a new turret for its Stryker wheeled infantry vehicle that can carry a 30mm cannon. This is a vital lethality upgrade for the Stryker fleet. A second acquisition failure could prove highly damaging to Army modernization efforts. I have written more about this here.
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