Great Power competition is back and with it the requirement that the U.S. Army be able to deter heavily armed peer adversaries. In Europe, the Army found itself outnumbered, outranged and outgunned. One of the few steps it could take immediately was to put a bigger gun on its thousands of Stryker IFVs. As an experiment, it added a new gun and turret to a handful of vehicles in one brigade. This was the Stryker Dragoon. This effort proved so successful both in speed and outcome, that now the Army intends to up-gun all eight brigades. Unfortunately, the Army’s acquisition system is likely to turn this into a long and expensive process. General Dynamics took about three months to conduct the necessary evaluations and get the winner in production for the Dragoon. The Army’s current acquisition plan is to take the next three years just for the first unit produced of an upgrade that has already been developed and fielded. So much for rapid acquisition. I have written more about this here.
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