On September 3, the British Ministry of Defense announced its biggest order for armored vehicles in three decades. It will buy nearly 600 Scout SV tracked combat vehicles in six variants from General Dynamics, the big U.S. builder of tanks, warships, business jets and tactical communications systems. The vehicles offer best-in-breed survivability, lethality, mobility and reliability in an affordable design with a modest logistical footprint. And they may offer something else — a transatlantic solution to the U.S. Army’s seemingly endless search for a post-Cold War fighting vehicle. That search has repeatedly tripped over the requirement to stuff a full rifle squad of nine soldiers on one well-protected but easily-deployed vehicle. If the Army would simply split up the squad into its two fire teams and put them on companion vehicles, it could move ahead quickly on modernizing its gear with the Scout SV. In the age of digital connectivity, it shouldn’t be all that hard to coordinate the dismounted maneuvers of two fire teams operating in close proximity — especially using vehicles as capable as Scout SV. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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