WASHINGTON — Army leaders believe the service can achieve sustained modernization success on its way to building the Army of 2030.
Speaking before an Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition panel on Oct. 11, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Douglas Bush said several factors have contributed to helping the Army make significant progress toward its modernization objectives.
First, he credited the priority of support from Army senior leadership across two administrations. Both Army Chief of Staff Gen. James C. McConville and Secretary of the Army Christine E. Wormuth have prioritized the development of Long-Range Precision Fires for the Army of 2030, and former Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy helped spearhead the ongoing modernization projects.
Currently the Army has 24 signature systems in development for 2023.
“What we’re talking about is transformation,” said Gen. James Rainey, new commander of Army Futures Command. “The secretary said to transform the Army on a strategic, sustainable path. Our secretary has issued strategic guidance and our chief has given strategic guidance; it’s about fighting and winning our nation’s wars in the end.”
Bush said the Army has flexible requirements that are carefully planned by Army leaders that are “informed by experimentation and by real threats.” The Army recently began its third iteration of Project Convergence, its annual series of experiments that will expand to the Pacific this fall.
Finally, Bush said that the software-modernization pathway has improved the process of manufacturing needed software.
“The Army has been challenged with getting requirements right to make acquisition success possible,” Bush said. “We have a great system in place now.”
Bush then highlighted three Long-Range Precision Fires priorities that will augment the Army’s ability to win the fires fight by delivering an LRPF capability to the joint force: the Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, the Mid-Range Capability weapon system batteries, and the Precision Strike Missile.
Developed under the direction of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, the LRHW will deter adversaries and give lasting combat capability to Soldiers.
The Army designed the PrSM, a next-generation weapon designed for combat for the multidomain battlefield, to defeat missile launchers, command-and-control centers and air defense threats at any depth.
The MRC system, comprised of launchers, missiles and a battery operations center, will be capable of hitting targets between the ranges of the LRHW and PrSM.
“Those three will make a dramatic sea change in the Army’s ability to hit precision at range,” said Bush, a West Point graduate.
In 2023 the Army will also select the industry winner of the competition to field the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft and will choose among three companies to field the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, the Army’s replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
Bush said Gen. Ed Daly, head of Army Materiel Command, and the Soldiers and civilians of AMC have played a critical role in delivering needed equipment and materials for the Army’s robust modernization efforts.
“What General Daly does at AMC is absolutely vital and essential to having real capability in the field that matters,” Bush said. “Other countries … have a lot of equipment and not a lot of ammunition or the ability to sustain it in combat. The American Army has that, and it’s a tremendous amount of work that has to happen, and General Daly leads those efforts.”
Daly stressed that achieving modernization goals will require collaboration among Army commands and industry partners. He added that the Army will examine how it operates in contested environments while maintaining power at the tactical edge.
He also noted that as the Army prepares for 2030, it will be tasked with laying the foundation for the Army of 2040.
“There’s no daylight between Jim Rainey and I from the standpoint of looking at 2040 capabilities,” Daly said. “We already know some of the technological advances we’re going after in terms of 21st century watercraft, in terms of autonomous air and ground systems, in terms of demand/reduction fuel for an electric hybrid. But also, atmospheric water generation, and the list goes on.”