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SCI/TECH: Drive to Build High-Tech Army Hits Cost Snags

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posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 06:29 AM
The United States Government is working on developing a new, high tech army, that will rely on advanced communications and information technology, rather than armor, to fight. While the concept of keeping our troops out of harms way during a battle is quite appealing to many people, the costs of devloping this system are far more than was bargained for.
The Army's publicly disclosed cost estimates for Future Combat stood at $92 billion last month. That excluded research and development, which the G.A.O. says will run to $30 billion. Mr. Boyce, the Army spokesman, said on Saturday that Future Combat costs were estimated at $25 billion for research and development and from $6.1 billion to $8 billion for each of 15 future brigades, or as high as $145 billion.

The Army wants Future Combat to be a smaller, faster force than the one now fighting in Iraq. Tanks, mobile cannons and personnel carriers would be made so light that they could be flown to a war zone. But first they must be stripped of heavy armor. In place of armor, American soldiers in combat would be protected by information systems, so they could see and kill the enemy before being seen and killed, Army officials say.

Future Combat soldiers, weapons and robots are to be linked by a $25 billion web, Joint Tactical Radio Systems, known as JTRS (pronounced "jitters"). The network would transmit the battlefield information intended to protect soldiers. It is not included in the Future Combat budget.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Redefining the nature of our armed forces in wartime was once likened by Abraham Lincoln to bailing out the Potomac River with a teaspoon. While the concept of a redefined high-tech fighting force that protects our soldiers by keeping them away from the front lines of battle is quite appealing, the development and implementation of such a system is proving to be far more difficult.

Of the 53 crucial technologies needed for this system, 52 are unproven. The current estimates of up to $145 billion for research and development, construction, implementation, and future outfitting of additional units, are often thought to be too modest to accurately describe the actual costs of this system.

Development of this system is far behind the originally desired timeline. With it falling behind as it is, costs will only soar higher, with lower results to show for the spending.

International Herald Tribune

[edit on 29-3-2005 by obsidian468]

posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 01:07 PM
I hate to sound liberal, but..

what's the point of investing in weapons technologies to kill, intimidate or incapacitate the enemy whe we lack the political spine to use them? When we allow the enemy to feed the Media and dictate our response? When we call dressing a female army captain in a thing and miniskirt, flirting with detainees "torture" and convict our own soldiers like it's a crime?

What good is a new rifle when our government and media and leftist element only wants to stick a daisy in the barrel? What good is a new airliftable tank when it's not deployed because it causes "mental anguish" and scares the enemy? What good is a massively linked information network for soldiers when they are not allowed to fight back and pull the trigger?

(that's one part that really scares me. In order to cut down on "atrocities", many future weapons programs include soldier's weapons linked in and *locked down* until fire authority is given by a remote commander. Making a solder nothing more than a meat robot, unable to fire unless an armchair commander releases weapons control.)

In Iraq today, an old Sherman tank, supported by angry, grenade tossing, M1 Garand carrying Marines as equipped in WWII, would work just fine, if government would allow war to be prosecuted like war, not some video game or reality television show.

posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 06:32 PM
What bothers me is we already have a fairly high tech army with little armor and they are getting blown away by low tech devices such as car bombs and land mines. Our soldiers have been begging for more armor. With night vision our soldiers still can't find the enemy shooting at them and still have problems with enemy snipers sitting on rooftops waiting for them. With GPS and tracking systems, we still have problem with "friendly fire". And during this war, the Army wants to come up with a plan to get by with even less armor???

This new "plan" sounds like nothing more than a stupid waste of taxpayers money. And I think Congress will prove they too are morons when they approve this plan.

Either our Army has become quite dumb or they have quit learning from their mistakes. Either answer is very pitiful. High tech is not always the answer. Sometimes low tech, brute force is what it takes to win.


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