An Army effort to equip infantry troops with a light combat vehicle is now underway, and officials are aiming to issue a request for proposals in fiscal year 2017. “We have what we call a capability production document that is currently still in draft and it’s being socialized throughout the Army,” said Tom Stafford, chief of the support systems branch at the Army Maneuver Center of Excellence’s capabilities directorate at Fort Benning, Georgia.Lt. Col. Garth Winterle, the provisional project manager for the “ground mobility vehicle” or GMV, said the document is already in general officer-level staffing at the Pentagon.The focus in fiscal year 2016 will be on conducting an analysis of alternatives and an effort to “fine tune” the requirements, he said in an interview. From there, he expects the Army to issue a request for proposals from industry.
Here’s more on LTG McMaster’s proposed Ground Mobility Vehicle.
Mind you, the replacement for the HUMVEE across the force (including light and heavy brigade combat teams) will be the JLTV. This GMV is a niche vehicle, tailored to the needs of light infantry.
There’s a dispute whether it is only needed for the Airborne Infantry of the 82nd Airborne Division, or across all the light Infantry BCTs.
This is something of a politically charged issue, as leaving the troops dismounted means they simply cannot maneuver against an enemy. But the first time a troop dies from an IED in an unarmored vehicle, there will be hell to pay.