U.S. Army Expecting 24 New Weapons Systems to Arrive by 2023

November 14, 2021 Topic: Army Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: ArmyHypersonicTanksWeaponsWar

U.S. Army Expecting 24 New Weapons Systems to Arrive by 2023

The Army has dozens of new technologies and systems in the pipeline. Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville expects many to be ready in the next two years.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville says twenty-four of the Army’s “signature systems” being developed for future war will be ready by 2023. Over just the next few years, a number of next-generation weapons platforms are slated to be delivered to include a new infantry carrier, helicopter, rifle and hypersonic missile. 

The Army announced thirty-one modernization efforts in 2017. Four more were later added for directed energy and hypersonic systems, creating what is now known as the “31 plus 4” modernization plan. By 2023, McConville explained, the Army will have delivered as many as twenty-four of them. 

These systems are considered urgent modernization priorities for the Army. The Army is moving quickly to replace its aging Bradley Fighting Vehicle with the new Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) platform. Multiple contractors are refining designs and offering solutions to the Army for the program’s next phase, which will be to select prototypes for construction and testing. The new OMFV will be both manned and unmanned to enable an entirely new sphere of missions. These include ammunition delivery, drone targeting, forward surveillance, and offensive roles to initiate contact with an enemy.  

The Next Generation Squad Weapon is another pressing Army effort. It will replace the M1A4 rifle. Army program developers explain that the new weapon will incorporate improved ergonomics, signature suppressing capabilities, data power transfer, new rail designs, a lightweight case and “increased performance at range.” 

The most urgent of these fast-tracked programs might well be the new Long-Range Hypersonic Weapon, a long-range missile able to travel at more than five times the speed of sound. The Department of Defense has said it trails Russia and China in hypersonic technology. Closing that gap is a priority. 

The Army’s modernization strategy and delivery timelines have been greatly assisted by computer simulation and digital engineering. These technologies enable developers to assess multiple designs for a given platform at one time without having to build physical prototypes to establish performance parameters.  

The concept to accelerate technology development, delivery, and deployment to war without compromising crucial testing, milestones and certifications essential to the process. Weapons maturation is also greatly assisted by what the Army calls “soldier touchpoints,” exercises where emerging technologies are put in warfare circumstances for warfighters to make assessments and offer operational input. 

Kris Osborn is the defense editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Master’s Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University. 

 Image: Reuters