The Army's proposed Ground Combat Vehicle would offer less combat power, at a higher cost, than buying the German-made Puma already in production or even just upgrading the Army's existing M2 Bradley, according to the Congressional Budget Office. CBO issued a report todayassessing different alternatives to upgrade Army heavy brigades' infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), tank-like war machines with tracks and turrets designed to carry troops into combat.Read it all over at AOL if you haven't already.
The non-partisan CBO, Capitol Hill's in-house thinktank, has slammed the Ground Combat Vehicle program before, but never this hard. The office's analysts took the Army's own criteria and created a grading system that scored different combat vehicles for effectiveness. Using a scoring scheme that prioritized protection above all, followed by firepower, mobility, and passenger capacity, in that order, the CBO rated the Puma highest, followed by a notional upgrade to the Bradley, followed in distant third place by the GCV. (The Israeli-built Namer came in fourth). Even under an alternative grading scheme that weighted all four criteria equally -- putting much more emphasis on the capacity to carry troops -- the 6-passenger Puma still edged out the 9-passenger GCV, largely because of its superior firepower.
I'm making the call now. The Ground Combat Vehicle program is going to be scrapped and you'll see the Bradley upgraded even further.
There isn't much to add to this story except that I wonder what would happen if the GAO evaluated all these vehicles with the exact same weapons fit.
Lets go middle ground and magically put 30mm cannons on all the vehicles involved. I would bet that the Bradley would win going away.