Monday, February 5, 2007

How sweet it is...

At least for tonight, my favorite words in the English language are: Project Terminated.

That was taken from the Army's R&D budget request documents for FY2008 (available here, page 4). I have nothing against the good folks at PM Land Warrior, but I think the U.S. Army's civilian and military leadership have finally realized the program wasn't realistic. The scope-cam was definitely a great idea, but many of Land Warrior's other functions seemed superfluous at best.

As the JASONs presented back in 2005, the military's obsession with high-tech gear and C4ISR integration has distorted procurement priorities for soldier systems. I'm always amazed at how the Army can blow millions trying to push pie-in-the-sky projects like the Land Warrior out into the field 5-10 years too soon and not at least issue every soldier a radio.

DOD planners dream up expensive systems that are probably already copyrighted by Ubisoft and ignore the obvious success of modern digital device formats, such as cellphones, PDAs and even iPods. You may not be able to tap out a text message on a cellphone during a firefight as easily as with the Land Warrior, but what are you doing text messaging anyways? That's what the radio is for!

Then again, maybe I'm just crazy.

Update: Lots interesting news and discussion going on around DefenseTech and FCW. I wanted to stress that I am not essential against future soldier systems - I just think that the technology isn't mature enough yet. Being able to review mission data at will or look around corners is great, the Land Warrior (as it is) is way to cumbersome and power hungry to actually be fielded or reach low-rate inital production.


Josh Rogin said...

I'm a reporter covering Defense IT for a trade journal. I cover Land Warrior and appreciate your comments. Let me know if you'd like to touch base and discuss it.

By the way, I'm also a went to GW (like you) and am a former resident of Japan.


J. said...

And what is the subject of this upcoming weeks Not So Future Weapons (Discovery Channel) ? You got it, the Land Warrior. Classic.

Robot Economist said...

You know, I stopped watching that show after I heard Mac mispronounce the word "nuclear."

I make syntax mistakes in my posts, but that is because I have about ten minutes in my day to write them. Mac is a Navy SEAL, his excuses are a little light on the ground.

Anonymous said...

Chech out