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Nov. 2 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh said the service may consider buying German or Israeli vehicles for a ground combat vehicle program potentially valued at $40 billion.
McHugh said the Army plans to spend more than $46 million to analyze alternatives, which include Germany’s Puma, made by a joint venture of Krauss-Maffei Wegmann GmbH and Rheinmetall AG, and Israel’s Namer, made by General Dynamics Corp.
“One of the things we’re going to do is look at programs like the Puma, the Israeli Namer and other similarly already developed programs to see if they’ll do the job,” he said during a breakfast with reporters today.
“We can’t do business as we’ve done in the past -- just pull out the checkbook and write it because it’s easy to do,” he said. “We have to make smart decisions, and if that smart decision means using an upgraded existing platform, going off the shelf with COTS -- commercial off-the-shelf -- or going to another country and ally and buying a program that they have developed and works well, we’ll do that.”
The Army plans to buy as many as 1,874 armored vehicles to replace its Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. The U.S. Government Accountability Office in March estimated that the program would cost as much as $40 billion.
The Army on Aug. 18 awarded a $450 million contract to a team led by BAE Systems Plc and a $440 million contract to a team headed by General Dynamics for the technology development phase of the program.
SAIC Inc., which partnered with Boeing Co., Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall to develop a vehicle for the program, on Aug. 26 filed a protest with the GAO about the Army’s decision.
--Editors: Steven Komarow, Leslie Hoffecker
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