Friday, March 9, 2012

Army brass to Congress: We don’t need new tanks

Army brass to Congress: We don’t need new tanks
By Kate Brannen - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Mar 7, 2012 18:56:36 EST
Army officials are once again on Capitol Hill trying to convince lawmakers that they do not need new M1 Abrams tanks.

Not only does the Army not need new tanks, it doesn’t need to upgrade the ones it has for another few years, Gen. Ray Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, told lawmakers Wednesday during a hearing of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee.

It is one of the most modernized platforms in the Army and has an average age of two-and-a-half-years old, Army Secretary John McHugh said.

The Army plans to finish out its Abrams buy in 2014 and then not begin upgrading its current fleet until 2017.

The Army tried to make the same argument last year, but Congress did not agree. In the 2012 defense appropriations bill, it provided an additional $255 million to buy 42 more tanks. The money was intended to keep the General Dynamics Land Systems’ production line open in Lima, Ohio.
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