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tv   This Week in Defense  CBS  August 30, 2009 11:00am-11:30am EDT

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now, this week in defense with vago muradian. >> good morning and welcome to this week in defense. the obama administration wants to reform export controls on weapons and technology. we'll talk to an expert. the army bet all its marble on a modernization program. a combat system. but now fcs is no more.
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unmanned aircraft, robots, gates wants the army to develop a clearer plan for the future vehicles it needs and how they will be different from the one army is buying for iraq and afghanistan. at the same time the army is continue to go rabidly introduce new soldier level equipment from small arms to body arm more and ground vehicles. here with me to discuss this is lieutenant steven speaks. general, welcome back to the show. >> it is an honor to be here. >> let's start with what was fcs. on the vehicles secretary gates had them stripped down because he was concerned that the smaller lighter more agile vehicle might not as well suited for an i.e.d. future. what kind of vehicles is the army leaning toward developing for the future? >> i'd like to focus on the importance of what he told us. he affirmed critical elements of
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our strategy. he said spin-outs were the way we ought to deal with the force and spin-outs for those, we're taking capabilities and giving them into formations before they go into combats. they train and deploy those capabilities. he said the network was important he wanted us to accelerate this new way to communicate and expand the number of brigades it will go do, get it done faster. the other thing he told us was to take a careful look at mrap. to make sure we had a plan to put it into the force. although we're using extensively in iraq we didn't show we institutionalized it. he told u as you referred to, go ahead and relook our concept for the next kind of combat vehicle was going to be. so we're in the business of doing all of that right now. essentially updating our plan, what we reflect is the reality we're an army at war. you recollect when we started
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the concept, we were at peace and anticipated that for the next 10 or so years we would be at peace so we had a visionary concept that was not necessarily related to what we experience today. so what we're in the process of doing is taking a look at the whole thing. task force 120 under the leadership of general marty dempsey is putting together an update and the update will go to the army leader ship after labor day and then to the secretary of defense and dr. carter who is the defense acquisition executive to try to update and get everybody on line with a common d.o.d. standard for modernization. >> what are some of the features you think that these new vehicles for the future are going to have? >> the first thing we've learned is that we have to be more incremental in our development. the idea of taking vast technical leaps and going out 10 or 15 or 20 years with concepts that we were not entirely sure
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we can field immediately. all of that was a little bit too far. we recognize the soldiers are fighting and in need of improvement today. we'll be more incremental and focussed on what is relevant to the fight we see today and tomorrow. >> do we have a sense whether or not we'll be going to track vehicles, wheel vehicles or new generation of vehicles that have to depend or striker vehicles may be the answer? do you have any indication as to which direction you will go? >> i would say all of those are in the mix. what you alluded to, do we have the right mix of brigade combat teams. we have heavy formations, which are founded on tanking, middle weight which are founded on the striker. the first thing we're looking at in light of lessons learned is do we have the right mix. the qdr is telling us we probably ought to move toward middle weight solution. we'll evaluate the brigade mick. the other thing we'll evaluate is the critical capabilities that are necessary to put into
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this next generation of ground combat vehicle. we believed one of the things we'll do is focus we'll focus on the lessons learned and technology that is available in the near-term. we will not take wild leaps into the future and we'll put capabilities together that we think in short order can pass testing and be able to be a value of soldiers in conflict. >> obviously one of the other factors would be how is this going to sync with the other vehicles in the field. what doo you dou with the mraps you have now. >> we believe over 11,000 will become permanently into our formations. we have to develop concepts for putting them as augmentation set as existing brigade combat teams. we have to develop sets we put into preposition stocks around the world, so when crisis develop we have formations available for soldiers to move to a crisis area. >> playing off of another element is of fcs is all of the
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software in the computer, folks have said that this software to make this happen is too ambitious and can't be achieved. 100 million lines of code some people say. how will you tackle that and how do you ensure that the software that was intended for fcs, although the term doesn't exists, are going to be not so unique that they have communications problems with all of the legacy units that are not supposed to get that capability. >> you hit the key element. the original concept was a very, very stated set of improvements for 15 brigade combat teams. secretary of defense told us to focus on the entire army. that is 73 combat brigades. the concept will provide over time a set of capabilities that are usable by the entire formation. we are moving to a new concept how to field. today's army is in a cyclic readiness. so we'll focus our fielding on
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people when they return from combat, get them a kit they'll train with and deploy. the goal will be to put the network in terms, combat team is a division of many brigades and make it interoperable. one concept for network. it will not be scs unique, it will be usable for the entire army. >> we'll be back with you in a moment. now the focus is shifting from iraq and afghanistan what will the army need? we'll hear from lieutenant general steven speaks. you're watching this week in defense. at suntrust, we help you manage your money at home. and make it easy when you're away. and where ever you go, atm fees won't follow.
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we're back with lieutenant general speaks, the modern nation chief. let me ask you about some specific requirements that you have from the tight shifting from iraq to afghanistan.
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you're producing a smaller version of the mrap vehicle. what are some of the other requirements you have special to afghanistan. >> you referred to the challenge we have with mrap. that is being worked vigorously as we develop a new generation of mrap. that will give us an ability to operate in afghanistan. >> off-road capability. >> concept is that you give it in suspension it has ability to operate off-road. and also retrofitting existing mrap. we are in the marine corps are joined in. we'll take 700 of the cougar family of vehicles and get them outfitted with independent suspension. all of this is a part of redefinition of the force, the force that that has done so well in iraq. so we're also looking, for example, for lighter carriers for the body arm more plates
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that we're wearing. soldier moving up and down mountains, 12,000 or 13,000 feet can't carry the 30-plus pounds of body armor. we don't want to take risks on the protection but can take risks on the holderer itself. >> that was delayed. that was supposed to come out earlier in the year. >> we have a test under way. we're expanding and accelerating the test. the test is important. we want to make sure that what we do is the correct answer and that it stands the test of combat. this is testing in combat and this is something that we're very, very careful to do right. safety of soldiers is the fundamental issue. the other issue is lighter weapons. a cruiser weapon that you have on a weapons' cradle in a humvee that has to be carried in somebody's shoulders or arms is a major challenge. simple two-pound weight reduction can make a huge difference. we also have to recognize that we're taking an expanded threat
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to our forward operating bases so we're putting surveillance capabilities over these forward operating basis to make soldiers safer as they operate on dismounted patrols which is the primary method of combat and also in the basis that we operate from. we see several changes to the basic set kit and equipment that looks like new and expanded techniques and procedures we're using to be successful. >> unmanned vehicles seems to be a main point. if you went down to fort bliss what you would see us doing is continuing to design and test some of the latest uavs. we already had the raven at the soldier level, company level. it is in limited test. we expect to make that a part of the first spinout. we'll also work at continue to develop and enhance our sky
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warrior generation of larger unmanned vehicles. that is a program that essentially we share with the air force in which we're bringing capabilities that provide near real-time surveillance on the broad basis to theater commanders at the brigade and above level. >> let me ask you. we've talked about this. but obviously secretary gates, vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general cartwright have targeted systems that are exquisite. as somebody that is professional acquisition in shaping the programs, sometimes the exquisite made the military the best military in the world. what is the balance point to make sure you're not going too far? but for military life or death application. >> you hit the critical issue. as we weigh the capability, what we need is confidence in the stability of the technology, ability to produce it quickly and efficiently to get it to soldiers on an expedited basis. lesson learned of this war is that we need advanced
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technologies. some would call them exquisite. what we have been able to do is stabilize it and produce it and get it to soldiers quickly and that i think is what the secretary of defense wants to us do which is not to spend years dithing over specific issues. even as we continue to seek improvements. as you refer to our conversation earlier the ability to continue to improve capabilities is fundamental to our concept. we'll set initial threshold requirements and then move toward objective requirements. this idea of what is good enough for the fight today we'll still development capabilities for the future is fundamental to the way we'll develop the field and we'll focus on forces in cyclic formation. we'll get them ready to train and send them as a unified set. this idea of fielding capabilities to units in rotation is fundamental to the army. >> i want to ask you about the
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army camouflage uniforms. major effort, $2 billion to field new camouflage uniform to the force. the soldiers chain that uniform may not be suited to afghanistan. what the future of this congress is what next for the army camouflage pattern? >> very thoughtful examination by the army on an extended basis. secretary of the army, chief of staff, everybody have all been involved. we're looking at what is different about what we're seeing in afghanistan and what we learned and did so well in iraq. we ought to recognize afghanistan is not a unified set of terrain. it is different in the north than south. so what we're trying to do is assess whether we have the right pattern and color and whether that is something that will provide a variety of solutions or stick with a variety of solutions. it is not just the uniform. when you look at a picture of a
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soldier today, you don't see the uniform so much as much as associated kit which right now is harmonized with the uniform. we're talking about a major issue of getting it right and taking all the capital investment of body armor and helmet that is tailored to go with the uniform and make sure it is a unified set. >> it is a big question. >> thanks very much. you're welcoack.k. >> how much is the add mince getting when selling weapons abroad. that is next on this week in defense.
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for years u.s. defense contractors and america's closest allies said the control system is cumbersome and needs reform to foster closer cooperation while keeping sensitive information out of the hands of the. hopeful the white house can find a way to strip controls that have had undue burdens while protecting critical technologies and systems. they have a white house working hard to that handle export. and selling fighter jets to brazil. that is the voice of american aerospace and defense industry. remy, welcome to the show. >> glad to be here. >> the administration helped resolve end use monitoring concerns that were a problem for the indian government. indian didn't want american inspectors investigating or
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following up and reviewing systems that it bought from america. and you had national security advisor, jim jones, undersecretary of state, as well as pentagon acquisition chief to go down to brazil to sell the f-18 to the brazilians. what does this tell us about this administration about selling arms export. >> it is a strong sign that this administration recognizes the need to have a comprehensive view of what national security entails. clearly that includes ensuring our own war fighters are the best equipped forces in the world today. but it also includes the need to ensure that our closest allies and partners have technology and capabilities that they can leverage in common cause with our security and foreign policy interests. >> do you -- so what do you think is next? the administration is coming off strong early in its term in order to launch this review. where do you think it's going to go? what do they have to bear in
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mind as they review the process. >> the issue of export control modernization is a longstanding one. frequently people will and this review will look at the processing system particularly at the state department for our system in aerospace. >> the state department is the end determinant of what goes where in working with the congress. >> although it is an interagency system, so congress and d.o.d. play a role in the process. list review. there is a thing called u.s. munitions list, which contains a number of categories of technologies that need to be controlled in the most stringent way possible to ensure they don't get into the hands of adversaries. unfortunately in many cases that list actually captures essentially commercial technology. it lacks precision, accuracy, lacks nuance. so certainly in an area of focus that will happen with this white
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house review. the other area i'm confident will occur is the need to look at case load management at the state department. we have a system that tends to lean towards transaction by transaction licensing rather than finding ways to facilitate legitimate cooperation with our allies and partners to lesser the best technology at the best price. going forward, though, i'm hopeful that the white house review will take a much broader look at the export control system in general. because there are other areas that don't traditionally get as much attention. within the dod system itself there is a self-contained review of technology disclosure which technology should go to which countries for which purpose. those decisions are earlier on in the process. but are as important if not more important than that final decision about whether or not that technology should go overseas. >> the last administration rl early on in its term did a
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national presidential directive to foster cooperation and ease arms export control system. that ran afoul of congress and before the bush administration left they did it by executive order. what do you have to do to get congress on board because congress authorizes arms sales to any country in the world. >> absolutely. well the easy answer is to make sure you address their concern. i think the three-part partnership that must occur between tree, the administration as well as -- administration and industry and congress, first and foremost. understand as i said at the beginning that there is a comprehensive definition of national security we have to keep in mind. we have to make sure we have the technology that is critical, protected, kept away from adversaries, but also instill confidence in people that are critics of reform or modernization and ensure them that we will make sure the
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technology only gets to the good guys. >> one of the industries that was purt was commercial satellites. u.s. used to be a commercial satellite leader. but after the china satellite space scandal licensing oversight shifted from a about what people would say prudent commerce department to a restrictive state department and now the market has gone to israeli, french and a bunch of other suppliers worldwide. is that an object lesson for not how to do licensing and will the satellite industry rebound? >> it is an illustration of the problem with the system. you had concerns being raised by members of congress but a broad brush approach yielded one size fits all control system. innocent commercial components were like military items. they will be considered by the senate and result in a distinction between those two types of components and protecting the things the right
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way. if that happens, i genuinely believe that the aerospace industry of the u.s. is robust enough to recover. >> great, remr, thank you for joining us. coming up in my notebook, why there is reason to be hopeful that the obama administration will be able t control the export control system. hey i'm worried about mrs. lowenberg next door.
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the obama administration's pledge to review export controls is welcome news. it shows the issues of priority and that the president recognizes weapons sales are important to national security. in an unprecedented display of unity and support national security advisor and pentagon acquisition chief together visited brazil to advocate a security relationship with latin america's largest and most influential nation. that brazil buy f-18 fighter. international weapons sales are not just but bringing home dollars and jobs. they help shape security relationships that span connect decades. india's relationship with russia, is a key factor driving
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new delhi to turn toward washington. but the system is in need of reform. obama administration seems to want to re-engineer it and while still keeping u.s. systems from those who shouldn't have them and do so in a manner that gains kregsal support. thank you for joining us, i'll be back next sunday morning at 11:00. have a great week. fios tv, internet and phone for just $79.99 a month. oh, all right, see... you're just moving your fingers aren't you? i've gotta cut my nails. (announcer) now get three amazing fios services for the price of two. tv, internet, and phone for only... plus a free multi-room dvr for three months. record shows in one room- watch in another. call the verizon center for customers with disabilities at 800.974.6006 tty/v before september 19th. and get fios tv - ranked highest in overall customer satisfaction by j.d. power and associates

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