WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced his continued commitment to fighting for the Future Combat System (FCS) Army Modernization. Recent media reports have indicated that President Obama’s sole budget cuts will be to the defense budget, particularly targeting FCS and its components, including the Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C).
“With the Department of Defense getting closer to releasing details of their budget, it’s not surprising that rumors have begun to circulate regarding cuts to Future Combat System (FCS) and the Non-Line Of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C),” Senator Inhofe said. “Let me be absolutely clear, I will do everything I can in my role as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee to fight for the Army’s FCS program and the NLOS-Cannon. I will ensure that my colleagues and the public understand the importance of these programs to our men and women in the armed services. It’s reprehensible that, during a time when we are spending billions of dollars to fund counterproductive stimulus programs, the only proposed cuts to spending are to our defense programs at the expense of our national security and future readiness of our military. The modernization of our Army and our national security is not a partisan matter.
“FCS is Army modernization. Without it, we risk sending our sons and daughters into combat in vehicles that are second-rate and are less survivable and effective in combat. What price should we place on the lives of our children we send off to war? With its state-of-the-art composite armor, FCS’s family of manned ground vehicles, including the NLOS-C, will be an average of 12% more survivable than current combat vehicle systems based on manufacturer tests of armor. Our Soldiers, and frankly the next generation of Soldiers, deserve better than 50 year-old combat vehicles with seven layers of new paint. FCS will not only enable our Soldiers to fight and win combat operations ranging from counter-insurgencies through conventional conflicts, but it will bring our sons and daughters home safely.
“To say that FCS and the NLOS-C are designed for a conventional war is narrow-minded and overlooks the reality that the systems that FCS will replace are being used on the battlefields today in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Paladin howitzer, which the NLOS-C will replace, has performed exceptionally in Iraq firing the GPS guided Excalibur rounds as well as conventional rounds. The Paladin was conceived during the 1950s and fielded to the Army in the 1960s. The FCS Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV) and the Mounted Combat System (MCS) will replace the Army’s current Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the Abrams tank, both designed in the 1970s and produced in the 1980s and currently being used extensively on the battlefield. Our Soldiers deserve better than using equipment that is 50 years old. FCS fulfills over 80% of the critical needs identified by the Army and will provide a thorough overhaul and modernization of our fleet of combat vehicles.
“Most troubling to me, however, is President Obama’s intention to make these severe cuts to the overall defense budget. My priority has long been to ensure our nation stays committed to providing the necessary funds to our men and women in the Armed Services. We must invest now to ensure that we maintain the best-equipped and most capable military in the world.”