Thursday, January 11, 2007

Army shuns system to combat RPGs

WASHINGTON - Rocket-propelled grenades, or RPGs, are a favorite weapon of insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are cheap, easy to use and deadly.

RPGs have killed nearly 40 Americans in Afghanistan and more than 130 in Iraq, including 21-year-old Pvt. Dennis Miller.

“They were in Ramadi, and his tank was hit with a rocket-propelled grenade,” says Miller’s mother, Kathy. “Little Denny never knew what hit him.”

Last year, a special Pentagon unit thought it found a solution in Israel — a high-tech system that shoots RPGs out of the sky. But in a five-month exclusive investigation, NBC News has learned from Pentagon sources that that help for U.S. troops is now in serious jeopardy.

The system is called “Trophy,” and it is designed to fit on top of tanks and other armored vehicles like the Stryker now in use in Iraq.

The $70 million contract for that program had been awarded to an Army favorite, Raytheon. Raytheon’s contract constitutes a small but important part of the Army’s massive modernization program called the Future Combat System (FCS), which has been under fire in Congress on account of ballooning costs and what critics say are unorthodox procurement practices.

Officials also tell NBC News that according to the Pentagon’s own method of measuring a weapons system’s readiness, Trophy is “between a 7 and an 8” out of a possible score of 9. Raytheon’s system is said to be a “3.”

“There are some in the Army who would be extremely concerned that if the Trophy system worked, then the Army would have no need to go forward with the Raytheon system and the program might be terminated,” says Steven Schooner, who teaches procurement law at both George Washington University and the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School. Continue reading ...

Somewhere in the bowels of the Pentagon sits an Army General nearing retirement who’s looking for a cushy job at Raytheon managing their too late and too little substitute for the Israeli Trophy system that’s battlefield ready now. We’re being asked to sacrifice our children to a dismembered death by RPG attacks so that this bastard General can secure a comfortable retirement at Raytheon. Fuck him, fuck Raytheon, and fuck the double dip system that allows retired military brass to enter through the pentagon’s back door to push vaporware weapon systems.


Post a Comment

<< Home