Our legacy (cold war) ground combat platforms represent the most technically sophisticated, lethal, and survivable fleet of weapons systems in any military force, past or present. Altogether, they underpin the viability of land warfare as a strategic tool. The current budget cycle represents a pivotal decision point in maintaining the wheeled and tracked land combat vehicle (LCV) industrial base. Low rates of production, myopic efficiency-based acquisition reforms, and a dwindling procurement budget have combined to drain much of the flexibility from the LCV industry. Tomorrow's "come as you are war" will not abide the long lead times necessary to "cold start" a suspended industry. The LCV industry must retain warm production lines to meet the uncertain requirements of future conflicts. Current low production rates and armored vehicle modernization programs must continue to preclude the disappearance of a crucial national asset--the LCV industrial base.
ICAF Industry Studies 1998