The House Armed Services Committee yesterday advanced legislation requiring the Government Accountability Office to provide a report on the Army's tactical wheeled vehicle industrial base, joining Senate authorizers in their concern for the service's current fleet amid efforts to develop next-generation systems.
The panel's fiscal year 2021 defense authorization bill, voted 56-0 out of committee late last night, includes language stating "tactical wheeled vehicle fleets throughout the Army appear to be aging without significant technology upgrades or replacement by taking advantage of commercial industry investments in new technologies such as emissions controls, autonomous operation, and electric and hybrid-electric drive."
"The committee is concerned about the potential impacts this has for the defense industrial base, the acquisition of commercially available technology, and the broader implications this may have for competition and cost for future wheeled vehicles acquisitions," the legislation states.
The language comes after the Senate Armed Services Committee included in its report accompanying the fiscal year 2021 defense policy bill a provision seeking a briefing from the service on the fleet's minimum sustaining rates and its plan to support those rates, due by Sept. 30 of this year.
House authorizers are requesting a briefing by March 1, 2021, from GAO on the Army's tactical wheeled vehicle strategy and implementation efforts as well as "potential opportunities, if any, for significant advancements in technology and savings through competition."
"The assessment should also include the identification of and recommendations for overcoming obstacles to insertion of new technology and competition," the legislation states.
The committee wants a preliminary report by Dec. 11.