Next Generation Combat Vehicle May Feature Active Protection, Laser Weapons


By Debbie Gregory.

The Maneuver Center of Excellence out of Fort Benning is focused on the development of the Army’s Next Generation of Combat Vehicles (NGCV) that will be the successors to the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank and Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The NGCV is expected to increase overall lethality, tactical mobility, strategic deployability and protection for Soldiers. It is also expected to reduce logistical demands on the Army. The Army plans to have a blueprint for the vehicle by 2022.

Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley, the Commanding General, Maneuver Center of Excellence said the Army expects that the new vehicle will be innovative in design and technology. This includes modular active protection systems which would allow the Army to add the updated technology to its existing vehicles. Additional goals of the NGCV will be to utilize lighter material that will increase maneuverability.

Laser weapons may also play a part in the update.

“We know that lasers are up and coming; we also know they have limitations. But we have to have an ability to incorporate that tool and that weapon system against threats,” Wesley said.

“If you get sufficient energy … you don’t even have to worry about the supply chain of ammunition,” he said. “Now you’ve got increased capability with reduced weight.”

The Army is set to start fielding the futuristic new vehicle by the mid-2030s. The Bradley and Abrams will continue to be in service until the late 2040s.

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