March 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is seeking lighter armored vehicle concepts to better prepare for fighting in future battlefields, the service announced.
Lighter combat vehicles, Army officials say, support the branch's strategy for placing a heavier emphasis on armored mobility. Army leaders discussed future designs and procurement concepts ahead of releasing a new maneuver force modernization strategy.
"M1 and Bradley take us out to 2050, which is not sustainable if you want a weapons system that's going to be dominant," Maj. Gen. Eric Wesley said in a press release, referring to two legacy armored platforms.
The Army's latest maneuver concept draws ideas from the Russian New Generation Warfare Study, a research project conducted by the branch's Training and Doctrine Command. The paper examined how soldiers will meet threats between 2020 and 2040.
According to military researchers, Army capabilities may be stretched thin as they will be tasked with handling a wider variety of threats, including electronic warfare.
"We can't constrain our thinking," Maj. Gen. Cedric Wins added. "We have to keep our range of thoughts and ideas a little bit broader."
Army leaders are drawing up two plans for future combat vehicles. The first focuses on light infantry vehicles with enhanced firepower and maneuverability. The second is a next-generation combat vehicle with cross-functional capabilities.
"We have to be willing to collaborate not only with industry and academia but also within the Army," Wins said.