Marines seem to be a step ahead of the Army when it comes to moderization

Loren Thompson:
Why Marine Aviation Is Leaping Into The Future And Army Aviation Isn't

During the two difficult decades following the 9-11 attacks, the U.S. Marine Corps transformed its aviation arm. Aging CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters were replaced by far more capable MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotors, which combine the vertical agility of a rotorcraft with the speed and range of a fixed-wing plane. Meanwhile, the Marines became the first service to begin operating the F-35 fighter, a multi-role strike aircraft that in the Marine version can land and take off vertically (similar to a helicopter) while remaining invisible to enemy radar.

While these revolutionary developments were unfolding, the U.S. Army tried three times to replace its decrepit fleet of scout helicopters, and each time it failed. The service finally decided to simply retire the fleet even though it had no replacement, turning the armed reconnaissance mission over to heavier Apache attack helicopters -- helicopters designed to conduct different missions in wartime.

The difference of Army and Marine experiences in revitalizing Cold War aviation assets since 9-11 is emblematic of a broader divergence in their modernization efforts. No service has done a better job than the Marine Corps at innovating within tight budgets. It has managed to radically improve its approach to combat while claiming less than 10% of the defense budget. No service has done a worse job of modernizing than the Army, which has squandered many billions of dollars on programs it later decided to abandon.
There is more.

The Marines have always been a branch that was innovated and frugal.  That tradition continues.


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