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Mardi, 18 Octobre 2011 12:00

Killer Apps, Tank Missiles: Army's Expo Gets Put on a Budget

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Every year, the Army's annual convention in Washington, D.C. brings out the latest designs from defense firms for souped-up trucks, upgraded helicopters, and fantasy weapons. This year's Association of the United States Army expo, held last week, was actually bigger: It took up two whole floors of the Washington Convention Center, not just one. Which made for a surreal juxtaposition, because the Army is out of cash.

If you talked to any vendor at the convention, any Army officer attending or any journalist covering it, and you typically got the same reaction. AUSA this year was practically taunting an Army gearing up for huge budget cuts. It was like a kid whose parents had just been laid off strolling by the FAO Schwarz window display.

So it made little sense to cover big-ticket items on the AUSA convention floor. The Army won't buy 'em anyway. That's why last week, Danger Room took its video camera to highlight some of the more affordable options. Trucks, Howitzers and choppers are out. Apps, night vision upgrades and truck-based rockets are in. It's almost like the Army could learn how to live on a budget.


Don't call it a smartphone. The Army's new Android-based design for a warzone communications system can load up with tons of apps, but it can't make a call. And while this "End User Device" might soon be outmoded by an actual Army smartphone, it's very useful for critical Army needs, like signaling for medevac and ordering ammo resupplies under fire.

Killer Apps, Tank Missiles: Army's Expo Gets Put on a BudgetSpencer Ackerman is Danger Room's senior reporter, based out of Washington, D.C., covering weapons of doom and the strategies they're used to implement.
Follow @attackerman and @dangerroom on Twitter.


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