All Teslas May Be Trash But GM’s War Buggy is Garbage

They shoot horses don’t they? Heavy, loud, small, clumsy and exposed. A vehicle so poorly conceived, soldiers are said to be better off on foot.

I love everything about the Task & Purpose article explaining what is wrong with the U.S. Army’s latest “infantry assault buggy”.

This thing is absolute dog shit. …Army’s new lightweight infantry assault buggy is cramped as hell, too small to haul supplies, and “not operationally effective for employment in combat and [engagement, security cooperation and deterrence] missions against a near-peer threat,” according to a new assessment from the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester.

Such good writing.

A classic failure of basic economics, the vehicle is a tragedy. An example of critical thinking failure that prevents safety.

Its trade-offs are completely wrong, bringing a massive footprint (heavy, large, loud) that turns anyone inside of it into a target more likely to be seen and heard while offering no protection and making them unable to function normally let alone respond to threats.

Soldiers were far better off without their vehicles and walking on foot, given any reasonable metric of mission success.

The ISV proved so ineffective at providing rapid mobility capabilities to the squad during testing that the unit “concealed their ISVs and drivers close to the objective and dismounted eight soldiers per vehicle to accomplish missions before recovering their [vehicles],” basically ditching their rides in favor of a dismounted engagement.

The stupidity of this complete waste of money would be shocking, except that it’s a logical extension of American lack of focus on quality metrics (e.g. U.S. Army statistician Deming rolling in his grave).

That same article also quotes a November 2021 Deputy Secretary of Defense’s boast that reveals some misaligned incentives like increasing rates of production regardless of what is being produced.

…transport made from 90% off-the-shelf components. This is the kind of innovation which will allow us to quickly field the equipment our warfighters need…

That reads to me like “Here are three boots that don’t fit. You can’t walk in them but don’t blame me I’m just being measured on how quickly I pumped boots out of a factory”.

It’s almost like a joke about Soviet Russia. But this isn’t a joke, it’s real.

Indeed, it sounds almost exactly like the American scam operation known as Tesla, a company that cares only about pumping up the rate of trash they dump onto roads — ignoring things like safety, survival and any reasonable metric of mission success.

And since Tesla owners now face criminal prosecution for using their vehicle as it was designed and marketed to them, it begs the question which soldier in this buggy will be held responsible instead of GM when the vehicle gets the wrong people killed.

What’s the solution? Change Pentagon (and American manufacturing) accountability to real values. A small electric cart or an electric bike are obvious superior options for infantry rapid-deploy concepts, as I’ve written about here many times before

In 2006 I wrote about fast quiet special operations engines, when I briefly profiled the 1999 US Military RST-V Hybrid Electric Diesel: the “Shadow“. It had an electric-only mode with three huge “ghost” benefits: super fast, yet the heat and sound emissions were reduced to almost nothing.

And then there was my post about the US Air Force’s “Ghost Camaro” debacle

I also am reminded of the old yarn that GM spent more money on robots and automation (over 1 billion) to be more like Toyota, yet failed, than if they had just bought all of Toyota instead and rebranded it GM. Here’s the elephant in the GM design room, even to this day:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.