US Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has decided, and President George W. Bush has agreed, to recommend to the US Congress that the Crusader tank program be terminated and that funds be re-allocated to other programs.
‘We are working with the Army to prepare the details of an amended budget request, which we will be submitting no later than May 20,’ said Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
‘This decision is not about killing a bad system. This decision is about cancelling a system originally designed for a different strategic context, to make room for more promising technologies that offer greater payoffs and are more consistent with the Army’s overall transformation effort,’ he added.
Tom Rabaut, President and CEO of United Defense, the developer of the tank, seemed confused by the decision.
‘We’re puzzled as to what has changed since the (US) Administration and Army leadership testified to Congress their support of the Crusader, and particularly since the program was submitted as part of the President’s budget,’ he said.
The company reiterated that the implementation of the Crusader program remains on budget, on time and consistently exceeds the Army’s performance criteria.