They probably think their taxpayers are stupid

new development project: "MUTT"

In service generations ago already, considered obsolete: "mule"

The concept is the same. To have a tiny 4x4 vehicle to carry backpacks and stuff in order to lighten the infantry's load (or alternatively to move a crew-served weapon such as a ATGM launcher or a recoilless gun).
There is almost no reason to believe the new thing will be substantially better than the old one, but delay and development expenses are still deemed acceptable.
This isn't a "not invented here" problem; it's a "not invented by this generation" problem.

They could buy ATVs off the shelf, paint them with 8 $ spray cans and would have a 99.9% solution. It might use petrol instead of diesel, but such tiny amounts of petrol can locally be sourced even in the Sahara desert.

On another note, the United States Marketing Corps continues with its racket.

Some bureaucracies have spun out of control, and are only following their self-interest with a very different idea of efficiency than what taxpayers would expect. Overseers need to reign in and bring these bureaucracies back on a society-serving course, or the waste of resources will go on well above unavoidable levels. There's no reason to believe the bureaucracies' whining about budget cuts as long as they keep wasting taxpayer money. This is a near-universal point, applicable well beyond the examples above.



  1. Except that an ATV bought COTS wouldn't be unmanned, except for the person holding the tether.

    Guess you missed that part.

    1. Guessed wrong. The leash is an irrelevant gadget and will most likely be dispensed with anyway. And I know people who could create a wire remote control for an ATV from a toy car remote control and a few electric motors within hours.

      Besides, it's an almost sure bet to say the army won't introduce this thing into quantity production. They keep developing such toys, but don't introduce them:

      A bureaucracy is not in the business of getting things done; it's in the business of acquiring funds.
      It takes oversight and control to force a bureaucracy from a "pretend to serve the public" course onto a "serving the public" course. The U.S.Army excels at pretending, and gets away with it and a fantastic budget.

  2. Golf caddies in essence.