Monday, November 16, 2020

U.S. Army issues long-delayed draft request for proposals for future combat vehicle

The U.S. Army on Friday issued a request for proposals to competitively build future combat vehicle prototypes.

The Army announced in July. 17 notice posted to the Federal Business Opportunities website that it issued a draft Request for Proposal for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle Preliminary Digital Design phase to gather additional industry feedback prior to the final RFP release for this phase later this year.

“As we continue to progress through the first phase of our five-phased approach for the OMFV program, communication, inclusive feedback and innovative thinking from industry remains key,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, the Army’s program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems. “We are looking forward to receiving feedback and learning from industry what’s in the realm of the possible as we continue to develop this truly transformational vehicle for our Soldiers.”

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The draft RFP describes the transformational vision for OMFV, outlines broad performance specifications and characteristics, and places a great deal of emphasis on a squad-focused platform.

“Accurately defining the desired set of capabilities without over-constraining the design is critically important,” said Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team. “The Army is committed to open communication with industry to ensure the characteristics and eventual requirements of the OMFV are informed by technological advances.”

The draft RFP will be open for feedback for 40 days, and the feedback received from industry will help shape additional industry engagements and ultimately the final RFP for this phase of the program.

“We do not want to box industry into a solution,” said Cummings. “We want to incentivize industry as they lean forward and think creatively to bring the Army innovative technologies and solutions necessary to achieve our vision – both in terms of the ability to integrate newer technology we are seeing today and leaving space for future growth on the OMFV platform.”

The final RFP for the Preliminary Digital Design phase is planned to result in the award of up to five contracts in June of 2021 under a full and open competition.

As stated earlier this year, the Army is planning a five-phased approach to design, prototype, test and produce the OMFV. This approach focuses on encouraging innovation, maximizing competition throughout the entire program, and producing a transformational infantry fighting vehicle that will dominate maneuver in Multi-Domain Operations.

The OMFV is a new combat vehicle that will provide Armor Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) a mobile, purpose built manned platform that will maneuver Soldiers to a point of positional advantage to engage in close combat to replace the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. It will deliver decisive lethality and Soldiers to the battlefield during the execution of combined arms maneuver.

Developed in the 1980s, the Bradley Fighting Vehicle has been the mainstay of the U.S. Army over 35 years. It is a combat proven platform that still provides necessary survivability, mobility, and lethality and is an integral part of the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), but the Bradley is at its end of its service life.

The Bradley ability to overmatch peer capabilities in close combat is starting to wane, fighting vehicle no longer has decisive overmatch in lethality and protection and has reached the limits of its growth capacity.

As the Army prepares for future combat operations, it needs new platforms, with future growth margins, to maintain the ability to dominate the battlefield. To this end, a long-term programme has been launched in the U.S. Army that was designated as Next Generation of Combat Vehicle, or NGCV.

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