Monday, September 20, 2021

U.S. Army set to release new solicitation for next-generation vehicles

The U.S. Army plans to publish a new solicitation for the next-generation vehicles that will change the battlefield.

According to recent notice at the U.S. government’s main contracting website, the Army Contracting Command, Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA), Warren, MI, intends to issue a full and open Request for Proposal for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) Phase 2 Concept Design Effort under solicitation number W56HZV-20-R-0142.

Notice gives further details that the purpose of Phase 2 is to conduct Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis (MS&A) to provide information for requirements refinement and conduct initial design activities up to system functional review (SFR).

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The new request is slated to ask for concept designs of the OMFV that will transform the way infantry Soldiers and maneuver formations fight on a battlefield while taking necessary actions to ensure an overmatch through 2050 and beyond.

Up to five contracts will be awarded in June as part of that effort, followed by a second competitive RFP for a detailed design about a year and a half later, he said.

The Army plans to field the OMFV to both active and National Guard armored brigade combat teams starting in fiscal year 2028. About $4.6 billion is currently invested in the program from fiscal 2020-2026, Lt. Gen. James Pasquarette, the Army’s G-8, said during a presentation in late May.

Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman

Earlier in November 2020, Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross-Functional Team said designs from industry may change how the Army delivers “fresh legs onto an objective” compared to a traditional infantry fighting vehicle. Or, they could possibly use a current IFV platform with enhanced technology to improve weapon systems, situational awareness, communications, and more.

“Either technology can transform the way we fight, or an entirely different way of moving infantry women and men on the battlefield to achieve success,” Coffman said Nov. 4 during the Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium.

Survivability will be the No. 1 characteristic of the OMFV, so it can fight through an enemy security zone while protecting the infantry Soldiers inside.

Other characteristics include mobility, growth, lethality, weight, logistics, transportability, manning, and training. Granularity will be added to some of those characteristics in the request, Coffman said.

While pushing through a security zone, the OMFV may face tanks, helicopters, artillery and other fighting vehicles.

“It needs to be able to defeat those capabilities or else we can’t get through the security zone,” he said.

The general added the solution does not have to be a single platform. It could be a battalion-level formation of vehicles with a variety of weapon systems. “We’re up for any innovation that you have,” he said.

If up against a near-peer adversary, Coffman said he expects the OMFV will have to fight off more advanced threats on the battlefield.

To do that, it may require a larger magazine depth, the speed to engage faster, and a gunner’s control unit that can handle multiple targets at the same time, he said.

“We will fight outnumbered and we must possess the technology that allows us to do that,” Coffman said.

Any platform that the Army decides to develop will always need to be one step ahead of the enemy.

“We cannot modernize to parity,” he said. “We must modernize for overmatch and that’s got to be our focus. Anything less than that is unacceptable.”

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Executive Editor

About this Author

Colton Jones
Colton Jones is technology editor for Defenсe Blog. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere.

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