American Rheinmetall Vehicles (ARV), part of the German weapons maker Rheinmetall, has revealed for the first time an artist’s impression of a future armored combat vehicle that it is developing as part of U.S. Army’s Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program.
Currently, the OMFV program is the priority ground modernization program for the U.S. Army that will replace nearly 3,800 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles. The program begins with digital design phases that continue through early 2023, followed by development of prototype vehicles in 2024, and government testing beginning in early 2026.
According to an Aug. 30 news release from ARV, the company has signed a Master Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center (DEVCOM AC). This CRADA allows the DEVCOM AC and American Rheinmetall Vehicles to collaborate on a regular basis to develop integrated combat vehicle weapon, fire control, and ammunition technologies.
Among other research and development tasks, the CRADA provides a conduit for the team to explore integration of the U.S. Army’s XM913 50mm cannon on platforms that are potential candidates for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program. American Rheinmetall Vehicles has submitted a proposal in the Army’s Phase II of the OMFV program.
American Rheinmetall Vehicles and DEVCOM AC will leverage their respective expertise to develop armaments solutions which may also be applicable to future weapons systems for other military services, international military markets, and further spin-off applications. The effort may include, but is not limited to, digital engineering, modeling and simulation, and prototyping throughout the design, development, and testing of direct fire armaments systems, cannon mounts, vehicle/armament system interfacing, active/reactive protection systems, programmable munition lethality, ammunition handling, fire control, secondary armaments, robotics, logistics, power management, and manufacturing science.
“This Master CRADA creates a tremendous opportunity to research, develop, and integrate the newest technologies into a modern fire control system for combat vehicles,” said Mike Milner, American Rheinmetall Vehicles Director for Business Development and Strategy. “Specifically, efforts on integration of the XM913 50mm cannon will provide transformational capability and overmatch for our future Soldiers.”
ARV, as well as General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems and Oshkosh Defense, is working on this project, which calls for an optionally manned vehicle that can be operated with or without a crew and Soldiers under armor based on the commander’s decision, while also controlling maneuver robotics and semi-autonomous systems.
The OMFV, which will replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, to provide the capabilities required to defeat a future near-peer competitor’s force. The Army is seeking a transformational increase in warfighting capability, not simply another incremental improvement over the current Bradley Fighting Vehicle.