HUNTSVILLE, Ala.–The Army is expected to release the final request for proposals on Friday for its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OFMV), the program to replace its Bradleys, a lead official told reporters here on Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle cross-functional team, confirmed the Army will open its OMFV competition this week after a series of industry engagements to inform requirements, with plans to accept proposals in October and downselect for prototype awards in FY ’20.
“That is the goal, and we are making every effort to get that on the street by the last work day of this quarter,” Coffman told reporters at the AUSA Global Force Symposium. “We want the latest and greatest technology in the hands of our soldiers now, and we’ve written requirements to get them.”
OMFV is the Army’s top future combat vehicle effort, with plans to replace its Bradleys with a new platform designed to move toward more autonomous operations, integrating advanced sensors, eventually incorporating a 50mm cannon and running on fuel cell technology.
The Army released a draft RFP in the beginning of February, which clarified plans to begin fielding OMFV in 2026 (Defense Daily, Feb. 1).
Coffman said the draft RFP was “very, very aggressive” and included the Army’s reach goals that were not “attainable in [their] entirety” to push industry to engage with officials on where technology currently stands and help inform requirements.“We wanted to see, perhaps, what [independent research and dollars] have been put toward technology from different companies, so that they may be able to reach our stretch goals,” Coffman told reporters.
Coffman specifically highlighted discussion with industry on going for 2nd generation FLIR over next-generation 3rd generation as an initial objective requirement, as well as including a threshold requirement for a 30mm cannon with the goal of building in capacity to accept a 50mm capability.
“We really want the 50mm. We think that gives us a marked advantage on the battlefield. But because we’re so fast, industry can absolutely do it, but what do they have today and they have to show us the path to 50mm,” Coffman said.
Discussions with industry also included transportability of the new platform and the goal to meet the CFT’s effort to carry two OMFVs on a C-17 while meeting the entire range of requirements for lethality and survivability.
“In each of those areas, the collective industry has said we can do anything that you’ve asked in this draft RFP individually, but when you put it together we’re not going to be able to meet the transportability of this system,” Coffman said. “If you push the survivability standard so high that you need incredible armor protection, you need incredible height of the vehicle, we’ve had to really sharpen the point on those areas to ensure that it meets the weight that we can move these vehicles wherever in the world we need them with the appropriate assets.”
BAE Systems’ CV90, General Dynamics’ [GD] Griffin III and Raytheon’s [RTN] Lynx vehicle developed in partnership with Germany’s Rheinmetall, and an SAIC [SAIC] model based off its offering for the Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower program, have all been proposed as potential options for OMFV.