The Army is looking to 2026 to replace its Bradleys with a new optionally manned fighting vehicle (OFMV) as the first step in its next-generation combat vehicle (NGCV) effort, with a request for proposals due by January.
BAE Systems’ CV90, General Dynamics’ [GD] Griffin III and Raytheon’s [RTN] Lynx fighting vehicles were among the concept offerings on display at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference this week, with officials preparing for the Army to finalize requirements in the coming weeks following discussions on the need for a lighter weight, highly modular platform that takes full advantage of future autonomous technology.
Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the NGCV cross functional team, told reporters Tuesday that the program has been accelerated and will make use of Section 804 authorities to go after systems that are near-fully developed and make use of rapid prototyping.
“We have a schedule that is achievable. We have requirements that are reasonable. And those combined will enable the program to succeed,” Coffman said.
Both Coffman and industry officials at AUSA said they expect the concept vehicles on display to inform a potential refining of final OFMC requirements ahead the release of a formal RFP by January, according to Coffman.
BAE Systems brought its MkIV CV90 vehicle to AUSA, showing a proven platform already fielded in seven countries as a potential option for the Bradley replacement.
“This platform is very adaptable, and as the Army changes their mind potentially or refines a requirement we have a lot of flexibility with this vehicle. We’re looking at better survivability, lighter weight. Those are the big things we looked at for this,”Jim Miller, BAE System’s director of business development for combat vehicles, told reporters Monday.
Miller said CV90 meets the Army’s broad criteria for transportability and includes a modular, optionally manned turret to handle cannon configurations from 35 to 50mm. The system has also been integrated with an Iron First active protection system (APS).
“That vehicle with a full tank of gas could drive from [D.C.] to Detroit. So I think it has the range the Army is looking for. This aligns very closely with what the Army is looking at on the OMFV.”
GD’s Griffin III is a new vehicle concept developed from a base model the company designed two years ago for the Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower program.
“We’ve listened to the Army and there’s some things that they’ve said they wanted and we designed it into this platform and we’re showing it to them and we’re getting some ‘I really like that’ moments from them. So we’re learning from them and they’re learning from us, and it’s helping them refine their requirements,” Mike Peck, GD’s director of business development, told Defense Daily.
Peck said the Griffin III meets Army proposed criteria for a 50mm turret, with the vehicle featuring a remotely-operated cannon developed with the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC).
“We’ve been working on turret with ARDEC for about two years on a CRADA. It’s a 50mm cannon made by ATK. ARDEC has the fire control system, and we’ve designed the turret to accommodate the whole package,” Peck said, who mentioned the turret also meets Army interest in a system that can shoot at 85-degrees for urban environment consideration.
Raytheon has teamed with Germany’s Rheinmetall to design the new Lynx fighting vehicle, which integrates the former’s weapon systems and advanced sensors with the latter’s tracked vehicle expertise.
The Lynx includes an optionally manned Lance 2.0 turret with a 35mm cannon and the potential to carry anti-tank guided missiles and and small unmanned aerial vehicle launchers.
“Raytheon will equip the new Lynx with the world’s most advanced technology to deliver a modern fighting vehicle that will keep U.S. soldiers far ahead of battlefield threats for decades to come,” Taylor Lawrence, the company’s missile systems president, said in a statement.
At 44 tons the Lynx is the heaviest of the vehicle concepts at AUSA, outweighing the 40-ton Griffin III and 35-ton CV90.
Coffman didn’t go into specifics about weight requirements for the Bradley replacement, but cautioned that new designs should emphasize an effort to reduce size to meet potentially stringent standards. The CFT director reiterated that the vehicle must be able to carry a full-nine squad and the integrate the necessary armor without surpassing weight restrictions.
“Let me be clear about this, the squad will be 9 people. That’s not changing,” Coffman said.