The Army released a Request for Proposal on Friday for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), officially opening the competition for the Bradley replacement program, with plans to award prototype contracts in 2020 and field the first vehicles in 2026.

Industry proposals are due in October for OMFV, the Army’s top next-generation combat vehicle (NGCV) priority, with vendors set to compete for two prototype awards to each deliver 14 test vehicles.

General Dynamics’ Griffin III. Photo Matthew Beinart

“The OMFV must exceed current capabilities while overmatching similar threat class systems. It must be optimized for dense urban areas while also defeating pacing threats on rural terrain,” Brig Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the NGCV cross-functional team, said in a statement.

OMFV is the Army’s effort to replace its Bradleys with a new platform designed to move toward more autonomous operations, while integrating advanced sensors, eventually incorporate a 50mm cannon and run on fuel cell technology.

BAE Systems’ CV90, General Dynamics’ [GD] Griffin III and Raytheon’s [RTN] Lynx vehicle developed in partnership with Germany’s Rheinmetall, and a Science Applications International Corp. [SAIC] model based off its offering for the Army’s Mobile Protected Firepower program, have all been proposed as potential options for OMFV.

Coffman told reporters at this week’s AUSA Global Force Symposium the Cross-Functional Team (CFT) focused on prioritizing industry engagement following the release of a “very, very aggressive” draft RFP earlier this year, in order to work on iterating requirements and ensuring vendors were capable of delivering next-generation technology (Defense Daily, March 27).

Discussions focused on building in capacity for the CFT’s long-term goals while pushing for the ability to integrate modernized capabilities. Examples included  going for 2nd generation forward-looking infrared imager over 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.

Raytheon and Rheinmetall’s Lynx. Photo: Matthew Beinart.

Coffman also acknowledged that industry addressed concerns with survivability requirements in the draft RFP that would make it difficult to meet the CFT’s push to have two OMFV’s transported on a C-17.

Tim Reese, General Dynamics’ director of business development, told Defense Daily at the AUSA show prior to the RFP’s release that he expected industry’s feedback to be reflected in the final document.

“They invited industry to come in for one-on-one sessions, and everyone took advantage of that opportunity,” Reese said. “The feedback they received must’ve been sufficient to make some changes, particularly on the survivability requirement. They were asking for a certain level of survivability over a certain part of the vehicle that ruled out the size and weight limitations that they were specifying at the same time.”

The RFP is specifically for the OMFV rapid prototyping phase which will leverage Section 804 Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) authorities.

“This approach allowed the program to enter as a MTA Rapid Prototyping and alleviate a two to three year Technology Maturation and Risk Reduction phase,” Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said in a statement. “It is about being able to prototype and field required capabilities on an accelerated schedule to get capability into soldiers’ hands quickly.”