BAE Systems will not participate in the Army’s effort to replace its Bradleys with the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle and instead plans to focus on programs such as the Robotic Combat Vehicle (RCV) and Extended Range Cannon Artillery (ERCA), according to a company spokeswoman.
The decision to not compete for OMFV was attributed to a determination the program’s requirements and acquisition schedule didn’t align with BAE’s development priorities, the spokeswoman, Alicia Gray, said in response to query.
“Following careful evaluation of the RFP, BAE Systems has decided the requirements and acquisition schedule for the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Combat Vehicle program – one element of the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) program – do not align with our current focus or developmental priorities. Therefore, we will not compete for the program,” she said.
Gray said BAE Systems is instead looking to focus on its investments in robotics and autonomy, including the upcoming RCV program and its continued work on Army platforms such as the new Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) and Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV).
“We are focusing our development on leap-ahead technology such as robotics and autonomy that can be applied across platforms,” Gray said. “We commend the Army for its commitment to rapidly fielding new technologies, and we evaluate and develop a business case for each opportunity.”
BAE, along with General Dynamics [GD], received an award in December to build prototypes for the future MPF light tank (Defense Daily, Dec. 17).
The company is also currently working on the ERCA program, which looks to build out a cannon capable of reaching out to 70 kilometers on its M109A7 Paladin.
“While we focus on delivering vehicles under the Army’s modernization strategy including the AMPV and MPF, we continue to invest in research and development to support other elements of NGCV, including the Robotic Combat Vehicle program, and other advanced technologies that provide leap-ahead capabilities and can be incorporated into current and future vehicle platforms,” Gray said.
Army officials released the RFP for OMFV at the end of March, detailing plans to award two prototype awards for vendors to each deliver 14 test vehicles. Proposals are set to be due in October (Defense Daily, March 29).
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 had proposed its CV90 Mark IV platform as a potential OMFV offering, and the company brought the vehicle to October’s Association of the United States Army conference in D.C. (Defense Daily, Oct. 9, 2018).
Several other companies brought OMFV offerings to the AUSA show, including GD’s Griffin III, Raytheon’s [RTN] Lynx vehicle developed in partnership with Germany’s Rheinmetall and a Science Applications International Corp. [SAIC] model based off its MPF offering.
The Army recently released details for both the light and medium variants of the RCV program, with plans to award two prototype contracts for each effort (Defense Daily, June 7). There is also a planned heavy variant as well.
Defense News first reported BAE’s decision to not participate in the OMFV competition.