SAIC [SAIC] is planning increase investments in supply chain management as it looks to improve its combat vehicle strategy for future programs following two major losses in 2018, the company’s CEO said Wednesday.

Tony Moraco, SAIC’s CEO, told attendees at a Defense One

event his company remains interested in the Army’s next-generation combat vehicle (NGCV) program and will look to push its position as a technology integrator with market access to mature capabilities.

SAIC CEO Tony Moraco

“Our sense is that we’ll continue to refine our hardware complex system integration strategy. We’re not going to walk away from the larger platform per se, we’re going to continue to provide that niche,” Moraco said. “We’re anxious to further that non-developmental innovation, integration and implementation, which are critical to moving mission capability to the field faster. And I think our broad market access is a differentiator.”

SAIC struck out on the Marines Corp’s Amphibious Combat Vehicle program last June, losing out to BAE Systems (Defense Daily, June 19).

In December, BAE Systems and General Dynamics [GD] were both selected over SAIC to build prototype vehicles for the Army’s new light tank program, Mobile Protected Firepower (Defense Daily, Dec. 17).

Despite the recent losses, Moraco said SAIC is looking to remain a “disruptor” in the area with its emphasis on technology integration over vehicle manufacturing.

“We have insights on tactical vehicles. We’re probably more in the cockpit than the armor on the outside, but we saw that our experience and understanding of tactical vehicles as an opportunity to get involved in that marketspace,” Moraco said. “With the combination of our experience, we felt that we could scale up to the larger vehicle because we have a non-developmental acquisition strategy.”

Moraco said SAIC has identified supply chain and product inventory management as key components needed to rework its vehicle strategy.

“We’re investing in that capability so that we have more capacity to do that, and do that well. And introducing some systems to allow us to better manage that supply chain and inventory in line with the financial aspects of the program,” Moraco said. “We’ve invested in some infrastructure, which will allow us to continue to work in those complex environments, and we think that differentiates us from some of the traditional government services players who tend not to do too much on the hardware side”

The commitment to combat vehicles arrives as the Army readies to release a final proposal request for its first major NGCV effort, the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle to replace its Bradleys.

“We’ll continue to work that. That’s again technology integration, next-gen capabilities, prototyping, so that very much fits our portfolio and our mindset,” Moraco said.

SAIC is a relatively new entrant into the combat vehicle space, starting in 2015 with a contract to provide a survivability upgrade for the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Assault Vehicles and a 2017 deal to support the  Army’s Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected light vehicles.