BREAKING: Army to Release Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle RFP

By Connie Lee
Bradley Fighting Vehicle

Photo: Army

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The Army plans to release a request for proposals for the optionally manned fighting vehicle March 29, a senior service official said March 27.

The optionally manned fighting vehicle, or OMFV, is the Army’s initiative to replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The effort falls under the next-generation combat vehicle cross-functional team, which is one of eight set up to pursue the service’s top modernization priorities under the Army Futures Command.

The service had already released draft requirements for the future platform, and the final solicitation will contain changes based on feedback obtained from industry, Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the next-generation combat vehicle cross functional team, told reporters at the Association of the United States Army Global Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama.

The draft requirements were “aggressive,” he noted, and companies said they would not be able to meet all the requirements while balancing the lethality, survivability and mobility of the platform.

The Army wanted to see what technologies contractors had developed with their internal research and development dollars, he said.  Feedback from industry helped the service determine what features would be attainable for the platform, he said. "They may be able to reach our stretch goals or objectives."

For instance, the service wants to avoid putting too many features on the vehicle that may increase its weight and compromise its transportability, he said. The Army wants to be able to fit two vehicles in one C-17, he said.

“We've had to really sharpen the point of those three 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,” he said.

However, the vehicle is expected to have additive armor kits available to provide additional protection, he noted.

Additionally, the service has a threshold requirement for a 30 mm cannon, and an objective requirement for a 50 mm cannon, he said. The service also has a threshold requirement for a second-generation forward looking infrared (FLIR) thermal camera and an objective requirement for a third-generation system.

“We want to be able to see the enemy before they see us,” he said. “With our lethality, we want to be able to destroy the enemy before they can destroy us.”

Coffman said proposals will be due this fall, with a downselect to two candidates slated about 14 months after.

Army Undersecretary Ryan McCarthy said earlier this month the service plans to halt procurement of Bradley A4 vehicles after purchasing five more sets to free up funding for the next-generation combat vehicle program.

The Army’s fiscal year 2020 budget request contained $378 million in research, development, test, and evaluation funds for the optionally manned fighting vehicle.

Topics: Army News

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