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Land Platforms

US Army receives first bids for new Mobile Protected Firepower tank

02 March 2018
BAE Systems' proposal for the US Army's MPF programme is based on the M8 AGS. Source: BAE Systems

The US Army has received bids for its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme; BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) have been confirmed as participants.

The army hopes a new MPF platform can quickly deploy with relatively low logistics demand but enough protection and firepower – likely a light- to medium-tank – to ensure the infantry's freedom of action.

BAE Systems submitted a written proposal on 1 March that “leveraged the army’s earlier investment in, and made improvements on, the type-classified M8 Armored Gun System [AGS] — as well as other previous programmes — into a fully integrated MPF system”.

The M8 AGS was type classified in 1995, but was cancelled the following year; it was intended to replace M551 Sheridan light tanks used by the 3rd Battalion, 73rd Armor of the 82nd Airborne Division. In 2015 BAE Systems suggested it would bid for MPF with a platform based on the M8.

The company built a vehicle that is now going through internal testing, and it plans to submit that platform to the army by 2 April for official government testing, a BAE Systems spokesperson told Jane’s .

GDLS submitted a bid for MPF too, a source said.

In October 2016 GDLS unveiled a medium-weight tracked vehicle demonstrator, called the Griffin, which meshes elements of the turret and the 120 mm cannon from an M1A1/M1A2 Abrams main battle tank with the company's Ajax Scout Specialist Vehicle. However, the source told Jane’s that GDLS’ bid for MPF has evolved beyond the Griffin.

Other bids may have come as well – SAIC with ST Kinetics and CMI Defence were understood to be interested in the project – but only BAE Systems and GDLS had been confirmed as of this writing.

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