US Army's ‘light tank' competition enters limited user-testing phase

by Ashley Roque

A representation of BAE Systems' MPF prototype that is designed for three crew members. (BAE Systems )

The US Army intends to decide which company will build its new ‘light tank' in the April-to-June 2022 timeframe and is currently conducting a limited user test with two different prototypes to help guide this decision.

Ashley John, the Public Affairs Director for the army's Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, gave Janes an update of the service's Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) competition that involves evaluating 12 prototypes built by BAE Systems and another dozen from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS).

Each company received a contract valued up to USD376 million to build its respective MPF vehicle lot with the initial expectation that all prototypes would be delivered to the army between March 2020 and the end of August 2020. However, neither company met this timetable. The army attributed these delays to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and other supply and integration issues.

GDLS delivered its 12th and final prototype to the army at the end of December 2020.

BAE Systems began MPF deliveries this year and, to date, has delivered 10 vehicles. John said the service expects to receive the remaining two prototypes by the end of the calendar year.

Despite delivery delays, in January the army began a multimonth soldier vehicle assessment (SVA) that was expected to include work with four prototypes from each company.

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The US Army intends to decide which company will build its new ‘light tank' in the April-to-June 202...

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