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Industry set to weigh in on US Army's latest OMFV plan

The US Army is asking industry to provide feedback on its updated Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) programme before it finalises a solicitation for its fourth and latest attempt at fielding a new infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) to replace its M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle fleet. On 17 July, the service released its OMFV draft request for proposal (RFP) and tasked industry with weighing in by 28 August.

As we continue to progress through the first phase of our five-phased approach for the OMFV programme, communication, inclusive feedback and innovative thinking from industry remains key, Major General Brian Cummings, the army's programme executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said in a statement. We are looking forward to receiving feedback and learning from industry what's in the realm of the possible as we continue to develop this truly transformational vehicle for our soldiers.

This time around, the army said it wants to provide industry with the space and freedom to innovatively design a vehicle. Therefore, the service said it was avoiding “quantifying or prescribing critical levels of performance wherever possible” and that items derived from updated OMFV characteristics are non-mandatory.

“Accurately defining the desired set of capabilities without over-constraining the design is critically important, Brigadier General Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, wrote in the announcement. The army is committed to open communication with industry to ensure the characteristics and eventual requirements of the OMFV are informed by technological advances.

Earlier this year, the service unveiled nine OMFV ‘characteristics’ starting with the most critical – survivability, mobility, growth, lethality, weight, logistics, transportability, manning, and training.

“Survivability is more important than mobility which is significantly more important than lethality,” the army wrote in the draft document.

An M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle from 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, manoeuvres during a company combined-arms live-fire exercise at Fort Stewart, Georgia, in February 2017. The US Army has released a draft RFP for its revamped Bradley replacement effort. (US Army )

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