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AUSA 2021: Industry concerned with 4-month gap between OMFV phases

Shown here is a Bradley vehicle at Fort Stewart, Georgia in 2016. The US Army has selected five OMFV proposals to begin design work aimed at replacing the Bradley fleet. (US Army )

Companies working on digital designs for the US Army's M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle replacement programme are concerned about a four-month gap between phases that could force them to remove workers from the project, Janes has learnt.

Although the army is cognisant of the problem, the service's Deputy Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems, Jim Schirmer, said it is a difficult one to navigate and industry may be forced to take a financial gamble while the service pares down the candidate pool.

Five industry teams are currently participating in a 15-month Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) concept design phase: American Rheinmetall Vehicle, BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), Oshkosh Defense, and Point Blank Enterprises.

Once this phase ends around mid-2022 the service will evaluate the five teams' designs, look at where things stand, draft some requirements, and then issue a request for proposal (RFP) for the next phase. Based onthis RFP the army will then select up to three vendors to proceed with the next two phases. Phase three will be the detailed design phase, which will culminate in a critical design review, to be followed by phase four that includes ‘prototype build-and-test' activities to verify vehicle performance. If all goes as planned, the service will award a low-rate initial production contract to one vendor towards the end of FY 2027, and begin vehicle fielding in FY 2028.

Ahead of this year's annual Association of the US Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, DC, Janes

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