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US Army eliminates BAE Systems from ‘light tank' competition

This GDLS ‘light tank' prototype is now the only option left in the US Army's Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) competition. (GDLS)

BAE Systems delivered its final ‘light tank' prototype to the US Army in early February, one-and-a-half-years later than anticipated, but the company has now been disqualified from competing due to noncompliance issues, two industry sources with knowledge of the programme separately confirmed to Janes. The decision leaves General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) as the only competitor still vying for the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) contract.

Neither the army, BAE Systems, nor GDLS wanted to discuss the state of the MPF programme, all citing the ongoing competition.

“The army cannot comment on the status of individual proposals at this time,” Ashley John, the Public Affairs Director for the army's Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, wrote in a 1 March statement to Janes. She noted that the source selection process is still ongoing, and that the army anticipates making a final production selection in mid-2022 and will reach the first unit equipped milestone in 2025.

Programme acquisition officials typically remain silent during the source selection phase of competition and the army did not respond to questions about what disadvantage, if any, having one remaining MPF competitor may have on the effort. However, they must now decide if the heavier GDLS's prototype is the best fit for the army, as they could be boxed in when it comes to the vehicle's price point.

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