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US Army prepares for OMFV bid evaluations, trending towards smaller, hybrid-electric designs

Shown here is a Bradley vehicle at Fort Stewart, Georgia in 2016. In 2023, the US Army plans to select three companies for the next phases of its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle competition, a future platform designed to replace the Bradley fleet. (US Army )

Industry has until 1 November to submit their proposals for the next phase of the US Army's M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle replacement competition, and so far, teams have moved towards smaller designs with hybrid-electric drive systems, according to programme officials.

Several army officials working on the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) competition provided reporters with a programme update on 11 October at the Association of the US Army's annual conference in Washington, DC.

There are five companies – American Rheinmetall Vehicles, BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS), Oshkosh Defense, and Point Blank Enterprises – participating in the concept design phase until their respective pots of “money runs out”, said Program Executive Officer for Ground Combat Systems Major General Glenn Dean.

Meanwhile, the army has opened the competition to additional competitors for a 54-month Phase 3 (detailed design) and Phase 4 (prototype build and test) initiative and these bids are due by the start of November.

Maj Gen Dean did not speculate on how many bids the army will receive but noted that companies not involved in the concept design phase have been interested.

“It's obviously a business decision on their part, whether they can get into the game or whether they think that the folks that had been in the concept realm thus far, and … working in the digital ecosystem … have an advantage,” the two-star general added.

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