This week brought news of three bids submitted for the U.S. Army’s rebooted Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) competition meant to replace the Service’s venerable M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
As DSJ reported, the Army released a Request for Proposals for the Phase 2 OMFV in December 2020 and the deadline for industry response is 16 April 2021.
The announced offerors include General Dynamics Land Systems, which was the only contractor that, in 2019, submitted a bid sample in the first, aborted OMFV program iteration, and two other teams (led by BAE Systems and America Rheinmetall Vehicles) who flirted with OMFV bids last time before dropping out. GDLS said in a 15 April statement:
“Our best-in-class industry team is focused on early implementation of the transformative technologies required to deliver a platform that provides an immediate leap forward in capability, with the growth margins and modular open architecture necessary to accommodate and rapidly incorporate changes to integrate new capabilities without major redesign.”
Last time around, GDLS submitted its Griffin III Technology Demonstrator, based on the British Ajax scout vehicle chassis.
For its part, In a 15 April release, BAE Systems said:
BAE Systems is ready to answer the Army’s call for an advanced armored vehicle to support mechanized infantry operations through the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program, and has submitted its design proposal to the Army. We are designing a combat system that will meet, with ample growth and adaptability, our Soldiers’ needs for lethality, mobility, and survivability on future battlefields. To do this we are teaming with innovators like Elbit Systems of America to provide the Army with the most capable next generation capability: the OMFV.
While the company provided no further specifics, it did offer up a picture of a silhouetted vehicle (below) in the background of its press release, that raised more questions than it answered. (Last go-round, observers anticipated, incorrectly, it turned out, that BAE Systems would offer some version of its C90 MkIV vehicle.)
Updated with this Ronkainen twitter feed – https://twitter.com/ronkainen7k15/status/1382981295639207938
American Rheinmetall Vehicles announced on 14 April that it had signed a teaming agreement with L3Harris Technologies to pursue OMFV. Last time around, before deciding to drop out, Rheinmetall teamed with Raytheon Company to offer its Lynx next generation fighting vehicle. (Raytheon will apparently continue to be on the American Rheinmetall Vehicles team.)
“We are excited to have L3Harris join our growing team to support the U.S. Army’s OMFV program. Their experience in open architecture, communications, and cybersecurity bring tremendous capability to the American Rheinmetall Vehicles team as we prepare our digitally engineered OMFV to provide our Soldiers overmatch now and for the future.”
Said James Gear, Vice President, L3Harris Domestic Business Development:
“We have a long history providing similar support to multiple platforms using our MOSA approach for mission systems and electronic warfare. We look forward to working with American Rheinmetall Vehicles to further expand into the ground defense vehicle market.”
Unlike GDLS and BAE Systems, Rheinmetall was been clear about what it is offering to the Army, noting that their team is “designing a new variant of Rheinmetall’s next-generation Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) to support the U.S. Army’s modernization efforts being pursued through the Optionally-Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program.”
More bidders are expected and indeed, other media sources are reporting them.
The Army has said that it intends to award up to five contracts for OMFV designs in June 2021, which will be graded on their conceptual approach and capability to meet nine flexible characteristics as well as the ability to incorporate modular open systems architecture into their proposals.
As DSJ reported, the following Phase 2 OMFV program schedule was released as part of on OMFV Industry Day held on 11 December 2020: