The US Army has released a draft request for proposals for the preliminary design phase of its recently re-launched Bradley fighting vehicle replacement program.
The draft RFP is an important step in the service’s optionally manned fighting vehicle (OMFV) program after a middle tier acquisition-rapid prototype (MTA-RP) solicitation was cancelled in January this year after only one bid was submitted.
The draft RFP follows a market survey from February this year through which the army sought industry input on the best way forward. Participants were asked to assume the fielding of first battalion in seven years.
The RFP, issued on July 17, will establish the scope of work for the OMFV preliminary digital design phase. Up to five contractors are expected to complete preliminary digital designs culminating in a preliminary design review (PDR). The US Army said it would then select up to three companies to build and test prototypes.
“As we continue to progress through the first phase of our five-phased approach for the OMFV program, communication, inclusive feedback and innovative thinking from industry remains key,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, the Army’s program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems. “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.”
“Accurately defining the desired set of capabilities without over-constraining the design is critically important,” said Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team. “The Army is committed to open communication with industry to ensure the characteristics and eventual requirements of the OMFV are informed by technological advances.”
The draft RFP will be open for feedback for 40 days, and the feedback received from industry will help shape additional industry engagements and ultimately the final RFP for this phase of the program.
“We do not want to box industry into a solution,” said Cummings. “We want to incentivize industry as they lean forward and think creatively to bring the Army innovative technologies and solutions necessary to achieve our vision – both in terms of the ability to integrate newer technology we are seeing today and leaving space for future growth on the OMFV platform.”
The final RFP for the preliminary digital design phase is planned to result in the award of up to five contracts in June of 2021 under a full and open competition.
US Army vision for OMFV
OMFV will serve as the Army’s infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) tasked to maneuver through the enemy’s disruption zone to deliver a decisive strike while manned or remote operated. In the close fight, the OMFV enables the ability of squads to maneuver by detecting and destroying targets at a range beyond the enemy’s capability. The vehicle will be expected to be capable of defeating future near peer soldiers, infantry fighting vehicles, helicopters, small unmanned aerial systems and tanks as part of the combined arms.
The army will not expect the OMFV to fight alone, but rather as part of a section, platoon, and company of mechanized infantry. These companies will execute cross-domain maneuver and defeat pacing threats in the close area while maneuvering Soldiers to tactical objectives. Once the unit has transitioned to the combined mounted/dismounted fight, the OMFV’s supports the dismounted element with advanced sensors, lethality, protection and integrated mission command.
The OMFV will deploy and be transportable by standard air, rail, sea, waterway and road modes of transportation.