AUSA 2021: US military plans next steps for OMFV

During AUSA 2021, U.S. Army MG Ross Coffman disclosed details on the next phases of the OMFV program. (Photo: Flavia Camargos Pereira)

The U.S. military intends to release a draft RfP in the first quarter of 2022 to gather industry feedback and define requirements for the next steps in the OMFV program. The call for tenders for phases 3 and 4 will be published in May 2022.

The US military has prepared carefully for the next phases of its optional combat vehicle (OMFV) program. MG Ross Coffman, Director of the Cross-functional Next Generation Combat Vehicles team, confirmed at AUSA 2021 on October 11-13 that the service intends to release a draft RfP in the first quarter of 2022.

Coffman spoke at the “Advances in the Development of Next Generation Combat Vehicles” panel session and stated that the goal of the project is to gather industry feedback, refine the requirements for them. next steps and to publish the calls for tenders for phase 3 (detailed design) and phase 4 (construction and prototype testing) in May 2022.

Basic operational conditions for OMFV include, among others, protection, lethality, durability and reactive armor. The future vehicle should be remotely controllable and capable of engaging threats using its main gun and an independent weapon system.

Although Coffman explained that at this point it is not possible to know exactly what capabilities are achievable, he noted that the goal is to get “the best product for the soldiers.”

The M-2 Bradley has been in service since the early 1980s (Photo: US Army)

The OMFV is the military’s fourth attempt to replace the M-2 Bradley, which has been in service since the early 1980s and is nearing the end of its service life.

Despite many improvements, the Bradley has no place in the US military of the future. Military officials say it can no longer accommodate the kinds of systems and capabilities needed to be effective on the modern battlefield.

In 2018, the US military launched the OMFV procurement plan and issued a call for tenders in 2019. It attracted only one competitor: General Dynamics Land Systems. As the service was expecting at least five bidders, in January 2020, the branch decided to re-evaluate the program.

The objective was to review the requirements and make them more accessible in addition to adopting a more realistic and longer timeline.

In February of last year, the military reopened the OMFV competition with a market research asking industry what the service did wrong during the 2018-19 solicitation process.

After analyzing comments from defense companies, the branch released a five-step plan for Bradley’s replacement in April 2020.

In July 2021, the U.S. military awarded contracts worth $ 299.4 million to five industry teams as part of phase 2 (digital design) of the OMFV effort. Competitors involved in this step presented some of their designs at AUSA 2021.

James Schirmer, deputy director of the Executive Office Ground Combat Systems Program, said the current initiative focuses on collaborative industry participation, with a focus on architecture and digital engineering.

“It’s different, it’s not the way we’ve done business in the past,” said Schirmer, explaining that this approach allows the military to access designs as they come. evolve and use them in models and simulations.

“We can run them while they’re still digital, and we can use this technique to avoid costly failures over a test range,” he said. According to Schirmer, it is impossible to eliminate the physical hardships, but some of the risks can be removed.

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About Joaquin Robertson

Joaquin Robertson

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