The U.S. Army has launched a competition to come up with a detailed design and build and test prototypes for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program.
The third and fourth phases of the OMFV program will involve efforts to mature vehicle designs and verify the performance of prototypes during a limited user test and other test activities, the service said Friday.
The military branch wants the five-phase program to advance the adoption of digital engineering practices through the use of Agile software development and models-based systems engineering.
Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, program executive officer for ground combat systems within the office of the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, said the adoption of such principles will support the rapid integration, testing and deployment of future technologies.
The Army plans to award up to three contracts for the detailed design stage or Phase 3 through a full and open competition during the third quarter of FY 2023. The vendors will then move to develop and test up to 11 prototypes and provide digital engineering data, two ballistic hulls and turrets and armor coupons under Phase 4.
Under the fifth phase, the service will select one offeror to begin low-rate initial production under Milestone C by the end of FY 2027 and expects the program to reach the first unit equipped status by FY 2029.
According to the solicitation, the Army is finalizing the criteria for the LRIP contract but is considering modular open systems approach compliance, performance, end-to-end digital thread, intellectual property rights provided, average unit manufacturing price and manufacturability.
Maj. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, said the service expects the OMFV program to transform the way armored brigade combat teams fight in the future by facilitating the integration of new technologies through the use of a modular open system architecture and delivering more lethality to combat while reducing risk for warfighters.
Proposals for the OMFV Phases 3 and 4 solicitation are due Nov. 1.
In July 2021, the Army awarded approximately $299.4 million in contracts to Point Blank Enterprises, Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and American Rheinmetall Vehicles to develop digital concept designs under the OMFV program’s second phase. Work on these contracts will run through December.
In July 2020, the Army released a draft solicitation for the initial design phase of the OMFV program, marking the relaunch of the competition to replace the service’s Bradley combat vehicles. The move came six months after the military branch decided to drop the competition to review the program’s acquisition strategy.