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Gerhard Heiming

The U.S. Army has published the draft tender for the preliminary design of the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), which is to replace the BRADLEY Infantry Fighting Vehicle from 2028, on the US government’s contracting website.

In early 2020, the U.S. Army relaunched the programme with a five-stage approach. Phase 1 is currently underway with market analysis and development of military requirements while in Phase 2, five competitors will produce digital designs for the required combat vehicle that will be subjected to a Preliminary Design Review (PDR). There will then be an opportunity to further develop the vehicle design in a subsequent design phase. The selection criteria includes performance capability, technical maturity of the design, rights and costs for procurement and operation.

Next steps

The draft tender for phase 2 is open for 40 days for comments from industry. The Army Futures Command, which leads the OMFV programme with the Cross Functional Team for Next Generation Combat Vehicles (NGCV), expects the feedback to provide guidance and limits on how the capability requirements can be met within the timeframe envisaged. This should ensure a sufficient number of interested parties to participate in the competition. The final call for proposals for phase 2 is expected to be published this year, while the award of development contracts to five selected competitors is scheduled for June 2021.

In phase 3, three competitors will develop the final design of the OMFV, when it is the plan to order long-running parts for the construction of prototypes. The construction of three prototypes and their testing is the subject of Phase 4, at the end of which one competitor is down-selected for series production. Finally, Phase 5 provides for the production of pre-series vehicles which are intended for extensive testing by government agencies, although series production itself is not part of the Army Futures Command’s responsibility.