Written by Jon Harper
The Army’s Optionally Crewed Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program will soon move into its detailed design and prototype phases, and the service has issued a new solicitation for the effort.
The OMFV is a critical part of the Army’s next-generation combat vehicle portfolio and a top modernization priority as the service pursues new technologies such as unmanned systems and data-sharing capabilities for combat high end against advanced opponents.
A Request for Proposals for Phases 3 and 4 of the program was released on July 1.
“The purpose of Phase 3 is to conduct detailed design activities to mature OMFV designs and will conclude with a critical design review,” according to the RFP.
Phase 4, which should immediately follow phase 3, will include building and testing prototypes.
“The purpose of Phase 4 is to verify performance against performance specifications. At the end of this phase, a limited user test will be performed. In addition to delivering prototypes, the contractor will develop, mature and deliver a virtual prototype of their design,” the RFP stated.
The Army plans to conduct a full, open competition using “best source of value selection” procedures and expects to award up to three contracts in the third quarter of fiscal year 2023, with a execution of 54 months for the two phases.
Suppliers will be required to provide up to 11 vehicle prototypes along with two ballistic hulls and turrets, armor coupons, twin digital models and data.
Proposals are due November 1.
The OMFV should replace the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. It will be designed to “maneuver through the enemy’s safe area as part of a combined arms team for the purpose of creating an advantageous position, relative to the enemy, and providing protection and lethality by direct fire, whether manned or remotely controlled. In close combat, the OMFV allows dismounted elements to maneuver by detecting and destroying targets at a distance beyond the capability of the enemy,” according to the RFP.
The system “will bring transformational change to the way our ABCTs [armored brigade combat teams] combat in the future, bringing more lethality to the battlefield and reducing risk to our most valuable asset, our women and men combatants,” said Major General Ross Coffman, Director of the Cross-Functional Team of the army’s next-generation combat vehicles, in a statement.
In addition to providing firepower and reducing risk to soldiers, the vehicle is expected to serve as a critical node in the army’s platoon-level data networks by “rapidly generating, receiving and transmitting information to dismounted elements , other vehicles and control nodes”. .” This includes target acquisition data and other situational awareness capabilities.
Notably, the platform will be the service’s first ground-based combat vehicle designed using modern digital engineering tools and techniques, according to the military.
Contractors “will develop the OMFV using model-based system engineering (MBSE) and in the digital realm to communicate design maturity and evolution through a series of interconnected digital models throughout the lifecycle. of the program,” the RFP states.
The program also pursues a modular open systems (MOSA) approach to facilitate technology updates to the platform.
“As technology and software evolve, the Army Open Architecture Standard enables OMFV to modernize quickly at a reduced cost. It will also provide more opportunities for increased industry competition and innovation throughout the OMFV lifecycle,” according to the RFP.
After these design and prototyping phases, the Army plans to hold a limited competition for Phase 5 and select a vendor for low-rate initial production by the end of fiscal year 2027, with the first equipped unit planned. for fiscal year 2029, according to an Army press release.
The service is still finalizing selection criteria for Phase 5. However, it is currently exploring “performance, MOSA [modular open systems architecture] compliance, intellectual property (IP) rights provided, AUMP [average unit manufacturing price]end-to-end digital yarn and manufacturability,” according to the RFP for Phases 3 and 4.
The program’s goal is to produce “a transformational infantry fighting vehicle that will dominate maneuver in multi-domain operations,” Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, program director for ground combat systems, said in a statement.