At the end of June, the US Army announced their choice of manufacturer for a new light tank featuring improved mobility, better protection, and updated direct-fire capabilities . This announcement revealed General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) will build the new for the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. The recent production deal is an important step toward the Army Futures Command initiative, which promises more efficient and effective modernization programs via competitive prototyping.
For this initiative, GDLS is contracted to deliver 26 vehicles, at first. However, the contract will also allow for the Army to buy at least another 70 vehicles over the low-rate primary dispensing of $1.14 billion production budget.
So far, 75 percent of the prototypes which have been used during the competitive evaluation phase are scheduled for retrofitting to be more adequately equipped for the specific needs of the Army.
The initial fleet of these production vehicles is anticipated to be delivered in less than 19 months. The first 42 of these units are expected to receive, at least, a battalion’s worth of MPF systems by fiscal fourth quarter, 2025. At that time, the US Army plans to commence full-rate production, moving forward.
Army Acquisition Chief Doug Bush said, in a recent media roundtable, “MPF shows the Army is committed to doing acquisition rapidly and using all the new approaches and new authorities we have to do modernization in a new way.”
Bush also notes this is the first major platform to go from prototype to production under the Army Future Command initiative.
He goes on to exalt who this program is at the forefront of the effort, as progressing from prototype to production is often a complicated process. Of course, he adds, “there’s a lot more work to do as we go into low-rate production and then we have operational testing.”