The US Army has issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) seeking digital designs of a potentially manned-unmanned tank meant to replace the iconic M-2 Bradley tank in service for several decades.
From the digital designs, up to five contractors will be chosen to compete in a preliminary design review of the vehicle, which the US Army calls as the ‘Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle’ (OMFV). The request is the first phase of a five-phase process to choose a new design.
"We are looking forward to receiving feedback and learning from industry what's in the realm of the possible as we continue to develop this truly transformational vehicle for our soldiers," Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said in a statement.
The competition is scheduled to award the five preliminary contracts in June 2021.
The M-2 Bradley, in use since 1981, is "widely considered to have reached the technological limits of its capacity to accommodate new electronics, armor, and defense systems," a Congressional Research Service report said earlier this week.
The Army has requested $327.73 million in Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation [RDT&E] funding for the OMFV program in its Fiscal Year 2021 budget request.
The draft RFP describes the transformational vision for OMFV, outlines broad performance specifications and characteristics, and places a great deal of emphasis on a squad-focused platform. The final RFP for the Preliminary Digital Design phase is planned to result in the award of up to five contracts in June of 2021 under a full and open competition.