The U.S. Army’s G-8 discussed a new strategy for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), following lessons learned after its first request for prototypes was canceled earlier this year. The OMFV, which will replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, remains on track to be fielded to both active and National Guard armored brigade combat teams starting in fiscal year 2028. About $4.6 billion is currently invested in the program from fiscal 2020-2026, despite the adjustment costing the Army about $23 million in unrecoverable funds, it was still important to reset the program’s azimuth in the right direction.
After pulling the solicitation, the U.S. Army garnered feedback from government and industry partners to chart the next move. U.S. Army Futures Command then adjusted the traditional requirements approach by defining a set of nine characteristics to better focus efforts. The characteristics — survivability, mobility, growth, lethality, weight, logistics, transportability, manning, and training — will further be refined through a cooperative and iterative process with industry, digital design competitions and Soldier touchpoints to produce the final prototypes for testing, AFC officials said in February.
The general said the new strategy will spark innovation and competition through a collaborative process that offers several opportunities for Soldiers to provide input. While there will be challenges due to the complexity of such a program, he said he believes some industry partners will thrive in the non-traditional acquisition setting. In the meantime, the U.S. Army has also invested $915 million from fiscal 2020-2026 to develop and field the latest A4 versions of Bradley vehicles to armored units starting in the second quarter of the next fiscal year. The A4 version will have upgrades to the suspension and track, powertrain, electrical system, mission command features, plus other enhancements and accelerated technologies.