The U.S. Army announced today the award of a $1.14 billion contract to General Dynamics Land Systems, Sterling Heights, Michigan, for the production and fielding of up to 96 Mobile Protected Firepower, or MPF, vehicles. The award comes just days after the Army closed out the MPF middle-tier acquisition rapid-prototyping phase and transitioned to a major capability acquisition program with a favorable Milestone C decision — an incremental step in the Department of Defense’s acquisition process that moves into the production and deployment phase. MPF will provide infantry brigades greater survivability, the ability to identify threat systems earlier and at greater distances, and will not restrict movement in off-road terrain. MPF will also allow Soldiers to move at a faster pace, protecting the assaulting force. The Milestone C decision came on schedule and was underpinned by strong support and overwhelming commitment from Army leadership.
“The MPF program did exactly what the Army asked, which was to complete a competitive and accelerated rapid prototyping effort with Soldier touchpoints,” said Mr. Doug Bush, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, and the Army’s acquisition executive. “MPF is a benchmark program, as the acquisition and requirement communities worked together to complete the phase and move this system into production in just under four years.”
“MPF represents a new capability for the Army, allowing our light maneuver forces to overmatch adversaries. Through multiple Soldier touchpoints, our Soldiers have operated the prototypes and provided crucial feedback to the design team, ensuring our forces will have the asset they need on the future battlefield,” said Maj. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team.
During the middle-tier acquisition rapid-prototyping phase, the Army successfully tested and evaluated 24 prototypes during a pandemic. Middle-tier acquisition authorities allow the Army to have the flexibility to get prototypes into Soldiers’ hands quickly to enable fidelity on known risks and develop informed plans moving forward. The MPF will be the Army’s first new design vehicle fielded in over four decades, with first unit equipped planned for late fiscal year 2025. During the low-rate initial production phase the Army will take delivery of MPF vehicles and conduct production qualification testing to include lethality, mobility, survivability, full-up system live-fire, and reliability, Availability and maintainability testing. Additionally, an initial operational test and evaluation will also be conducted, all leading to the first unit equipped. The award of subsequent low-rate initial production vehicle options will be based on review of cost, schedule and performance metrics defined in the acquisition program baseline.
The MPF will be meant for bunker busting roles and combating light armor using a gun in the 105mm to 120mm range. The vehicle is meant to be easily air transportable in standard cargo aircraft like the C-17. Work on this contract will be performed at Land Systems locations in Sterling Heights, Mich.; Scranton, Pa., and Tallahassee, Fla., and at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio — the only operational tank plant in the country.General Dynamics Land Systems submitted an offering that puts a version of its latest Abrams turret together with a chassis that uses past work on the United Kingdom’s AJAX (based ASCOD) program. The Mobile Protected Firepower approach leverages both recently developed and battle-tested designs. The highly advanced and powerful combat vehicle is designed to strengthen the Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams. The MPF program is the first under the Army Futures Command Cross-Functional Team for Next Generation Combat Vehicle that fills a critical capability gap.