Elbit Systems of America is poised to provide unmanned turrets for the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program in partnership with BAE Systems. The US Army requested industry proposals to develop the OMFV program in December 2020, bidding to replace the four-decade-old M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. Five firms have been selected to compete in the program’s initial phase: Point Blank Enterprises, Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, Rheinmetall Vehicles, and General Dynamics. Among the differences from the three-man Bradley, the OMFV will have a crew of two soldiers and an “AI-powered virtual third crew member.” The vehicle is expected to be fielded by 2028.
The Unmanned Turret – 50mm (UT50) is the primary weapon of the OMFV, the turret includes active protective systems to counter incoming threats and a 360-degree remote vision system that provides the crew with greater situational awareness while still enjoying the protection of the vehicle’s combat armor. The unmanned turret just completed a successful live fire demo at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center. At the demo, the system fired more than 200 rounds at ranges up to 3,000 meters. Within advanced sensors Elbit is showing its MATR-X a software defined surveillance radar system. Designed with a compact form it can detect and track ground to low-level (600 ft AGL) targets including personnel, vehicles, drones, aircraft and airborne munitions.
The UT50 features the XM913 50mm cannon and a high-capacity ammunition handling system. The XM913 is an experimental American chain gun produced at Picatinny Arsenal. The cannon is a larger and more modern version of the 25 mm Bushmaster cannon. Designed with a very low profile, the UT50 encompasses a broad range of sub-systems, including fire control, electrical drive stabilization, gunner and commander sights, battle management and protection system. The turret’s modular design enables other armament alternatives to be supported and integrated. This turret was developed as part of Elbit Systems’s research and development program to integrate the latest medium caliber gun into an Elbit-designed turret to meet U.S. Army’s future needs.
Elbit Systems of America has become a Tier 1 supplier to the United States Army in recent years, earning Prime Contractor status by supplying advanced night vision googles and mobile mortar systems to Soldiers. The company is preparing to build mobile howitzers at its new facility in South Carolina once the service selects a solution. Elbit Systems is a world leader in the area of unmanned turrets. The company’s combat-proven solutions are integrated in a range of infantry fghting vehicles in use by numerous armed forces around the world (NATO and others).