As the U.S. military pursues accelerated modernization to meet potential future demands for high-intensity combat against leading adversaries like Russia and China, the service is looking for a new, next-generation combat vehicle to replace the vehicle of Bradley infantry fighting produced by BAE Systems.
The Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) program is the second highest priority of the newest Army Futures Command. This brand new four-star command is dedicated to the research and development of future weapon systems for this new era of great power competition.
“The Russians and the Chinese have used the past 15 years to modernize their forces,” the brigadier said. General Ross Coffman, director of the NGCV cross-functional team, told reporters on October 9, 2018, “We must do the same.”
Bradley Fighting Vehicle Replacement Top Priority in Next Generation Fighting Vehicle Program
The main focus at the moment is to replace the Bradley with an optional crewed combat vehicle (OMFV), although the requirements are still ongoing, with military officials noting that “all options are on the table.” . The Army’s NGCV cross-functional team is looking for something deadly, survivable, and most importantly, scalable so that it can continue to meet the needs of the military for the coming year, explained. NGCV team leaders on Tuesday at the 2018 United States Army Association conference in Washington DC.
The military appears to be looking for a vehicle that can be reconfigured for different missions, has an exceptional power-to-weight ratio for technological and intensity-based upgrades and modifications, and can wage war in urban and rural environments for provide a deterrent force in Europe and beyond.
The program is expected to issue an official tender in 2018, and companies will have around six months to prepare their bids. The NGCV program plans to deploy its new OMFV in 2026. This Futures Command team is also examining a new multipurpose armored vehicle (AMPV), a protected mobile firepower option (MPF), a robotic command vehicle (RCV) and the replacement. M1 Abrams tank, but the expected delivery dates for these projects are more distant.
There are three large-scale OMFV concepts proposed by BAE Systems, Raytheon and Rheinmetall, and General Dynamics on display at AUSA 2018, although there may be more potential designs later when the formal RFP is sent out. While the three ground concepts offer many similar features, each vehicle brings something unique to the table.
The CV90 Mark IV.
Characterizing it as a conversation starter, BAE Systems offers the latest version of its proven combat vehicle – the CV90 Mark IV
There are 15 variants of the 90 Combat Vehicle (CV) in service in seven countries, so BAE Systems comes to the table with the latest iteration of a proven vehicle. âWe’re pretty proud of this vehicle,â a company spokesperson told Business Insider US at AUSA. “We touted this as our best way to start a conversation with the military and help the military help us understand what soldiers need.”
The strengths of this vehicle, according to its manufacturers, include its growth potential and mission-specific modularity and flexibility.
âOn the left and right sides there are boxes, it looks like they are bolted, they are weapon station modules,â the spokesperson explained, âOn [the left] side you have a Spike missile module connected to the vehicle, and on the right side you have a 7.62 coaxial machine gun with 2000 rounds ready in the box.
These modular systems are all on attachment points, which means they could be swapped out for other modules, such as a Mark 19 grenade launcher, depending on the mission at hand. âThis gives the military, unit commander and vehicle commander the maximum flexibility they need depending on the mission,â he said, calling it âsexyâ.
In addition to this flexibility, there is also the potential for vehicle weight growth. The vehicle has a maximum weight of 40 tonnes. The ground model weighed around 30 tonnes, allowing for the addition of additional armor and weapon systems if the intended mission requires these modifications.
The CV90 Mark IV also comes with a number of other potentially desirable features and capabilities.
The vehicle’s 35mm gun can be easily changed if the military shows interest in a 50mm main gun, which NGVC project manager Colonel Jim Schirmer told reporters on October 9, 2018, that the military is seriously considering.
The BAE Systems vehicle also has a drive-by-wire system for manned and unmanned missions, advanced data transfer capabilities, improved survivability as it sits low to the ground (hard to see, hard to touch), advanced 360 surveillance, intelligent targeting systems, explosive ordnance for counter drones and active protection systems that can be changed as the military presents a clearer picture of what she expects.
the Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Raytheon and Rheinmetall have joined forces to create the Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, presenting it at AUSA 2018 as an out-of-the-box OMFV option.
Described as a ‘not as usual’ project, the Lynx KF 41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle is the by-product of a partnership between Rheinmetall, which has extensive vehicle knowledge, and Raytheon, a company that excels in integrated electronic systems.
The Raytheon team emphasized modularity for mission-specific modifications during a brief discussion with BI in the field at AUSA 2018. âThe whole thing is very innovative. You can take that setup, take the top off, make it another setup, and you can do it overnight, âsaid Kim Ernzen, vice president of Land Warfare Systems at Raytheon.
âWith a 10 ton crane, you can lift the roof plate and the turret off the base frame, and you can roll the vehicle,â Philip Tomio, vice president of strategy and marketing for the Vehicle Systems division of Rheinmetall, mentioned. âYou can turn it into a command post, an ambulance, a repair and recovery vehicle, a common light recognition variant. You have a number of options.
She revealed to BI that in recent testing, crews were able to change the configuration in about three hours.
Raytheon and Rheinmetall promise a “modern combat vehicle that will keep American soldiers far from threats on the battlefield for decades to come.”
The survivability of the vehicle can be changed according to the demands of the combat environment. With around 20 tons of configurable payload, the chassis can handle additions of up to 55 tons for high intensity combat against an adversary like the Russians. And the main gun can be changed from 35mm gun to 50mm gun as needed.
The Lynx IFV supports up to nine teardowns with a three-man crew, as well as next-generation thermal sights, Coyote unmanned aircraft, active protection systems to counter a variety of asymmetric threats, a suite of sensors fully integrated situational awareness and extended range TOW missile system, among other features.
Spokesmen for this OMFV project have repeatedly pointed out that the Lynx will be made in the United States, supporting the American industrial base and creating jobs. But perhaps more importantly, the vehicle is a finished product, not a concept, which could be ready to go at any time.
General Dynamics Griffin Armored Fighting Vehicle.
General Dynamics brought its Griffin III demonstrator, a combat system comprising elements of the Ajax armored vehicle used in the United Kingdom
Produced by the company that makes the M1 Abrams tank, also slated for replacement, General Dynamics’ Griffin III features lethality, modularity, and growth options, among other capabilities.
In terms of lethality, the modular turret features a 50mm main gun with the ability to change the weapon to a 30mm barrel if needed and the ability to fire at an 85 degree angle, a capability requested by the army for urban combat. The 50mm gun is significantly more powerful than the Bradley’s current 25mm gun.
Supporting a team of five to eight and a crew of two to three, the latest evolution of the Griffin I and II is, according to General Dynamics, focused on “adaptability” thanks to the company’s emphasis. on an open and modifiable architecture. . At the same time, the vehicle has a wide variety of integrated systems with a common operating system, in particular active protection systems, laser warning systems, 360-degree panoramic view and a Deepstrike package, Mike Peck, director of corporate business development at General Dynamics told BI at AUSA 2018.
âIt’s all built into there. You don’t need to keep adding boxes to the vehicle, âhe explained.
The Griffin is said to have many “unique” features designed to spark additional conversations with the military in the future.
The Griffin III is supposed to meet the Army’s vague requirements for the OMFV as it currently stands, but that could be changed.
âWe wanted to show them what they were asking and then ask them, ‘Do you like this or would you change something? “,” Peck told BI. âIf so, the next iteration – Griffin IV – will contain these changes. “
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