U.S. Army Issues Market Survey for Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) Program

The U.S. Army issued a market survey for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program on Feb. 7, formally marking the official “restart” to produce a transformational infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).

It was announced last month that the Army canceled a previous solicitation for the Section 804 Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) Rapid Prototyping phase of the OMFV program. The new market survey marks the restart of the program.

“Industry feedback and partnerships are imperative in moving forward with OMFV, as with all of our modernization efforts,” said Dr. Bruce Jette, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology. “This is the first step in that process — seeking industry feedback on our characteristics and understanding how industry can innovatively solve our problem set.”

“We are not releasing a prescribed set of requirements — we are describing the problem set and giving industry the freedom to be creative and innovative in their approach,” said Gen. John (Mike) Murray, commanding general of Army Futures Command. “We will start by releasing broad vehicle characteristics that will be refined through a series of industry engagements, digital design competitions and soldier touch points to inform and sharpen OMFV final prototypes for testing.”

The prototypes used for testing will ultimately yield requirements for production. This approach will enable the Army to explore the solution space in an environment of rapid and inexpensive learning, leading to verification through physical prototypes, soldier input and testing.

“These encounters are intended to challenge biases and confirm state-of-the-art technologies available to support the ABCT commander on the modern battlefield,” said Jette. “Not only will it deliver innovation, it will maximize competition and ultimately produce a vehicle that will dominate in multi-domain operations for generations.”

U.S. Army OMFV Program

The Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program is seeking to replace the U.S. Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFV).

The OMFV program is part of the larger Next Generation Combat Vehicles (NGCV) program. Other programs under NGCV are Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, or AMPV; Mobile Protected Firepower, or MPF; future robotic combat vehicles, or RCV; and the next-generation main battle tank.

The NGCV-OMFV will be designed to maneuver Soldiers in the future operating environment to a position of advantage to engage in close combat and deliver decisive lethality during the execution of combined arms maneuver. NGCV must exceed current capabilities while overmatching similar threat class systems.

The vehicle must have the following capabilities:

• Optionally manned. It must have the ability to conduct remotely controlled operations while the crew is off platform.
• Capacity. It should eventually operate with no more than two crewmen and possess sufficient volume under armor to carry at least six Soldiers.
• Transportability. Two OMFVs should be transportable by one C-17 aircraft and be ready for combat within 15 minutes.
• Dense urban terrain operations and mobility. Platforms should include the ability to super elevate weapons and simultaneously engage threats using main gun and an independent weapons system.
• Protection. It must possess requisite protection to survive on the contemporary and future battlefield.
• Growth. It will possess sufficient size, weight, architecture, power, and cooling for automotive and electrical purposes to meet all platform needs and allow for pre-planned product improvements.
• Lethality. It should apply immediate, precise and decisively lethal extended range medium caliber, directed energy, and missile fires in day/night all-weather conditions, while moving and/or stationary against moving and/or stationary targets. The platform should allow for mounted, dismount, and unmanned system target handover.
• Embedded Platform Training. It should have embedded training systems that have interoperability with the Synthetic Training Environment.
• Sustainability. Industry should demonstrate innovations that achieve breakthroughs in power generation and management to achieve increased operational range and fuel efficiency; increased silent watch, part and component reliability, and significantly reduced sustainment burden.

The earlier announced timeline for the OMFV has a request for proposal (RFP) to be released early 2019, an engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract to be awarded in the early fiscal year 2020, and low-rate initial production (LRIP) to begin in the fiscal year 2023, he said. Fielding was planned by the end of the fiscal year 2026.

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