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27 Jul 21. The US Army Contracting Command, Detroit Arsenal has awarded Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. (PBE) business unit, The Protective Group (TPG) a $60.6M Firm Fixed Price Contract for Phase 2, Concept Design for the US Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) programme. The OMFV is planned to be an important weapon system platform in the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) and is part of the larger Next Generation Combat Vehicle Family of Combat Vehicles.
The OMFV concept is envisioned to encompass future capabilities and basic operational requirements including: scalable survivability and protection, remotely controllable, preplanned growth to easily integrate future capabilities, embedded platform training, and decisive battlefield lethality. The Army plans for the first OMFV delivery in the fourth quarter of FY2028 for final testing with a final Full Rate Production (FRP) decision in the third quarter of FY2029.
Mark Edwards, Executive Vice President for Point Blank Enterprises said, “We are honoured to be selected to participate in this essential Army combat vehicle programme. We have assembled a diverse industry team that, like Point Blank, is fully committed to providing the most advanced and reliable products to our men and women in uniform. This award reaffirms our ability to assemble and manage diverse technical teams performing complex and innovative collaborative design engineering programmes. Our OMFV design concept will not be constrained or limited by previous design engineering approaches or technologies that produced the last generation of combat vehicles. Innovative engineering solutions and continuously integrating improvements into our product designs are in our DNA, both of which are key to this phase of the OMFV programme.”
For nearly 50 years, Point Blank Enterprises, Inc. has been a leading provider of threat protection products engineered to maximise user survivability. (Source: www.joint-forcescom)
28 Jul 21. UK DE&S has announced a base overhaul and set of automotive upgrades to prepare Challenger 2 for the Challenger 3 programme has begun. Work to prepare Challenger 2 vehicles, including a base overhaul and set of automotive upgrades, has begun, creating a foundation for the Challenger 3 upgrade programme. The British Army’s Challenger 2 fleet is due to receive a base overhaul as part of its standard in-service maintenance schedule. This will be followed by a series of automotive upgrades under a ‘Heavy Armour Automotive Improvement Programme’ (HAAIP) which ensures the British Army’s Challenger 2 vehicles remain highly effective and capable until Challenger 3 enters service. The HAAIP programme is being led by DE&S, with engineering work completed by Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (RBSL) and integration work by Babcock. Under the programme, a number of automotive upgrades will be made to existing in-service Challenger 2 tanks to increase their mobility and stability, both of which are critical to providing the foundation for the new turret and systems that will upgrade the vehicle to a Challenger 3. The upgrades will also ensure the tanks remain mobile and agile in the battlespace. Once upgraded, the vehicles will be delivered to RBSL who will deliver the Challenger 3 programme under the £800m contract secured by DE&S. They will use the modified vehicles as the trial and demonstration platforms.
Brigadier Anna-Lee Reilly, Head of the DE&S Vehicle Support Team, said: “This is an exciting moment for Defence. We’ve been committed to keeping the Challenger 2 tanks in service over the past 23 years and we’re looking forward to using our expertise to manage the necessary upgrades to pave the way for the Challenger 3.”
As part of the base overhaul process, each Challenger 2 will be stripped to bare hulls and subjected to ultrasonic inspection, weld repair and repainting. Every component is removed and inspected for serviceability to ensure that the vehicle is as close to new as possible when it is rebuilt. The HAAIP upgrades will then introduce new components to the rebuild process to improve its suspension, engine and transmission. To reduce waste and increase overall in-service platform availability, components that are replaced by the HAAIP upgrade pack are checked for serviceability, repaired where necessary, and returned to the supply chain to help the residual fleet of Challenger 2 tanks supported until 2025. (Source: www.joint-forcescom)
28 Jul 21.
Army Policy & Secretariat
IDL 24 Blenheim Building
Hampshire, SP11 8HJ
Dear Mr Nettlefold,
Thank you for your email of 13 July 2021 to the Secretary of State for Defence. As I am sure you can appreciate, the Minister receives a large amount of correspondence, therefore your letter has been passed to Army Headquarters and I have been asked to reply.
I would first like to thank you for taking the time to communicate with the Defence Secretary. We value the interest of the community in the AJAX programme and want to assure you that we are committed to delivering this impressive capability.
I have read your article “Did the MoD cancel the wrong Armoured Vehicle?” relating to the harmonics issue in AJAX and have passed your comments on to the relevant teams.
I would like to assure you that the MoD takes these issues very seriously and as sighted in your article, we expect to see the results of the independent trials by Millbrook Proving Ground into noise and vibration issues with AJAX later this year.
Thank you again for your correspondence with the Ministry of Defence.
S Andrews, Army Policy & Secretariat.
26 Jul 21. OMFV Awards Mark Broad Shift In Army Acquisition. The Army really needed “to be more inclusive and to allow us to develop capabilities, that would be more scalable for the future.” On top of that, the service tried hard, Maj. Gen. Ross Coffman said, “to lower the barriers to entry for foreign and non-traditional vendors.”
If there is one thing that marks the Army’s approach to finally — and hopefully, successfully — building a replacement for the ancient Bradley Fighting Vehicle, it is something few close Army watchers traditionally associate with the service: flexibility, coupled with a willingness to listen to outsiders.
That was obvious during the July 23 afternoon briefing on the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle contract awards that Army generals held with the press. Unlike many past competition announcements, when Army leaders would basically read a statement and then offer usually dull and predictable answers to reporters, Maj. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, and Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, PEO for ground combat systems, went to some length to acknowledge the service had botched this effort in the past.
Coffman said the Army really needed “to be more inclusive and to allow us to develop capabilities that would be more scalable for the future.” On top of that, the service tried hard, Coffman said, “to lower the barriers to entry for foreign and non-traditional vendors…Because our more traditional approach tends to be structured in such a way that you not only had to be a US company, but generally it has to be a very large company to be able to get, get in the door. And of course, the prior activity was structured requiring the bidders to show up with a complete example upfront.”
That was a clear reference to the earlier failed effort to get companies to produce prototypes and deliver them to the Army for testing in 2019. Only one company met that requirement and the land service realized something had to change.
The “something” happened Friday when a relatively small defense company, Point Blank Enterprises, and an American subsidiary of a foreign company, American Rheinmetall Vehicles, were awarded concept definition contracts, along with American defense giants Oshkosh Defense and General Dynamics Land Systems. Several of the teams also include substantial foreign participation.
So Coffman, Dean and the rest of the Army acquisition team succeeded in attracting about half-dozen contractors to present concepts, including PBE, who’ve never made an armored vehicle before. The company is working with Keshik Mobile Power Systems to form a team of defense companies and small businesses for this program.
When PBE announced in April it would try for the OMFV, Keshik’s CEO, James Blackburn, said in a statement that the company planned to build “a transformational fighting vehicle platform that leverages robust mobility and agility through a distributed redundant hybrid electric drive train, best-in-class survivability, unprecedented exportable electric power, and scalability for maturing cross domain operational flexibility in real time.”
Rather than being a cost center or another roadblock, network automation is an enabler that handles mundane, repetitive tasks so that organizations can better embrace digital transformation.
The fact that PBE — the self-described world’s largest distributor of body armor but not a maker of vehicles — bid to build an armored vehicle, may have been heavily influenced by the Army’s emphasis on building a weapon system resting on an open architecture. The fact that the system is supposed to be optionally manned may also have played an important role in PBE’s decision. Here’s how the Army described OMFV in its Friday release. “It is designed to operate with or without a crew and Soldiers under armor based on the commander’s decision, while also controlling maneuver robotics and semi-autonomous systems.”
And this is what Mark Edwards, PBE’s executive vice president, said in the statement: “We see the government’s non-traditional OMFV program approach as a perfect opportunity to continue to diversify PBE by leveraging our core competencies in collaborative digital engineering design management, survivability systems engineering, and forming and leading teams of some of the industry’s best large and small defense companies,”
The Army also chose bids with substantial foreign participation, meeting another of Coffman’s goals.
The Oshkosh Defense bid includes the US branch of South Korea’s Hanwha Defense, Israel’s Rafael and Plasan, as well as the US branch of Britain’s QinetiQ. The team includes a second American company, Pratt Miller Defense.
BAE Systems, the long-established US subsidiary of Britain’s BAE Systems PLC, is working closely with Elbit Systems of America, the Israeli subsidiary.
Finally, American Rheinmetall Vehicles’ Team Lynx marks the German defense giant’s return to the competition. ARV, strategically located in Sterling Heights, Mich., is working with an all-American team of Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris Technologies, Textron Systems and Allison Transmission.
Versions of the Lynx are already being bought by some American allies. The Hungarian Army ordered 218 locally-produced vehicles. And Australia picked it and one other competitor for its Land 400 Phase 3 program.
They got their competition. Now the Army has to make good on execution.
(Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
26 Jul 21. Deloitte Acquires Sentek Global’s Business to Expand Systems Engineering and Cyber Offerings to Support U.S. Navy, Additional Military Branches and Federal Agencies. Deloitte announced today it has acquired substantially all the assets of Sentek Consulting, Inc. (Sentek Global), a San Diego-based systems engineering and cybersecurity firm primarily serving the U.S. Navy.
“The acquisition of Sentek Global’s business will expand Deloitte’s existing presence in San Diego, while also bolstering our current mission-focused systems engineering capabilities and cyber offerings to other military branches and federal agencies,” said Mike Canning, US Government & Public Services Industry leader and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Heather Reilly, Deloitte’s Defense, Security and Justice sector leader and principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, added, “Deloitte is focused on delivering mission-relevant, complex and technology-enabled engineering, analytics and transformation solutions to our clients in the Department of Defense (DoD). The addition of Sentek Global’s capabilities expands our complement of skilled system engineering and cybersecurity professionals that will enhance DoD’s ability to accelerate its engineering and acquisition processes to ensure effective and reliable systems for our warfighters. And, it enables us to welcome those Sentek Global professionals who are former members of the Armed Forces into our existing veteran workforce.”
Mark Nace, Deloitte Risk & Financial Advisory’s Government & Public Services leader for the Cyber & Strategic Risk practice and principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP, said, “As cyber threats to all organizations — particularly U.S. federal agencies — continue to proliferate and become more complex, we’re investing to help our clients prevent, detect and remediate those emerging threats. The addition of Sentek Global’s capabilities allows us to do just that.”
In addition to providing systems engineering and cybersecurity to the Defense, Security and Justice sector, Sentek Global also offers program management and integrated logistics services.
Eric Basu, CEO and founder, Sentek Global, added, “Sentek Global and Deloitte share many common values, not the least of which is providing high quality services and solutions for the agencies that serve our country. We are joining Deloitte to help our government clients solve complex systems engineering and cybersecurity challenges, while also accelerating the scaling of our services for defense, security and justice sector organizations.”
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of our legal structure. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. (Source: PR Newswire)
26 Jul 21. US Army contracts BAE for OFMV concept development phase. The OFMV development is aimed at replacing the Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. BAE Systems has secured a contract from the US Army for the concept development phase of the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) programme. The company will be responsible for further design development to fulfil the future battlefield ‘lethality, mobility and survivability’ requirements of the US Army. The OFMV will replace the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle (IFV).
Working along with partner Elbit Systems of America, BAE Systems will explore technologies for crew automation and active protection.
The company will also develop combat vehicle technologies and turret solutions to deliver advanced combat capabilities.
BAE Systems business development director Jim Miller said: “Our soldiers on the future battlefield should set the pace of the fight and dominate in lethality, survivability, and mobility through technology.
“The conceptual design phase allows us to demonstrate how we marry future technology with our integration and production experience to deliver a new level of capability to our troops on an ever-changing, interconnected, multi-domain, joint battlefield.”
BAE’s OMFV concept is an integrated system of systems that are based on a Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA) approach.
This approach enables easy upgrades for rapid insertion of new innovations to counter evolving threats.
The company claims that its OMFV design will provide a highly manoeuvrable and survivable solution for the US Army’s Armoured Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). BAE will execute the preliminary design work of the contract at its US facilities in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota and California. (Source: army-technology.com)
26 Jul 21. Oshkosh Defense and Industry Partners Awarded Contract to Participate in U.S. Army’s OMFV Concept Design Phase. The U.S. Army Contracting Command – Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA) announced that it has selected Oshkosh Defense, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK), to participate in the Concept Design Phase for the U.S. Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program. The OMFV will replace the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), which has been in service since 1981.
As part of the Concept Design Phase, Oshkosh Defense will develop initial concepts supported by Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis (MS&A), which will inform OMFV requirements up to a System Functional Review (SFR).
The Oshkosh Defense consortium includes Pratt Miller Defense, Hanwha Defense USA, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, QinetiQ Inc., and Plasan.
“As a leading innovator of defense technologies, Oshkosh Defense is committed to providing the best possible solutions to the U.S. Army for its evolving modernization priorities,” said Pat Williams, Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps Programs for Oshkosh Defense. “Each of our industry partners will contribute their own best-in-class expertise in ground combat vehicles, turrets, armor, and autonomy. Together, we will provide a modular OMFV solution designed to defeat emerging threats with flexibility and room for growth to accommodate evolving requirements.”
Oshkosh’s OMFV concept leverages the proven capability of Hanwha’s Redback chassis and Rafael’s SAMSON family of turrets. The Redback is one of two contenders for Australia’s Land 400 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), while the SAMSON family of turrets serves as the foundation for Oshkosh’s recently awarded Medium Caliber Weapon System (MCWS) contract with the U.S. Army. (Source: BUSINESS WIRE)
26 Jul 21. Rheinmetall’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle concept down-selected for U.S. Army’s program – Team of industry-leading experts to digitally design advanced OMFV. The U.S. Army has awarded American Rheinmetall Vehicles – a Sterling Heights, MI, U.S. subsidiary of leading defense industry giant Rheinmetall – a develop¬mental contract for the Phase 2 Digital Design of the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) program. American Rheinmetall Vehicles will execute Phase 2 with its teammates, a group of unsurpassed defense industry companies, including Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris Technologies, Textron Systems and Allison Transmission.
The U.S. Army’s OMFV program is a ground-modernization effort to replace nearly 3,800 Bradley Fighting Vehicles among the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams.
“This is a great win for American Rhein¬metall Vehicles and Team Lynx as a whole,” said Matt Warnick, Managing Director of American Rheinmetall Vehicles. “With this contract award, we take another important step forward in bringing the kind of next-generation technology solution, partnership and industrial capability the U.S. Army deserves and that Team Lynx is so well prepared to deliver for the OMFV program.”
Team Lynx will work with the U.S. Army on the digitally engineered design and development of the team’s OMFV concept using Rheinmetall’s proven Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) as the point of departure for the design. The team’s solution will provide the U.S. Army with a next-generation infantry fighting vehicle featuring a game-changing platform with a modular open systems architecture. This will enable rapid insertion of new capabilities as they become available, guaranteeing overmatch today and overmatch tomorrow.
Variants of American Rheinmetall Vehicle’s Lynx KF41 IFV are advancing in multiple countries around the world. The Hungarian Army became the launch customer in 2020 with an order for 218 locally produced vehicles. In Australia, for the Land 400 Phase 3 program, Rheinmetall was down selected along with one other combat vehicle manufacturer for a risk reduction test phase that involves extensive vehicle testing comprised of field trials, survivability and mobility testing. The KF41 performed to a high standard.
The Digital Design Phase kicks off the OMFV program and continues through early 2023, laying the foundation for future development and production phases. Team Lynx is developing industrialization plans to fully deliver the OMFV as a Made in the USA, next-generation vehicle. The team will grow U.S. Defense manufacturing capacity and introduce advanced manufacturing capabilities. Competition for Phase 3 (Detailed Design) is anticipated to start in 2023, followed by Phase 4 (Prototype Build and Test), which results in government testing in early 2026.
“We are incredibly proud at American Rheinmetall of the commitment we are making to the US Army, to Soldiers and to advanced American technology, design and production,” said Stephen Hedger, CEO at American Rheinmetall Defense, the U.S. parent headquarters for Rheinmetall.
About Team Lynx
American Rheinmetall Vehicles
American Rheinmetall Vehicles – located in Sterling Heights, Michigan – in collaboration with its global affiliates provides the most relevant and recent combat vehicle design, development and fielding experience available. Rheinmetall’s Lynx KF41 features modular open architectures, next-generation sights, airburst cannon capabilities, modern missiles, integrated active protection and growth capacity that make it the ideal point of departure vehicle for American Rheinmetall Vehicle’s Lynx OMFV concept. www.rheinmetall-arv-us.com
American Rheinmetall Vehicles is part of the American Rheinmetall family of U.S. companies including American Rheinmetall Munitions in Stafford, VA, American Rheinmetall Systems in Biddeford, ME, and U.S. corporate parent American Rheinmetall Defense in Reston, VA.
Raytheon Technologies, one of the largest and most capable aerospace and defense companies in the world, brings expertise in digital design, modelling and simulation, and the integration of complex systems onto platforms. The company retains an extensive portfolio of command and control, sensors and effectors to increase concept capabilities and support design development. www.rtx.com
L3Harris designs, builds and integrates mission systems for ground, maritime, air and space-based military platforms. They bring deep experience in building rugged platform electronics and integrating sensing and communication systems, along with extensive data protection and cybersecurity program experience and a significant investment in MOSA systems. www.l3harris.com
Textron Systems is a world leader in unmanned air, surface and land products, services and support for aerospace and defense customers. Harnessing agility and a broad base of expertise, Textron Systems’ innovative businesses design, manufacture, field and support comprehensive solutions that expand customer capabilities and deliver value. For more information, visit www.textronsystems.com
Allison Transmission, the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions, brings expertise in combat vehicle transmissions. The provider of our next-generation transmission offers an established growth path to hybrid-drive capabilities. www.allisontransmission.com
TEK Military Seating Limited
TEK Military Seating Limited is a UK based designer and manufacturer of ProTEK military vehicle seating which offer the highest standards of safety and protection. The ProTEK brand is well respected across the globe for its robust construction, innovative design, built in modularity and cost effectiveness. Our superior products are supported by our experienced team who endeavor to offer unrivalled service to our customers from enquiry, through design and acceptance, to through life support.
From its inception ProTEK seats have been designed around a family of innovative seat frames onto which tested and certified modules can be fitted to create a bespoke solution for the user. These include Blast protection to Stanag 4569 standards, vibration reduction, head and body protection, seat risers and turntables, fore & aft adjustment, and seat back rake along with viable seat dimensions without the need for additional tooling costs.
Contact: David Parkman