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U.S. GROUND COMBAT VEHICLE BIDDERS SUBMIT BIDS

U.S. GROUND COMBAT VEHICLE BIDDERS SUBMIT BIDS
By Julian Nettlefold

21 May 10. The contenders for the new U.S. Army Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) submitted their proposals on May 21st.

Three consortia have so far bid for the contract, General Dynamics has confirmed that it has teamed up with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Company and MTU Detroit Diesel, a BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman teaming agreement and an SAIC-led consortium which includes Boeing, Krauss Maffei Wegman and Rheinmetall Defence Systems.

A US Army statement read; ‘This marks the beginning of the formal source selection process, which will culminate with up to three competitive contract awards in late fourth quarter of Fiscal Year (FY) 2010.
Upon completion of the Source Selection and the Milestone ‘A’ review, contract awards will be made for the technology demonstration phase of the program.’

Colonel Bryan McVeigh, GCV programme manager, said, “We have had good response from industry and now the source selection process will begin immediately. Due to the sensitive nature of this procurement and the Federal prohibition on the release of procurement information, the program office will not release further source selection details until the close of the process.”

Parties now have a 27-month period in which to test and mature subcomponents and other material elements of the designs prior to a Milestone B decision in FY 2013. The subsequent Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase would run through the first quarter of FY 2016, and include delivery of the first prototype vehicle in FY 2015.

Initiated on 25 February, the RfP was delayed by 25 days in order to allow industry more time to provide the most ‘robust’ solutions for its next-generation of IFVs.

Requirements include a system capable of transporting an infantry squad with the protection of a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle or above; and increased off-road mobility compared to Bradley IFVs and Stryker infantry carrier vehicles. A tracked vehicle is also expected, according to industry’s interpretation of these requirements.

The winning vehicle will also comprise a modular armour solution and be transportable by C-17 and rail. The army would not comment on a gross vehicle weight and the spokesman said it would wait to see what technical solutions for survivability and transportability industry would put forward.

The Teams now have a 27-month period in which to test and mature subcomponents and other material elements of the designs prior to a Milestone B decision in FY 2013. The subsequent Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase would run through the first quarter of FY 2016, and include delivery of the first prototype vehicle in FY 2015.

The Teams

On March 2nd, BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman Corporation announced a teaming agreement to pursue the GCV programme.

“BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman have been pre-eminent suppliers of combat systems to the US Army for more than 50 years,” said Mark Signorelli, BAE Systems’ vice president and general manager of Ground Combat Vehicle. “Our team looks forward to working side by side with the Army and its Soldiers in the development of the new Ground Combat Vehicle. Collectively we bring the proven experience, the latest technology and cultures of innovation and service to the Army’s effort to develop a new generation of fighting vehicles.”

BAE Systems will serve as the prime contractor in this partnership. It is the world’s largest producer of combat vehicles, having fielded more than any other company in the world. The company is the top supplier to the US Army’s Heavy Brigades, one of the largest suppliers to the US Department of Defense and the second largest defense company in the world.

Northrop Grumman will serve as the C4ISR lead, responsible for integration of command and control hardware and software, computers and communications equipment, sensors and sensor suites for intelligence gathering

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