GDLS launches production of first MPF Mobile Protected Firepower vehicles for US Army

In June 2022, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) has been selected to build and deliver the new Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) tracked armored vehicles to U.S. Army. GDLS has now launched the production of the first MPFs that will be delivered to the U.S. Army in late 2023.
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Scale model of General Dynamics Land Systems MPF Mobile Protected Firepower at AUSA 2022. (Picture source Army Recognition)

The Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) award, valued at $1.14 billion, will provide the U.S. Army with 96 vehicles over the next four years. The award also includes test support, logistics support, and systems technical support. U.S. Army leaders plan on buying 504 MPF vehicles meant to be in the U.S. military inventory for at least 30 years.

The MPF (Mobile Protected Firepower) was launched in 2016 by the U.S. Army to have new lightweight armored vehicles which will be used as fire support vehicle for the Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs). Currently, the U.S. Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) do not have a combat vehicle assigned that is capable of providing mobile, protected, direct, and offensive fire capabilities.

Originally referred to as a light tank, U.S. Army officials named the new concept the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF). This approach was intended to dissuade U.S. soldiers from viewing it as a tank-like vehicle and then employing it the same way as the M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank (MBT).

The development of the MPF presents an opportunity to bridge a capability gap that was created when the M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle (AR/AAV) retired from service.

The MPF has been designed to offer combat capabilities to defeat enemy prepared positions, destroy armor vehicles as well as ground enemy forces, and to ensure freedom of maneuver and action for the infantry.

In October 2022, during AUSA, the Association of United States Army defense exhibition that was held in Washington D.C., GDLS (General Dynamics Land Systems) has presented a scale model of the production model of the MPF.

GDLS launches production of first MPF Mobile Protected Firepower vehicles for US Army 925 002

The design of the General Dynamics MPF is very similar to a Main Battle Tank (MBT) with the driver and engine at the front and the turret located at the rear of the hull. The turret has a crew of three including a commander, gunner and loader. The turret architecture is based on the M1 Abrams tank using the M1A2 Sep V3 fire control system and CITV (Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer) armed with one 105 mm cannon. One 12.7mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the commander hatch.

The main armament of the MPF consists of one 105mm gun and one 7.62mm coaxial machine gun mounted to the right of the main armament. The second armament of the MPF includes one 12.7mm heavy machine mounted on the commander hatch and two banks of smoke grenade launchers mounted on each side at the front of the turret.

The MPF will be equipped with the Safran Optics 1’s PASEO Commander’s Independent Tactical Viewer (CITV) long-range panoramic targeting sight. It increases the situational awareness capabilities of armored and surveillance vehicles in all combat scenarios (stationary and on-the-move) even at high speeds. It is an advanced panoramic sight to improve the survivability and fighting capabilities of IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicles) and MBT (Main Battle Tanks).

The MPF is powered by a Diesel engine and the hydraulic pneumatic suspension consists on each side of six road wheels, a drive sprocket at the front, and the idler at the rear.