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Light tank project of BAE Systems for Mobile Protected Firepower MPF program of US Army.

| 2020

According to pictures released on the Flickr account of the U.S. secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, during a visit to the BAE Systems factory on April 22, 2020, the Company has presented its project of the latest development of a light tank for the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program of the U.S. Army. The MPF program is designed to provide a mobile, protected, direct, offensive fire capability across the spectrum of terrains and operations for the army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT).

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On April 22, 2020, BASystems has presented its new light tank project for the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program of the U.S. Army. (Picture source: Flickr account of Hon. Ryan D. McCarthy, Secretary of the U.S. Army)

The U.S. Army would like to acquire a new light tank intended to boost the firepower of airborne and other light infantry units.

In September 2018 the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Army leadership approved Section 804 MTA Rapid Prototyping for MPF pre-Milestone C activities. This requires the fielding of a prototype that can be demonstrated in an operational environment within five years.

In December 2018, the U.S. Army has announced the selection of two Section 804 Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) Rapid Prototyping contracts for the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) program. The two companies awarded under the full and open, best value competition for integration of mature technologies are General Dynamic Land Systems, Inc. (Sterling Heights, Mich.) and BAE Systems Land & Armaments, LP (Sterling Heights, Mich.).

The MTA Rapid Prototyping contracts require delivery of 12 pre-production vehicles (each) for rigorous developmental and operational testing, and a Soldier Vehicle Assessment (SVA), to measure prototype performance to requirements and gain user feedback

At this time there is no combat vehicle platform providing a mobile, protected, direct, offensive fire capability meeting Army MPF requirements for the IBCT. The MPF will be able to neutralize enemy prepared positions and bunkers and defeat heavy machine guns and armored vehicle threats during offensive operations or when conducting defensive operations against attacking enemies.

Near the end of the MTA rapid prototyping phase, the U.S. Army will conduct a source selection evaluation to select a single best value solution for low rate initial production (LRIP). The U.S. Army Acquisition Objective for MPF is 504 vehicles, with 14 MPFs per IBCT. The targeted fielding for the First Unit Equipped is Fiscal Year 2025.

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In October 2016, at the AUSA Defense exhibition in Washington D.C., BAE Systems has presented its expeditionary light tank as a candidate for the MPF program of U.S. Army. (Picture source Army Recognition)

BAE Systems has submitted a proposal for the U.S. Army’s new Mobile Protected Firepower based on the M8 mobile gun system originally designed in 1996 as a replacement for the M551 Sheridan light tank. According to BAE Systems, the MPF candidate vehicle is designed based on the M8 armored gun system but with new improvements and modern technologies.

In October 2015 during the AUSA defense exhibition in Washington D.C., BAE Systems has unveiled a new concept of light tank called Expeditionary Light Tank that could be airdropped from a C-130 aircraft. The company’s solution was based on the purpose-built M8 Armored Gun System, modernized with mature technologies from the CV90 family of infantry fighting vehicles and the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The BAE Systems MPF is the result of more than 30 years of research and development for an optimized, rapidly deployable, light combat vehicle designed specifically to support light infantry. The vehicle leverages investments the Army made in the M8 Armored Gun System, including its low-profile design, and proven technologies like the M35 105mm cannon, and an auto-loading ammunition system that allows the gun to fire at a rate of 12 rounds per minute. The innovative roll-out powerpack design allows for easy access to the engine and transmission without the aid of heavy equipment.

The MPF light tank of BAE Systems has a crew of three including a driver, gunner, and commander thanks to the use of an automatic loading system for the main armament.

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