US Army will ask proposals for lightweight armored combat vehicle


The U.S. Army will ask industry next month to provide proposals for a lightweight armored combat vehicle known as the Mobile Protected Firepower or MPF vehicle, and plans call for fielding the system under a rapid acquisition effort.


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The MPF vehicle will provide infantry brigade combat teams with a long-range direct-fire capability for forcible entry and breaching operations.


Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Army's program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, said he hopes to cut bureaucracy on his programs and "do acquisition differently to deliver capability quickly." He spoke to reporters Oct. 10 at the Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition, laying out a schedule for fielding the MPF.

First, the MPF program skipped the normal two- or three-year technology development phase.

A draft Request For Proposal, or RFP, went out at the end of September and feedback from potential MPF contractors was received this past week. The final RFP is scheduled to be issued in mid-November, Bassett said.

March will be the deadline for MPF proposals and bid samples are to be delivered to test sites in April. The Army will be expecting to see some "mature technologies" on the sample vehicles, a spokesperson said, and may opt for some modified "off-the-shelf" technology to speed up delivery.

The MPF vehicle will provide infantry brigade combat teams with a long-range direct-fire capability for forcible entry and breaching operations. It could very well have a 105mm gun up top, officials said, like the original Abrams tank.


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BAE Systems proposes its Expeditionary Light Tank for the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) US Army program.


The MPF is also not the Next Generation Combat Vehicle, which may eventually replace the Abrams tank and Bradley.

The MPF will fill a capability gap left when the M551 Sheridan Armored Reconnaissance/Airborne Assault Vehicle was retired from regular service in 1996. That vehicle served as a light tank accompanying infantry formations and after being pulled from the regular inventory, it was used for many years at the National Training Center as an opposing force, or OPFOR, armored vehicle.

About the same time that the M551 was retired, the Army was developing an M-8 Armored Gun System to replace it. The AGS was eventually cancelled to free up funding for other programs.

In September 2015, during the AUSA defense exhibition in Washington D.C., BAE Systems has showed its Expeditionary Light Tank, an improved version of the M8 AGS (Armoured Gun System), designed to replace the M551 Sheridan light reconnaissance vehicle uses mainly by U.S. airborne troops.

This tank was presented for the first time to the public at AUSA (U.S. Army Association Annual Meeting and Exposition) which was held in Washington D.C. from the 12 to 14 October 2015. The vehicle is proposed by BAE Systems to meet the US Army's requirement for the Mobile Protected Firepower capability, which would involve an expeditionary light tank that could be air-dropped or transported by C-130 military aircraft.


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General Dynamics Griffin, a technology demonstrator to response for the new program of U.S Army called Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF).


During AUSA 2016, General Dynamics Land Systems has unveiled the Griffin, a technology demonstrator to response for the new program of U.S Army called Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF).

The Griffin Technology demonstrator is based on a modified chassis of the Ajax armoured infantry fighting vehicle fitted with a lighter turret of M1 Abrams armed with the 120 mm XM360 gun that was developed for the erstwhile Future Combat Systems program. Second armament includes a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun.

The General Dynamics Griffin technology has a weight of 27,000 kg offering the same level of fire power as the M1 Abrams main battle tank. It has a crew of four.

The standard armour of the Griffin offers protection against firing of small arms 7.62mm AP, but the vehicle can be fitted with additional armour package.


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