OMFV program to replace US Army M2 Bradleys back on track

Among all the branches of the US Army BIG 6 super-program, intended to provide the US Army with the means necessary to assert itself in the wars to come, the Optionnaly Manned Fighting Vehicle, or OMFV, program is probably the most urgent, and in a sense, the most critical, since 'it is to replace the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. This armored vehicle, one of the 5 programs of the BIG 5 super-program launched in the 70s, entered service in 1981, and has now reached the canonical age of 39 years. But it is not so much its age, as its overweight inherited from almost 40 years of successive modernizations, which today penalizes the Bradley, the 27 tons of departure of the armored vehicle having gradually reached and even exceeded 33 tons, at the wire of additions of systems and additional protections.

Because of its weight and the limitations of its electrical production, the Bradley has not been able to operate efficiently for several years. Its replacement was the subject of several programs during the years 2000 and 2010, all equally excessive both in terms of technological requirements and cost. In 2000, the US Army entrusted DARPA with the Ground Combat Vehicle program, intended to replace several armored vehicles in service, including the M113 and M2 Bradley. After 14 years of effort and more than $ 20 billion in investments, the program was finally abandoned in 2014 due to budget cuts without having produced any operational armor. In 2017, the US Army launched the Next Generation Combat Vehicle program, also intended to replace several armored vehicles in service, including the OMFV program for the replacement of Bradleys. But the first competition was cut short when only the General Dynamics Land System Griffin III prototype was delivered on time, and Rheinmetall's KF41 Lynx was eliminated.

Griffin III IFV General Dynamics AUSA 2018 Defense News | Germany | Construction of armored vehicles
The Griffin III of General Electric Land System was the only candidate actually delivered to the US Army during the abortive first phase of the OMFV program

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  1. […] No sooner had the GCV program been canceled than it was replaced by a new program intended again to replace the M2 Bradley. This one, designated by the acronym OMFV for Optionally Manned Fighting vehicle, was officially launched in August 2014, using the remaining unspent budget of the GCV program, within the Next Generation Combat Vehicle super program. If the specifications of the US Army had evolved significantly vis-à-vis CGV, in particular with regard to certain imperatives of dimensions and mass to allow the new armored vehicle to be transported by air C-17, that -this very quickly proved to be disconnected from the technological reality of the moment, with certain contradictory requirements from each other, in particular with regard to mass limitations in the face of protection requirements. In addition, the schedule imposed by the US Army led most manufacturers to withdraw from competition, to the point that in January 2020, only the Griffin III from General Dynamics Land Systems remained in the running, even though that -it did not respect the established specifications. Once again, the program was cancelled, only to be relaunched a month later, on completely renewed industrial and technological bases…. […]

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