Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Seach for a New Bradley Falls Flat

In early January, the US Army said it was going to reevaluate its efforts to set up a better bidding process to help find a replacement for the M-2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle(BFV). In their first attempt, the US Army only received one bid from General Dynamics that was ineligible, and disqualified another bid from the Raytheon-Rheinmetall team as they weren’t able to get their German made Lynx KF-41 fighting vehicle to the US before the October 1 deadline. The head of the Rheinmetall team stated that they are hopeful they can find a way back into the bidding process and help in the development of the Bradley replacement. Both the Science Applications International Corporation(SAIC) and the Bradley-maker BAE Systems did not submit bids for this contest.
After several failed attempts by the Army to buy new vehicles to replace the Bradley, they tried to speed up the process with the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle(OMFV). However, this was more detrimental than it was helpful. The OMFV was meant to replace the M-2 Bradley which is used to transport infantry, but could be driven remotely. BAE Systems claimed in an email response that they are, “dedicated to providing combat vehicle solutions to meet the needs of the U.S. Army’s modernization efforts” and, “continue our commitment to the warfighter and the Army.” Though this is a setback for the Army Futures Command, founded in 2018, they are living up to Secretary Ryan McCarthy’s edict: “If you fail, fail early and fail cheap”. 
The M-2 Bradley has reached its technological limit for new armor, electronics, and defense systems. Because of this, the search for a replacement remains a top priority for Army Futures Command. The commander, Gen. John G. Murray has said, “We are going to take what we have learned and apply it to the OMFV program to develop our path and build a healthy level of competition back into the program.” The Army is still hopeful in their search to find a viable replacement for the Bradley and reevaluate the requirements of this project in the hopes of getting more bids for a more productive and competitive outcome.

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