October 14, 2019 -- Rafael’s lighter version of Trophy Active Protection System (APS) is included in a bid sample for the US Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) prototyping competition, an effort to replace its M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
OMFV proposals and bid samples were due to the service by 1 October and so far only General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) and Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems have announced that they are vying for the prototype contracts. While the latter has proposed equipping its Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) with a Raytheon APS, GDLS has remained tightlipped except to say it is using a ‘layered’ protection suite that includes a hard-kill and soft-kill solutions.
“We’re doing everything we can to be seen as compelling for not just that programme [OMFV], but also some of the Marine Corps programmes like ACV [Amphibious Combat Vehicle] and beyond,” O’Leary said on 7 October.
GDLS’s vice-president for global strategy and growth Robert Lennox declined to confirm or deny if his team’s bid includes the Trophy VPS during a 10 October interview with Jane’s . He did note that the company’s bid is a “purpose-built vehicle” that includes a “completely integrated” APS system, a potential advantage over simply strapping on such a system because of signature management, as well as size, weight, and power challenges.
Leonardo is Rafael’s US-based partner on the Trophy hard-kill APS, a capability that the army is fielding on its Abrams tanks. The Trophy VPS, however, is billed as a system for “smaller” combat vehicles and is 40% lighter than larger systems.
Meanwhile, the state-of-play of the army’s OMFV programme hangs in the balance. Defense News first reported that Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems was unable to deliver its bid sample to the army in time, possibly disqualifying it from the prototype competition.
A Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems spokesperson deferred all questions to the army.
Ashley John, public affairs director for the army’s Program Executive Office for Ground Combat Systems, told Jane’s on 7 October that “over the coming months the source selection evaluation board will conduct its review in accordance with the evaluation criteria stated in the RFP [request for proposals]” before awarding up to two OMFV prototyping contracts around March 2020.
However, after the prototyping phase the army “intends” to open up the competition through a “competitive solicitation” for low-rate initial production (LRIP), according to John.
Even if Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems’ Lynx IFV has been disqualified from the prototyping competition, the team could submit a bid when the LRIP solicitation begins.
This article, first published 14 October 2019, is subject to a correction and has been amended.