Dell Technologies

By Debbie Gregory.

The Army picked General Dynamics and BAE Systems to build contending prototypes for its Mobile Protected Firepower light tank. The Army plans to choose a winner in fiscal 2022 and have battle-ready tanks by 2025. The service branch has plans to field some 500 of the armored vehicles.

The Army turned to its traditional vendors, with a $375.9 million award to BAE and $335 million to General Dynamics Land Systems. The Mobile Protected Firepower project is in preparation for wars against peer competitors, such as China and Russia. The vehicle is essentially a 30-ton light tank to accompany airborne troops and other light infantry where the 70-ton M1 Abrams heavy tank can’t go. Therefore, two of them must be able to be transported aboard a C-17 Globemaster III airlifter, which has a capacity of about 80 tons.

“Currently, the Mobile Protected Firepower capabilities do not exist in our light formations,” said Brig. Gen. Ross Coffman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team. “The requirements associated with this will enable U.S. forces to disrupt, breach, and break through those security zones and defensive belts to allow our infantrymen and women to close with and destroy the enemy on the objective.”

Soldiers will test the vehicles during the Army’s trials. The tanks will be fired upon to determine how they stand up to enemy weapons and driven over the types of terrain that troops tend to travel over.

General Dynamics Land Systems’ vehicle is the Griffin, a modified version of the British Army’s new Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle equipped with a version of the M1A2 Abrams tank turret.

BAE will produce an updated version of the M8 Buford, an air-droppable light tank the Army flirted with buying in the 1990s but ultimately cancelled.

A third competitor, designed by SAIC, was not chosen to proceed in the competition

By Debbie Gregory.

The U.S. Army will be spending $451 million to upgrade M1 Abrams tanks and Stryker combat vehicles.

The tanks will be equipped with the Trophy Active Protection System. The system, made by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd., proactively detects, locates, and if necessary, neutralizes anti-armor threats, increasing platform survivability.

Rafael, an Israeli company has partnered with Leonardo DRS, a U.S. firm headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Under the terms of the $193 million contract, Leonardo DRS will provide the Army with TROPHY systems, countermeasures, and maintenance kits.

“This award is the culmination of several years of hard work by a strong, bi-national government/industry team to protect our warfighters and address a critical capability gap in our armored formations,” said Aaron Hankins, vice president and general manager of the Leonardo DRS Land Systems Division.

Rafael has provided protection solutions to U.S. service members for over two decades via lifesaving passive and reactive armor on vehicles such as Bradley, Stryker and AAV7.

“The majority of Trophy components are manufactured by the American defense industry, and we are excited by the opportunity to increase manufacturing in the U.S., including for Israeli systems, as the U.S. acquires additional systems,” said Moshe Elazar, executive vice president and head of Rafael’s Land and Naval Division.

General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded a contract worth up to $258 million to upgrade 116 Stryker vehicles to the A1 variant.

The Stryker A1 builds upon the combat-proven Double-V Hull (DVH) configuration, providing unprecedented survivability against mines and improvised explosive devices. In addition to the DVH survivability, the Stryker A1 provides a 450-horsepower engine, 60,000-pound suspension, 910-amp alternator and in-vehicle network. The Stryker A1 Infantry Carrier Vehicle is one of the most versatile, most mobile and safest personnel carriers in the entire Army inventory.

The Stryker A1 work will be performed in Lima, Ohio; Anniston, Ala.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Sterling Heights, with an estimated completion date of March 2020.