According to a joint announcement by Elbit Systems and BAE Systems last week, the two companies have teamed up to develop and integrate advanced operational capabilities for U.S Army's Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). "The arrangement is focused on validating and integrating new technologies on combat vehicle systems to deliver advanced warfighting capabilities", said the statement.
Israel Defense has learned that Elbit will supply the IFV's turret with all its subsystems - electronics, active protection, detection and alert systems, innovative helmets for sighting through armor, autonomous driving technology of combat vehicles and more. Some of the technologies are already operational and some have been demonstrated in Israel and the US as part of the "Carmel" APC project.
The Defense News website estimated that on the eve of the start of the Army’s second attempt to hold a competition to replace its Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle with an Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV), the announcement on partnership with Elbit Systems - a world leader in the design and integration of advanced turret solutions - could signal BAE’s plans to take a shot in the new effort. BAE Systems — Bradley’s manufacturer — opted out of the previous OMFV competitive effort because the company felt the requirements and timeline to design, develop and field a new vehicle wasn’t realistic.
Eventually, the Army ended up withdrawing its first solicitation in that competition because just one competitor was able to deliver a physical bid sample within the required timeline.
In this regard, Defense News noted that the day before the abovementioned announcement, Rheinmetall put out a statement saying it was teaming with Textron Systems to pitch its Lynx41 vehicle for the OMFV competition. Rheinmetall made an unsuccessful attempt last year to enter the OMFV competition with Raytheon as a US-based partner, but said it was unable to get its single Lynx vehicle in existence to the United States by the Army’s due date to deliver a physical bid sample. General Dynamics Land Systems is also expected to compete in the OMFV competition. It was the only company to deliver a physical bid sample in the last go-around. The Army is not requiring a bid sample in the new OMFV competition.
The Army put out a draft solicitation in July and plans to release its request for proposals to industry in December. The service plans to request whitepapers and then choose five prime contractor teams to design rough digital prototypes. The service will then award up to three contracts for a detailed design and prototype phase that will include options for low-rate initial production. One vendor will be selected to produce the vehicle.