The Army’s Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) Program: Background and Issues for Congress. In June 2018, in part due to congressional concerns, the Army announced a new modernization strategy and designated the Next Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) as the program to replace the M-2 Bradley.
In October 2018, Army leadership decided to re-designate the NGCV as the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) and to add additional vehicle programs to what would be called the NGCV Program. The M-2 Bradley, which has been in service since 1981, is an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) used to transport infantry on the battlefield and provide fire support to dismounted troops and suppress or destroy enemy fighting vehicles.
Updated numerous times since its introduction, the M-2 Bradley is widely considered to have reached the technological limits of its capacity to accommodate new electronics, armor, and defense systems.
Two past efforts to replace the M-2 Bradley—the Future Combat System (FCS) Program and the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) Program—were cancelled for programmatic and cost-associated reasons.
In late 2018, the Army established Army Futures Command (AFC), intended to establish unity of command and effort while consolidating the Army’s modernization process under one roof. AFC is intended to play a significant role in OMFV development and acquisition.
On March 29, 2019, the Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to industry for the OMFV. The Army characterized its requirements as “aggressive” and noted industry might not be able to meet all requirements.
On January 16, 2020, the Army canceled the current OMFV program, intending to restart the program following an analysis and revision of program requirements. According to Army officials, “a combination of requirements and schedule overwhelmed industry’s ability to respond within the Army’s timeline.”
On February 7, 2020, the Army reopened the OMFV competition by releasing a new market survey with a minimally prescriptive wish list and an acquisition strategy that shifted most of the initial cost burden to the Army.
The Army requested $327.732 million in Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) funding for the OMFV program in its FY2021 budget request.
Potential issues for Congress include the Army’s new OMFV Acquisition Strategy and OMFV program decision-making authority.
Click here for the full report (19 PDF pages), on the CRS website.