The US Army has awarded BAE Systems a contract worth up to $376 million for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development phase of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme and rapid prototyping effort with low-rate initial production options.

BAE Systems say its solution combines new technology with proven capability to provide the Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) with a ‘highly agile, armour-protected platform that delivers overwhelming and precise firepower for use across the spectrum of terrains and operations’.

“Our offering integrates innovative technology that reduces the burden on the crew into a compact design deployable in areas that are hard to reach,” said Deepak Bazaz, director of combat vehicles programs at BAE Systems.
“We’re confident our design meets the requirements and the unique capabilities the IBCT needs.”
According to BAE:
“The vehicle leverages investments the Army made in the M8 Armored Gun System, including its low-profile design, and proven technologies like the M35 105mm cannon, and an auto-loading ammunition system that allows the gun to fire at a rate of 12 rounds per minute. The innovative roll-out powerpack design allows for easy access to the engine and transmission without the aid of heavy equipment.”
Under the contract, one of two awarded ahead of the Government’s down-select to a final contractor, BAE Systems will produce 12 prototype vehicles during the EMD phase.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Still hoping they select the GD designed based on the AJAX with the 120 mm then maybe we can buy some for our strike brigades.

  2. I have ranted for many years that the British Army needs deployable firepower as part of its future force.
    I do not care if it is this BAE 105mm M8/Bradley esque medium tank, or an Ajax 120m medium tank, or the Centauro II with its 120mm gun.
    We could have done this in 1997 with the ERA armour Vickers Mk3 that was offered to Malaysia.
    After twenty+ years.
    One of these medium tanks would have been useful back up to our troops in Afghanistan. Just look how other nations used the Leopard Mk1 there.

    • I appreciate where you are coming from, the problem is the Treasury. They will look at the MOD budget and say “I see you have two different tanks, get rid of the more expensive ones!”. For the Army given the choice between retaining a heavy tank like the CR2 or a lightweight they will pick the former every time.

  3. US seems to be armouring up. At first I thought these were going to replace some Abrams tanks to increase mobility, which some US defense ministers (like rumsfield) wanted as they short-sightedly thought all future wars would be against insurgents in the middle east. these are going to light infantry units that currently have light vehicles like humvees. They are definitely waking up to the ‘new’ conventional threat from china and a resurgent russia. The US had pretty much done away with airbone deployed heavy armour, so this is nice to see.

  4. So the US are looking at their Heavy armour again…
    Meanwhile they are interested in the GRIFFON III for the NGCV concept

    https://breakingdefense.com/2018/10/gdls-griffin-iii-next-generation-combat-vehicle-ngcv-concept/

    And the British Army just gets a quick paint job and a few addons to the Challenger and waits for AJAX
    Falling on deaf ears as usual, but we need a modern heavy solution to back up the Strike Brigade.

    Not sure how many years the upgraded Challenger will provide an advantage for!

    Nice to see the US is looking at options.

  5. It appears to me that dropping the number of active Challenger 2’s below 250 has been utterly self defeating.

    We have only really used heavy armour twice since WW2 ( in real numbers), Gulf Wars 1 and 2. 100 plus in both operations.

    Today, with limited numbers, I very much doubt we could deploy and sustain any more than 40 at a push.

    Yes, we can deploy additional assets like Apache and some very fancy fast jet anti armour missiles to support them, but the limited number of Challenger 2’s, coupled with their advancing age and the reluctance to up-gun and seriously upgrade them, makes them of questionable use in my opinion.

    • I agree with you on that one, we are now at a point where at max effort we can deploy less then a Russian tank Btn.

      One thing that gets me is defence inflation, its a made up concept, products are more complex I get that but some of the price tags on modern kit is beyond a joke.

      BV

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