As the conflicts in Afghanistan and Syria are winding down, and the U.S. military is turning its gaze toward conventional warfare once again, the Army is looking to add a new light tank to its arsenal. And now, two companies are left vying for the sweet top spot.
As part of the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) programme, the Army awarded a contract to BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, to produce 12 prototype vehicles in the next 14 months. The contracts are worth $375 million and $335 million respectively. The Army rejected an offering by a third party (a joint bid by the American SAIC, Singaporean ST Engineering, and Belgian CMI Defense).
The Army leadership is planning to deploy the new light tank with airborne troops and Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT).
Deepak Bazaz, director of combat vehicles programs at BAE Systems, said in a press release that “our offering integrates innovative technology that reduces the burden on the crew into a compact design deployable in areas that are hard to reach. We’re confident our design meets the requirements and the unique capabilities the IBCT needs.”