US Army’s new light tank and latest FCS may be produced by GDLS

WASHINGTON — The US Army expects which of the two competitors – BAE Systems or General Dynamics Land Systems – will receive a contract for the production of the new light tank for the US Army. Both candidates presented their prototypes, but as Doug Bush says, the Army’s acquisition chief “there are not two people making Abrams tanks”.

There is no official information yet, but according to a report by Janes Defense, BAE Systems is no longer in the game for a light tank supplier to the US Army. The prestigious publication for defense, intelligence, and military affairs and technology made a similar assumption in early March this year.

Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, the service’s executive officer for ground combat systems, told Defense News that the selection of a contractor for the production and delivery of a light tank for the US Army under the MPF program is on schedule. According to him, in the middle of the year [most likely in the summer], the Pentagon must decide which of the two participants wins the contract. BulgarianMilitary.com reminds us that in 2025 at the earliest the US Army should start receiving the first units of the new light tank.

According to the pre-set goals, the US Army should receive 82 light tanks, eight of which will be modernized prototypes that participated in the tender.

MPF program

The MPF is a Pentagon program that needs to fill a gap in the combat capability and armaments of the US military, namely the lack of light tanks. This fact is called the “presence of an operational defect”.

Currently, the US Army does not have a combat vehicle that is much more mobile, protected, and attacking than the main Abrams A1M1 or Abrams A1M2 battle tank, but offers almost the same characteristics as it. It is the light tank that needs to fill these gaps.

The light tanks of both competitors

It should be noted that the prototypes for light tanks, which were provided by BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems, were tested by soldiers, who after the tests sent feedback on their condition and expectations about the functional capabilities of armored combat vehicles.

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Photo credit: BAE Systems

BAE Systems has offered an updated M8 Buford armored weapon system, with some functionalities and components improved. However, the company found it harder to cope with the time limits, due to the Kovid pandemic from its competitor, which forced it to reach the prototypes a month later than expected. However, BAE Prototypes have passed tests and received feedback, with sources claiming that “there have been positive reviews about the vehicle”.

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Photo credit: GDLS

GDLS has proposed a completely new concept based on a much lighter chassis than the M8 Buford. We can say that the power supply package and the suspension of the prototypes of GDLS have shown quite high performance, which provides an advantage. GDLS has offered a turret in which they have integrated their latest fire control system, which is currently integrated into the main Abrams battle tank.

According to a senior GDLS official, the feedback received from the soldiers was “very valuable to us … since we were there earlier than the others, we were able to reap the full benefits of having soldiers in the vehicle from that time.”

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