Following the announcement of the U.S. Army on June 29, 2022, that General Dynamics Land Systems was selected to provide its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF), initial production of 24 MPFs will be delivered to the U.S. Army in the first quarter of 2024 as part of the $1.14bn contract to supply 96 vehicles.
In 2016, defense news sources reported that the U.S. Army was interested in developing a lightweight ground combat vehicle to accompany Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs). Originally referred as a light tank, U.S. Army officials named the new concept the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF).
Citing a report published by the U.S. Congress, currently, the U.S. Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCT) do not have a combat vehicle assigned that is capable of providing mobile, protected, direct, and offensive fire capability. The MPF solution is an integration of existing mature technologies and components that avoids development that would lengthen the program schedule.
In November 2017, the Army issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase and, in order to maximize competition, planned to award up to two Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) contracts for the EMD phase in early FY2019.
On December 17, 2018, the Army awarded two Section 804 Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) Rapid Prototyping contracts for MPF. The two companies awarded contracts were General Dynamic Land Systems (GDLS), Inc. (Sterling Heights, MI) and BAE Systems Land and Armaments, LP (Sterling Heights, MI).
On June 29, 2022, General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics announced that its Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) offering has been chosen by the U.S. Army through a competitive process to provide enhanced firepower for Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs). The Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) award is valued at $1.14 billion.
The MPF is a 38-ton tracked armored vehicle capable to provide soldiers with speed, protection, lethality and the ability to wage a multi-domain battle, working in concert with other ground forces to overwhelm the enemy with multiple simultaneous challenges. It is based on a light tank conventional layout with the driver and engine at the front, and the turret located at the rear of the hull. The turret has a crew of three including a commander, gunner, and loader.
The turret architecture of the General Dynamics MPF is based on the M1 Abrams tank using the M1A2 Sep V3 fire control system and CITV (Commander’s Independent Thermal Viewer) armed with one 105 mm cannon. One 12.7mm heavy machine gun is mounted on the commander hatch.
The General Dynamics MPF is based on a tracked chassis with six road wheels, with the drive sprocket at the front and the idler at the rear. It is motorized with a Diesel engine. The turbine solution used on the Abrams MBT hasn’t been retained.