The Army announced today that it has begun the process of selecting from industry proposals for its Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. The Army will award up to three contracts for preliminary designs of the new infantry fighting vehicle that will then enter the technology development phase by late fourth quarter FY 2010, according to a press release.
The delivery date for the first prototype GCV is scheduled for 2015. “The Army is approaching the GCV’s development in an incremental fashion – designing it for adaptability, modularity and scalability to adjust to and incorporate technological change,” the release says. The infantry fighting vehicle variant will carry a three man crew and a 9 man rifle squad.
The Army hopes to build on the six years of development work it paid for on the FCS manned ground vehicle program, GCV program manager Col. Bryan McVeigh told me back in March. The GCV will be significantly heavier than the planned for FCS vehicles, likely weighing in at 50-tons, plus add-on armor packages. The base level armor package will combine Bradley equivalent protection against auto-cannon and high-explosive fragments and MRAP level protection against IEDs.
I asked McVeigh how the GCV would match up against the current Bradley, which it is intended to replace:
“It will have significantly better mine and IED protection, it will have greater lethality, it will have a bigger cannon. It will allow us to carry more men… a complete squad. It will have about the same mobility of the Bradley but the ability to carry significantly enhanced communications and electronics so I don’t have to divert power from the propulsion system for cooling. It will have significantly improved reliability than the Bradley. It will have integrated non-lethal capabilities, which none of our vehicles have today.”
-- Greg Grant