The U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle Project Manager Col. Andrew DiMarco told reporters this morning that the Army is looking at “a target range of $9 million to $10.5 million” average unit manufacturing cost for the GCV, billed as the Army’s replacement for the aging M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Scheduled to be completed by 2017, the Army expects to start a buy of 1,874 GCV Infantry Fighting Vehicles around that time.
DiMarco was speaking to announce the rollout of the second Request for Proposals to industry, (the first one went out in February 2010), which was released this morning. After putting the program on hold in August with the promise to issue a new RFP within 60 days, the Army missed its target by about a month, but DiMarco said that the service is still on track to award up to three contracts for the Technology Development phase in April 2011.
Proposals from industry are due on the 21st of January, he said, which shouldn't be a problem since three contractor teams have long since linked up to try and win the contract: BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman; General Dynamics Land Systems along with Lockheed Martin and Raytheon; and SAIC-led team that includes Boeing, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, and Rheinmetall.
“We did not have affordability targets” in the first RFP, DiMarco said, but due to the new fiscally-conscious times, the new RFP does include such targets, such as capping each technology development contract at a ceiling of $450 million for each contractor under a fixed-price incentive contract, and if any competitor goes over that limit, that money comes out of their own pocket. The Army is also looking for costs of about $200 per operating mile, which DiMarco explained is “an initial target which we will refine as we go through the [technology development] phase.” Comparatively, Bradleys are about 100 dollars per operating mile, while the Abrams tank is closer to $300 per operating mile.