Brig. Gen. Richard Coffman, director of the U.S. Army's Next-Generation Combat Vehicle cross-functional team, said the service will begin accepting options for a new optionally manned combat vehicle in January, National Defense Magazine reported Tuesday.
Coffman told reporters at an Association of the U.S. Army-hosted event that the service has defined its requirements that will allow industry to propose replacements for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and M1A1 Abrams tank.
BAE Systems, a Raytheon–Rheinmetall team and a General Dynamics–AeroVironment collaboration have displayed their concepts for the Army's future optionally manned fighting vehicle at AUSA's conference.
The Army is also looking for active protection systems and autonomous drones that can be linked to the new vehicle to counter cyber and electronic attacks threats from adversaries, according to Coffman.
With size and weight specifications still undefined, the Army official said the service is considering all options before a request for proposals is issued.
“The idea is we have a smaller vehicle that is lighter but survivable. “¦ But paramount in all of this is that it's upgradable so it has power that if we do decide as an Army to add appliquÃ© armor onto it, it has the power,“ he noted.