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U.S. Army Delays Ground Combat Vehicle Program

On Aug. 25, 2010, the U.S. Army announced cancellation of the original solicitation for its Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. The decision, which followed a comprehensive review of its Ground Combat Vehicle program, will lead to a release of a revised Request for Proposals (RFP) that “’will better ensure an achievable, affordable and timely infantry fighting vehicle.”

According to a Department of Defense release, the GCV program review “was conducted by both the Army and Office of Secretary of Defense, Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OSD (AT&L)) as part of a continuing effort to ensure that all Army acquisitions effectively and affordably meet the needs of our soldiers. The contract cancellation was made at the earliest stage of the acquisition process, resulting in up to a six month delay of the program, which will best ensure the long-term success of the Ground Combat Vehicle program by better aligning vehicle capabilities with the anticipated needs of future combat operations.”

“In May 2010, the Army partnered with OSD (AT&L) to conduct a thorough study of the Ground Combat Vehicle program, referred to as a Red Team analysis. The Red Team review recommended that the Army prioritize the planned vehicle’s capabilities to meet achievable goals within the program’s acquisition schedule,” it read. “This holistic review included an examination of vehicle capabilities, operational needs, the acquisition strategy, program schedule and technology readiness.”

In conjunction with the Red Team recommendations, the Army has determined that it must revise the acquisition strategy to focus on mature technologies in order to reduce significant developmental risk over a seven year schedule following the initial contract award.

Adding that details of the specific RFP changes are still being finalized, the release noted that the Army anticipates issuing the new solicitation within the next 60 days.

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Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...