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The Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) programme has been initiated as part of the US Army's modernisation efforts to deliver its armed forces with a next-generation infantry fighting vehicle.BAE is one of two Prime Contractors working on the Technology Development Phase of the US Army's Ground Combat Vehicle. Design and armaments of BAE Systems' hybrid armoured vehicleThe GCV being developed by BAE and Northrop Grumman will incorporate a space efficient modular steel core hull which allows combinations of armour packages. The Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program was intended to modernize the existing ground combat vehicle fleet, replacing a portion of the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles in inventory at a projected cost to develop and acquire of up to $40 billion. The Army reviewed existing fighting vehicles across the force structure to determine whether to sustain, improve, divest, or pursue new vehicles based on operational value, capability shortfalls, and resource availability.
In February 2010, the Army issued a request for proposals for the technology development phase of the GCV before completing the required analysis of alternatives, citing schedule urgency. In May 2010, the Army convened a "Red Team" to assess the risk of achieving the GCV schedule. At the time of the second RFP in November 2010, the milestone A decision was expected in April 2011, but this did not occur until August 2011. The expectation was that the Army would build a first-of-its kind, highly survivable Ground Combat Vehicle Infantry Fighting Vehicle, able to deliver a full nine-man squad into a full-spectrum combat environment under armor in an IED environment. The Army had revised the requirements that the contractors had to meet for the second GCV solicitation by adopting a tiered and incremental acquisition strategy. On 18 August 2011, the Department of Defense announced that BAE Systems Land and Armaments, L.P. On 23 August 2011, the third team vying for the contract, a team effort by SAIC and Boeing, filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) contending there were errors in the evaluation process, claiming the government relied on evaluation criteria outside the published request for proposal and aspects of the team's bid were discounted because of a lack of familiarity with the German Puma infantry fighting vehicle that formed the basis of the SAIC-Boeing vehicle. While conducting the review of the GCV program in order to respond to the SAIC-Boeing protest, the GAO released a report on 26 October 2011, titled "Future Ground-Based Vehicles and Network Initiatives Face Development and Funding Challenges," in which it examined a number of programs, including the GCV. After initially bypassing completion of the analysis of alternatives process, the Army subsequently conducted an analysis of alternatives, but was directed by Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to conduct more robust analyses, throughout the technology development phase, to include design and capability trades intended to reduce technical risks and GCV production costs.
The Army's plan to deliver the first production vehicles in 7 years also presented a significant risk according to the October 2011 GAO report. Cost also continued to be a challenge, as the independent cost estimate was at least 30 percent higher than the Army's estimate for GCV procurement. On 5 December 2011, GAO denied the SAIC-Boeing GCV protest, stating the Army’s award of only 2 technology development contracts was reasonable and consistent with the stated evaluation criteria and did not improperly favor the other 2 teams in the competition. The Army's FY13 budget proposal, released in February 2012, included $640 million for continuing development of the Ground Combat Vehicle. In mid-2012, Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia conducted a GCV assessment at Fort Bliss, Texas.
On 6 November 2012, the Congressional Budget Office released a working paper based on 2 reports it had prepared to aid the Congress in its oversight of the GCV program. On 16 January 2013, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Frank Kendall issued an Acquisition Decision Memorandum and an accompanying information memorandum detailing major changes to the GCV program to "enable a more affordable and executable program." The major changes included extended the technology development phase by 6 months, permitting only a single contractor to proceed to the GCV's engineering, manufacturing, and development phase and postponing the program's Milestone C production decision until FY19, almost a year longer than the previously planned early FY18 Milestone C decision. On 17 January 2013, the US Army announced that it had modified the GCV acquisition strategy to further reduce risk and maintain an affordable program.
The strategy also called for selection of a single vendor for the engineering, manufacturing development, and production phases of the program instead of the previously prescribed competition between 2 vendors during those phases to deal with the budgetary pressures expect over the fiscal 2014--2018 period. In April 2013, the Congressional Budget Office released a report on the GCV program and potential alternatives.
If the Army instead replaced existing Bradley IFVs with the Israeli Namer armored personnel carrier, soldiers and vehicles would probably survive combat at slightly higher rates than would be the case for the GCV. The April 2013 CBO report also noted that the Army wanted to field the first GCVs in what would be an unusually short time for such a complicated new system.
On the basis of the Army’s planning documents, CBO assumed that purchases would reach an annual rate of 156 by 2021 and that procurement would extend through 2030.


General Dynamics and BAE raised opposition to CBO's report suggesting CBO evaluated vehicle requirements that had changed since March 2011 and did not take into account significant program changes since then.
The funding requested for the GCV program in the proposed FY14 budget, released in April 2013, was $592.2 million for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E).
In June 2013, and in accordance with FAR 10.002(b)(2), the Army fully resourced and executed a GCV IFV Analysis of Alternatives Dynamic Update (AoADU) in accordance with approved GCV IFV AoADU Guidance issued by the Director, Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE). The GCV AoADU determined that both prime contractors met program requirements; however, the non-developmental vehicles included in the AoA did not fully meet all the requirements of the program. The flexible design can adapt new technologies according to the current and future combat scenarios.The larger hull of the GCV can accommodate three crew members, nine infantrymen and their equipment.
Per Department of Defense direction, the Army also collaborated with the Marine Corps to identify capability gaps related to fighting vehicles following the cancellation of the FCS program. The Red Team issued its report in August 2010, citing major risk areas including schedule, technical maturity, and affordability of the system. The vehicle would be built from the ground up to withstand roadside bomb attacks, accommodate new technologies at they mature, maneuver quickly in a range of tactical environments and sustain unit integrity down to the squad level.
Three of them related to operations in a nuclear environment, and the others were related to devices to blind the electro-optic sensors on enemy vehicles.
Because of the protest, the General Dynamics and BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman teams were required to stop work until the protest was adjudicated.
The Army was expected to include sensitivity analyses in the analysis of alternatives to explore trade-offs between specific capabilities and costs. Since GCV was originally conceived in 2009, the Army had already reduced some requirements and encouraged interested contractors to use mature technologies in their proposals. On 6 December 2011, the Army lifted the stop-work order that had been placed on the General Dynamics and BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman teams so work could resume on the GCV. A reported $1.3 billion had been saved from the budget by delaying development of the GCV, which had experienced contracting difficulties.
There had been concerns expressed by some that designating only one engineering, manufacturing, and development contractor would eliminate cost savings from competition and extending the technology development phase by 6 months and the Milestone C decision by up to a year would add cost to the program. Moreover, the Namer, like the GCV, could carry a 9-member squad, although it would be less lethal and less mobile than the GCV. According to General Dynamics and BAE, their respective vehicle designs had evolved significantly since early 2011, noting, for example, the requirement for the GCV's main armament had become a 30mm gun, whereas in the CBO study, they evaluated a 25mm gun.
The purpose of the AoADU was to address key stakeholder concerns that there may be more cost-effective approaches to acquiring the IFV capability .The AoADU contains information from the parallel non-developmental vehicle assessment, which included extensive research of domestic and foreign IFVs, and consolidated the information with GCV TD design concept efforts to produce a more comprehens ive understanding of requirements trade space and system-level alternatives. In addition the AoADU did notate the DoD fiscal climate may not permit the GCV program from entering into the EMO phase. The vehicle will reduce life-cycle costs for the operators as it requires fewer resources for maintenance.The GCV will have an overall length of nine metres, width of five metres and a height of three metres. These analyses would be supported by assessments of existing combat vehicles to determine whether they were adequate alternatives to a new vehicle, or whether some of the designs or capabilities of existing vehicles should be incorporated into a new GCV.
However, the schedule remained ambitious and the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics has stipulated that the Army would need to demonstrate that the schedule was both feasible and executable.
The Namer probably would be produced, at least in part, in the United States, but its fielding would nevertheless require collaboration with foreign companies and governments.
Another criticism levied against CBO's report was that CBO did not factor in other critical GCV requirements, such as the vehicle's ability to accommodate existing and future communications technologies, the vehicle's ability to incrementally accept improvements, and long-term sustainability.
These activities have allowed the Army to assess a select set of existing platforms to inform both the Capability Development Document (COD) and the potential of further requirements trades.
Due to these financial constraints, the Army ended the GCV program at the completion of the TD phase, and determined to support the GCV prime contractors as they continue to refine requirements and harvest technology for a FFV in support of a pre-MOD.


The initial phase of the programme is being executed by the Program Executive Office set-up for the purpose.The army will initially procure 1,874 GCVs of the winning design from one of the two contractors. The Department of Defense and the Army met in February 2010 to make a materiel development decision on the GCV, and the Army was subsequently authorized to release a request for proposals for GCV technology development. Concurrently, the GCV contractor teams would conduct design trades and demonstrate technologies, the results of which would also be fed back into the analysis of alternatives updates.
According to an independent Army program evaluator, the next 2 years of technology development would require many capability and requirements trades in order to better define an acceptable solution at the same time that technology risks for that solution were to be identified and mitigated. Over the next several months, the Army would be conducting an analysis of alternatives to assess potential materiel solutions for the GCV. Concurrent activities could lead to poor results, calling into question whether the 7-year schedule was executable.
Milestone B marked the point where the GCV program would initiate critical design and testing activities in anticipation of vehicle production.
However, like existing vehicles, the upgraded Bradley would carry only seven passengers, 2 fewer than the Army's desired 9, and it would not be as mobile as the GCV. Production was scheduled to begin in 2019, and the first production vehicle could be available in 2020. The Army expected to follow the analysis with a Milestone A decision review on whether to begin technology development in September 2010. The Army wanted the GCV to meet as many of the Tier 2 and Tier 3 requirements as possible, but while still meeting the cost target.
The independent cost estimate submitted for the milestone A review featured higher GCV development costs with the assumption that the Army would need 9 or 10 years to complete the program, instead of the assumed 7 years. After Milestone A, Army officials were proposing the use of competitive prototyping with multiple contractors—the number of which would depend on available funding—during the technology development phase, which would feature the use of mature technologies and the fabrication and testing of prototype subsystems.
The mine and explosively formed projectile (EFP) protection of the vehicle will be similar to or exceed the protection level offered by RG33 MRAP (mine-resistant ambush protected) vehicles. In the technology development phase, the contractors would be expected to fabricate and evaluate several subsystem prototypes, including an automotive test rig and a mine blast test asset.
While SAIC and the German MOD offered potential solutions, the Army judged these as inadequate to address its concerns. The GCV will be further equipped with armour kits for additional protection.E-X-Drive hybrid electric drive propulsion system and GCV mobilityThe GCV will be powered by E-X-Drive hybrid electric drive propulsion system. The contractors would also be expected to develop a near-critical design review level design for their integrated vehicle and, in the process, inform the GCV concept development document.
There were also additional Army concerns, such as insufficient head clearance for crew members, problems with vehicle occupant seating, a risk of toxic fumes in the crew compartment due to battery pack location, and various hazards affecting a soldier’s ability to exit the rear of the GCV, all of which played a role in GAO's denial of SAIC's protest. Competitive prototypes would be fabricated and tested during the engineering and manufacturing development phase. The Army could continue to investigate ways to improve the existing Bradleys IFV, but it would not field any new or improved vehicles. A preliminary design review would be used to validate contractor readiness to enter detailed design at Milestone B in fiscal year 2013.
The Army's preliminary plans indicated that the first production vehicles could be delivered in late FY17, about 7 years from Milestone A. L3 will supply the suspension units, while iRobot will deliver the unmanned components of the GCV.The Global Armoured and Counter-IED Vehicles Market 2011-2021This project forms part of our recent analysis and forecasts of the global armoured and counter-IED vehicles market available from our business information platform Strategic Defence Intelligence.



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