US Army selects Rheinmetall, Hanwha, 3 others for digital design of fighting vehicle


US Army has selected five defence-manufacturing consortiums to submit digital designs for its Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) concept that will replace US Army’s nearly 3,800 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs).  While the five teams will submit their concepts over the next 15 months, prototype building and ground testing of the vehicle is expected to start sometime in early 2026.

Last week, the US Army announced that it has selected American Rheinmetall Vehicle (a unit of German defence giant Rheinmetall), a team of Hanwha Defense & Oshkosh Defense (South Korea’s Hanwha Defense and US truck maker Oshkosh), General Dynamics Land Systems, BAE Systems and Point Blank Enterprises, the largest protect vest supplier to the US military, for the second phase of digital design stage of the programme.

American Rheinmetall Vehicles will execute the second phase of the programme with other teammates, which includes Raytheon Technologies, L3Harris Technologies, Textron Systems and Allison Transmission.

South Korean defence giant Hanwha Defense that produces RedBack Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFV) has teamed up with US speciality truck maker Oshkosh Defense.

According to media reports, the total value of contract is around $300 million, with the contracts worth almost $60 million given to each of the five competing teams.

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US Army OMFV Programme

The US Army’s OMFV program is a ground-modernization effort to replace nearly 3,800 Bradley Fighting Vehicles among the U.S. Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams.

Under the contract, the five teams are expected to complete the second phase of designs in next 15 months.

The digital design phase kicks off the OMFV program which will continue through early 2023, laying the foundation for future development and production phases.

The competition for the third phase (Detailed Design) is anticipated to start sometime in 2023, followed by Phase 4 (Prototype Build and Test), which results in government testing in early 2026.

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US Army Rheinmetall L3Harris Lynx Infantry Fighting Vehicle

Rheinmetall Lynx IFV.

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Rheinmetall’s Lynx IFV

Rheinmetall’s Team Lynx is developing industrialization plans to fully deliver the OMFV as a Made in the USA, next-generation vehicle.

The team will grow U.S. Defense manufacturing capacity and introduce advanced manufacturing capabilities.

“This is a great win for American Rheinmetall Vehicles and Team Lynx as a whole,” said Matt Warnick, Managing Director of American Rheinmetall Vehicles.

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“With this contract award, we take another important step forward in bringing the kind of next-generation technology solution, partnership and industrial capability the U.S. Army deserves and that Team Lynx is so well prepared to deliver for the OMFV program,” Warnick said in a statement sent to Defence Star.

“Proud to be part of the Rheinmetall team selected for the next phase of the US Army’s OMFV program, a modernization effort to replace their Armored Brigade Combat Teams’ nearly 3,800 Bradley Fighting Vehicles,” said Wes Kremer, President of Raytheon Missile and Defense.

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According to Rheinmetall, Team Lynx will work with the US Army on the digitally engineered design and development of the team’s OMFV concept using Rheinmetall’s proven Lynx KF41 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) as the point of departure for the design.

The team’s solution will provide the U.S. Army with a next-generation infantry-fighting vehicle with a modular open systems architecture that will enable rapid insertion of new capabilities in future.

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“We are incredibly proud at American Rheinmetall of the commitment we are making to the US Army, to Soldiers and to advanced American technology, design and production,” said Stephen Hedger, CEO at American Rheinmetall Defense, the U.S. parent headquarters for Rheinmetall.

Several different versions of American Rheinmetall Vehicle’s Lynx KF41 IFV are available in global market. The Hungarian Army became the launch customer in 2020 with an order for 218 locally produced vehicles.

In Australia, for the Land 400 Phase 3 program, Rheinmetall was selected along with one other combat vehicle manufacturer for a risk reduction test phase that involves extensive vehicle testing comprised of field trials, survivability and mobility testing.

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Hanwha Redback Infantry Vehicle (IFV).

Photo: Hanwha Redback Infantry Vehicle (IFV).

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American Rheinmetall Vehicles

American Rheinmetall Vehicles located in Michigan is offering Lynx KF41 features modular open architectures, next-generation sights, airburst cannon capabilities, modern missiles, integrated active protection and growth capacity under the OMFV concept.

Raytheon Technologies

Other team members include Raytheon Technologies, one of the largest defence and missile companies in the world. Raytheon will provide expertise in digital design, modelling and simulation, and the integration of complex systems onto platforms.

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L3Harris Technologies

Another US defence company L3Harris has also been roped in by American Rheinmetall Vehicle. L3Harris designs, builds and integrates mission systems for ground, maritime, air and space-based military platforms. In this programme, L3Harris will contribute by sharing its deep experience in building rugged platform electronics and integrating sensing and communication systems, along with extensive data protection and cybersecurity program experience.

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Textron Systems

Textron Systems is also part of the team led by American Rheinmetall Vehicle. Textron is active in the field of unmanned air, surface and land products, services and support for aerospace and defense customers.

Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission, the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions, has also been roped in as a team member for the digital design phase.  Allison will share its expertise in combat vehicle transmissions.

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