Raytheon and Rheinmetall jointly offered Lynx IFV for US Army’s OMFV competition

Raytheon and Rheinmetall are poised to modify their Lynx infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) and enter it as a candidate for the US Army’s revamped M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle replacement effort.

The Army has tried three times to replace the M2, first in the 2000s with the Future Combat System of vehicles, then the Ground Combat Vehicle, then the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV). Each time it has failed, with at least $18.5 billion spent without a single vehicle procured.

Now, three months after Army canceled OMFV, it’s about to restart the effort. This time it’s announced a list of priorities the new vehicle should reflect, something it didn’t do before. The OMFV, the Army has announced, should above all else be a survivable platform that can carry troops across the battlefield to victory.

The duo have kept their joint venture intact, Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems, and are in discussions with the service about the way ahead for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) programme, representatives from both companies told Jane’s during a 4 May interview.

“[Our proposal] is not going to be the Lynx in its current form, as everybody saw at [the Association of the US Army conference] two years ago,” said Matthew Warnick, the American Rheinmetall Vehicles managing director. “This is going to be revised and evolved based on the final RFP [request for proposal] but it’s a great starting point given its next-generation attributes to meet the specific US Army requirements.”

The team initially proposed its Lynx-41 prototype for the army’s initial OMFV competition. However, it was not able to transport its bid sample and armour coupon to the US by the 1 October 2019 deadline, and army programme officials declined to give an extension or accept ‘bonded’ control of the bid sample in Germany.

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The army then moved swiftly to cut the Lynx from the competition, leaving only General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) as the sole candidate since BAE Systems had dropped out of the competition earlier that year.

Senior army leaders at the time defended their decision to cut Raytheon Rheinmetall Land Systems from the OMFV prototyping competition, as well as their aggressive schedule and requirements. However, they later determined that GDLS’s bid sample had a ‘responsive issue’, and halted the programme in order to devise a revamped approach that will delay fielding the first tranche of vehicles from fiscal year (FY) 2026 until FY 2028.

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