The US Army's long-serving M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles are being upgraded to be made more mobile.
To be carried out by Loc Performance Products - previously in competition with three other bidding parties - the Bradley IFV upgrades will see the vehicles gain track kits, shock absorbers, new suspension support systems and other revisions.
The work is as per the US Army's instruction and has a contract value of $161m. According to Loc Performance Products' President, Lou Burr, the contract is a real "game-changer...it's going to nearly double the size of our company."
Bradley IFV Upgrades
Burr adds, in the company's Bradley IFV upgrades press release: "This award represents a watershed moment in procurement history for the US Army. This type of contract is normally sole-sourced to the original Prime Contractor, which typically does not result in Best Value for the Army.
"Because this was a full and open competition, the Army saves taxpayers millions of dollars, and demonstrates a new model for cost-effective procurement. We look forward to restoring lost mobility to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and providing this superior equipment to our warfighters."
US Army M2 Bradley
The US Army's M2 Bradley fighting vehicle entered service in 1981. Armed primarily with a 25mm M242 Chain Gun, the type can be fitted with TOW anti-tank missiles and also boasts a 7.62mm M240C machine gun. Crewed by three service personnel, the Bradley IFV can accommodate six more troops, has a top speed of 41 miles per hour and a maximum range of 300 miles.
Since the M2's introduction, a host of enhanced models have followed it into service, including the current generation M2A3 whose operational history includes deployments in Iraq.
Besides the United States, Saudi Arabia is the only other Bradley IFV user but Iraq may soon take delivery of 200 M2A2 variants if discussions now in progress become a firm order.
Ultimately, the Bradley IFV will be replaced in US Army service by the Ground Combat Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Initial GCV designs have already emerged but a definitive layout is due out from DARPA - the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - sometime next year.