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BCT Ground Combat Vehicle Program

BCT Ground Combat Vehicle Program

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The Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) is the U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

's replacement program for armored fighting vehicles in Heavy and Stryker brigade combat team
Brigade combat team
The brigade combat team is the basic deployable unit of maneuver in the US Army. A brigade combat team consists of one combat arms branch maneuver brigade, and its attached support and fire units. A brigade combat team is generally commanded by a colonel , but in rare instances it is commanded by...

s. The GCV is organized under the Follow On Incremental Capabilities Package of the BCT Modernization
BCT Modernization
The Brigade combat team Modernization is the United States Army's principal modernization program for Brigade combat teams from 2009 to the present...

 program. The first variant of the vehicle is to be prototype
Prototype
A prototype is an early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from.The word prototype derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον , "primitive form", neutral of πρωτότυπος , "original, primitive", from πρῶτος , "first" and τύπος ,...

d in 2015 and fielded by 2017. It replaced the canceled Future Combat Systems
Future Combat Systems
Future Combat Systems was the United States Army's principal modernization program from 2003 to early 2009. Formally launched in 2003, FCS was envisioned to create new brigades equipped with new manned and unmanned vehicles linked by an unprecedented fast and flexible battlefield network...

, manned ground vehicles
Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles
The Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicles was a family of lighter and more transportable ground vehicles developed by BAE Systems Inc and General Dynamics as part of the United States Army's Future Combat Systems program. The ground vehicles were to be based on a common tracked vehicle...

 program.

Design


Specific design elements of the GCV will be contracted out, though the Army will design the architecture and retain overall responsibility for synchronization. This contrasts with the former FCS manned ground vehicles program
Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles
The Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicles was a family of lighter and more transportable ground vehicles developed by BAE Systems Inc and General Dynamics as part of the United States Army's Future Combat Systems program. The ground vehicles were to be based on a common tracked vehicle...

 where contractors had more control over the design. The GCV will be networked
BCT Network
The Army will continue development and fielding of an incremental ground tactical network capability to all Army brigade combat teams. This network is a layered system of interconnected computers and software, radios, and sensors within the Brigade Combat Team...

 and offer improved survivability, while using the state-of-the-art mobility and power management functions. The military is releasing classified details of the FCS Manned Ground Vehicles program to interested contractors to be utilized in design proposals for the GCV. The GCV family will be built around a common chassis
Chassis
A chassis consists of an internal framework that supports a man-made object. It is analogous to an animal's skeleton. An example of a chassis is the underpart of a motor vehicle, consisting of the frame with the wheels and machinery.- Vehicles :In the case of vehicles, the term chassis means the...

.

Network


The GCV will be operable with the current battle command control and communications suite but would gradually use a more state-of-the-art networked integration system known as the BCT Network
BCT Network
The Army will continue development and fielding of an incremental ground tactical network capability to all Army brigade combat teams. This network is a layered system of interconnected computers and software, radios, and sensors within the Brigade Combat Team...

. It will provide exportable electrical power, and a battery charging capability for external hardware including vehicles and electronics from the BCT Soldier subsystems. The system would be capable of integration with unmanned systems and dismounted soldiers.

Mobility


The GCV must be transportable by cargo aircraft, rail and ship. The Army requires it to meet the availability rates of the current Stryker. The Army is not limiting the vehicle by the dimensions of the C-130
C-130 Hercules
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medical evacuation, and cargo transport...

, which, in the past, has constrained many designs. Air mobility will be provided by the more spacious C-17. The GCV will have good cross-country mobility, with a baseline requirement of 30 mph off-road speed. The GCV should deliver higher sustainability levels and consume less fuel than the Bradley or other vehicles of similar weight and power.
The military is accepting both tracked and wheeled designs.

Offensive capabilities


The type and caliber of the weapons are still classified or open to interpretation by the industry. The IFV variant is notable for having a non-lethal weapon requirement.

Countermeasures


The Army would like the GCV to have a passive blast protection level equal to the MRAP
MRAP
MRAP stands for Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitié entre les peuples , and is an anti-racist French NGO, created in 1949...

 and would utilize hit avoidance systems
Active protection system
An active protection system is a system designed to prevent sensor-based weapons from acquiring and/or destroying a target....

.

Development


In June 2009, a blue-ribbon panel
Blue-Ribbon Panel
Blue-ribbon panel is an informal term generally used to describe a group of exceptional persons appointed to investigate or study a given question. The term generally connotes a degree of independence from political influence or other authority, and such panels usually have no direct authority of...

 met in Washington, D.C. to discuss requirements for the Ground Combat Vehicle. In October and November 2009, more than 100 defense contractors turned up for two U.S. Army-organized industry day
Industry day
An industry day is an event held by a military to present requirements to industry representatives for weapons or vehicles. Common presentation methods include outlines by powerpoint. Industry days are usually held in succession with each event holding fewer people as contractors drop their bids....

 events in Michigan to express interest in bidding on the vehicle. A review required for continuation was held and passed in February 2010 in Washington D.C. A request for proposals (RFP) was issued on February 25, 2010 to which companies had 60 days to respond, but was extended an additional 25 days. A committee is currently examining the current schedule for the GCV to "shave a little time off". For fiscal year 2011, the U.S. Army wishes to spend $934 million of the $2.5 billion allocated for BCT Modernization to develop the GCV.

Up to three competitive contracts were to be awarded by early fall. A prototype development contract decision would have followed by 2013. The Technology Development Phase (or Milestone A) would begin in the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2010 with the award of up to three vehicle contracts. This will be followed by an Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase and Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) phase before full production could start.

Nine vehicles were evaluated in the Analysis of Alternatives (AOA). The four primary vehicles included in the AOA were the M2A3 Bradley II, a modernized Stryker
Stryker
The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

, an M2A3 Bradley variant used in Iraq, and a XM1230 Caiman
BAE Caiman
The Caiman is an armored vehicle with a V-hull design based on the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles and Low Signature Armored Cab , initially developed by Stewart & Stevenson. Stewart & Stevenson was later acquired by Armor Holdings in 2005 who developed the Caiman from the FMTV and LSAC designs...

 Plus MRAP. The five secondary vehicles included two unnamed foreign-made platforms, the M1126 Stryker
M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle
The M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle is an armoured personnel carrier and part of the Stryker family of vehicles , used by the United States Army.-General:...

 Infantry Fighting Vehicle, the M1A2 SEP TUSK Abrams, and a modernized M1 Abrams. Vehicles included the The AOA were determined to be inferior to the planned GCV.

On August 25, 2010, the U.S. Army canceled the current RFP to revise the requirements. A new RFP is to be issued 60 days later. When Peter Chiarelli was asked if the Army was developing an alternative to the GCV, Chiarelli replied "We're totally committed to GCV." The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is a Presidential Commission created in 2010 by President Barack Obama to identify "…policies to improve the fiscal situation in the medium term and to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run."...

 suggests deferring development of the GCV until after 2015.

Variants


The Army is using an incremental approach to combat vehicle modernization, centered on the Ground Combat Vehicle. The deployment will be synchronized with upgrades, reset and divestiture of existing vehicles. Vehicles displaced by the IFV may then replace selected M113 family of vehicles
M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 such as command and control, medical evacuation, and mortar carrier, allowing the Army to begin divestiture of the M113 family of vehicles. Upgrades to existing Bradley and Stryker
Stryker
The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

 vehicles may be considered as risk mitigation based on the rate at which the GCV is introduced. Although upgraded, the Bradley and Stryker would also be replaced in the midterm.

Infantry Fighting Vehicle


The Infantry Fighting Vehicle supersedes the previous infantry carrier replacement effort, the XM1206 Infantry Carrier Vehicle of the FCS MGV program
Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles
The Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicles was a family of lighter and more transportable ground vehicles developed by BAE Systems Inc and General Dynamics as part of the United States Army's Future Combat Systems program. The ground vehicles were to be based on a common tracked vehicle...

. It is the U.S. Army's intention that the IFV replace the M113 APC
M113 armored personnel carrier
The M113 is a fully tracked armored personnel carrier that has formed the backbone of the United States Army's mechanized infantry units from the time of its first fielding in Vietnam in April 1962. The M113 was the most widely used armored vehicle of the U.S...

 by 2018, the M2 Bradley
M2 Bradley
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is an American fighting vehicle platform manufactured by BAE Systems Land and Armaments, formerly United Defense.As with other infantry fighting vehicles, the Bradley is designed to transport infantry with armor protection while providing covering fire to suppress enemy...

 later, and the Stryker ICV
M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle
The M1126 Infantry Carrier Vehicle is an armoured personnel carrier and part of the Stryker family of vehicles , used by the United States Army.-General:...

 in the midterm. The IFV will hold a crew of three and a squad of nine.

Self-propelled howitzer


The Conference Report (House Report 211-188) report in 2009 directed the Department of Defense to create a program for the development of a self-propelled howitzer for the U.S. Army.

Secondary vehicle


The so-called "secondary vehicle" is listed on the "Work Breakdown Structure" document. So far, no details have been released as to the function or specifications of this vehicle.

See also

  • Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles
    Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles
    The Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicles was a family of lighter and more transportable ground vehicles developed by BAE Systems Inc and General Dynamics as part of the United States Army's Future Combat Systems program. The ground vehicles were to be based on a common tracked vehicle...

    , a recently canceled American family of tracked vehicles
  • Marine Personnel Carrier
    Marine Personnel Carrier
    The Marine Personnel Carrier is a wheeled armored personnel carrier under development for acquisition by the United States Marine Corps.-Role:...

    , wheeled U.S. Marine Corps counterpart
  • Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
    Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle
    The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle is an amphibious assault vehicle that was being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps. It is launched at sea, from an amphibious assault ship beyond the horizon, able to transport a full Marine rifle squad to shore...

    , tracked/amphibious U.S. Marine Corps counterpart
  • Stryker
    Stryker
    The IAV Stryker is a family of eight-wheeled, 4-wheel-drive , armored fighting vehicles derived from the Canadian LAV III and produced by General Dynamics Land Systems, in use by the United States Army. The vehicle is named for two American servicemen who posthumously received the Medal of Honor:...

    , a recent American family of wheeled vehicles
  • Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
    Joint Light Tactical Vehicle
    The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle is a U.S. Army, USSOCOM, and U.S. Marine Corps program to replace the current Humvee with a family of more survivable vehicles and greater payload...

    , a future American family of light vehicles
  • Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)
    Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked)
    The Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance  —or CVR—is a family of armoured fighting vehicles s in service with the British Army and others throughout the world...

    , an earlier but similar British family of vehicles
  • Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled)
    Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Wheeled)
    The Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle , abbreviated to CVR was a line of vehicles to replace the Ferret Armoured Car in British Army service.Two variants were planned:...

    , an earlier but similar British family of vehicles
  • MRAP (armored vehicle)
    MRAP (armored vehicle)
    A Mine Resistant Ambush Protected is a family of armored fighting vehicles design led by the United States Marine Corps in use by the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Forces with the goal of surviving IED attacks and ambushes - prompted by US deaths in Iraq...

    , Mine Resistant Ambush Protected light vehicles

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