Teaming with ST Kinetics & CMI
SAIC confirmed to MONS at AUSA that it has determined to provide a proposal for the upcoming US Army Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) requirement. The company is levering its collaboration with Singapore’s ST Kinetics in the US Marines Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1 (ACV 1.1) by utilising the chassis of ST Kinetics’ Next Generation Armoured Fighting Vehicle (NGAFV) entering production developed for the Singapore Army in 2019.
They will couple it with Belgium’s CMI’s in production Cockerill 3105 Series modular turret with an auto-loaded NATO ammunition compatible 105mm cannon with a remarkable 40 degree elevation.
Jim Scalon, SAIC Senior Vice President shared that its role would draw on the company’s systems integration capabilities. He suggested this has been demonstrated in its success in both the US Marine ACV and AAV7 SU where it won over well established competitors in the combat vehicle arena.
The final configuration of the NGAFV was unveiled by Singapore’s Ministry of Defence in May 2017. The vehicle is powered by a 710hp MTU 8V-199 TE20 diesel coupled to a Kinetics Drive Solution (KDS) HMX3000. As an infantry fighting vehicle it weighs 29t giving a power-to-weight ratio of 24.5hp/tonne. This provides a maximum stated speed of 70km/h and 500 km operating range. The MPF version is likely to be slightly heavier but still similar in performance. The NGAFV uses the latest”fly by wire” control technology and vehicle networked sensors for maximum situation awareness allowing the entire crew to be located in the hull.
SAIC confirmed that the fire control system would be the latest digital with advances sights and sensors maximising commonality with projected Army technologies. The company intends to apply its experience in the networked systems and enhancing surveillance and survivability gained from its other programmes.
With a final Request for Proposal expected in November and both proposals and a bid sample required in April 2018 SAIC’s team has its work cut-out for it. However, Mr. Scalon is confident they can meet these deadlines. He stated that SAIC has been has been involved in dialogue with the Army. He pointed out that the MPF acquisition approach is similar to the ACV1.1 which SAIC and its same partner ST Kinetics are currently involved in. Further he suggested that SAIC’s model of continuously independently exploring and presenting system performance and capability improvements throughout a program matches the US Army’s MPF philosophy. Capitalising on its expertise as a systems integrator offers adaptability in incorporating new technologies and system capabilities from any source to continually improve the MPF and respond to future threats.
He also suggested that the NGAFV-3105 combination offered the potential for its MPF configuration to locate the entire crew in the hull while allowing the commander to still take a “heads-out” position when desired. By utilising the latest yet demonstrated technologies and in production hardware SAIC feels that it is well positioned to meet the aggressive MPF schedule and allow it to offer a highly compliant “bid sample”.
Stephen W. Miller