The US Army is conducting non-developmental vehicle (NDV) operational assessments of its current combat vehicles to evaluate capabilities against requirements for purchase of a new Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).
The assessments form part of the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) programme.
The vehicles being validated include the army's M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle Double V-Hull, and a Turretless Bradley, as well as the Israeli Namer and Swedish Combat Vehicle 9035 (CV-9035) heavy armoured IFVs.
The NDV assessments, being held at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US, enable the army to conduct a detailed analysis of each of the vehicles' unique capabilities and configurations to better understand requirements for the new IFV.
US Army GCV project manager, Colonel Andrew DiMarco, said: "Information gained from these operational assessments will contribute to the body of analysis the Army uses to validate existing capabilities against the requirements for a new GCV Infantry Fighting Vehicle, IFV, as well as further inform potential design trade-offs."
Conducted as part of the programme's three-pronged approach to the GCV IFV technology development (TD) phase, the NDV is designed to help the Army's GCV project manager to match the requirements against mobility, survivability, growth and lethality capability gaps.
The NDV assessments at Fort Bliss will include field observations, soldier surveys and interviews, and static exercises in a multitude of environmental conditions, and will subsequently be used to advance requirements in the GCV Capability Development Document.
The data will also be transferred to the officials of the Army and Office of the Secretary of Defense prior to the programme's Milestone B, according to the army.
The NDV assessments are scheduled to run through 25 May 2012.
The $40bn GCV IFV programme intends to deliver a vehicle that is capable of carrying an entire squad of nine soldiers along with their equipment, while protecting them from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and modern warfare threats.
Image: The Swedish CV-9035 IFV during US Army's GCV NDV assessments at Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, US. Photo: courtesy of the US Army.