The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has made recommendations to the US Army to follow cost estimation and systems engineering leading practices for its  Next Generation Combat Vehicles (NGCV) programmes.

The US Army recently started acquisitions on two programmes within the NGCV portfolio, which is ‘one of its most critical and urgent modernisation priorities’.

The two programmes, Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) and Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) are being developed to provide the service with capabilities such as ‘more firepower, protection, and mobility’.

Since the effort prioritises rapid development of technology and designs, the army did not completely take into account all potential cost uncertainties, according to GAO.

The service tried to minimise cost overruns and programme delays risks for the efforts but delayed key engineering reviews.

GAO said that certain steps taken by the programme were not ‘consistent with leading practices, which could increase technical risk’ because of delay in key systems engineering reviews.

It also noted that the army took steps to mitigate risks by improving communication within the service and with the US Department of Defense stakeholders.

The office has recommended the Secretary of the Army to direct the MPF and OMFV programmes to update the cost estimates.

The third recommendation includes conducting systems engineering reviews at key decision points for OMPV programme.

In 2018, BAE Systems Land & Armaments and General Dynamics (GD) Land Systems were awarded development contracts for the MPF. The army is seeking to acquire a total of 504 vehicles.

Last month, the US Army issued a draft request for proposal (RFP) for the OMFV preliminary digital design phase to replace its Bradley Fighting Vehicles (BFV).