The US Army has released a solicitation for its new combat vehicle, implementing a fixed-price contract structure for the research phase of the army’s new ground combat vehicle programme.

The fixed-price contract structure means firms cannot pass the increased costs on to the customer and will have to pay the bill if they exceed their contract amount.

US Army programme manager Colonel Andrew DiMarco said the solicitation was a departure from other army acquisitions, encouraging industries to build an affordable vehicle within their budgets and on schedule.

“I think that industry is going to have to take a little time to consider the ramifications of a fixed-price contract. But I don’t think that it’s beyond its capabilities,” he added.

As per the solicitation, the army plans to pay a unit price of $9m-$10.5m for the finished product, exceeding that of many of its existing vehicles, according to the Washington Post.

BAE vice-president and general manager of the programme Mark Signorelli said that every contractor considering a bid on the program will have to do so very carefully.

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The army is planning to acquire a new combat vehicle that is capable of carrying nine soldiers whilst providing sufficient protection from roadside bombs and weapons.