BAE Systems has awarded a contract to Curtiss-Wright Controls to supply lifecycle management services for the Bradley infantry fighting vehicle's (IFV) turret drive control unit (TDCU), as part of the vehicle's obsolescence mitigation upgrade programme.
The $300,000 contract, which includes the supply of an obsolescence-free upgraded version of the tech data pack (TDP) used in the TDCU, represents an initial award of the contract that will have an estimated value of $20m, once full production begins.
Under the contract, Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions business group will specifically identify and replace end-of-life or obsolete electronic devices in the convectional TDP, as well as modernising the unit's three-module card set with long-lifecycle components and a lifecycle management plan eventually extending Bradley's service-life.
Curtiss-Wright Controls president Tom Quinly said the company has already manufactured more than 1,000 TDCU units for the Bradley as part of BAE's TDCU II production programme.
"Our turret and fire control expertise, proven over three decades as a successful Bradley electronics vendor, enabled us to offer BAE Systems a low-risk fully compliant TDCU redesign programme," Quinly said.
Using inputs from TPU and directly from the commander or gunner controls, TDCU controls drive and stability of the Bradley's turret traverse, gun and tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided (TOW) weapon system, allowing it to accurately strike targets while on the move in rough terrain.
The development phase will last through early 2014, while the production phase is currently scheduled to continue until 2015, but may be accelerated depending on requirements.
Powered by a Cummins VTA-903T diesel engine, M-2/M-3 Bradley is a heavy-fighting vehicle designed to transport infantry on the battlefield with armour protection, while providing covering fire to suppress enemy troops and armoured vehicles.
The vehicles are widely used by the US Army's heavy brigade combat team (HBT) as an IFV, cavalry fighting, fire support, command and engineer squad vehicle.
Image: The US Army's Bradley M2A3 infantry fighting vehicle. Photo: courtesy of US Army.