BAE Systems has been awarded a contract modification for upgrading the US Army's fleet of Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) to operation desert storm situational awareness (ODS-SA) configuration.
The new $306m order from the army's TACOM Lifecycle Management Command follows a previous $340m funding secured by the company in October 2011, for procurement of upgraded materials for the Bradley programme, and brings the total contract value to $646m.
Under the terms of new contract, BAE will upgrade a total of 353 M2A2, M3A2 Bradley operation desert storm and M7 Bradley fire support team vehicles to ODS-SA standards.
BAE Systems Combat Vehicles vice president and general manager Joe McCarthy said his company's Bradley vehicles were providing the National Guard with enhanced survivability and interoperability in the existing digital battlefield.
"Our Bradley fighting vehicle has served alongside army soldiers, helping them to accomplish their missions for more than two decades," McCarthy said.
The ODS-SA upgrade features advanced digitised electronics to provide troops with optimal situational awareness, network connectivity and enhanced communication hardware within the heavy brigade combat team (HBCT).
Combat-proven durability and commonality of the ODS-SA design lowers logistics burden, this simultaneously enhances battlefield performance to meet a variety of mission requirements in urban scenarios, as well as close and open-combat situations.
Upgrade work under the contract is expected to start this month at the company's facilities in York and Fayette in Pennsylvania and Aiken in South Carolina in anticipation of final delivery in April 2014.
Initial dismantling of vehicles and reset work for some components is scheduled to be conducted at the Red River Army Depot in Texas, US.
The vehicles will be operated by the Minnesota and Pennsylvania National Guard units, as well as the combined armed battalions of the Kansas, South Carolina and Ohio National Guard units.
Image: Bradley vehicle upgrade to ODS-SA standard is expected to enhance the soldiers situational awareness in the battlefield. Photo: courtesy of the US Army.