The Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) is a highly lethal, mobile direct-fire ground combat vehicle designed and developed by General Dynamics (GD) Land Systems, a business unit of global aerospace and defence company General Dynamics.
The vehicle was purpose-built for the US Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) to provide them decisive lethality, mobility, and survivability with upgraded capabilities on the multi-domain battlefield.
GD Land Systems won the US Army’s MPF competition to provide enhanced firepower to IBCTs in June 2022. The company received a low-rate-initial-production contract worth $1.14bn for up to 96 MPF combat vehicles. The Army is anticipated to purchase more than 504 MPF combat vehicles through 2035, to allocate 14 MPFs to each IBCT.
The contract was awarded after the US Army successfully tested and evaluated 24 prototypes of the MPF vehicle in the middle-tier acquisition rapid-prototyping phase during the Covid-19 pandemic. The targeted fielding for the first unit equipped (FUE) is expected in 2025, with a total of four MPF battalions planned to be fielded by 2030.
The US Army’s MPF battalion plans
The US Army is planning to create an MPF battalion at the division level, from which MPF companies, each comprising 64 armour crew members and 24 armour maintenance soldiers, will be allocated to IBCTs.
Mobile Protected Firepower design and features
The MPF system is a new 38t armoured light tank based on the M1A2 Abrams SEPv3 main battle tank. It will offer IBCTs the capability to effectively target and destroy fortifications, bunkers, buildings, and light-to-medium armoured vehicles on current and future battlefields. The lighter weight of the combat vehicle makes it more transportable and manoeuvrable in different environments.
The vehicle has a range of 300km and can operate for 24 hours off the ramp or on arrival at drop zone (DZ). It is capable of traversing steep hills, valleys, urban terrain, and ford depths, like other organic IBCT vehicles.
The MPF vehicle is manned by a crew of four and is designed for capability upgrades based on future operational requirements.
Armament and self-protection
The MPF vehicle features a large-calibre cannon, a lightweight hull and turret, and an enhanced thermal viewer. The turret architecture is based on the Abrams SEPv3 fire control systems with a 105mm gun.
The primary armaments for the combat vehicle include a 105mm cannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and an externally mounted 0.50 calibre machine gun. A 12.7mm heavy machine gun is also mounted on the commander hatch.
Safran Optics 1’s PASEO Commander’s Independent Tactical Viewer (CITV) has been selected for the combat vehicle to provide long-range panoramic targeting sight and enhanced situational awareness to the commander and crew members in all combat scenarios.
The MPF vehicle features add-on armour panels and under-vehicle improvised explosive device (IED) protection, along with proven ammunition compartmentation for crew safety.
MPF vehicle’s engine and mobility
The combat vehicle features an advanced diesel engine and transmission system. Its high power-to-weight ratio and hydro-pneumatic suspension can provide soldiers with outstanding speed and cross-country manoeuvrability.
The vehicle is installed with Allison’s 3040 MX™ cross-drive transmission system, which is designed to support the propulsion, steering and braking functions of medium-tracked combat vehicles. The transmission system is designed to accommodate newer control platforms in the future, allowing for advancements in system performance over the life cycle of the combat vehicle.