The US Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded General Dynamics (GD) Land Systems a $15m contract modification on 27 March for the Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) system already in production.

Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, Michigan; Anniston, Alabama; and Lima, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of 24 March 2024.

The MPF system was purpose-built for the US Army’s Infantry Brigade Combat Teams (IBCTs) to provide them with decisive lethality, mobility, and survivability with upgraded capabilities on the multi-domain battlefield.

US implementation

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 latest contract is part of this boost to US MPF production.

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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.

Current challenges

Instead of 120mm ammunition that is the standard across NATO partners, the MPF’s main weapon uses 105mm ordnance that is uncommon enough to be a concern in the face of the current limited quantity of on-hand, serviceable 105mm ammunition Army Technology has commented in the past.

This is an even more potent problem that should be addressed as the US ramps up MPF system production until the end Q1 2024, as interoperability is sky-rocketting on the agenda of militaries across the world.

In fact, NATO has expressed a greater need for standards to improve interoperability on security. The US military identifies China as its “pacing challenge”, and to maintain a competitive edge, US national strategy is working to interoperate with its allies and partners to coordinate a common platform for defence cooperation and deterrence efforts.