Appropriators reduce OMFV funding, seek briefing on source selection

By Ashley Tressel / December 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM

The fiscal year 2020 consolidated spending bill House and Senate appropriators released this week cuts $172.8 million from the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program and asks for a briefing on the results of the Army's source-selection process.

The agreement provides $205.6 million for the OMFV, stipulating that none of the funds can be used for middle-tier acquisition rapid prototyping until the Army secretary briefs the defense committees on the source selection, which resulted in one bidder; explains how the program's requirements were built and how they relate to the National Defense Strategy and multidomain operations; and provides an updated acquisition strategy and program schedule, according to the explanatory statement attached to the bill.

General Dynamics Land Systems is the only company participating in the prototype phase, following the Army's decision to not move the Raytheon-Rheinmetall team's proposal forward.

The Army acquisition executive last September approved the use of middle-tier acquisition authority for the program up to milestone C, requiring that a prototype be fielded within five years for demonstration in an operational environment.

"Given the significance of the OMFV program in support of Army modernization, it is imperative that the congressional defense committees receive timely schedule and cost information in order to make informed decisions," the bill states.

The OMFV is planned to be the first next-generation combat vehicle to arrive on the battlefield in 2026, as a replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

Meanwhile, House and Senate conferees for the FY-20 defense authorization bill are requiring the Army to provide quarterly updates on the OMFV, including obligated funds, a schedule overview and a description of each contract award made and the development and approval of technical requirements.

Congress is set to vote on the spending deal this week.