House and Senate conferees are requiring the Army to provide quarterly updates on the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program as part of a defense authorization bill released Monday night.
House authorizers had included the provision in their mark of the bill in June, calling on the Army acquisition executive and commander of Army Futures Command to brief Congress on obligated funds for the program, a schedule overview, a description of each contract award made and the development and approval of technical requirements.
The bill asks the first update take place on or before Dec. 1 and then on a quarterly basis until Oct. 1, 2022.
Following BAE Systems' withdrawal from the initial bidding stage of the program, the Army this fall decided to move forward to the prototyping phase with only one bidder, General Dynamics Land Systems.
The Raytheon-Rheinmetall team's proposal was not accepted by the service, as it did not meet the initial requirements for eligibility, according to the Army.
AFC commander Gen. Mike Murray told reporters in October, "It really put the Army in a hard place, because we can either delay and face, possibly, a protest, or we can stick with what we've been saying for a year and a half. And the fact that the vehicle couldn't make, I mean I've got all the reasons the 1 October deadline wasn't made. So, we are where we are. I just think it's a little bit premature, when we are in the prototyping phase [to discuss the participants], until we understand what it is we have. If there's somebody out there that's got a viable solution to what we've said that we want consistently, it's open up again for competition once we get to the [low-rate initial production] phase."