American Rheinmetall Vehicles and the Army's Armaments Center have signed a cooperative research and development agreement that will allow Rheinmetall to collaborate with the government on weapon systems that could go into the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle, the company announced Aug. 26.
"Among other research and development tasks, the CRADA provides a conduit for the team to explore integration of the U.S. Army's XM913 50 mm cannon on platforms that are potential candidates for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle," a press release from the company stated.
Rheinmetall is one of five companies participating in a digital design phase for the OMFV, which will replace the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The Armaments Center, based at Picatinny Arsenal, NJ, is part of the Combat Capabilities Development Command.
A CRADA allows federal research laboratories to work with industry while protecting intellectual property rights. This allows government and industry to combine their research to make new inventions, without sacrificing the rights to any of the underlying intellectual property.
Research that Rheinmetall and the Armaments Center perform under the CRADA could be used beyond the OMFV program, according to Rheinmetall's press release.
The research "may also be applicable to future weapon systems for other military services, international military markets, and further spin-off applications," the press release stated.
In addition to the XM913, the Armaments Center and Rheinmetall will consider the integration of the XM813 30 mm cannon onto the OMFV platform, an Armaments Center spokesman told Inside Defense in an Aug. 30 email. The Army chose the XM813 for the 30 mm capability on its Stryker combat vehicles.
The Armaments Center has entered into CRADAs with other potential contractors for the OMFV program, the spokesman wrote. Product managers for the OMFV did not request or initiate the agreements.
The Bradley Fighting Vehicle has a 25 mm cannon, but the OMFV could have a larger gun, Brig. Gen. Glenn Dean, program executive officer for ground combat systems, said in an interview last month. The current characteristics document states the OMFV must be able to defeat like-armored vehicles at range.