Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicle Development

What is it? The Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) represents the first major modernization of Army ground combat vehicles in 35-40 years. The MGV family of systems is an integral component of the Army’s principal modernization program called Future Combat Systems (FCS). FCS is our primary modernization program and most critical investment. This program will pioneer the next generation of warfighting capabilities that will improve Soldiers’ ability to find and fight their enemies. FCS includes a new class of manned and unmanned air and ground vehicles, interconnected by a modern network to better support and sustain Soldiers. When whole BCTs are fielded with the full complement of FCS systems, these units will be able to generate significantly more capability. These FCS-equipped BCTs will contain more fighting vehicles and more infantry squads than the units we field today. They will be able to generate more capability and control more area with significantly fewer Soldiers than today. They will require less fuel, supplies and other logistical support.

The eight variants of the MGV family are:

Fielding of the first prototype unit for testing, equipped with the non-line-of-sight cannon, begins in 2008. The results of this fielding are expected to generate valuable insights for the remainder of the MGV systems and subsequent vehicle systems.

What has the Army done? The NLOS Cannon (NLOS-C) is the lead system of the FCS MGV family. The NLOS Cannon Concept Technology Demonstrator (CTD) and MGV Chassis technologies are in development today, as demonstrated on September 21, 2005 , at the FCS Demonstration at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland . The NLOS Cannon CTD, a 155-mm cannon mounted on a 20-ton class platform has fired more than 1,300 rounds at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona proving the NLOS-C is on schedule for the delivery of the first Increment 0 prototypes in 2008.

The MGV Chassis demonstrated technologies include; Advanced Diesel Engine Technology coupled with Hybrid Electric Drive Systems; Active Suspension Technology and Lightweight Band rack.

Using a common vehicle chassis for eight different variants of the MGV allows us to save on initial design costs, and on training, support and maintenance costs through the power of commonality for each variant of the overall MGV system. Our goal is to have 70 to 90 percent commonality of parts among the eight variants of the MGV.

Protection of Soldiers, ease of transport, reduced sustainment, reduced costs and survivability are primary considerations in development of the MGV design. The network enabled MGV will provide improved levels of personal protection compared to current systems and will approach protection levels normally afforded to significantly heavier armored systems. The use of armor "kits" makes technology upgrades on MGV systems possible over time. These kits, when combined with the active protection system, will provide 360 degree coverage against incoming munitions. The resulting all-around protection of the MGV will be equal to or greater than that of an Abrams tank or the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

The NLOS Cannon Concept Technology Demonstrator (CTD) and Manned Ground Vehicle Chassis technologies are concrete evidence that the MGV effort is on track to provide our Soldiers with the capabilities required to win in any environment on the future battlefield.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future? We are leveraging technologies from cancelled programs like Crusader and Comanche and employing incremental development to transition to the objective capability. We are programmed to deliver 8 preproduction prototypes of the NLOS Cannon Block 0 in 2008 and will then, produce 6 per year between 2009-2011 gradually increasing production quantities to approximately 28 per year by 2015. We are programmed to deliver the majority of the pre-production prototypes for the remaining manned ground vehicle variants in 2011 to support a 2012-2020 fielding plan.

Why is this important to the Army? The FCS MGV family is a cost efficient improvement to several of the current combat vehicles used by our Army. The commonality of the chassis not only saves on overall design costs but also on reducing the expense of maintaining large inventories of unique spare parts. The FCS MGV (in most cases) is lighter, improves our deployability and replaces the Cold War era equipment that we use today. The MGV meets the needs of our Soldiers today and is designed to be joint compatible and fully integrated with the numerous advanced technology programs associated with FCS. These advancements will decrease risk to our Soldiers and provide greater flexibility to the force in its capacity to handle the challenges of the future.