WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Jan. 18, 2013) -- The Ground Combat Vehicle, or GCV, acquisition strategy was modified, Jan. 17, to further reduce risk and maintain an affordable program.

The decision by the Department of Defense extends the current technology development phase of the program by six months to allow industry greater time to refine vehicle designs.

These efforts will support a full and open competition at milestone B in 2014, the next major decision point in the program. The revised strategy calls for selection of a single vendor for the engineering and manufacturing development and production phases of the program.

The six month extension to the technology development phase will provide contractors an opportunity to mature vehicle designs, while the Army finalizes GCV requirements, prior to the upcoming milestone B decision. This milestone marks the point where the GCV program will initiate critical design and testing activities in anticipation of vehicle production.

The Army's prior strategy called for competition among two vendors during these phases of the GCV program. Citing projected budgetary pressures over the fiscal 2014-2018 period, the department's decision to revise the development strategy ensures an affordable program that meets the Army's critical needs for a new infantry fighting vehicle.

Since milestone A was approved two years ago, the Army has vigorously refined GCV requirements to provide industry the maximum range of flexibility in developing vehicle designs while constraining cost and technical risk.

Contractor efforts have informed the Army's understanding of planned technical capabilities and the Army has formally assessed existing and alternative developmental vehicles. These measures have confirmed the Army's need to develop GCV based on affordable and executable requirements. The changes in the GCV strategy reflect a continued emphasis on long-term affordability within the program.

The Army remains firmly committed to the success of the GCV program to provide needed protection and mobility to Soldiers. The new direction allows the Army to take positive steps to ensure delivery of this much needed capability to the force.

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