The Army modified its ground combat vehicle (GCV) acquisition strategy Jan. 17 to further reduce risk and maintain an affordable program. Changes in the program extended the current technology development phase by six months to allow industry greater time to refine vehicle designs.

The extension to the technology development phase will provide contractors an additional 6 months to mature vehicle designs while the Army finalizes GCV requirements, prior to the upcoming milestone B decision. (Milestone B marks the point where the GCV program will initiate critical design and testing activities in anticipation of vehicle production.)

The strategy also calls for selection of a single vendor for the engineering, manufacturing development, and production phases of the program instead of the previously prescribed competition between two vendors during those phases to deal with the budgetary pressures expect over the fiscal 2014--2018 period. The Army revised the development strategy to ensure an affordable program that meets its 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 improved the Army's development 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 GCVs based on affordable and executable requirements. The GCV strategy changes reflect a continued emphasis on long-term affordability within the program.