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U.S. Army prepares to award contract for Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle

The U.S. Army is preparing to award a contract, estimated to be worth $45 billion, to construct a replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
The U.S. Army is preparing to award a contract, estimated to be worth $45 billion, to construct a replacement for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is preparing to award a contract to construct next-generation Armored Personnel Carriers. The Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle program seeks to replace the Bradly Fighting Vehicle.

The vehicle is still a loose concept, but the the Army says it wants a vehicle with a 50mm weapons system that can be operated by two people while transporting six soldiers.

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A prior contest for the Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle contract was canceled when only one bid was received. The Army restarted the process to encourage more competition in bids.

Bids for the contract, which is estimated to be worth approximately $45 billion, were due Nov. 1. Teams from Oshkosh Defense, BAE Systems, American Rheinmetall Vehicles, General Dynamics and Point Blank Enterprises met the deadline.

BAE systems, which builds the current generation of Bradly Fighting Vehicles, is teaming up with Elbit Systems of America, a subsidiary of the Israeli weapons company Elbit Systems Ltd. for their bid.

Elbit Systems constructs many of Israel's weapons systems, including weaponized drones, and has been accused of complicity in human rights violations in Gaza by activists.

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In 2019, HSBC divested from Elbit Systems when the company acquired IMI Systems, which manufactures cluster bombs that are banned by the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The United States and Israel have not signed the convention.

An investigation by Citizen Labs found that surveillance software from Elbit Systems was used to target Ethiopian exiles.

The contract is expected to be awarded in April.

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