Military Review

Two prototype light tanks for the US Army

46

First tank GDLS MPF, April 2020


US Army continues work on a promising lung project tank Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF). By now, prototypes of such equipment have been transferred to military trials, during which future users will have to evaluate them. However, the competition has not yet fully become such. One of the participants has not yet provided the army with the required armored vehicles.

Experienced difficulties


In December 2018, the Pentagon issued contracts to the participating companies for the development and construction of equipment for subsequent tests. In accordance with these documents, General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) received funding in the amount of $ 335 million, and BAE Systems will provide $ 376 million.

Under the terms of the contracts, the two firms must build and transfer 12 light tanks of their own design to the army, as well as empty armored hulls and towers for additional tests. The order was given 18 months to complete - until the end of summer 2020 with the start of deliveries in the spring. The notorious events of the past year hit design and construction work, causing both MPF participants to miss the deadline.


In April last year, two companies demonstrated the first tanks of an experimental batch to the leadership of the ground forces. At that time, the equipment was at the assembly stage or was undergoing the first factory tests. Despite a certain optimism, the work was generally delayed - which then led to the failure of the established deadlines.

Only at the very end of last year, GDLS was able to transfer the last of the 12 contracted tanks to the customer. In addition, it is reported that two hulls and towers have been delivered. Armored vehicles from BAE Systems were not ready for delivery by that time. Until the end of 2020, the Pentagon has not received a single such machine.

At the end of January, the army revealed the current state of affairs. By that time, 12 tanks and 4 hulls had been received. Thus, GDLS fully fulfilled its obligations, while BAE Systems has just begun deliveries, and not with full-fledged tanks, but with simpler products.

Over the past two months, the situation has not changed dramatically. General Dynamics MPF tanks have been submitted for testing, while their competitors from BAE Systems are still at the production stage. At the same time, the Pentagon is showing some optimism: all ordered vehicles are expected to be received by the end of 2021. However, such terms mean a delay of several months or more from the original schedule.


Tests without comparisons


In accordance with the plans of the MPF program, 4 tanks of each model must pass military tests or Soldier Vehicle Assessment (SVA). These events are held at Fort Bragg with the involvement of one of the units of the 82nd Airborne Division. Comprehensive testing under military operation conditions will continue until June.

The trials reportedly began successfully on January 4 and have already yielded some results. So far, however, only General Dynamics vehicles are involved. It is not yet known how soon rival tanks from BAE Systems will join them. In addition, it is still not clear what the testimonials of the test paratroopers will be, and which of the two samples they will like best.

The tests at Fort Bragg have been going on for two months, but their details have not yet been disclosed. Pentagon officials say the staff greeted the experienced GDLS technique with enthusiasm and showed great interest in mastering it. The reaction to the BAE Systems light tank will likely be the same when it gets to testing.

Time shift


In the past year, the MPF program faced unexpected problems that led to delays in work. One of the presented projects managed to keep within a reasonable time frame, while the other noticeably got out of them. Current construction problems could negatively affect the prospects of the BAE Systems project or even the entire program as a whole.


Project appearance of the MPF tank from BAE Systems

According to previously approved plans, SVA tests should take place in the first half of 2021, after which several months will be allotted to analyze their results. By the end of FY2021 it is necessary to choose a winner, and this project will be further developed. At the end of FY2022. the first order for the pre-production of new tanks will appear.

Without experienced tanks from BAE Systems, the Pentagon cannot conduct full comparative tests, as well as consider the totality of the characteristics of the presented samples. The choice of technology for further production, based on the availability of prototypes at the moment, does not make sense. Therefore, the army will have to wait for the delivery of previously ordered products and make a full comparison.

If BAE Systems presents the required four tanks right now, SVA testing will continue until at least the end of the summer. The analysis of their results will have to be carried out in the fall, and then a decision will be made on the further course of the program. It is possible that the current shift in testing will require a revision of the timing of the debriefing.


Tank from BAE Systems under construction, April 2020

Thus, the consequence of last year's problems in production is the displacement of work on the MPF, at least for several months. It is not known whether the Pentagon will require contractors to return by the approved deadline. At the current stages of the project, this is not critical, although it may affect future work.

Problems of the future


In 2022, the Pentagon is going to sign a contract for the production of 26 pre-production tanks with an option for 28 units. The deliveries of equipment to combat units will begin by the middle of the decade. In 2025, the first company on the new MPFs will reach operational readiness. In the same year, a full-scale series will be launched, followed by a full rearmament of army and national guard units. It is planned to purchase 504 tanks.

It is clear that current processes will have an impact on future work under the MPF program. The later delivery of experimental tanks leads to a bias in the choice of the winner, which, in turn, should affect the timing of the completion of development work and preparation of the series. If new problems arise at this stage, the program will face further transfers and revisions.


Thus, serious risks have emerged and remain that could affect the overall duration of the program and the timing of its completion. At the same time, one should not forget about the possibility of increasing the cost for one reason or another, which will become another obstacle to the implementation of the approved plans.

Demands versus difficulties


The MPF program has gone through some of the milestones. The design and factory tests of two types of armored vehicles have been successfully completed. Now one of the tanks is being tested in the army and is waiting for a competitor to be compared with. Despite all the difficulties and problems, work continues and allows the Pentagon to look to the future with optimism.

Apparently, the Pentagon's optimism is justified. The current comparative tests at the base of the military unit will be completed without a serious delay from the established deadlines, and based on their results, the winner of the program will be selected. Then, within a few years, they will set up production and start rearmament. However, the exact timing and cost of the program are still in question. Judging by the latest events, the MPF tank will go into service - but later than originally planned.
Author:
Photos used:
US Army, BAE Systems
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  1. Aleks2048
    Aleks2048 10 March 2021 04: 42
    +3
    Meanwhile, in the Russian Federation, they slowly continued to refine the tank shown at the parade dedicated to the victory, along the way trying not to let UVZ die, the only manufacturer of this miracle of the tank.
    1. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee 10 March 2021 04: 54
      -3
      the army will have to wait for delivery
      So let them wait, until Chinese Easter lol
    2. carstorm 11
      carstorm 11 10 March 2021 06: 07
      -1
      UVZ complexities are quite simple and obvious. They will be solved, do not worry. It produces more products per year than any similar plant in the world. But they were pretty well hooked by the sanctions, which was not hidden.
      1. English tarantas
        English tarantas 13 March 2021 13: 17
        0
        What are the difficulties of uvz? In the cuts? Is it destroyed and optimized? I wonder how the military-industrial complex can be hit by sanctions?
        1. yehat2
          yehat2 15 March 2021 11: 49
          0
          Quote: English tarantass
          What are the difficulties of uvz? In the cuts?

          As I understand it, UVZ is mired in financial management problems.
          would-be managers made him seriously vulnerable to external lenders,
          not without a lot of machinations of officials.
          In general, a lot of fuss revolves around the plant, for which, in an amicable way, 40-50 people should sit down for a long time and about 150 more for little things. Alfa Bank (controlled by the United States) has already made quite tough several attempts to bankrupt the plant (according to the scenario of the 90s), using the current mess. The volume is made at the plant is large, but many have questions about the compliance of these volumes with the real needs of the army.
          1. English tarantas
            English tarantas 15 March 2021 22: 32
            0
            And here I am, even without a clue of what they are doing there on uvz. Because they order tanks abroad, but again not on the scale of the country's rearmament, they order old T-72 tanks. They are engaged in the modernization of tanks in Russia, there is also little work, little alterations themselves, and there is not a lot of work on the tanks themselves, the same B3ubkh differs from B3 in that it can be put in a car service (exaggerating), slowly riveting armored personnel carriers, and every few years give birth to a pair of 72k with kaz. Where does this huge amount of money come from, where does the problem come from, and the main thing is where the power will come from to re-equip it with fittings and Breakthrough is not clear at all. There is another cut and collapse, a la 90s
    3. Civil
      Civil 10 March 2021 09: 06
      +4
      A light tank is transformed, a light tank under the load of new requirements is transformed .. into a new heavy tank ... this is obvious
      1. Alf
        Alf 10 March 2021 10: 42
        +4
        Quote: Civil
        A light tank is transformed, a light tank under the load of new requirements is transformed .. into a new heavy tank ... this is obvious

        The Pentagon Wars movie plot is confirmed ...
        1. DrEng527
          DrEng527 10 March 2021 12: 02
          -1
          Quote: Alf
          The plot of the Pentagon Wars movie is confirmed.

          cutting the budget is sacred ... request
    4. Hermit21
      Hermit21 10 March 2021 10: 28
      -3
      Take an ampoule of purgen. Will let you
    5. Viktor Sergeev
      Viktor Sergeev 10 March 2021 11: 16
      +1
      And at this time, all sorts of clowns are looking for what nasty thing to write, but more inadequate. And at this time, UVZ produces T90M. It is you on your computer, playing tanks, you buy it, and a modern tank must be done for a long time and tediously, and then refined taking into account military tests.
      1. ROSS_51
        ROSS_51 15 March 2021 15: 52
        0
        Quote: Victor Sergeev
        It is you on your computer playing tanks you buy it, and a modern tank must be done for a long time and tediously, and then refined taking into account military tests.

        Well, 2 years and 12 prototypes is very fast. Competition is stimulating.
        It is clear that nothing revolutionary, a stripped-down version of Abrams, and nevertheless ..
    6. EvilLion
      EvilLion 10 March 2021 13: 09
      -1
      Well, what can you do, the American plant in Lima has long since died.
    7. Flooding
      Flooding 10 March 2021 16: 16
      0
      Quote: Alex2048
      Along the way, trying not to let UVZ die, the only manufacturer of this miracle of the tank.

      Is UVZ dying? No orders for wagons?
      1. Potter
        Potter 10 March 2021 18: 56
        +1
        There are fewer wagon orders than are needed for the plant's profitability. Moreover, in better years, purchases were financed not by Russian Railways, but by leasing companies of State Banks, that is, we are with you with our own money. Accordingly, UVZ as a whole is in debt. There is also a stupid lawsuit with the Polish company PESA - about 8 years ago, UVZ won a Moscow contract for the supply of 120 low-floor trams. Which at that time he did not have a trace (even in the drawings). Along the way, another manufacturer from the Urals (UKVZ with Ust-Katava), which already had a prototype of the required tram in metal, was dismissed from the contract. Found a supplier abroad, this very PESA. Well, then 2014, the growth of the dollar. The contract with Moscow in rubles, with the Poles in dollars. Moscow wanted to get its paid 120 trams, the plant was able to deliver only 70 at the new rate. Now the court, and taking into account the penalty interest, UVZ owes the Poles an amount, which is once more than the price of those unfortunate 50 trams. By the way, they were delivered to Kiev (on European loans). In Kiev, they were tortured to tear off the UVZ nameplates, with which it was generously plastered over.
        1. Flooding
          Flooding 10 March 2021 19: 16
          0
          Quote: Potter
          Moreover, in better years, the purchases were not financed by Russian Railways.

          Russian Railways has not been the owner of the wagons for a long time. And, accordingly, their buyer.
          Quote: Potter
          leasing companies of State Banks, that is, we are with you with our money

          Explain this thought, which is difficult for my understanding.
          How can a layman finance leasing operations?
  2. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 05: 13
    -1
    What sheds they are! Well, at least the 120 mm gun was able to cram, progress!
    1. mark1
      mark1 10 March 2021 06: 11
      -3
      Yes, the impression was that there was only one problem being solved - crossing the bridges in Eastern Europe.
  3. YOUR
    YOUR 10 March 2021 06: 09
    +4
    Light tanks and again healthy not intended for airborne landing. Quite large dimensions and heavy weight.
    The same BMD-4 armament corresponds to a 100 mm cannon-launcher, a coaxial 30-mm cannon. Those. firepower is sufficient for the landing. There is also the Sprut with its 125 mm cannon. And also an airborne one.
    The Americans had an M551 Sheridan tank, conditionally amphibious. Weight allowed to drop from the plane, but .... Now a new quirk, light tanks that can only be delivered by landing method to the place.
    It is clear that they have a different military doctrine, incl. and for the Airborne Forces. But then it makes sense in the Airborne Forces if for operations overseas they rely on rapid reaction forces and bases scattered around the world. It is believed that in 72 hours they can deploy a fully airborne corps anywhere in the world - the XVII Airborne Corps includes four divisions, eight brigades and support units. With all the equipment. If this is so, then it is not clear why they need light tanks.
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 06: 31
      0
      Quote: YOUR
      healthy again not intended for airborne landing

      It's funny, they are even unable to swim, and you mean landing. wink
      1. YOUR
        YOUR 10 March 2021 07: 46
        +3
        They do not have any floating military equipment at all. So is a different doctrine, a different approach. It is believed that the water obstacle will be overcome with the help of pontoons or special floating equipment.
        It’s just wonderful, you don’t need any additional devices, you don’t need to tightly seal the case and do everything so that when overcoming a water barrier, water does not get into the engine. All this is great BUT ONLY in the DESERT.
        1. Hermit21
          Hermit21 10 March 2021 10: 29
          -10%
          So NATO has so-so with engineering facilities
        2. English tarantas
          English tarantas 13 March 2021 13: 29
          0
          this is great BUT ONLY in the DESERT

          There are also water barriers there. The strength of the chain is measured by the strength of the weakest link, if you do not have the appropriate engineering and sapper support for operations, then amphibious equipment will not save you. In addition, there is an important question, how many of the currently available amphibious vehicles in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are ready to cross the river on the move? Usually, the technique never corresponds to full readiness, even by 60%, everyone always has something broken. How much infantry and ammunition will they carry with them? How long will it take them corny to find a suitable place for the crossing and prepare a bridgehead? During the time it takes to resolve these issues, it is possible to establish a ferry. Also, ferries are not needed if there are fords or you can move like that.
      2. YOUR
        YOUR 10 March 2021 07: 50
        0
        They have only airborne Humvees, apparently they are not used to walking on foot.
    2. whitebeard
      whitebeard 10 March 2021 19: 49
      0
      They are not so much for the airborne assault, but for the Marines, for whom the main "land" tanks are too heavy and cumbersome.
    3. English tarantas
      English tarantas 13 March 2021 13: 22
      0
      Now a new quirk, light tanks that can only be delivered to the place by landing.

      The point is not in quirks, but in the fact that since the Great Patriotic War, the landing aircraft will not be able to fly up to the front line for 100 kilometers, and it is not clear what you are going to throw with a parachute. You can find runways at such distances.
      1. YOUR
        YOUR 14 March 2021 03: 19
        +1
        An airborne operation begins with its support. Clearing the corridor for the passage of aircraft, neutralizing the radar by setting up electronic warfare, destroying air defense systems, clearing the airspace. Before a large airborne defense system, RDGs will first go, which will detect the air defense system, the presence of aviation in the area, deliver electronic warfare systems (you do not even imagine the presence of such), and only after the air defense system, communication system, command posts will begin the airborne operation and it will begin with the suppression of the air defense system, communications and at least with the blocking of the enemy command post.
        Do not write about what you do not know.
        1. English tarantas
          English tarantas 14 March 2021 09: 43
          0
          I know that if even one element of the listed measures fails, then the whole operation gets a high risk of incurring high losses and the failure of the operation is guaranteed. Because the landing forces must be supported by ground forces, since it is impossible to throw off heavy equipment and logistics, and to launch an offensive with light forces is almost suicide, which is shown to us by the operations of the Second World War and the Vietnamese wars.
          And if such a thorough preparation is successful, and it will be necessary to support the paratroopers with ground forces, then it is easier to advance with ground forces, with the support of aviation and helicopter assault groups.
          1. YOUR
            YOUR 14 March 2021 13: 26
            0
            Neither when nor anything goes according to plan. But it is necessary to strive for its implementation and, in the course of actions, take actions to correct the situation.
    4. ROSS_51
      ROSS_51 15 March 2021 16: 12
      -1
      Quote: YOUR
      There is also the Sprut with its 125 mm cannon. And also an airborne one.


      Do you still think that in modern combat conditions it is possible to drop a serious army grouping from the air? It was impossible to do this already 30 years ago, and even now, when every Papuan carries MANPADS under his armpit .. And we don't talk about developed countries at all - they will burn the regiment in the air and choke.
      If anything, I served in the Airborne Forces, and already in my service, the main method of crossing the border with the enemy by the Special Forces group was, um ... on foot ..
  4. Lepsik
    Lepsik 10 March 2021 06: 48
    -7
    Is it possible that the negro will be banned and the gunner himself will charge?
  5. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 10 March 2021 08: 37
    +3
    I recently wrote about an article on the needs of the fleet, and here I will repeat myself - the feeling that some topics on VO are "eternal". They are simply taken out of the "pack" and, thinking that the readers have forgotten everything, rewrite them. Often (like today) without even changing photos.
    1. Vladimir_2U
      Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 09: 57
      -1
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      some topics on VO are "eternal"

      Perhaps these topics are developing, in dynamics, so to speak.
    2. English tarantas
      English tarantas 13 March 2021 13: 30
      +1
      Half of the articles in general should be thrown into the "history" and "news" sections (like this one)
  6. Bad_gr
    Bad_gr 10 March 2021 13: 42
    -2
    A little off topic (not about American, but about our tanks).
    On the site Gur Khan attacks! published a photo of the T-90M, which were sent to the troops.
    Pay attention to the cover that is worn on the end of the barrel. It looks like there is a muzzle brake at the end of the barrel. If so, then the question is, what kind of gun is on it?
    Looks like thisOr that
    1. Flooding
      Flooding 10 March 2021 16: 34
      0
      "Object 188" with a cannon of increased ballistics 2A66 (D-91T)

      And the 2A82 gun, which, as they say, is a revision of the 2A66, has long been tried on to put on the T-90M.
      Maybe it happened?
      1. Flooding
        Flooding 10 March 2021 16: 45
        +2
        I will try again
    2. Thomas N.
      Thomas N. 14 March 2021 08: 10
      0
      I think that under this cover there is just a muzzle plug to protect the bore from rain and snow during storage and transportation.
      1. Bad_gr
        Bad_gr 14 March 2021 11: 45
        +1
        Quote: Thomas N.
        I think that under this cover there is just a muzzle plug to protect the bore from rain and snow during storage and transportation.

        I came across two types of covers:
        one canvas, which comes with the tank and is worn on the barrel, it is quite tight, without any empty spaces, and
        rubber cover, for underwater driving.
        Neither one nor the other is at all like the one on the T-90m, which is going to the troops. As an option, I admit that the cover covers the barrel bending accounting mirror.
        1. Thomas N.
          Thomas N. 14 March 2021 18: 33
          0
          Quote: Bad_gr
          As an option, I admit that the cover covers the barrel bending accounting mirror.

          Yes, it looks like a mirror. A characteristic protrusion upward on the muzzle of the barrel is visible under the tarpaulin.
  7. The comment was deleted.
  8. Baron pardus
    Baron pardus 11 March 2021 04: 42
    0
    Everything new is well forgotten old. Where I heard it: mobility, weapons, thin armor, calculation for maneuver. Oh yeah, Leopard 1 and Amx30. By the way, I read about the M8 tank in the Foreign Military Review back in the late 80s. Nothing fundamentally new. The same Leopard 1 and Amx30 will be at the exit. With new LMS and active protection.
  9. Shuttle
    Shuttle 12 March 2021 13: 05
    -2
    Damn that bow on the side. What are the goals of the MFP? That's right - a new device to replace the old one. Why? By the swing! Because you need something new instead of an old one. What are the objective reasons for creating a new car? Does the United States have new threats on the surface of this planet? Not.
    So it turns out that the task is not really clear to the developers. What tasks should a new weapon model perform? Fight enemy MBT? Hardly. It is too small for this. Participate in police operations like the Middle East suppressing heavily armed infantry and light armored vehicles? Maybe. But then it is unlikely that US citizens will sit in it. Rather, some Saudis or, on the contrary, Houthis. Or the one who by that time will become a partner for the United States, and who is a threat.
    And "This [our] Country" continues to develop a line towards teletanks. And he does the right thing.
  10. Konnick
    Konnick 14 March 2021 08: 43
    0
    Quote: carstorm 11
    UVZ complexities are quite simple and obvious. They will be solved, do not worry. It produces more products per year than any similar plant in the world. But they were pretty well hooked by the sanctions, which was not hidden.

    It's not even funny, if such simple difficulties, then why can't they solve the problem with welded seams on the T-90M "Breakthrough" turret?
    And I will tell you that they have not even solved the problem with welded seams on the frames of their cars for 25 years, they cracked and cracked, and their brake linkage of the carriage bogie, in particular the dead center earring, simply ignores the laws of mechanics. Sanctions hooked them ... excuse me, how?
    Well, their welding equipment is from the Swedish company ESAB, well, horizontal boring machines Skoda, so it was bought almost under the Union. How do the sanctions affect now?
  11. Konnick
    Konnick 14 March 2021 08: 49
    0
    Quote: Baron Pardus
    Everything new is well forgotten old. Where I heard it: mobility, weapons, thin armor, calculation for maneuver. Oh yeah, Leopard 1 and Amx30. By the way, I read about the M8 tank in the Foreign Military Review back in the late 80s. Nothing fundamentally new. The same Leopard 1 and Amx30 will be at the exit. With new LMS and active protection.


    Keyword "...active protection. "... If they have created a KAZ with good reliability, perhaps, then why the extra tons of armor? And with a reliable KAZ, these light tanks will be on a par with our T-90M. Don't underestimate your opponent. There has already been shapkozakidaystvo and more than once.
  12. oppozite28
    oppozite28 15 March 2021 08: 15
    0
    Probably the light tank will be more interested in the USMC than the ground forces. Overall, this is a noteworthy machine that has potential. At least until the US develops a fifth-generation tank. That is, emphasis is placed on improving combat tactics, in combination with the use of both the ILC and armored cavalry units of the ground forces. good
  13. Yrec
    Yrec 13 May 2021 11: 21
    0
    Judging by the size from the photo, such a "light" tank will have a curb weight of over 40 tons. It will only have "light" armor, which will penetrate into the forehead with a 30-mm AP projectile from 1000-1500 m and a 57-mm AP shell from 2000-3000 m. A 12,7-mm AP bullet will penetrate the side. A sniper with an "anti-material" rifle is a verdict for such a tank. About specialized PT-means, I generally keep quiet.