The Pentagon has allocated $ 376 million to the largest defense contractors BAE and General Dynamics to develop a light tank for the US Army. The program is designed for 14 months. During this time, its participants must submit 12 units of the chosen design. According to the results of the tests, which will take place in 2022, the winner will be determined. He will get an order for the production of 504 combat vehicles.
The US Army consists of more than ten infantry brigades - light infantry, airborne, and air assault, numbering from 2, 000 to 4, 000 soldiers. These units, designed for rapid deployment, are in dire need of heavy equipment such as the M1A2 Abrams M2A3 tank and the Bradley BMP.
The program was named Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF). It involves the creation of 504 light armored vehicles weighing up to 30 tons, armed with a 105 or 120 mm cannon. The C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft will be able to carry two of these vehicles.
The MPF program looks very relevant. Recently, the US Army has had to deal mainly with guerrilla formations, which, however, does not exclude the possibility of confrontation with regular armies. For this, light infantry will need anti-tank missiles, artillery and other military equipment.
General Dynamics is ready to offer the BMP Griffin, a modified version of the British Army's new Ajax tracked reconnaissance vehicle, equipped with an M1A2 Abrams tank turret. Its competitor, BAE, intends to release an updated version of the M8 Buford light tank, which can be dropped from an aircraft, but which was never adopted for service in the 1990s.