US approves new design for heavy weaponry — Analysis

Some $1.14 billion of taxpayers’ money will be spent on light tanks produced by General Dynamics Land Systems

A new design has been approved by the US Army for a light-tank. The Pentagon will purchase 96 units from General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) marking the Pentagon’s first acquisition of such vehicles since the Cold War.

A contract was announced Tuesday by the Army for $1.14 billion to manufacture a series of armored support vehicles. 

The GDLS-Griffin II tank had been declared the winner in the Mobile Protected Firepower(MPF) contest. This program was an attempt to make a vehicle from a class the US military started in 2015. This competition ended in 1996.

“MPF represents a new capability for the Army, allowing our light maneuver forces to overmatch adversaries,”Major General Ross Coffman is the director of Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team. The MPF received praise from the Pentagon. “a benchmark program”.

In December 2018, the GDLS Griffin 2 design was among two that were selected. The firm’s rival, British defense giant BAE Systems, was reportedly disqualified after failing to keep up with the schedule to deliver prototypes for testing. There were 24 Griffin II prototypes that participated in these trials.

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The US military referred to the MPF, who was described as the spiritual successor of the Vietnam-era M551 Sheridan. According to Automotive News Website The Drive, it was retired in 1997. 

The new GDLS product is armed with a 105mm XM35 gun, originally designed for the scrapped 1990s program, mounted in a turret derived from a variant of the GDLS’ M1 Abrams main battle tank. Unlike the Sheridan, it’s not air-dropped, but can be airlifted, with two vehicles transported by a single C-17A Globemaster III cargo aircraft.

The Association of the US Army’s annual convention will be the occasion to officially name the new light tank. It is expected that it will receive this title in the fall of 2012.

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