Sterling Heights-based BAE Systems and General Dynamics are finalists in the U.S. Army’s selection process to produce a new light tank for its Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Each company has been awarded $376-million contracts, and each will provide 12 prototypes.
The U.S. Army says the selected vehicle will have tracks like a tank, be equipped with a 105mm-to-120mm cannon, be able to withstand a classified level of enemy fire and two of them need to fit in the back of a C-17 aircraft. Its mission is to provide precision fire in support of ground troops engaging secured enemy positions in dense urban areas. Forces currently use artillery in these situations.
Deepak Bazaz, director of combat vehicles programs at BAE Systems, says its company’s solution will combine new technology with proven capability to provide the Army with a highly agile, armor-protected platform that delivers overwhelming and precise firepower for use across the spectrum of terrains and operations.
“Our offering integrates innovative technology that reduces the burden on the crew into a compact design deployable in areas that are hard to reach,” Bazaz says. “We’re confident our design meets the requirements and the unique capabilities the IBCT needs.”
BAE Systems’ will work on the vehicle in facilities in Sterling Heights; Aiken, S.C.; San Jose, Calif.; and York, Penn.
Don Kotchman, General Dynamics’ vice president and general manager, says, “We are excited about this opportunity to provide the U.S. Army a large-caliber, highly mobile combat vehicle to support the infantry brigade combat teams. We are especially proud of this new opportunity to serve in the Infantry Brigade Combat Team formation, which we have not done until now.”
General Dynamics will execute its work on the contract in Scranton, Pa.; Tallahassee, Fla.; and Lima, Ohio.