BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman to pursue ground combat vehicle

The two companies announced a teaming agreement to pursue development of the U.S. Ground Combat Vehicle.

BAE Systems (London, U.K.) and Northrop Grumman Corp. (Arlington, Va., USA) on March 1 announced a teaming agreement to pursue the U.S. Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) program. The GCV program is a development effort headed by the U.S. Army and is designed to develop the next generation Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

"BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman have been pre-eminent suppliers of combat systems to the U.S. Army for more than 50 years," said Mark Signorelli, BAE Systems' vice president and general manager of Ground Combat Vehicle. "Our team looks forward to working side by side with the Army and its Soldiers in the development of the new Ground Combat Vehicle. Collectively we bring the proven experience, the latest technology and cultures of innovation and service to the Army's effort to develop a new generation of fighting vehicles."

BAE Systems will serve as the prime contractor in this partnership. It is the world's largest producer of combat vehicles, having fielded more than any other company in the world. The company is the top supplier to the U.S. Army's Heavy Brigades, one of the largest suppliers to the U.S. Department of Defense and the second largest defense company in the world. BAE Systems did not specify if composites would be used on the vehicle, but the material's use would make sense given the application.

Northrop Grumman will serve as the C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) lead, responsible for integration of command and control hardware and software, computers and communications equipment, sensors and sensor suites for intelligence gathering and force protection, and other functionality that requires 'plug and play' with the internal network or provides situational awareness across external networks.

"We are very pleased to be a member of the BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman GCV team," said Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Joe G. Taylor, Jr., vice president, ground combat systems at Northrop Grumman. "Together we bring an experience level of combat platform production and C4ISR integration capabilities to the GCV program that is unsurpassed by our competitors.  The GCV is an extremely important program for the Army. For the past 30 years BAE Systems has provided the infantry fighting vehicle which has successfully served the war fighter. We are proud to be a part of a team that will continue along that same path for the next 30 years."

The Army intends to award contracts to as many as three competitors this fall with production expected to begin in 2017.