U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Natick, MA 01760-5012
Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
Date: August 22, 2001
Natick Soldier Center takes lead on Objective Force Warrior
Natick, Mass. --- As the Army continues its transformation to the Objective Force for 2020 and beyond, the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command (SBCCOM) Natick Soldier Center (NSRDEC) is taking the lead in an Army effort to transform the individual soldier.
With a substantial influx of science and technology (S&T) funding, the Objective Force Warrior (OFW) Program will be the Army's flagship program to develop revolutionary warrior concepts, designs, and demonstration prototypes and will serve as an Objective Force transformation pillar complementing the Future Combat System (FCS).
The program will begin in October 2001 (fiscal year 2002) with up to four competing industrial teams developing concepts for a revolutionary warrior of the future. The S&T program will conclude in September 2008 (fiscal year 2008) with demonstrations by up to two competing designs. The program will then transition to the PM Soldier Systems for System Design and Development (SDD) as a block upgrade to the Land Warrior. A contract solicitation package is currently being developed, and is expected to be released in the December 2001 timeframe.
Using the Army's soon-to-be-fielded Land Warrior as a baseline and point of departure, the OFW program will develop revolutionary advances in soldier lethality, individual survivability, communication, power sources, soldier mobility/sustainability, and human performance. Early and continuous integration of all system technologies and subsystems will be the key to the success of the OFW program.
By employing a contracting approach similar to that being used for the FCS, the Army will award competing integration contracts/agreements with industry teams. These teams will be charged to develop a warfighter concept by leveraging ongoing Army, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and other Department of Defense Science and Technology (S&T) investments, and also by introducing the latest commercial technologies.
The Army is also seeking to entice "non-traditional" industrial players into the program as well.
"There is an awful lot of great technology being developed out there. The question is how to tap into those sources that for one reason or another stay away from government contracting," said Pete Wallace, a project engineer with the OFW team. To attract these "non-traditionals," SBCCOM NSRDEC will employ a new contracting/agreements approach that cuts red tape and makes it easier for companies to do business with the Government.
The Army will also provide incentives for traditional Government contractors that may bid on the program to include non-traditionals in their approach, Wallace said.
For more information about the Natick Soldier Center or the U.S. Army Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, please visit our website at http://www.sbccom.army.mil.