The newspaper said that GDLS will produce 26 light tanks for the US Army in the first round, followed by 70 vehicles with a total value of $1.14 billion. BAE Systems was still in the tender for light tanks, but they were phased out months ago, so the end was clear.
US policy makers made a decision on the GDLS product based on the study of 12 prototypes, eight of which will be published. The GDLS prototype is called the Griffin, but it is not certain that it will work under this name – American tanks are usually named after the generals.
Production of the new combat vehicle will begin in 19 months, with the first vehicles to be delivered to US forces in 2025. Each combat vehicle is designed with a life cycle of 30 years.
The United States has not produced a light tank for more than 50 years. The last M551 Sheridan model rolled off the assembly line in 1970, and in 1996 the tank type was removed from the system. The tank’s successor was roughly the BA8 Systems M8 Buford, an upgraded version of which was dropped in the current tender, but the program was cut short by policymakers in the late 1990s for budgetary reasons. Thus, the United States has not had a light tank in 26 years.
The cover photo shows a Sheridan tank. Source: Getty Images
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