SAIC Will Not Compete to Replace the US Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle

An M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle during an exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

Maj. Carson Petry

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An M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle during an exercise at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif.

After losing bids for Army and Marine Corps projects, the incoming CEO says the company will focus on upgrade work.

SAIC will not bid to replace the U.S. Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle, but will continue to do upgrades on others’ armored vehicles, the company’s incoming CEO said on Tuesday.

The decision to stay out of the multi-billion dollar optionally manned fighting vehicle project marks a change in strategy for the company, which unsuccessfully bid to build light tanks for the Army and Amphibious Combat Vehicles for the Marine Corps.

“We’ve made the decision at this point to change course a bit,” Nazzic Keene, the company’s CEO-elect, said in a Tuesday interview. “We’re not actively pursuing any of the large programs of record of those natures.”

Keene did not name the Bradley replacement program — but it is the Army’s only major vehicle program for which the service is soliciting bids.

She will become SAIC CEO on Thursday, replacing Tony Moraco, who is retiring.

Related: SAIC Closes Engility Acquisition — and Looks for More Growth

Related: Global Business Briefing with SAIC CEO Tony Moraco

Related: US Army Narrows Search For Light Tank to Two Companies

SAIC executives had long touted their company’s unusual approach to bidding on combat vehicles. Instead of building the vehicles and equipping them with high-tech electronics themselves, as General Dynamics and BAE Systems do, SAIC proposed to work with Singapore-based armored vehicle maker ST Engineering to customize foreign-made vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps.

In an interview in January, Moraco said the company was still looking at vehicle modernization work.

“I still believe that we differentiate on complex technology integration programs more so than just staff augmentation across a wide dimension of areas,” he said. “It has to be compatible with our services business model.”

Keene on Tuesday said SAIC “leverage the core competencies” that led it to the armored vehicles market.

“We have just tremendously talented folks that are in the engineering realm and really helping the government think about how to engineer solutions [and] how to prototype solutions,” she said. “We’re focused on that aspect of that industry versus going after the large fixed-price programs of record.”

In March, the Army issued a request for proposals for the Bradley replacement, known as the  Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle. In June, BAE Systems told Defense News that it would not submit a bid to replace the Bradley.

General Dynamics is expected to enter a bid and Raytheon has partnered with German-tank maker Rheinmetall to compete for the contract. Bids are due in September.

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