The MPF programme is relatively small and restrained compared with other US Army efforts to develop or buy new combat vehicles. Congress is likely to support the army's upcoming MPF efforts - particularly one that does not include a 'bottom-up' design, as Maj Gen Bassett noted. But there is still notable programme risk given the US military's recent, dismal history with combat vehicle development projects.
For example, the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) programme was to be an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) that army leadership directed to be produced within a seven-year timeframe. It started in 2011 and was cancelled in 2014.
The GCV's lineage can be indirectly traced to the Crusader self-propelled howitzer (SPH) that was cancelled in 2002 and eventually replaced with the Non Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C), an advanced SPH within the Future Combat Systems' Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) family.
The MGV family of vehicles was cancelled in 2009, at which point the army said it still preferred to obtain a new SPH under a follow-on programme. However, the service then began shifting its focus for vehicles away from fires and towards empowering squad-level operations and so decided to pursue an IFV that could carry an entire squad for the erstwhile GCV project.
Secretary of the US Army Eric Fanning, said during a 3 October press briefing at AUSA that lots of institutional work has been done to learn lessons from these failed vehicle development programmes.