By Mrs. Ashley John-Givens (ASA (ALT))December 15, 2016
York, Pa. (Dec. 15, 2016) -- This morning, the Army celebrated the rollout of the first Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) during a ceremony at BAE Systems' facility in York, Pa., nearly two years from the initial contract award and just six-month after the critical design review.
The AMPV is the first of over 3,000 AMPVs which will replace the Army's aging fleet of M113s in the Armored Brigade Combat Teams around the world, significantly enhancing the capabilities in the field.
"Providing more size, power, cooling, and mobility the AMPV will enable mission command on the move, restore indirect fire support to the combined arms battalions, protect the company's logistical support, and provide significantly greater care to our wounded Soldiers," said Col. Mike Milner, the Army' project manager for the AMPV.
This will all be accomplished while providing a protection and survivability level well above the capabilities in the field today -- on cost and on schedule.
"We have the best Army in the world, bar none," said Milner. "The equipment we provide our Soldiers is representative of the acquisition and it [the acquisition process] is doing a good job of making sure our Soldiers go into the fight with the upper hand in technology and capabilities."
During the ceremony Milner went on to describe that the key to obtaining new capabilities is to set a requirement that is achievable given the maturity of the technology available, setting up a program that focuses on the activities necessary to design, build, test, and field, and establishing realistic cost estimates.
"The key is to not let the process drive the program, but rather have the program drive the process," stated Milner.
Since entering Milestone B in December 2014, this has been a dedicated effort to refine and complete the design that BAE started with, leveraging the Bradley fighting vehicle and the mission equipment packages out of the M113 vehicles. The team (Army and our industry partners) adjusted requirements where necessary to add capabilities not originally included and drove down some requirements that increased cost in ways that didn't reflect the Army's priorities.
"AMPV is also the first major ground combat systems program where our current chief of staff, Gen. Mark Milley has taken an active, personal role in shaping the requirements and acquisition trade-offs necessary to keep this program moving forward and delivering the capabilities that our Soldiers deserve," said Maj. Gen. David Bassett, the Army's program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems.
Bassett went on to describe that the Milley's personal involvement allowed the team to focus our resources on delivering the capabilities that matter most, ensuring that we have stayed aligned with his priorities of soldier force protection, mobility, and reliability.
"That effort, on budget, and on schedule, reflects the kind of cooperation and teamwork that all successful programs exhibit," said Bassett.
In December 2014, the U.S. Army announced the selection of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract for the AMPV program. The initial award was for a 52-month base term, valued at approximately $382 million, during which BAE Systems will produce 29 vehicles. Integration of this vehicle will replace and improve upon capabilities lost with the obsolete M113 Family of Vehicles, while greatly increasing the Army's overall ground combat posture.
In 2007 the M113 program was terminated due to inadequate force protection, its inability to incorporate future technologies due to maximized size, weight, power, and cooling (SWAP-C), and ability to keep pace and fight within the Army's ABCT fleet. The AMPV is anticipated to satisfy critical missions necessary to tackle ground combat situations alongside the ABCT fleet.
During the 52-month EMD phase, the Army's program executive office for Ground Combat Systems and BAE Systems will develop an affordable, integrated system to meet the Army's critical requirements. The Army will take the 29 vehicles produced in this phase and put them through rigorous developmental and operational testing to ensure they are effective and suitable for today's mechanized warrior. The award also provides an optional LRIP phase; if awarded, the company would produce an additional 289 vehicles for a total contract value of $1.2 billion.
The current AMPV program will only replace 2,897 M113 vehicles at the brigade and below level within the ABCT. There are an additional 1,922 M113s supporting Echelons Above Brigade (EAB). The EAB level replacements may have different requirements than the current procurement, and have not yet been developed. The Army is currently assessing how it will address these emerging requirements.