Washington, D.C. (Jan. 28, 2019) -- The Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program received its Milestone C approval in late December; an incremental step in the Department of Defense's acquisition process that allows entry in the production and deployment phase. The decision came ahead of schedule and was underpinned by strong Army leadership and overwhelming commitment."Today's announcement sets in motion an important modernization effort for the Army. As a team we've worked diligently to make certain we've taken the right steps early on to minimize risk to ensure AMPV remains an a great solution for replacing our aging and hard to maintain M113 fleet." said Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, the Army's program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems.Throughout the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase, AMPV has proven through operational and developmental testing to be more effective and survivable than the M113s it is replacing. The success of the Limited User Test was a determining factor in getting to this decision."The Soldier feedback during the user test was extremely positive," said Lt. Col. Adam Cannon, a squadron commander in the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, "It's simple; they want AMPVs now."The Army will now execute low rate initial production (LRIP), building an increased number of vehicles to get better capability into Soldiers' hands quicker to address real-world situations."AMPV provides significant improvement in ballistic protection and is on-track for closing the operational gaps we are currently seeing in force protection," said Col. Mike Milner, the project manager for AMPV.Unlike the M113s being replaced, the AMPV is specially designed to support the mission requirements of each variant: General Purpose, Mission Command, Mortar Carrier, Medical Evacuation, and Medical Treatment. The designs will provide mobility and protection that surpasses the level currently in the field in any formation and ready to support the Armored Brigade Combat Team as we move to modernize the formation with the Next Generation Combat Vehicles.BAE Systems, the AMPV equipment manufacturer, is modernizing the AMPV production line in their York, Pa. facility and will start producing up to 551 of the total 2,907 AMPVs, with initial vehicle delivery in early 2020. A robotic weld cell and improved welding machines are two identified improvement measures, and will be integrated into the AMPV production line in early 2019."We're honored to be part of the AMPV team, and proud to build these critical vehicles for the warfighter," said Adam Zarfoss, vice president and general manager of BAE System's Combat Vehicles business. "We've been investing in our facilities and leading edge manufacturing technology, and we are ready to move into production."AMPVs will address the M113's shortcomings in: survivability and force protection; size, weight, power and cooling (SWAP-C); and ability to incorporate future technologies and the Army's network. It also provides Commanders with viable capabilities to maneuver across the full breadth of the ABCT battlefield."Enabling mission command on the move, restoring indirect fire support to the combined arms battalions, protecting the company's logistical support, and providing significantly greater care to our wounded Soldiers are all capabilities being restored to the Army's ABCTs," said Milner.The AMPV program was approved in 2017 to build additional vehicles during LRIP to support the European Deterrence Initiative. The Army expects to equip its first unit with AMPVs in 2021.