Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle

By Gourley, Scott R. | Army, September 2012 | Go to article overview

Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle

Gourley, Scott R., Army

The Army is completing the analysis of alternatives (AoA) for its Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV). The AMPV family will replace the M113 series of armored personnel carriers and mission-based platforms currently serving in five mission roles within the Army's heavy brigade combat teams (HBCT): general purpose, mortar carrier vehicle, mission command (MCmd), medical evacuation vehicle and medical treatment vehicle.

Service representatives note that the intent of AMPV is to replace all mission roles simultaneously with one or more solutions. Although they emphasize that AMPV is not a mission equipment package (MEP) development program, they note that the vehicle/integration program should use existing Mil 3 MEP when possible.

AMPV will replace the approximately 3,000 M113-series platforms in the Army's HBCTs that make up a considerable portion of the entire HBCT fleet. The initial program focus will be on M113 systems within the HBCT with M113 replacement for echelons above brigade viewed as a later decision with potentially different requirements.

The AMPV effort stems from the Army's termination of the M113 program in 2007, the result of inadequate force protection and the inability of size, weight, power and cooling to incorporate future technologies and the inbound Army's network.

In February, the Defense Acquisition Executive approved the materiel development decision and granted the Army approval to enter into the materiel solutions analysis phase for AMPV. That decision allowed the Army to perform an analysis of alternatives to determine the most cost-effective replacement strategy for the Armored Personnel Carrier M113 family of vehicles (FoVs). As part of the AoA, the Army was directed to examine the current M113, current and modified existing vehicles (Bradley, M113 upgrades, MRAP and Stryker vehicles), other nondevelopmental items or modified nondevelopmental items, new start vehicles such as the Ground Combat Vehicle and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, or a combination of these alternatives.

The AoA process began with a "sources sought" announcement in mid-February calling for industry data that could support the AoA "and any potential future acquisition efforts."

That market survey was followed by an April 2012 "Industry Day" that further expanded communications. In addition, the Army also enhanced industry knowledge of current M113 MEP configurations by providing opportunities for the physical inspection of current systems like the M113A3 Full Tracked Armored Personnel Carrier, M1064A3 Self-Propelled 120 mm M121 Mortar Carrier, M1068A3 Standardized Integrated Command Post System Carrier and M577A3 Light Tracked Command Post Carrier.

Not surprisingly, industry interest in AMPV was evident long before the AoA process.

In a discussion of the potential opportunity at last year's AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition in October, Mike Cannon, senior vice president for ground combat systems at General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) said, "We are strongly pushing Stryker as the AMPV vehicle of choice."

"We don't think you have to do anything to a Stryker in order to replace 113s, and that's why we have three vehicles on the floor right now. We have a medical evacuation vehicle (the best ambulance in the world); an infantry carrier vehicle, which would be the 113 utility vehicle; and a command variant, which would be the 577 equivalent.

"We think the Army can get started quickly if they pick Stryker and start moving out," Cannon added, "but we're willing to wait on the analysis of alternatives because we think it will be very favorable for Stryker."

More recently, Don Kotchman, vice president, HBCT programs at GDLS, said, "Leveraging the strength of the Stryker Double-V Hull vehicle. General Dynamics is working to meet the Army's requirements and preferences for its AMPV solution. Our vehicle is built to meet all mobility, cost and schedule requirements of the Army while being less expensive to operate. …

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