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Monday, October 21, 2013

The Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV): Background and Issues for Congress

Andrew Feickert
Specialist in Military Ground Forces

The Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) is the Army’s proposed replacement to the Vietnam-era M-113 personnel carriers, which are still in service in a variety of support capacities in Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs). While M-113s no longer serve as infantry fighting vehicles, five variants of the M-113 are used as command and control vehicles, general purpose vehicles, mortar carriers, and medical treatment and evacuation vehicles. An estimated 3,000 of these M-113 variants are currently in service with the Army.

The AMPV is intended to be a “vehicle integration” or non-developmental program (candidate vehicles will be either existing vehicles or modified existing vehicles—not vehicles that are specially designed and not currently in service). Some suggest that a non-developmental vehicle might make it easier for the Army to eventually field this system to the force, as most of the Army’s most recent developmental programs, such as the Future Combat System (FCS), the Crusader self-propelled artillery system, and the Comanche helicopter were cancelled before they could be fully developed and fielded.

The Army anticipates releasing a Request for Proposal (RFP) in mid-September 2013, followed by an Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contract award in May 2014. Full rate production could begin in FY2020, and the Army plans to procure 2,897 AMPVs; however, these quantities could change if the Army further reduces its force structure.

The Administration’s FY2014 AMPV Budget Request was $116.298 million in Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) funding. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees recommended fully funding the FY2014 AMPV Budget Request. The House Appropriations Committee recommended $86.298 million in RDT&E funding, cutting $30 million from the FY2014 Budget AMPV Request due to schedule slip. This is due to the Army’s decision to slip the AMPV’s Request for Proposal from June 2013 to mid-September 2013. The Senate Appropriations Committee has recommended fully funding the FY2014 AMPV Budget Request.

A potential issue for Congress is, should the AMPV be the Army’s number one combat vehicle acquisition priority? The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) noted in a report that it might be advisable to make the replacement of M-113s with AMPVs the Army’s first acquisition priority as opposed to developing the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV). Other defense officials and analysts suggest, given current and anticipated future defense budgetary constraints, the Army’s emphasis on the GCV might be unrealistic. They instead suggest a more appropriate course of action might be for the Army to shift its emphasis to the non-developmental AMPV

Date of Report: September 24, 2013
Number of Pages: 9
Order Number: R43240
Price: $19.95

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