The U.S. Army just awarded BAE Systems contract modifications worth up to $575 million for its Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle effort to replace the Vietnam War-era M113 armored personnel carrier.
The two contract modifications mark the beginning of low-rate production for the highly mobile, survivable, multipurpose vehicle designed to keep up with M1 tanks and M2 Bradley fighting vehicles in the service's armored brigade combat teams (ABCT), according to a BAE press release.
Production will include five variants of the AMPV: command-and-control; general purpose; medical evacuation; medical treatment; and mortar carrier.
The tracked AMPV meets the Army's all-terrain mobility requirements and offers increased protection, the release states.
"Commonality within the ABCT also streamlines maintenance and provides significant cost savings to the Army," according to BAE's release.
The service plans to spend roughly $10 billion on the AMPV effort to replace its fleet of nearly 3,000 M113s.
BAE was able start production as a result of previously awarded funding to support production planning, combined with a $128 million award in January, the release states. A second award in February for $447 million brings the total LRIP funding so far to $873 million, according to the release.
These contracts come following the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development phase and a Milestone C decision. Under the earlier EMD award, the company produced and delivered prototype vehicles to the Army for test and evaluation purposes, the release states.
"The initial award in 2014 also provided options to begin the LRIP phase prior to the completion of the EMD phase, at which time the company would produce up to approximately 460 additional vehicles for a cumulative contract value of up to $1.2 billion," according to the release.
Work on the program will take place at BAE Systems' facilities in Aiken, South Carolina; Minneapolis, Minnesota; San Jose, California; Sterling Heights, Michigan; and York, Pennsylvania.
"Moving into this phase of the AMPV program is exciting because it brings soldiers one step closer to deploying this critical capability for completing their missions and coming home safely," Bill Sheehy, AMPV program director for BAE Systems' combat vehicles business, said in the release. "We have been preparing for this moment and are ready to take this program to the next stage."
-- Matthew Cox can be reached at email@example.com.