The U.S. Army will receive its first Armored Multipurpose Vehicle (AMPV) prototype from BAE Systems this December, according to company officials. This will be the first of 29 prototypes that will be delivered to the army as part of a 52-month engineering and manufacturing development contract that was awarded back in December 2014.
According to James Miller, business development director at BAE Systems Combat Vehicles, six vehicles are currently going through the production line at the company’s York facility in Pennsylvania.
The AMPVs will come in five variants: mission command, medical treatment, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), general purpose, and mortar carrier.
Miller added that one design change to the vehicle has been to increase the height of the vehicle, in order to increase space and survivability for the soldiers in the back. That has increased the weight, but it remains within the weight limits set by the army.
The AMPV was initially described as a ‘turretless Bradley’, although it does not share the same hull as the Bradley M2 owing to the survivability requirements from the army.
Once delivered, the U.S. army will begin a comprehensive testing phase on the prototype vehicles, beginning with ballistic firing tests on the mortar carrier variant, while initial system level testing will focus on reliability and automotive performance.
The US Army eventually wants to replace its entire M113 vehicle inventory, which are no longer used in frontline roles due to their poor protection. The AMPV will be used by armored brigade combat teams, working alongside the M1 Abrams and M2 Bradley.