Under a $15 million modification to the contract it holds to build the Army’s new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) BAE Systems will accelerate integration of communications gear into the platform.

The company was awarded a $15 million contract increase in early July to modify the AMPV platform integration design to “accommodate evolving Army network hardware and software required to be integrated into the design,” the Army said in a circuitously worded contract announcement.

The modification is to the existing engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract to revise the integration hardware of the AMPV Mission Command Variant to accept the next generation of the radio configurations being developed by the Army, a BAE spokesperson said in a statement. 

BAE Systems provides the system interfaces for the government-provided communication equipment. The design integration effort will be completed in late 2018 to support the test configurations of the low-rate initial production vehicles in 2019.

Work will be performed in Sterling Heights, Michigan, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 6, 2019. Fiscal 2017 research, development, test, and evaluation funds in the amount of $4,302,301 were obligated at the time of the award.

BAE is on the hook for 29 vehicles for the EMD phase of the program.

AMPV will replace the Army’s Vietnam-era M113 armored personnel carriers. Production and fielding has been accelerated in response to Russian expansionism that created a need for Army units in Europe to have a modern armored mobility platform.

The first new armored troop transport rolled off BAE’s York, Pa., production line in December 2016. The program currently is set up to produce 160 vehicles a year, which translates to outfitting a brigade combat team per year until all 3,000 or so vehicles are fielded. 

The new troop carrier is built to accept the communication equipment that will result from several ongoing Army development programs including the mid-tier networking vehicular radio and, eventually, the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical.