BAE Systems continues refining its proposed solution for the Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) family of vehicles program to include improved underbody survivability for the vehicle expected to replace the current M113 vehicles within the Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT).

The program, with a Request for Proposals (RFP) expected this summer, would fill gaps in current and future capability in force protection, mobility, reliability, and interoperability by mission role variant within the HBCT. The draft RFP said the AMPV is a vehicle integration program whereby existing Mission Equipment Packages (MEPs) would be transferred into the AMPV platforms.

A company executive refuted concerns by the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) over vulnerabilities found during underbody testing as part of the Bradley Engineering Change Proposal (ECP).

The DOT&E 2012 Annual Report ECP assessment stated: Results from the first two underbody blast tests also demonstrate that survivability modifications to the Bradley Fighting Vehicle would be required if it is chosen as the platform for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) to meet the draft AMPV survivability requirement.

However, Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager Ground Combat Vehicles at BAE told Defense Daily in an interview, “We understand clearly the results of tests that took place, and our AMPV has already incurred fixes identified in that test…We’ve already tested AMPV internally against threats larger than Bradley threats.”

Additionally, he said, it’s not comparing like to like. AMPV and Bradley have different levels of survivability because they were designed against different threats.

BAE introduced a prototype AMPV in October (Defense Daily, Nov. 8, 2012).

“We continue to do additional survivability analysis, test and integration around that (prototype),” he said. “We’ve done work in terms of integrating mission equipment packages.”

BAE continues its analysis on the different AMPV variants and compare its proposed offering to the draft specifications, Signorelli said. The tricky one is the mortar carrier vehicle, as it is the variant most different from the others.

The draft RFP calls for no greater than a $1.8 million average unit manufacturing cost in fiscal year 2012 dollars, but Signorelli said “our offering would be significantly less than that. “Given the maturity of our offering, the fact we have a warm production line going, all kinds of things like that, allow us to be very aggressive against that cost target.” 

Additionally, the BAE offering is likely to have 75-90 percent commonality between variants, he said, well above the initial 57 percent commonality discussed in the draft RFP.

Since with the Bradley form follows function, with a similar mission, the Bradley-based BAE AMPV solution would probably look similar, he said. However, the AMPV prototype is somewhere more than one and a half times the interior volume of the M113.

The AMPV would be armed for self-protection, he said, not necessarily having an offensive capability. “Our offering would have exactly the same armor protection as the Bradley.” Whatever goes on the Bradley would be 100 percent applicable, he said.

Additionally, the AMPV baseline BAE would offer is designed with a capacity for growth where a Bradley base doesn’t have same level of inherent growth.

Signorelli said the BAE Systems AMPV is a mature, low risk and cost effective solution that rapidly delivers continued combat overmatch capability for the U.S. Army.

The AMPV will have multiple variants: general purpose, medical evacuation, medical treatment, mortar carrier, and mission command.