The Army’s chief of staff on Wednesday said efforts to replenish stockpiles of equipment sent to Ukraine should focus on bringing in upgraded capabilities rather than buying “new old stuff.” 

“What we’re doing in the Army, with the approval of Congress, is that we don’t want to buy new old stuff, if that makes sense. What I mean by that is if we give M113 Armored Personnel Carriers and we’re going to replace them…what we want to do is replace them with the AMPV, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle. [Then] we’re actually improving the readiness of the Army rather than buying or replenishing with older types of things,” Gen. James McConville, the Army chief, said remarks at an Association of the United States Army discussion.

An AMPV pictured with the new Objective Commander’s Weapon Station, developed by the Army’s Combat Capabilities Development Command Armaments Center at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey. (U.S. Army photo by Mark Schauer)

McConville’s remarks echo previous comments from Bill LaPlante, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official, who has said his goal remains to replenish stockpiles of equipment sent to Ukraine on a ‘one-to-one’ basis with either current systems or next-generation updates (Defense Daily, Sept. 7). 

“That’s like a Javelin F-[model], for example, are the ones in production now. Probably pretty soon we’re going to switch to the next version of Javelin, the G-model, which is a different upgrade. We’ll shift to that. But you start with, if you can do it, one-to-one. You start there. If you can’t do one-for-one, you do something that’s like the next-gen,” LaPlante told Defense Daily at the time.  

McConville’s comments on Wednesday were in response to a question on how the Army is assessing supply chain concerns as it works to assist Ukraine’s security aid requirements. 

“We are concerned about that. We watch that. Every decision that’s made on what we’re going to give, we take a look at the impact on readiness and how we can replenish those systems,” McConville said.

M113 Armored Personnel Carriers, as McConville mentioned, were part of the recent $2.85 billion weapons package for Ukraine, which included plans to provide Kyiv with 100 of the vehicles (Defense Daily, Jan. 6). 

For the BAE Systems-built AMPV, which is the replacement for the M113, the Army has detailed plans to buy 131 vehicles for just over $680 million annually starting in FY ‘24 through FY ‘27 (Defense Daily, April 19).