Army AMPV Schedule–and Price Tag–Come Into Focus

Sequestration or no, the defense industry and Pentagon procurement officials are just going to keep going along for as long as there’s business to be done – even if everyone knows that the numbers they’re currently working with are going to change.

On April 23, the US Army held its second Industry Day for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, the planned multi-billion dollar replacement for thousands of ancient M113 infantry carriers.

The competition is a critical one for the defense industrial base, since the Army will pick a single winner for the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the program next May for the right to build 2,897 vehicles once full rate production begins in 2020.

Slides presented at the event pinpoint June 28 as the release date for the official RFP (a draft RFP was issued in March), which gives the two main competitors–BAE Systems and General Dynamics—eleven months to get final designs in.

The service continues to maintain that it’s looking to spend at most $1.8 million per vehicle, which means that to purchase 2,897 vehicles at the rate of 2- 3 brigade combat teams a year, the price tag will be $5.2 billion for the full-rate production contract.

The Army is also planning to spend $390 million between 2014 and 2017, and another billion for low rate initial production between 2018 and 2020, on the program, bringing the total price tag up to about $6 billion in pre-sequester dollars.

What those numbers might look like once the impact of sequestration and the flattening yearly budgets the Army has to look forward to in the near-term is still up in the air.

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Paul McLeary

McLeary covers national security policies at the White House, Pentagon, the Hill, and State Department.
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