The US Army will be permitted to increase its purchase of Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPV) following the provision of around 200 in-service M113 armoured personnel carriers to Ukraine to aid Kyiv in its fight against Russia.
The programme will deliver around 2,900 vehicles across five variants, including command and control, mortar carrier, general-purpose, medical evacuation, and medical treatment. The medical variants in particular will offer a step-change in capability to deployed soldiers, providing greater mobility, force protection and on-board power than the M113 platform it will replace.
A further 1,900 M113 vehicles will be retained for use in roles referred to as Echelon Above Brigade, which have not been included in the US Army’s modernisation plans, according to a US Congressional Research Service (CRS) report from May 2022.
US Army officials speaking at AUSA in Washington, DC, this month said that the unit equipped with the platform will receive around 130 vehicles starting from January 2023.
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Final testing for the AMPV began at the start of Q2 this year, concluding in mid-Q3, with production now ramping up to 12 units per month from manufacturer BAE Systems, which is planned to rise to 16 units per month to take into account the Ukrainian M113 recapitalisation.
US Army officials said that they are targeting the replacement of all M113 platforms that were taken from frontline units with the AMPV. The AMPV platform entered low-rate initial production (LRIP) in 2019.
According to the CRS report manufacturer BAE Systems did not meet the LRIP targets due to difficulties encountered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It failed to meet its July 2020 first vehicle delivery date, and was more than six months behind the original schedule to deliver vehicles to support AMPV initial operational testing and evaluation and live-fire test events. BAE Systems reportedly delivered the first LRIP AMPV to the US Army in August 2020.
The US Army is currently undergoing an extensive recapitalisation programme of its armoured mobility fleets, with the AMPV replacing the legacy M113 platforms, while the future Optionally Manned Fighting Vehicle (OMFV) will in turn replace the Bradley vehicles. The OMFV contract to take forward three proposals into the concept design phase is expected to be awarded in November.
Land vehicle market growth
The global land vehicle market is expected to reach $27.6bn in 2032, driven by increased geopolitical tensions and defence modernisation initiatives, according to GlobalData research. A number of elements are driving this growth, including the US Army’s OMFV effort, as well as its Mobile Protected Firepower programme that will deliver a light tank to US formations.
In Europe, France and Germany are replacing their Leclerc and Leopard 2 tanks through the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS) programme. Similarly, the UK is upgrading its Challenger 2 battle tanks to the Challenger 3 standard, Turkey is manufacturing its indigenous Altay battle tank, and Poland is procuring the M1A1 Abrams tank from the US.