The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, received the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), signifying the completion of the Army’s First Unit Equipped for the platform. (US Army/ Dan Heaton, Public Affairs, Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team.)

GLOBAL FORCE 2024 — As the US Army swaps out legacy M113 armored personnel carriers for new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles (AMPVs), it has asked BAE Systems to ramp production up to about 195 vehicles per year, or about 16 per month, according to a company official.

Last year the service greenlit AMPV full-rate production after working with the company to overcome production quality concerns, and just earlier this month awarded it with a $754 million follow-on deal out to February 2027.

Jim Miller, BAE’s vice president of business development for combat mission systems, said that as part of that contract extension, the company has moved forward with plans to grow AMPV production from one brigade set per year (approximately 130 vehicles) up to a brigade-and-a-half (in the neighborhood of 195-197 vehicles).

“That’s kind of the transition that we’re going through right now. It’s just really just a couple of vehicles [more] each month but… we have a whole complex supply chain that also has to ramp at the same time,” he told Breaking Defense during a March 22 interview. So, the “trick,” Miller added, is slowly ramping up over the next year to ensure that subcontractors can deliver parts in time and workers at BAE’s York, Pa. facility can produce the vehicles on time without repeating past quality control hiccups that led to a program rebaseline. 

“It’s a bit of a step-by-step process. What we don’t want to do is move so fast that we deliver a bunch of vehicles and we have to stop because we’ve outgrown the supply chain,” he said.

Army plans for the AMPV line currently revolve around five configurations: general purpose, mission command, mortar carriers, medical evacuation, and medical treatment.  However, the company is touting a top plate system as an avenue for rolling out new versions for Army leaders and possible foreign militaries to consider. 

During the Association of the US Army’s annual conference in October 2023, the company unveiled an AMPV counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) prototype. And, more recently, it delivered the AMPV External Mission Equipment Package (ExMEP) prototype with the Patria NEMO remote-controlled 120mm turreted mortar system. Miller said the service now plans to host a series of live-fire tests with that ExMEP version at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

We don’t know where it’s going; we just know that there’s this evaluation that the Army wanted to do,” he added.

In a similar vein, this week during AUSA Global Force, the company is showing off yet another prototype — AMPV NxT. That new configuration features Elbit America’s UT30 Mk2, an unmanned turret with a 30mm gun, that could potentially provide the service with “extra firepower” for scouting missions, Miller said.

BAE’s AMPV Nxt prototype on display March 26, 2024. (BAE Systems)