The U.S. Army released a draft request for proposals for its Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program on Nov. 1, in anticipation of a final RfP scheduled to hit the streets during the second quarter of fiscal 2013.
The partial document states that the service wants prospective bidders to submit a proposal that looks out across 10 years of development and production, “which includes three years of Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD), three option years of Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) requirements, and four option years of Full Rate Production (FRP) requirements,” according to the draft.
The draft also reaffirms that the Army is looking to buy five variants of the M113 armored personnel carrier replacement: mission command, medical treatment vehicle, medical evacuation vehicle, general purpose, and mortar carrier vehicle, each of which should have an average unit manufacturing cost no greater than $1.8 million, in fiscal 2012 budget dollars.
During the AUSA convention in Washington on Oct. 23, Col. Bill Sheehey, program manager, Heavy Brigade Combat Team, said that the Defense Acquisition Board will meet in January to determine the way forward for the AMPV program, and service officials were scheduled to brief the Pentagon’s top acquisition executive, Frank Kendall, on the program’s analysis of alternatives by the end of October.
Previous Army documents have called for up to 3,800 AMPVs to be purchased, and BAE Systems and General Dynamics Land Systems are both hotly pursuing the work with BAE offering a variant of its Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, and GD offering a variant of its eight-wheel Stryker, as well as its newly unveiled tracked Stryker.
The Army has repeatedly stressed that it has no interest in developing a new vehicle, and expects industry to come ready to submit mature designs that meet the requirements set forth.
The plan in the draft document calls for the award of up to two EMD contracts, followed by a downselect after which one contractor would win a low-rate initial production deal. The three-year EMD phase will be funded by a “6-month period of performance, 12-month period of performance, 12-month period of performance, and-6 month period of performance,” the draft states, and both the low-rate and full-rate production awards will consist of firm fixed price contracts.
The draft RfP called for 57 percent commonality in parts across the AMPV family of vehicles, while specifying that once a full-rate production contract is awarded, the Army expected to buy 296 vehicles a year for the first four years. While an Industry Day was initially scheduled for November, it has been pushed back until January, and the Army expects to release a full version of the draft RfP in December.
While BAE and GD are both submitting tracked and wheeled platforms to replace the tracked M113, Sheehey said, “I am not married to a tracked solution” as long as the platform meets requirements.