A variant of the BAE Systems Bradley became the sole competitor for the US Army's Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle with the withdrawal of General Dynamics. (US Army)
WASHINGTON — On the day that final bids were due for the US Army’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program, one of the two expected bidders — General Dynamics Land Systems — pulled out of the competition, leaving BAE Systems and its Bradley variant as the sole contender.
In a statement, GD didn’t completely close the door on the program. A spokesperson emailed that “the requirements and other provisions of the request for proposal (RFP) do not allow the company to provide a competitive solution,” but that “the company will not pursue the matter in Federal Circuit Court so as not to hinder the ability to continue to pursue its options to participate in the program.”
With the cancellation of the Ground Combat Vehicle earlier this year, the AMPV was the prize to be won while industry waits to see who the Army chooses next year to win the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program.
Just last month, GD saw a protest it had lodged with the Army Material Command rejected by the service, after which the company said it would refrain from lodging a new, more formal protest with the Government Accountability Office.
The protest argued that “the AMPV solicitation provides a competitive advantage” to BAE Systems, since BAE “has years of Army test and performance data” on the M113 personnel carrier, which the competition has been launched to replace.
The AMPV program, which would replace about 2,900 M113 infantry carriers, is expected to be worth about $5 billion to $7 billion when all is said and done.
BAE, on the other hand, released a statement touting its submission as a “highly survivable low-risk solution” for the Army.
Mark Signorelli, BAE’s vice president of combat vehicles, said its vehicle is “ready now and meets the Army’s survivability, force protection, and mobility requirements.”
The company also said its AMPV shares chassis and other components with the Army’s Bradley and Paladin systems — both BAE products — which would reduce the logistics tail in the service’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams.
General Dynamics had previously said it would use a variant of its eight-wheeled double V-hull Stryker vehicle for the program, and had lobbied Capitol Hill heavily in recent weeks to raise interest in a split buy that would see the Stryker used for at least one of the five AMPV variants.
The Army is planning on awarding an initial contract for the 52-month engineering manufacturing and development phase in January, followed by the first delivery of prototypes 24 months after that. ■