U.S. Army selects Anniston Army Depot for AMPV de-processing
On 13th April 2020, the U.S. Army announced the selection of Anniston Army Depot (ANAD) as the de-processing site for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) program. The AMPV has proven through operational and developmental testing to be more effective and survivable than the thousands of M113s it is replacing. Ashley John reports.
Soldiers from 4th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry Regiment "Dark Horse," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, drive through a low-water crossing in the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) after completing field testing on Fort Hood, Texas Sept. 24, 2018. The two-month AMPV field test ended Sept. 24, 2018. (Picture source: U.S. Army/Maj. Carson Petry, 1st CAV)
De-processing for the Army’s combat vehicles is a step that occurs prior to fielding vehicles for the first time. “Think of it as the Army’s version of “dealer prep” when you buy a new vehicle,” said Maj. Gen. Brian Cummings, the Army’s program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems. “Combat vehicles are sent from the production facility to a dedicated location to complete any required updates and stage vehicles for final shipment to a unit.”
In early 2019, the Project Manager for Mounted Armored Vehicles (PM MAV) evaluated potential de-processing locations, including Army National Guard and multiple U.S. Army installations where PEO Ground Combat Systems already had an established Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) footprint.
A total of nine potential sites were selected for the initial comparative analysis based on market research. Following the initial analysis, a detailed business case analysis was conducted on four sites that indicated they had adequate space to support this mission – Camp Shelby (Mississippi), Anniston Army Depot (Alabama), Fort Bliss (Texas) and Fort Carson (Colorado).
The AMPV program received its Milestone C approval in December 2019 and is currently in Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP), building an increased number of vehicles to get a better capability into Soldiers' hands quicker to address real-world situations. “AMPV provides a significant improvement in ballistic protection and is on-track for closing the operational gaps we are currently seeing in force protection,” said Cummings.
Unlike the M113s being replaced, the AMPV is specially designed to support the mission requirements of each variant: General Purpose, Mission Command, Mortar Carrier, Medical Evacuation, and Medical Treatment. The designs will provide mobility and protection that surpasses the level currently in the field in any formation and ready to support the Armored Brigade Combat Team as we move to modernize the formation with the Next Generation Combat Vehicles.
BAE Systems, the AMPV equipment manufacturer, has modernized the AMPV production line in their York, PA facility and is on contract to deliver the first 457 of 2,897 AMPVs, with initial vehicle delivery in the summer of 2020. A robotic weld cell and improved welding machines are two of the improved measures that have been integrated into the AMPV production line.