The M113 Armored Personnel Carrier and its variants are iconic vehicles in mechanized infantry history. First fielded in 1962, the M113 was ubiquitous during the conflict in Vietnam and has seen service in virtually every American military action in the ensuing decades. Though largely surpassed in both use and operation by the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, variants of the M113 continue in operation to this day. Nonetheless, the M113 was built for a different generation of warfighting, and the recently developed Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) incorporates a long list of upgrades that make it significantly more advanced than its predecessor.
Currently, multiple AMPVs are undergoing reliability, availability, and maintainability (RAM) testing at YPG, with each running miles of simulated missions across road courses featuring various terrain conditions, from paved to gravel to punishing desert washboard that would severely rattle less robust vehicles. As they traverse these courses, test vehicle operators continually verify performance of all the platform’s sophisticated electronics. Earlier tests verified the vehicle’s braking, acceleration, and steering performance on slopes and steep grades, and even through a fording basin and on a dust course tilled for maximum sediment. Samples of the vehicles’ fluids are collected and analyzed at various points throughout the tests.
The AMPV’s five variantsâ€”a general purpose vehicle, mission command vehicle, mortar carrier, and medical evacuation and medical treatment vehicles– have nearly 80% more interior volume than the M113, and significantly more power, survivability, and maneuverability. The cooling and electrical systems are also significantly more robust to accommodate both existing and future upgrades. It boasts the same powertrain and suspension system as the Bradley and M109A7 self-propelled howitzer, which eases maintenance and logistics challenges for all three vehicles in the field. YPG has the range space to conduct live function fire tests of the vehicle utilizes this capability as part of the AMPV testing to test the vehicle’s 7.62 mm and 12.7 mm machine guns.
The AMPV is a U.S. Army program to replace the M113 armored personnel carrier and family of vehicles. A contract for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) phase was awarded to BAE Systems in December 2014. As of 2015 the program was scheduled to deliver 2,897 vehicles at a total cost of $10.723 billion, or $3.7 million per vehicle. The first AMPV prototype was rolled out on 15 December 2016, and the first production vehicles began rolling out in September 2020. The program is essential to the future of the Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and will fulfill the Army’s strategy of protection, mobility, reliability, and interoperability. The AMPV will be integrated with the ABCT and is required to operate alongside the M1 Abrams tank and the M2 Bradley.