Bill Sheehy, Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle program manager at BAE Systems, said the company has been building AMPVs for the U.S. Army at full-rate production levels in the past four months and plans to further speed up production but would need to invest in the expansion of its assembly line and machinery, Breaking Defense reported Tuesday.
“The Army has to look and say, ‘Can BAE systems meet the pace that we need to field out units?’ Our ability to hit full rate pace now and sustain it, as we’ve done for the past four months, feeds into that [full-rate production] decision,” Sheehy told the publication in an interview.
According to the Army’s fiscal year 2023 budget, the service is planning to issue a full-rate production decision on the AMPV program in the first quarter of FY 2023.
BAE, which currently manufactures 12 vehicles a month, is in talks with the Army about increasing the production number to up to 16 to 18 armored vehicles per month.
Sheehy said the company is eyeing the production of 18 to 21 AMPVs per month, a move that would demand “significant investment” in robotic weld sites.
AMPV, which is set to replace the Army’s M113 armored personnel carrier, takes five months to construct and comes in troop transport, mobile command post, armored ambulance, mobile surgery design and mortar carrier variants.
In February 2019, BAE received two contract modifications valued at approximately $575 million combined to kick off low-rate initial production of the vehicles.