After a decade in development, the Army’s brand new armored personnel carrier has finally joined the service’s fleet of ground vehicles.

The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division became the first Army unit to officially field the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) to soldiers as a replacement for the M113 family of armored personnel carriers that entered service in 1961, the service announced on Tuesday.

Featuring “improvements in survivability, protection, weight, size, power, cooling and compatibility with future technologies,” according to the Army, the AMPV also shares a common powertrain and suspension with the  M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle and the M109A7 Paladin self-propelled howitzer to reduce “logistical and mechanical burdens among ABCTs.”

According to AMPV-maker BAE Systems, the AMPV offers 73 percent more carry capacity compared to the legacy M113 APC. 

The AMPV comes in five variants: a general-purpose model to provide protected maneuver for soldiers; a medivac model; a medical treatment model; a mission command model that provides formations with a boost in command-and-control and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities; and a mortar-carrier model to provide aggressive fire support for units. 

“The Army is transforming our ABCT through the integration of improved technology with warfighting concepts across the force,” said 1st ABCT commander Col. Peter Moon in a statement. “These modernization efforts increase our capacity to deter adversaries and if necessary, fight and win in combat.”

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The initial fielding of the AMPV comes amid a push within the Army to accelerate the acquisition of the new armored personnel carrier to replace the hundreds of M113s transferred to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion of the country, as our colleagues at the War Zone previously reported.

Congress had in fiscal year 2023 approved funding to build 72 AMPVs in the first year of the vehicle’s production, but Military Times reports that, according to AMPV production manager Lt. Col. Nate Costa, the Army will buy 197 vehicles in fiscal year 2024.

That funding will come not only from the Army’s base budget request, but congressionally approved supplemental funds intended to backfill the service’s fleet of armored personnel carriers with new vehicles following the Ukraine transfer. 

Indeed, the Army’s fiscal year base 2024 AMPV budget request totaled some $555 million for just 91 vehicles, coming out to just over $6 million per vehicle. 

Once the Army fully replaces the M113, the AMPV fleet will feature nearly 3,000 vehicles and comprise approximately 30 percent of the service’s tracked vehicle fleet, according to the service.

“AMPV is a more rugged, reliable, and capable platform than the M113s that it replaces, bringing more capability to our ABCTs and allowing our formations to transform how they are able to fight,” said Brig. Gen. Geoffrey Norman, director of the Next Generation Combat Vehicles Cross Functional Team, in a statement.

Time will tell how long it takes the 1ABCT to break one.

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