Mt. Airy, N.C. – The Army will officially kick off its multimillion program to revamp its Humvee fleet next week. So Breaking Defense headed here to get a look at what some of the competition is doing.
The final request for proposals will likely hit the streets within weeks, with companies vying for the contract expected to have their bids by January, according to Chris Berman, president of Granite Tactical Vehicles, one of the competitors.
Army Contracting Command issued a draft request earlier this month, establishing likely durability, survivability and other key requirements it is looking for in an upgraded Humvee.
These upgrades will address a number of vulnerabilities exposed during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as the vehicle’s inability to protect troops from improvised explosive devises and rocket-propelled grenades.
The Humvee upgrade program will also allow the vehicles to stay battle ready until the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle enters the field, Berman said.
The Army will likely begin weeding out the field of potential contractors down to several companies by this February, he added.
From that group, the Army will pick the company to upgrade the nearly 60,000 Humvees in service. The winning company will also upgrade Marine Corps and Special Operations versions of the Humvee.
All told, the upgrade contract will cover over 100,000 vehicles across the service. Granite has teamed up with defense contractor Textron to pitch a Humvee upgrade solution that is roughly 80 percent identical with the vehicles already in the field, Berman said.
If they win, Granite’s facility in Mt. Airy here will handle initial and low-rate production of the modified Humvees, Berman said. Once the program hits full-rate production, work will shift to Textron, he said.
Along with the Granite-Textron team, Humvee manufacturer AM General, General Dynamics, BAE Systems and Navistar — makers of a version of the Mine Ambush Mine Protected Vehicle — are also expected to take a shot at the lucrative contract.
Presumptive Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno has made the effort a top priority for the service.
Separately, Army officials continue to work a wide-ranging review of its entire legacy ground combat vehicle fleet. The DoD and Army review kicked off last week.