BAE Systems will reveal new details about its newest two medical variants of the recently developed Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) during the 2019 Association of the United States Army annual meeting in Washington, D.C., Oct. 13-16.
The AMPV would replace 5 variants of the iconic M113 Armored Personnel Carrier family of vehicles: a general-purpose vehicle, mission command vehicle, mortar carrier, and medical evacuation and treatment vehicles. The new vehicles have nearly 80% more interior volume than their predecessor, and significantly more power and survivability.
For the medical variants, these new improvements mean they will arrive in the Army’s Armored Brigade Combat Teams (ABCTs) highly capable from a design and technological standpoint to help save Soldiers’ lives.
“The ability of the AMPV to get to the front lines with other combat vehicles means the medical variants will give commanders more options on the battlefield to rescue soldiers who are hurt while remaining engaged in the fight,” said Bill Sheehy, BAE Systems’ AMPV program manager and a 29-year Army veteran who served in the First Gulf War. “From a soldier’s perspective, the Army’s investment in the medical vehicles underscores our country’s commitment to ensure soldiers are protected and have the resources to quickly treat and evacuate those injured in battle.”
BAE Systems has developed the Medical Evacuation variant (MEV) and Medical Treatment variant (MTV) for the U.S. Army.
The Medical Evacuation variant (MEV) provides immediate treatment or evacuation at the point of injury to either ambulatory or litter casualties. Ambulatory patients are able to walk into the vehicle on their own and sit upright while getting treatment, and carry on the fight if necessary. The more serious litter patients need to lie down inside the vehicle to get treatment. The MEV vehicle can accommodate up to six ambulatory patients or four litter cases, or 3 ambulatory and 2 litter and can be reconfigured on the spot. It employs equipment common to civilian ambulances.
The Medical Treatment variant (MTV) works in tandem with the MEV to receive and evacuate casualties while providing life-sustaining care to soldiers suffering from life-threatening injuries. It carries equipment to sustain life for days while awaiting further evacuation from forward operations. Equipment such as the erectable treatment shelter, medication, vital signs monitor, defibrillator, and refrigerator for storing blood, convert the MTV into a medical station on the front lines, known as a Forward Aid Station.
Both variants have full climate control to help quickly stabilize patient body temperature in varying warfare environments – hot or cold.
The AMPVs are being built with stronger armor and greater mobility than the vehicles they’re replacing. The higher levels of survivability accomplish two key objectives.
First, the improved survivability means they can go as needed to the front lines with the rest of the ABCT, whereas legacy medical vehicles could not. By being closer to the battle, they can more rapidly respond to treating the injured and evacuate them from the battlefield and into the hospital. Second, their increased strength and maneuverability makes them less reliant on other fighting vehicles for protection, allowing them to more independently carry out their mission. This unique capability of evacuating casualties under armor eliminates the need to pull another armored combat vehicle from the front lines.
“The AMPV medical vehicles are the first that can get right up on the front lines to evacuate soldiers, treat them and get them to safety,” said Ruben Burgos, BAE Systems’ program manager for the AMPV. “They have the mobility and the armor to do that.”
The AMPV’s interior is much larger than its predecessor, offering more space and payload capacity. Medics will have more room to maneuver inside the vehicles while treating their patients, and can carry more equipment operated on electrical power.
BAE Systems, the Army’s Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), and battle-experienced Army medics conducted field exercises to support the internal design. BAE Systems and TACOM employees were used to simulate soldiers wounded in battle being loaded into the vehicles for treatment. The information provided by medics who have been deployed in the fight has been critical to maximize the effectiveness of the medical variants.
“They have been out in the battle and are coming to us with invaluable experience and knowledge to help us understand what is important in the positioning of the equipment inside the medical variants,” Burgos said. “All of this is going to contribute to saving lives.”