The U.S. Army has released its long-awaited draft request for proposals for the recapitalization of HMMWV Expanded Capacity Vehicles. Commonly dubbed “Humvee Recap,” the program is designated as the HMMWV Modernized Expanded Capacity Vehicle (MECV).
According to draft program descriptions, the MECV program focuses on “the development and integration of proven material solutions to improve the survivability, mobility, and operational capability of the HMMWV ECV.
“The primary mission of the HMMWV ECV is to provide protected mobility to ground forces with the capability of operating in a threat environment that involves the possibility of ambush, the use of mines, explosives, and small arms fire,” it notes. “This modernization effort requires the development and integration of protective armor below the cab, enhancements of the vehicle’s ability to respond to demands for speed and braking, improvement of the vehicle operator’s ability to control the vehicle, and the incorporation of safety enhancements to reduce the intrusion of thermal fires from fuel as well as directed enemy fire in the form of projectiles from entering the crew compartment.”
“Recapitalization of the HMMWV ECV to produce the HMMWV MECV will reduce development time and offer the added benefit of improving the vehicle system without adding extensive new training requirements and added maintenance support burden on the shoulders of Soldiers in the field,” it adds.
The draft request for proposals describes an initial Research, Development, Test and Evaluation phase in which contractor(s) will rebuild a small number of government provided M1151A1 as production representative vehicles (PRV) of their MECV configuration. The current draft envisions the contractor delivering four PRVs, four armor “B-kits” and one “ballistic exploitation cab.” Contractor(s) will deliver the four PRVs for testing not later than 13 weeks following contract award.
The draft request for proposals is supported by the latest update to the MECV Draft Performance Specification (Version 2.99). The performance specification notes that the Army intends “to make available future drafts as they become available,” but cautions that the documentation is “DRAFT ONLY, pre-decisional, and [that] changes may be incorporated prior to the release of the final request for proposal.”
Against those caveats, the Draft Performance Spec describes future implementation of a complete MECV program encompassing:
- M1151A1 w/B1 Kit;
- M1152A1 w/B2 Kit;
- M1165A1 w/B3 Kit, and;
Subsequent MECV output would involve delivery of four variants: Truck, Utility, Armament Carrier; Truck, Utility, Troop/Cargo/Shelter Carrier; Truck, Utility, Command and Control; and Truck, Utility, TOW Carrier.
In public briefings earlier this year, Army representatives outlined a notional total recapitalization program of “approximately 60,000” HMMWV ECVs with a target price range of $160,000-$180,000 per vehicle. The potential $10 billion + effort has understandably drawn significant industry interest, with multiple contractor teams positioning for the effort.
Significant program symbiosis involves the relationship between MECV and Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV). Both programs fall under the same Army program manager who has previously described a “portfolio view” under which a decision to take a particular requirement for one program provides flexibility to place a different requirement on the other. Future evolution of this symbiosis will likely be reflected in the final performance specification for MECV as well as formal documentation supporting the upcoming engineering and manufacturing development phase of JLTV.
One long term program uncertainty involves the possible cooperation between the Army and the Marine Corps on the HMMWV Recapitalization effort. The Marine Corps issued their own “HMMWV Survivability Improvement Initiative Request for Information” in March of this year and it remains unclear whether or not there is enough similarity in the two service HMMWV survivability requirements to benefit from any sort of program consolidation.