Today is the deadline for industry to submit their questions to the Army for its HMMWV (Humvee) Recapitalization program. The official Request for Proposals obviously isn’t out yet for either the Army or the Marine recap programs, and we’re going to have to wait a while longer to see if the services get together and offer a single program for truck makers to bid on, or if they do it separately.
As of right now, the Army says that it wants to rebuild at least 60,000 Humvees from the frame on up, while the Marines are reportedly looking for about 3,400. The Army’s proposal for the 60,000 (with long term projections coming closer to 100,000 vehicles) comes at a time when it plans on adding GCVs and JLTVs to the fleet, while culling a full 15 percent of its 260,000 truck fleet by fiscal year 2017.
In FY12 budget documents, the Army proposes recapping a little under 3,000 up-armored Humvees a year starting in fiscal 2013 until it upgrades over 68,000 vehicles, which will run about $161 million a year from 2012 through 2016.
But looking at what the services have said they expect from the program, it’s clear that the protection and mobility goals push the envelope of the possible in vehicle design—demanding near MRAP levels of protection, while giving the vehicle back its original mobility and decreasing the weight of the current uparmored variant. Still, Oshkosh; Textron/Grantie; AM General; and BAE Systems have all committed to giving it a shot.
The Army plans on driving the recapped Humvees well past 2030, and has set its recap price limit at $180,000 per vehicle—which is significantly less than the estimated $300,000 per vehicle for the JLTV, (which could balloon to over $400,000 according to a recent RAND study) which is supposed to replace about 50,000 Humvees in the future fleet.
Lots of questions. And the Army is going to have to start answering them.