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HMMWV Modernized Expanded Capacity Vehicle (MECV)

For the High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) Modernized Expanded Capacity Vehicle (MECV) program, the US Government seeks the development and integration of proven material solutions to improve the survivability, mobility, and operational capability of HMMWV Expanded Capacity Vehicles (HMMWV ECV). The primary mission of the HMMWV ECV series 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. The MECV 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. Improvement of the armored HMMWV fleet will enhance the effectiveness and protect combat support and combat service support personnel conducting operations against unconventional enemy forces. The Governments goal is to acquire the HMMWV MECV as a recapitalization effort using the HMMWV ECV as a starting point for redesign and integration. 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.

By February 2009, the HMMWV Recapitalization program for A0-A2 was averaging 800 vehicles converted per month. To that date, the Red River Army Depot had converted 16,745 vehicles, the Letterkenny Army Depot had converted 14,058, and the Maine Military Authority had converted 1210. The program at the time had funding through July 2009. A plan was also in place to look into converting initial up-armored HMMWVs (M1114/M1116 and similar types) to a configuration similar to the M1151.

As of February 2011, the HMMWV Recapitalization program had converted 46,339 vehicles in total, with work being conducted at Red River Army Depot, Red River Army Depot, and the Maine Military Authority. In addition, a pilot program to recapitalization up-armored vehicles had been initiated, with 340 M1151A1 RECAP vehicles being completed. The pilot program worked to recapitalize up-armored models with serial numbers below 300000. By late 2011, the RECAP program from Expanded Capacity Vehicle (ECV) series vehicles had designated as the Modernized Expanded Capacity Vehicle (MECV) program.

The US Army had initially hoped that the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) Program would provide a near term replacement for the HMMWV family, to include its up-armored variants. The demands of Overseas Contingency Operations delayed numerous actions on the JLTV program. On 26 October 2011, the Government Accountability Office released a report ground based vehicles, in which it noted that both the Army and the Marine Corps articulated a significant future role for their Up-Armored HMMWV fleets beyond FY25. The Army told the GAO that it was planning to recapitalize a portion of its Up-Armored HMMWV fleet to increase automotive performance and improve blast protection. According to GAO, the Marine Corps' plans to extend the service life of some of its HMMWVs used in light tactical missions were not known at the time of the report's publication. According to the Marine Corps developers, the Marine Corps concluded a recapitalized HMMWV would not meet requirements for is fleet of 5,000 light combat vehicles. In spite of this, the Marine Corps told the GAO that it planned to leverage components and subsystems from the Army-sponsored HMMWV recapitalization program to help balance its existing HMMWV fleet.

The US Army issued a draft request for proposals (RFP) on 28 September 2011 for the MECV program. The draft RFP described the effort as a 2-phased, best value acquisition process planned for acquiring MECVs. In Phase I the Government intended to award up to 3 Research Development Test and Evaluation (RDTE) contracts for the MECV. The single model to be modernized under Phase I was the M1151. However, data for the M1152 would also be included in the Phase I evaluation process. Contractors responding to the RFP would receive 5 depot RECAP vehicles, 4 Objective Gunner Protection Kits (OGPK), a Pre-Revision B vehicle (with serial number below 300000) to support CSDR and Phase II proposals, and a Candidate Revision B vehicle to support CSDR and Phase II proposals. Contractors would then deliver 4 Production Representative Vehicles (PRVs; including 2 with B-kits fitted), a single ballistic cab, B-kits, BII, and operator's manuals to Aberdeen Test Center (ATC) no later than 13 weeks after contract award. Contractors would also provide operator training to Government employees at ATC, as well as perform maintenance on the vehicles and furnish all necessary repair parts to keep vehicles operational during Government test (to last approximately 20 weeks).

In Phase II it was the intent to limit competition for the Production Phase to the RDTE contractors with the objective of awarding a production contract to a single MECV producer. The models to be modernized under Phase II included the M1151, M1152, M1165, and M1167. Production under Phase II would be the result of a limited Competition between vendors selected in Phase I.

Detailed evaluation criteria for the source selection would be available within the Production Phase RFP, tentatively scheduled to be released in the first quarter of FY13. The estimated total production quantity was 5,750 vehicles at a rate of 3-4 vehicles per day. The Government intended to conduct a best value tradeoff based on an evaluation of Government test results and proposal evaluations. Any proposal received in response to the RFP that proposed a price in excess of $4,500,000 was to be considered unaffordable. Firm Fixed Price contracts were anticipated. The Army was anticipating a manufacturing cost of $180,000 per vehicle, not including armor, based on the cost performance of similar work on other tactical platforms managed by the Army.

As of October 2011, various requirements for the MECV RFP had been outlined. The submitted vehicles were required to have a maximum Essential Combat Configuration (ECC) weight of 14,669 pounds and a maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 15,550 pounds. MECV vehicles at their Gross Combined Weight (GCW; includes crew and expected payload and towed load weight) would be capable of driving 45 miles per hour at a 5 percent grade as a threshold requirement. The objective capability would be 50 miles per hour in the B-kit configuration (BKC). Vehicles at GVW would be capable of a maximum forward speed of 62 miles per hour, acceleration of 0-30 miles per hour in 14 seconds and 0-50 in 42 seconds, a turning radius of 25 feet, and a stopping distance of 20-0 in 23 feet and 40-0 in 112 feet. Vehicles would also be able to manage an 18 inch vertical obstacle and simulated load ramp. The vehicles would have a range of 300 miles.

Specific safety requirements were also outlined for the BKC. These included an understeer of less than 1.0 degree per g on turns, being capable of sustaining 0.4 g lateral acceleration on turns, a roll gradient or less than 12 degrees per g on turns and a Brake Stopping Distance within FMVSS limits. Vehicles submitted to the MECV RFP would be subject to an SAE structural ultimate strength braking test and a Brake Fade Test (simulated mountain braking according to SAE J1247).

The single MECV in the BKC or at GVW would be transportable by C-130 aircraft. 2 vehicles at the maximum GVW for non-BKC vehicles would also be transportable by C-130. The vehicle at the maximum GVW weight for non-BKC vehicles would also be Low-Velocity Air Drop (LVAD) capable from the C-130. Vehicles at GCW would be LVAD capable from the C-17 aircraft. Vehicles in the ECC would be capable of being lifted by CH-47 helicopter.

On 2 November 2011, Secretary of the Army John McHugh said that while the US Army was willing to look at alternatives to the proposed JLTV as the replacement for the service's light tactical vehicle fleet, the service was "done with the Humvee." On 21 November 2011, Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) indicated that it would initiate a review of the light tactical vehicle fleet known as "Tactical Wheeled Vehicle Reduction Study Three." Under this plan, the light tactical vehicle fleet requirement was expected to shrink from 144,000 total vehicles to 50,000 JLTV, supplemented by MRAP and HMMWV types. This was expected to shrink the requirements for the MECV program, which had by that point been reduced to an initial run of 5,000-6,000 vehicles, primarily for units task with air assault. This units would have an immediate requirement for a modernized light tactical vehicle lighter than a Category I MRAP or an M-ATV.

On 23 January 2012, it was reported that the Department of Defense had decided to cancel the MECV program entirely, strip funding from the forthcoming FY13 budget, and refocus efforts on the JLTV program. Cited were issues with acquiring an upgraded HMMWV that could meet stringent weight and transportability requirements. On 26 January 2012, the Department of Defense announced in a report on defense spending priorities that it had terminated the MECV program as it had been determined to be excess to existing requirements. Resources would be focused on the JLTV program instead.




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