Stephen W. Miller – Combat units of the US Army’s 73rd Airborne Brigade stationed in Italy were the first to employ the new Army Ground Mobility Vehicle (A-GMV1.1) in tactical field exercises while participating in Exercise Immediate Response 19 occurring in Croatia from May to June.
The AGMVs are being provided by General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems under a $33.8 million contract awarded in May 2018. The light vehicle is configured to carry a squad of nine soldiers within its 2,268kg (5,000lb) payload and has an operational range of 400km (250 miles). Designed to be carried in military transport aircraft and the CH-47 Chinook helicopter or sling lifted by the UH-60 Blackhawk, it is intended to offer enhanced ground mobility to the airborne light infantry.
The A-GMV should allow an airborne unit to drop further from its objective yet move more rapidly to seize it. The vehicle draws from the similar Flier 72 Ground Mobility Vehicle 1.1 (GMV) already acquired and fielded by the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and the Italian army. This allowed the company to deliver its first vehicles and spares within four months of contract.
Steve Elgin, vice president and general manager of armament and platform systems at GD-OTS stated that “the Flyer’s open design allows it to accept already developed kit configurations including remote and manned turrets, armour and arctic kits.” The A-GMV has over 90 percent common components with the Flyer 72 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle (LRV) and the newest variant the Flyer72 Tactical Utility Vehicle (TUV).
The US Army in September 2018 announced plans to competitively evaluate candidates for an essentially identical requirement, the Infantry Squad Vehicle (ISV) beginning 2019. The first ISVs would enter production in 2024. The A-GMV is an interim allowing the early fielding of light infantry mobility vehicles to front line units like the 173rd Airborne, the 82nd Airborne, and 4/25th Infantry (Airborne) in Alaska.