Marine Corps orders 30 additional ACV armored combat vehicles from BAE Systems for beach amphibious assault

Oct. 31, 2019
The ACV is a wheeled armored combat vehicle able to move Marine infantry warfighters from ships offshore to fight their way onto invasion beaches.

QUANTICO MARINE BASE, Va. – U.S. Marine Corps amphibious warfare experts are ordering 30 more armored combat vehicles able to swim from the sea onto attack beaches to replace the Corps's ageing fleet of amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs).

Officials of the Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico Marine Base, Va., announced A $119.9 million order Tuesday to the BAE Systems Platforms & Services segment in Sterling Heights, Mich., for 30 more Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs).

Last year the Marine Corps chose BAE Systems as the ACV prime contractor over competitor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Reston, Va.

The ACV is a wheeled armored combat vehicle able to move Marine infantry warfighters from ships offshore to fight their way onto invasion beaches. Marine Corps leaders cancelled the expensive expeditionary fighting vehicle (EFV) program in 2011.

Related: Marines ask BAE Systems to build 30 more ACV 1.1 amphibious armored combat vehicles and vetronics

The Marine Corps could end up purchasing as many as 204 vehicles over the next few years to outfit some of its 10 amphibious assault companies — the first phase of an incremental approach to replacing the AAV, which entered service in 1972.

Expected delivery of the first vehicles is this fall, and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force’s 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., will be first to get them next year.

BAE Systems is basing its ACV design on the Superav 8x8 amphibious armored personnel carrier developed by the Italian company Iveco Defence Vehicles.

ACV systems are designed to operate through enemy direct fire, indirect fire, and land mines with low-profile visual and infrared signatures, modular protection, and other armored vehicle technologies.

Related: Pentagon to hike spending for military armored combat vehicles

The vehicles can swim to shore from as far as 12 miles out to sea, switch from operating in the water to ground operations without pause, and then maneuver with M1 Abrams main battle tanks in a mechanized task force. The ACV can destroy relatively light enemy combat vehicles similar to itself.

The ACV will provide direct fire support for Marine infantry, and can carry 17 Marines at speeds of at least eight knots at sea amid three-foot waves with waves as large as three feet.

On shore, the ACV has high-ground clearance and a V-shaped hull to resist the effects of land mine blasts, and can operate with a wheel blown off.

Related: Moog keeping ageing Marine Corps armored vehicles in the field with major vetronics upgrades

Each ACV has a crew of three, an M2 .50-caliber machine gun in a remote weapons station, with the potential to install a stabilized dual-mount M2/Mark 19 grenade launcher turret.

On this contract BAE Systems will do the work in York, Pa.; Aiken, S.C.; San Jose, Calif.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; and Stafford, Va., and should be finished by January 2022. For more information contact BAE Systems Platforms & Services online at, or Marine Corps Systems Command at

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