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

Dec. 10, 2018
QUANTICO, Va. – U.S. Marine Corps amphibious warfare experts are ordering 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles and accompanying vetronics to replace the Corps's ageing fleet of amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs).
QUANTICO, Va. – U.S. Marine Corps amphibious warfare experts are ordering 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles and accompanying vetronics 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 $140.4 million contract Thursday to the BAE Systems Platforms & Services segment in Sterling Heights, Mich., for 30 more Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) in a program called ACV 1.1.

Earlier this 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.

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.

Related: Ageing U.S. Marine Corps AAV7 armored combat vehicle finally has a successor

Expected delivery of the first vehicles is fall 2019 and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force’s 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion out of Camp Pendleton, Calif., is expected to be the first to get them the following 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.

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.

Related: Marines choose SAIC and BAE Systems to develop new amphibious armored combat vehicle

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.

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., and Aiken, S.C., and should be finished by August 2020. For more information contact BAE Systems Platforms & Services online at www.baesystems.com, or Marine Corps Systems Command at www.marcorsyscom.marines.mil.

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John Keller | Editor

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

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