BAE Systems to supply 30 more ACV 1.1 Amphibious Combat Vehicles to USMC

U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command at Quantico Marine Base are ordering 30 Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) and accompanying vetronics to replace the Corps's ageing fleet of Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs). A $140.4 million contract has been signed with BAE Systems Platforms & Services segment in Sterling Heights, Michigan. 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 to build 30 more ACV 1.1 amphibious armored combat vehicles for USMC
BAE Systems ACV 1.1, the new combat vehicle of the USMC (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Earlier this year the USMC selected BAE Systems as the ACV prime contractor over competitor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in Reston, Va. 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.

The new ACV 1.1 is a wheeled amphibious combat vehicle and not a tracked as the AAV which is in service with the U.S. marine Corps since many years. The U.S. Marines have operated a fleet of more than 1,000 AAVs over the years. While the ACV 1.1 is supposed to excel at all-terrain mobility, with a 1.2 version expected to add additional speed and capacity, and a notional ACV 2.0 envisioned swim at speeds of at least eight knots at sea amid three-foot waves with waves as large as three feet.

In December 2016, BAE Systems delivered 16 amphibious combat vehicle 1.1 prototypes. The ACV 1.1 of BAE Systems is an 8x8 amphibious platform based on an existing vehicle provided by Iveco Defence Vehicles, the IVECO Super AV. It can carry a total of 13 military personnel including driver and commander. The vehicle is equipped with a robust 700HP engine, providing a significant power increase over the Assault Amphibious Vehicle currently operated by the Marine Corps.

A blast resistant V-shape hull and energy absorbing seats are key elements of the ACV 1.1 survivability solution that delivers superior mine, improvised explosive device (IED), kinetic energy (KE), and overhead protection. The vehicle 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.