U.S. Marine Corps Receives First Amphibious Combat Vehicle

The U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) has received first batch of its long-awaited Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), the service announced last week.

The redesignation ceremony, marking the introduction into the fleet, was held at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif. on Nov. 4.

The delivery came after the Program Executive Officer (PEO) Land Systems approved initial fielding of ACVs, which will supplement and eventually replace the Corps’ legacy Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAVs).

The initial batch of ACVs delivered consists of ACV personnel carrier variant (ACV-P). ACV-P is an eight-wheeled amphibious assault vehicle capable of transporting Marines from open-ocean ship to shore and conducting land operations. Each vehicle embarks 13 Marines in addition to a crew of three.

In the future, the Corps intends to develop, procure and field three additional variants that specialize in command and control (C2), recovery operations and increased firepower (with a 30mm medium caliber turret).

Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)

The Marine Corps selected BAE Systems along with teammate Iveco Defence Vehicles for the ACV program in 2018 to replace its legacy Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) fleet, which has been in service since 1972 and was also built by BAE Systems.

The AAV has been the go-to vehicle to carry Marines and gear from ship to shore, but with adversaries around the world growing more powerful, the ACV was created to enhance the capabilities of ship to shore missions and amphibious assaults. The main difference between the vehicles is the fact that ACV is an 8×8 wheeled vehicle while AAV is a tracked vehicle.

ACV production and support is taking place at BAE Systems locations in Stafford, Virginia; San Jose, California; Sterling Heights, Michigan; Aiken, South Carolina; and York, Pennsylvania.

The ACV will come in four different variants derived from the Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) base. In addition to the APC variant (ACV-P), there is a recovery variant (ACV-R), a command and control (C2) variant (ACV-C), and an up-armed variant with 30mm medium caliber cannon (ACV-30) to engage enemy armored vehicles.

The vehicles are equipped with a new 6-cylinder, 700HP engine, which provides a significant power increase over the AAVs. Each vehicle embarks 13 Marines in addition to a crew of three.

The ACV possesses ground mobility and speed similar to the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank (MBT) during sustained operations ashore and has the capability to provide organic, direct fire support to dismounted infantry in the attack. The vehicle will support expeditionary mobility capability and capacity with balanced levels of performance, protection, and payload.

The ACV’s significant protective assets make it resilient to direct attacks and allow it to operate with degraded mobility in an ever-changing battle environment. The vehicle possesses sufficient lethality to deliver accurate fire support to infantry, whether stationary or on the move.

The vehicle also has a unique V-shape underbelly to deflect the blast of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Since IEDs were the most lethal weapons used against AAVs, the new ACV was designed to take a blast from an IED, continue the mission and bring Marines home safely.

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