November 30, 2015 at 12:03 am Leave a comment

Narrowing the Field.

The U.S. Marine Corps — looking to replace its 40-year-old amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) — have narrowed the selection process to two vehicles: One made by BAE Systems, the other by SAIC.

The Marine Corps awarded a $103.8 million contract to Sterling Heights, Michigan-based BAE Systems Land & Armaments — which makes the existing AAV — and a $121.5 million contract to SAIC of McLean, Virginia for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle Phase 1, Increment 1 (ACV 1.1) . Both contractors will build 13 vehicles each for the engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the project, beginning in the third quarter of 2016, according to BAE Systems. The contracts also have an option for three more apiece after evaluation of their products.

BAE Systems ACV entry. (4GWAR photo by John M. Doyle)

BAE Systems ACV entry.
(4GWAR photo by John M. Doyle)

The AAV has been in service for more than 40 years and many of its components and parts re obsolete and no longer being manufactured. And because of that the Marine Corps says, the aging AAVs are becoming increasingly costly and difficult to maintain.

The original planned AAV replacement vehicle, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), was cancelled in 2011 by then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates for being too expensive and behind schedule.

Now the Marines are looking for a big vehicle that can carry at least 10 Marines (beside an operating crew of three), get them to the beach from a ship as much as 12 nautical miles off shore, at a speed of at least 6 knots. The ACV will have to be as rugged and protective as a tank but be able to carry troops far inland quickly, if necessary.

The ACV will also be outfitted with a precision weapons station, providing “significant enhanced lethality, according to the Marines.

The Marines launched a competition for the ACV 1.1. Manufacturers submitting demonstrators were BASE Systems and SAIC, as well as  Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and a team including Advanced Defense Vehicle Systems.

BAE Systems’ offering is an advanced 8X8-wheeled, open ocean-capable vehicle, based on a platform developed by BAE partner IVECO Defence Vehicles. The vehicle seats 13 Marine infantrymen as well as a crew of three.

SAIC ACV on display at Modern Day Marine. (4GWAR photo by John M. Doyle)

SAIC ACV on display at Modern Day Marine.
(4GWAR photo by John M. Doyle)

SAIC, previously known as Science Applications International Corporation, is offering the Terrex 2 vehicle, which can carry 11 passengers plus a crew of three. It is equipped with Hybrid All-Wheel Steering for tight well-deck maneuvers on amphibious ships.It is equipped with Hybrid All-Wheel Steering for tight well-deck maneuvers on amphibious ships.






Entry filed under: Asia-Pacific, Marine Corps, National Security and Defense, Naval Warfare, News Developments, Technology, U.S. Navy, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , .

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