According to Defense Industry Daily
Mar 18, 2016 00:20 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
The USMC is to receive upgrades to their Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) as their replacement, the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), will not be operational until the 2020s. 392 AAV7A1s are to receive an extensive survivability upgrade in a $194 million contract. The USMC has found that AAVs have been vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IED) and other weapons when operating in Iraq and elsewhere. Improvements to be made include flat-sided buoyant ceramic armor panels, new shock-mitigation seats, replacing benches in older AAVs, and a new transmission, increasing the vehicle’s top speed.
US Marine Corps Upgraded Amphib Vehicle
The Marine Corps took delivery this week of the first of 10 Marine AAV-SU Survivability Upgrade models of the Corps’ legacy Assault Amphibious Vehicles. They will begin a rigorous testing period before taking the upgrades into full production.
“The US Marine Corps long have relied on the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) to get from ship to shore and then carry and protect them as they operate inland. But the venerable AAV-7, in service since the 1970s, proved vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IED) and other weapons when operating in Iraq and elsewhere, and the aging fleet of 1,058 AAVs is slated to be replaced by the new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). The ACV, however, won’t be in service until the early 2020s.
To bridge the gap, the Corps is upgrading 392 AAV7A1s with an extensive survivability upgrade (SU) intended to keep the vehicles effective in an IED environment. Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) — which has also been selected to develop and build the ACV — is working under a potential $194 million firm fixed-price contract to upgrade the existing legacy AAVs to the SU standard. On Tuesday, the company and Marine officials showed off the first of ten test and development vehicles incorporating the upgrades, which was delivered on March 4.”
“With flat-sided buoyant ceramic armor panels, it’s easy to spot the SU vehicle from the existing AAVs and their familiar angled enhanced applique armor. Underneath, aluminum armor two-and-a-quarter-inches thick has been fitted to the vehicle’s underbelly — “providing equivalent-MRAP level protection,” according to Maj. Paul Rivera, the project team leader for the upgrade — and a new bonded spall liner protects Marines in the troop compartment.
Rivera showed off the SU vehicle’s 18 new shock-mitigation seats, replacing benches in older AAVs. The seats are fitted with foot stands elevated off the floor so that if an IED goes off below the vehicle, the blast won’t fracture ankles and legs.
VT 903 engine that boosts horsepower from 525 to 675
The SU includes a rebuilt VT 903 engine that boosts horsepower from 525 to 675, along with a new transmission. The SUs are expected to go faster than the current AAV’s 42 miles per hour — how fast, Rivera said, will be determined in tests. The revamped troop compartment is also able to store more provisions — three days of supply for the three-person crew and embarked Marines, compared with one day on existing vehicles.” @defensenews.com
Video @Business Wire
Main photo @SAIC – Science Applications International Corporation