Things are kicking off in earnest for the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program as the service gets ready to overhaul
its fleet of aging Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAVs)
for new vehicles that will be able to get Marines from
ship to shore should trouble break out just about anywhere in the world.
A request for proposals for the ACV was posted
March 26 and set a deadline of May 18 for competitors
for this major effort to submit their final bids.
Marine Corps spokesman Manny Pacheco said in
written responses that the ACV is being procured in
phases, with the first phase being ACV 1. 1 that is on
the cusp of Milestone B. ACV 1. 1 “revolves around the
integration of mature technologies that are already in
production in various forms,” he said — in other
words, a low-risk platform that covers the bases as the
Marines work toward ACV 1. 2 and beyond.
The plan is to award two engineering and manufac-
turing development (EMD) contracts to two vendors
to “integrate their mature technologies into an existing
vehicle platform to meet unique
Marine Corps requirements.”
It’s about time the Marines start-
ed replacing the legacy AAVs,
which have served the nation well
but are getting long in the tooth —
the platform has been in service
since the early 1970s.
Pacheco said that while the AAV
“represents a stalwart capability,
the realities of age and a changing
threat environment has necessitated the upgrade of the current AAV
The survivability upgrade will modernize 392 of the
existing AAV fleet. The upgrades will include improving
the drive train and suspension so the AAV can remain
mobile while dealing with greater weight requirements
due to the modifications to improve its survivability. The
remainder of the fleet will not get the full upgrade, but
will get continual engineering and safety changes as
needed to keep them running as long as possible.
The Marine Corps has been stressing to contractors
the “criticality of meeting all ACV 1. 1 requirements in
the performance specification,” Pacheco said. The government also is “extremely interested” in the design
and performance aspects of the proposed vehicles in
terms of how compatible they would be to growing to
meet the anticipated requirements for the more ambitious ACV 1. 2 efforts, which could include the ability
to self-deploy from amphibious ships, he said.
As the Marine Corps — and the rest of the military —
shifts to and increases the focus on the Asia-Pacific
Go Time for ACV
With AAVs pushing 40 years, urgency has increased
to field the ACV as the Marines set a deadline for bids
By DANIEL P. TAYLOR, Special Correspondent
With a renewed focus on operations in the Asia-Pacific region, the
increased emphasis on littoral operations will make the Marine
Corps’ planned Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) a critical capability for the service to have.
■ The plan is to award two engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contracts to two vendors who would integrate
mature technologies into existing platforms, or ACV 1. 1.
■ The proposed vehicles will be evaluated on how compatible
they would be to evolving to meet requirements for the next
phase, ACV 1. 2.
■ The four main ACV competitors are BAE Systems, Lockheed
Martin, SAIC and General Dynamics.