BAE Systems has unveiled the first of 16 prototypes for the US Marine Corps (USMC) Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 programme during a 13 December ceremony at the company's facility in York, Pennsylvania.
BAE Systems partnered with Italian truck manufacturer Iveco Defence to submit a vehicle driven by a six-cylinder, 700 hp FPT Industrial Cursor 16 engine and with a suspended interior seat structure for 13 embarked marines, the company has said.
The USMC in November 2015 awarded competing engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contracts to BAE Systems and to SAIC for ACV 1.1, and both companies are leading teams to produce 16 prototypes to be tested by the corps beginning in early 2017.
SAIC partnered with Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) to submit STK's Terrex 2, which includes a v-shaped hull and space to carry 11 marines with a crew of three (to add additional room to carry two more marines would have required a redesign and added weight that the company deemed unnecessary).
A downselect for low-rate initial production (LRIP) is expected by April or May 2018, and the chosen company will make four more test articles for a live fire test, and then 204 production vehicles that will be fielded (between LRIP and full-rate production).
The approximate overall cost of ACV 1.1 - which is all personnel carriers - is about USD1.2 billion, but the winner could get the ACV 1.1 and possibly ACV 1.2 contracts. ACV 1.2 would potentially buy another 490 vehicles in other variants. The USMC is to then, around 2025, consider either developing a high-water speed ACV 2.0 more similar to the erstwhile high-water speed Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), or buying about 700 ACV 1.3s to replace the legacy AAV7A1 Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV), USMC spokesman Manny Pacheco has told IHS Jane's.
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