$12.8M for USMC Amphibious Vehicle Upgrades
United Defense Industries, Inc. (now BAE Systems Land and Armaments) has received a $12.8 Million contract modification from the U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command to upgrade 56 AAVP7 Assault Amphibious Vehicles (a.k.a. Amtracs or “hogs”) to the AAVP7 RAM/RS configuration. The AAVP7A1 Amtrac currently provides armored transport for up to 18 combat-loaded Marines from ship to shore, and through all types of terrain. Many Amtracs were driven all the way to Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The AAVP7 RAM/RS adds a more powerful 525hp turbocharged diesel engine and power train and a M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle suspension, providing superior mobility, durability and maintainability. The ground clearance will return to 16 inches and the horsepower to ton ratio will change from 13 to 1 back to 17 to 1. AAV RAM/RS also plans for the rebuild of all AAV systems and components in order to ensure acceptable Fleet Marine Force (FMF) readiness ratings for the remaining life of the AAVs through the year 2013. Introduction of the Bradley components and the rebuild to standard effort is also expected to reduce maintenance costs, with projected savings are in the range of $400-500 million (FY95 dollars).
This program is a joint effort with the Marine Corps Logistics Command in Albany, Ga., under the direction of the Program Manager, Amphibious Assault Vehicle Systems, Marine Corps Systems Command, in Quantico, VA. Under this modification, United Defense will remanufacture government furnished AAVP7 hulls to the RAM/RS (Reliability, Availability and Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard) configuration.
Machining and procurement of parts for the government furnished hulls will be done at United Defense’s facility located at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, GA. Vehicles are being assembled by depot personnel. Work will be completed during 2006.
The AAV Amtracs will be replaced by the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. The EFV is expected to have a water speed of more than 20 knots – three times that of the AAV-7s – and a land speed of about 45 miles per hour which would be comparable to an AAV RAM/RS. The personnel version will have a high-tech weapons station with a 30mm cannon to replace the AAV’s .50 caliber machine gun, and carry a crew of three plus 17 combat-loaded Marines. A command vehicle will carry an array of communications and computer systems and staff personnel.
The Marines hope to buy 1,013 EFVs to replace 1,322 AAVs, and the EFV remains the U.S. Marines’ #1 vehicle priority. The program is using a number of improved project management and procurement innovations, and full up System Level Lethality testing is planned to begin in FY 2006. Low-rate initial production vehicles would be delivered in FY 2007 and FY 2008 for use during Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E), Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is scheduled to occur in FY 2008, and Full Operational Capability (FOC) will occur in FY 2018.
As one can see from this schedule, however, it is possible that further upgrades and/or life-extension programs may be required for the AAV fleet beyond those currently anticipated.
fn1. This is regular operational capacity in practice, as opposed to official capacity which is 24.
Additional Readings and Sources
- GlobalSecurity.org – LVTP7 Landing Vehicle, Tracked AAVP7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicle, Personnel
- BAE Systems – assault amphibous vehicle RAM/RS
- United Defense LP News Release (June 21/05) – United Defense Receives Contract Modification Worth $12.8 Million for Marine Corps Assault Amphibious Vehicles
- Marine Corps EFV Program Site
- DID – The USMC’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle: SDD Phase (updated)
- U.S. Defense Technical Information Center, Navy Program elements for 2005 (0603611M) – EXHIBIT R-2a, RDT&E Project Justification re: EFV.