Old Soldiers: USMC Amtracs Getting Survivability Upgrades
The USMC needs to keep its 40+ year old AAV Amtracs in service, after destroying the EFV amphibious armored personnel carrier replacement program in 2011 with over-ambitious requirements. Iraq taught the USMC that the Amtracs didn’t offer enough protection, and so the latest refurbishment effort plans to improve the AAVP-7A1 personnel carrier’s protection levels. Deliveries are expected to take place between 2018 – 2023…
Contracts & Key Events
As things stand now, the follow-on Armored Combat Vehicle Phase 1.1 will involve 300 commercial off-the-shelf wheeled armored vehicles. A true swimming AAV replacement won’t arrive until ACV Phase 1.2, but the USMC is still estimating a Phase 1.2 cost of $12-14 million per vehicle, even after reducing the EFV’s requirements. Phase 1.2’s timing will coincide with the beginning of a demographic fiscal crunch, in parallel with increased operations and maintenance costs for the high-maintenance platforms (esp. MV-22 and F-35B) the USMC has been buying lately. That doesn’t augur well, and implies that the AAV7 fleet will remain important for a long time.
May 9/14: USMC Systems Command in Quantico, VA issues a pair of $27.8 million firm-fixed-price contracts to design and develop AAV7 protection improvements for the USMC’s existing APCs. Work is expected to be complete in February 2015, at which point the USMC will pick a design. The winner will receive an implementation contract option, raising the total value they receive to somewhere between $163.5 million and $206 million, and extending their individual contract until September 2019.
This contract was competitively procured via FBO.gov, with 4 offers received. The 2 development contract winners were:
BAE Systems Land & Armaments, Santa Clara, CA. Work will be performed in York, PA (65%); Santa Clara, CA (30%); Aiken, SC (4%); and Sterling Heights, MI (1%). Contract M67854-14-C-0001.
Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) in McLean, VA. Work will be performed in Charleston, SC (24%); Ontario, Canada (20%); Langley, British Columbia, Canada (15%); Lansing Charter Township, MI (7%); Oceanside, CA (7%); Sterling Heights, MI (5%); Columbus, Indiana (4%); McLean, VA (3%); Plymouth Township, MI (2%); Benton, AR (2%); Detroit, MI (2%); Minneapolis, MN (2%); Chandler, AZ (2%); San Diego, CA (1%); Baltimore, MD (1%); and various other locations less the 1% (3%). Contract M67854-14-C-0002.
Oct 29/13: RFP. The USMC issues their AAV Survivability Upgrade RFP, covering up to 396 AAV7s. An initial development phase will be followed by upgrades to 396 AAV7s.
The USMC wants basic internal systems improvements, along with better protection of the underbelly and sides, blast attenuating seats that hang instead of jarring with every blast to the vehicle’s bottom, and spall liners that keep enemy fire from blasting lethal metal shards out of the vehicle’s inside walls. The systems need to be in production or close to it, with a Tech Readiness Level of 6 (tested prototypes) at the outset. The vehicles still need to be seaworthy when everything is done, and the USMC also hopes to improve on corrosion resistance.
Test vehicles will need to demonstrate adequate performance, including 75% vehicle availability. Low-Rate Initial Production deliveries would begin in Q1 2018 at 4 vehicles, with deliveries rising to 24 per quarter in Q2 2021. The program would end at the end of FY 2023. The government will receive either unlimited data rights, or government-purpose rights to the final design. The difference between those classifications may matter, because the US military aren’t the only ones using the AAV7.
- FBO.gov (Oct 29/13, #M67854-14-R-0001) – AAV Survivability Upgrade.
- DefenseMediaNetwork (Nov 6/13) – AAV Survivability Upgrade Moves Forward: Select fraction of aging AAVs will undergo upgrade to hold the line until ACV fielding.
- DefenseMediaNetwork (July 16/13) – Marine Corps Explores AAV Reset Options.