Amphibious combat vehicle
Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 is a new armoured vehicle designed and manufactured by BAE Systems in collaboration with Iveco Defence Vehicles.
The ACV 1.1 programme was initiated by the US Marine Corps (USMC) in 2011 to replace its age-old amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) family, which entered service in 1972.
The new vehicle is designed to offer enhanced survivability and payload features compared to the USMC’s existing fleet of AAV7. The US Marine Corps approved the ACV’s initial operational capability in November 2020.
Orders and deliveries
BAE Systems was awarded a $184m contract by the USMC for the first 36 ACV vehicles in December 2020.
The USMC placed a $184m full-rate production contract 36 more vehicles in February 2021, bringing the total number of vehicles to 72.
The ACV personnel carrier (ACV-P) version will also be manufactured under the contract.
ACV 1.1 combat vehicle development details
BAE Systems submitted a bid for the development of the ACV 1.1 vehicles in May 2015. It received a $103.7m engineering, manufacturing, and development (EMD) contract to deliver 16 ACV 1.1 prototypes in November 2015.
The first prototype under the contract was delivered to the USMC in December 2016. Delivery of the 16 prototypes was completed by the end of 2017.
These prototypes underwent rigorous testing before delivery, evaluating factors such as risk mitigation, land mobility, survivability, and swim capabilities.
USMC carried out developmental testing and operational assessment of the 16 amphibious combat vehicles in the first half of 2017. The vehicles exhibited superior mobility on land and in water during the tests.
BAE Systems was preferred against its competitor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) by the USMC in June 2018.
The company received a $198m contract for the initial delivery of 30ACVs in June 2018. The contract also includes options for the delivery of up to 204 vehicles, bringing the total contract value to $1.2bn. The vehicles are being built at BAE Systems’ manufacturing facilities located across the US.
Design and features of Amphibious Combat Vehicle 1.1
ACV 1.1 is based on an 8×8 wheeled amphibious platform developed by Iveco Defence Vehicles. The armoured hull of the vehicles has been developed using mine-resistant floor materials.
The ACV can be launched and recovered from the sea using a ship. It can perform operations smoothly even in the adverse sea state 3 conditions.
The vehicle is designed to accommodate three crew members and 13 dismounted troops. It offers enough space to carry supplies required for the incumbents to survive for two continuous days.
Overall length of the vehicle is 8.9m, while its width and hull height are 3.1m and 2.8m respectively.
ACV 1.1 has a gross weight of 67,500lb (30,617kg) and can carry a maximum payload of 7,280lb (3,302kg).
ACV 1.1 variants
BAE Systems delivered the first ACV Command (ACV-C) variant to the USMC for testing in February 2021.
The ACV-C is intended to support command and control by providing the greatest levels of communication, coordination, and analysis on the battlefield. Other Marine Corps variants are ACV personnel carrier (ACV-P) and recovery vehicle (ACV-R).
ACV 1.1 armament and self-protection
The amphibious combat vehicle features multiple weapon mounts to house a range of machine guns. It features a remote weapon station, which can be armed with an M2 0.50 calibre machine gun. The hull can be installed with a stabilised dual-mount turret for launching M2/Mark 19 grenades.
ACV 1.1 offers improved survivability features such as blast-resistant hull and energy-absorbing seats. It protects the occupants from mine blasts, improvised explosive devices (IED), kinetic energy (KE) warheads, small arms fire, and shell splinters.
Engine and performance
The vehicle is fitted with a six-cylinder diesel engine with a maximum power production capacity of 690hp. It integrates an advanced H-Drive System developed by Iveco Defence Vehicles and provides the traction required for all the wheels when manoeuvring on land and in water.
The power-plant provides a maximum speed of more than 105km/h on paved roads and a maximum amphibious speed of 6kt. The maximum road range of the armoured vehicle when travelling at a speed of 89km/h is 523km. The vehicle offers an amphibious range of up to 12nmi plus a range of 402km on land.
It is fitted with 16R20 tires and can negotiate gradients of more than 60% and side slopes of more than 30%. The curb-to-curb turning radius of the combat vehicle is 36ft (10.97m).