The U.S. Marine Corps released video of modern ship-launchable and ship-recoverable 8×8 wheeled combat vehicles, known as Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV). The new Amphibious Combat Vehicle, or ACV, will replace 40-year-old existing vehicles as the primary ship to shore ride for Marines.
The new vehicles, designed and built by BAE Systems, are 8×8 wheeled armored personnel carriers. Each ACV is capable of carrying up to a squad of 13 fully-equipped Marines and a crew of three up to 365 miles on land before refuelling. The vehicle weighs 30 tons and has a 690 horsepower engine, giving it a road speed of up to 65 mph.
The ACV performs best in class mobility in all terrains and has a suspended interior seat structure for 13 embarked Marines, blast-mitigating positions for a crew of three, and improved survivability and force protection over currently fielded systems.
The new Amphibious Combat Vehicle is off the tracks. pic.twitter.com/7B9WrvLn2W
— U.S. Marines (@USMC) March 14, 2019
ACV is an advanced 8×8 open ocean-capable vehicle that is based on a platform developed by IVECO Defence Vehicles. It is equipped with a new 6-cylinder, 700HP power pack, which provides a significant power increase over the current Assault Amphibious Vehicle.
The ACV is an amphibious vehicle, and in Marine Corps parlance that means being able to leave a ship at sea and swim to shore. The ACV can travel about 11.5 miles through water, using a pair of propellers mounted near the rear set of wheels to move the vehicle at speeds of up to 6 knots.
The ACV is protected from heavy machine gun fire, artillery shrapnel, and is designed to protect passengers from improvised explosive devices. IEDs, placed in roads, direct their blast upwards into the thin belly armor of tanks and armored vehicles. Mine Resistant Armored Protection or MRAP vehicles were designed to deal with the threat of roadside bombs, and the ACV incorporates MRAP-level protection. According to the Marines, it can also travel 18 miles on up to three blown-out tires.
The Marines’ new armored vehicle is lightly armed, sporting only a remote-controlled .50 calibre machine gun—for now. Over the long term, the ACV will incorporate a bigger gun in a turret. One possible candidate is the Kongsberg MCT-30 Protector unmanned turret. The MCT-30 is equipped with a 30-millimetre autocannon that can fire armour piercing, high explosive, and programmable airburst ammo, a 7.62-millimetre machine gun, and smoke dischargers. The MCT-30 is currently being fitted onto the U.S. Army’s Stryker Dragoon wheeled armored vehicles.
Another alternative is from Israeli defense contractor Rafael, with its Samson 30 turret. Samson 30 has the added benefit of a built-in active protection system designed to shoot down incoming anti-tank missiles and rockets, and two Spike anti-tank missiles.
A Last month statement from the U.S. Marine Corps claims that that the new Amphibious Combat Vehicle offers ‘significantly greater survivability, mobility’ than the predecessor.
According to a statement, the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle program reached another milestone, proving the vehicle’s ability to deliver future combat power from ship to shore and follow-on objectives. Program Executive Officer Land Systems recently completed testing on the ACV, which proved the new vehicles’ ability to not only take on challenging surf but also complete a long swim from ship to shore and back.
These major accomplishments facilitated the program moving from what was originally envisioned as an incremental approach, to one that will be known as the ACV family of vehicles, without the nomenclature of ACV 1.1 or ACV 1.2.
Meanwhile, the budget request for 2020 fiscal includes funding for 56 Amphibious Combat Vehicles, at a total procurement cost of $318 million.
“The amphibious combat vehicle is armoured, it’s designed to handle the [improvised explosive device] threat … and it’s larger” than lighter vehicles, said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.