General Dynamics Continues Work on ACV Contender
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The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has operated armored vehicles to move troops from ship to shore since World War II. The current AAV-7 generation vehicles have seen use since Vietnam. A new program to develop a faster, more capable system called the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) was cancelled in 2011 due to cost and schedule issues. Since then the Marine Corps has released a new road map for vehicle procurement which includes another potential AAV replacement called the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV).
General Dynamics (GD) was the prime contractor on the EFV.
The ACV program is currently still in the requirements stage and the Marine Corps is relying on industry to demonstrate capabilities to meet those requirements. Earlier this month a Request for Information (RFI) to industry was released that asked to learn more about industry’s views on an incremental program where the initial vehicle would meet a set of basic requirements and then be upgraded to meet other future ones.
GD will be a potential source for the new ACV and they are working on demonstrating the ability of their systems to meet the requirements. They recently completed survivability testing of a hull design to show compliance with the protection requirements for the ACV. This self funded testing was successful with “confirmed that General Dynamics’ hull design meets the Marine Corps’ ACV survivability requirement and provided an early assessment of the unprecedented level of protection against threshold and objective threat levels that the new hull design will provide”.
As part of the reaction to the mine and IED threat that caused so many casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan new American combat vehicles face stringent protection requirements. This has driven up the weight for programs like the Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV), which will replace the M2 Bradley, adn the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), which is the HUMVEE replacement.
The ACV like all new development programs is facing the potential for a slow process depending on how sequestration and the budget issues are resolved.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Imagery’s flickr Photostream.