The US Marines have added $169.3 million to a previous contract with BAE Systems to build an additional 36 Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV) through August 2023.
This contract enhancement is in addition to the $366 million the service already awarded to the company for 72 ACVs. The contract may go as high as $3.35 billion, with the option of 80 vehicles per annum over five years.
The vehicle achieved initial operational capability last November and the manufacturer was awarded an initial $184 million contract to deliver 36 ACVs at full-rate production.
Assault Amphibious Vehicle Replacement
The ACV will replace the Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV), also built by BAE Systems, which first entered service in 1972. The vehicle has been banned from water-borne operations since July last year when nine marines and sailors died in a mishap.
The ACV, too, has been grounded since September due to a problem with its towing mechanism.
According to the manufacturer, “the ACV is a highly mobile, survivable, and adaptable platform for conducting full spectrum ship-to-shore operations and brings enhanced combat power to the battlefield.”
It further states that the vehicle provides three times the protection of its predecessor and a more potent 690 horsepower engine compared to the 400 horsepower of the AAV, enabling greater speed. Moreover, the vehicle’s modular design allows developers to add features suitable for additional mission roles and future technologies.