At its York, Pennsylvania facility, BAE Systems has unveiled the first of 16 Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 prototypes it is developing for the US Marine Corps. The fully amphibious, ship-launchable and ship-recoverable 8x8 wheeled armored troop carrier is being developed under a US$103.7 million contract for the Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development phase of the ACV 1.1 program.
To save on costs, the ACV 1.1 is built upon an existing platform from Iveco Defence Vehicles and BAE describes it as "highly effective at sea when compared to any other amphibious vehicle in production today." Weighing in at 67,500 lb (30,617 kg), it can carry a payload of 7,280 lb (3,302 kg) and 13 passengers in a suspended interior seat structure. In addition, it has space for a crew of three in blast-protected positions.
Along with the energy-absorbing seats, the ACV 1.1 has a blast-resistant hull for better protection against mines, IEDs, kinetic energy rounds, and overhead blasts. There's also an automatic fire suppression system on board.
Under the bonnet, the ACV 1.1 has a 700-hp engine powering all eight wheels used both on land and in the surf zone. For all its weight, the ACV 1.1 can do over 65 mph (105 km/h) on paved roads and at sea can manage 6 kts (7 mph, 11 km/h). In terms of range, it can cover up to 325 mi (523 km) at 55 mph (89 km/h) on land, or for land and sea missions can travel 12 nm (13 mi, 22 km) at sea, then travel over 250 mi (402 km) once on dry land.
The ACV 1.1 may not have the smallest turning radius at 36 ft (11 m) curb to curb, but it can handle a 60 percent gradient as well as battering through a Sea State 3 and a 9 ft (2.7 m) plunging surf.
BAE says the 16 prototypes will be tested by the Marine Corps starting Q1 next year.
"BAE Systems has a long-standing legacy of supporting the Marine Corps' amphibious mission," says John Swift, the company's director for the ACV 1.1 program. "That expertise, coupled with the hard work of our dedicated ACV team, has allowed us to deliver the first of these vehicles ahead of schedule."