Armor & Mobility

SEP-OCT 2016

Military magazines in the United States and Canada, covering Armor and Mobility, focuses on tactical vehicles, C4ISR, Special Operations Forces, latest soldier equipment, shelters, and key DoD programs

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Page 42 of 47

said Tom Watson, senior vice president and general manager of the Navy and Marine Corps Customer Group. "During the EMD phase, SAIC, along with teammate ST Kinetics, will provide the Marine Corps with 16 prototypes. The Marine Corps anticipates down selecting to a single vendor in Summer 2018. Work will be performed primarily in SAIC's facility in Charleston, South Carolina, where the company is currently providing the Marine Corps with initial survivability upgrades to 10 Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) prototypes. SAIC's solution provides the Marine Corps with an ACV that is fully-protected and has superior maneuverability with amphibious ship-to-shore capability. SAIC and ST Kinetics' enhanced ACV 1.1 solution, called TERREX 2, is an 8x8 wheeled, armored ACV with improved mobility that can transport a combat load of up to 11 embarked Marines and three crew members through hostile territory. On land, TERREX 2's independent suspension system improves ground mobility and ride quality for U.S. Marines. In water, TERREX 2's hydraulically driven propulsion systems with full independent thrust control authority allows safe operation at Sea-State 3 and through six-foot plunging surf. BAE Systems completed Preliminary Design Review/Contractual Design Review (PDR/CDR) in June and is on track to deliver vehicles to the Marine Corps according to the customer's original timeline. "As the original equipment manufacturer of the Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV), and an equipment provider to the Marine Corps for over 70 years, BAE Systems is proud to soon deliver 16 pre-production Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV) 1.1 for USMC test and evaluation during its EMD Phase," said John Swift, BAE Systems Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1 program director. "The BAE Systems offering uses a mature, fully amphibious, ship launch-able and recoverable 8x8 wheeled platform developed by our partner Iveco Defence. The vehicles were designed from the ground up as a fully amphibious combat vehicle and is currently in production at our York, PA facility. Our offering has a capacity to carry 13 embarked Marines in addition to a three-man crew and has undergone extensive testing that includes evaluations for open ocean and land mobility, ship launch and recovery, survivability, human factors, and stowage capacity. We also installed a new engine in the prototypes we are building for the Marine Corps, which now includes growth beyond 690HP and has significant exportable power." Evolving a Multi-Pronged Solution With the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program in 2011, a series of studies were begun including the high speed water vehicle effort which lasted until 2013. The Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) program study was a wheeled vehicle effort begun in 2007 as a complimentary capability with EFV and also ended in 2013. In January 2014, Marine Corps leadership convened in the Nevada desert to test some MPC wheeled demo vehicles. Based upon the MPC demo and results of a high water speed study for potential High Speed Vessel (HSV), findings indicated that though the high water speed application was technically achievable, it would be very costly and there would be quite a few capability trades to keep the weight down. During testing demonstrations of MPC vehicles at Camp Pendleton, CA, the evolution of the wheeled ACVs, with extensive swim tests at the AVTB Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, showed that wheeled vehicles were capable swimmers with some variants designed to be capable swimmers from initial concept inception. It was also determined that in the 70,000 lb vehicle weight class that certain wheeled vehicle designs offered the same or superior ground mobility over tracked vehicles such as AAV. Not to mention cost sustainability and more recent improvements of wheeled capabilities, with the resultant determination that a wheeled vehicle was a competitor to replace the AAV, as a capable amphibious swimming vehicle in the 6-8 knot range, not as a high water speed. The AAV SU upgrade is designed to enhance AAV survivability so that they are relevant in the current threat environment as well as a risk mitigator to the capable swimming vehicles that they have long been proven to be. In February 2014, USMC leadership determined a three-pronged path forward. One path was as a risk-reducer, develop the AAV survivability upgrade (AAV SU) which primarily provided underbelly armor increased protection, however, in order to do that, the upgraded platform needed to include the powertrain and suspension to carry the added weight of upgraded armor packaging. The plan was to upgrade a third of the fleet with these upgrades to extend their lifecycle to 2035, with 392 vehicles seeing the SU re-packaging out of an entire fleet of 1,058 vehicles. The second path was to start down a wheeled vehicle path called ACV broken into increments with the first being 1.1, to field 204 vehicles, staying as close to industry available systems application as possible so that they would be modified non- developmental enabling the Corps to move out on a more streamlined acquisition plan for initial fielding by 2020. ACV 1.1 did not involve a Electro-Miniatures Corp Slip Ring Specialists Custom Designs for Your Requirements 201.460.0510 September/October 2016 | Armor & Mobility | 41 ENHANCEMENTS AND EVOLUTION

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