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 43 of 47

Technology Development (TD) phase being a vehicle based on a non- developmental platform, hence, the program entered directly into the Engineering Manufacturing and Development (EMD) phase Test results will go to the requirements community which will in turn inform their requirements development for ACV 1.2. Program threshold and objective requirements for 1.1 were in many cases similar to the requirements being developed for 1.2. In source selection, incentivization through extra credit in certain areas such as improved survivability and increased carrying capacity was given. Within the same weight class and at similar swim capabilities, there was a protection to troop carry trade-off with less-protected AAV SUs at 17 and more protected ACV 1.1s at 10-13 personnel. "Each additional troop carry adds additional weight to include all rucksack and accessory equipment," said Mr. John Garner, Program Manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault, U.S. Marine Corps Systems Command. "In the higher protection offered by ACV such as added armor and underbelly configurations like a V-hull, the biggest distinguisher between what are likely to be two similarly-capable platforms is a better protection package and ground mobility offered by ACV." The intent of the ACV 1.1 capability would be to lean forward to a more amphibious-capable vehicle ACV 1.2 which would be another large fielding of 490 vehicles with the difference between 1.1 and 1.2 being the requirement to self-deploying capability coming off an amphibious ship. "ACV 1.1 was designed to be a good "swimmer" with a range at least 3 nautical miles, able to cross inland waterways, without a requirement to self-deploy off an amphibious ship and go longer distances on/off ship," remarked Garner. "ACV 1.2 would require such a deployable, longer range AAV type capability with development in the 2018/2019 timeframe and be ready to follow-on with 1.2 production following completion of 1.1. The intent would be to minimize modification of 1.1 to field 1.2. At every step, requirements development followed reason for what was possible within budget, with the ultimate goal being that doing 1.1 right would position 1.2 well with only a few engineering changes that would be easily retro-fittable on 1.1s making all the wheeled amphibs self-deployable." With both the AAV SU and ACV 1.1 to be fielded within the 2019- 2020 timeframe, the Corps has a current compliment of 392 amphib fleet vehicles for upgrade with a projected order of 204 ACV 1.1 vehicles for fleet integration within the 2019-2022 period. This was determined to be the most rapid and least risky path to attain the required survivability envelope for AAV as well as the required swim/ amphib capability to not just AAV but also ACV. The other key element is that we talk about ACV as amphibious, as a big part of their mission is to get Marines off the amphibs and get them ashore somehow, but there is also a significant requirement for 10 infantry battalions worth for combat operations ashore. "Competing factors in the weight of increased armor protection for land operations with a direct impact on swim capability during marine operations has been the balance challenge for USMC developers," indicated Garner. "The AAV SU will be better protected than the current AAV, however, will not be armored as well as the ACV 1.1 for reasons of maintaining AAV amphibious swim capabilities while at the same time blending amphibious and ground combat capabilities within ACV." At low and mitigated risk, all within a rapid production cycle, has been the USMC montra for both vehicle platforms. Mobility at the Core In terms of compatibility with amphibious transport capabilities in use by the Marine Corps today, there is a high confidence that with the addition of AAV SUs and ACV 1.1 entering fleet service in the 2019-2023, AAV will remain the amphibious ship self-deployer while ACV 1.1 will come ashore via follow-on shipping and connectors such as Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and Landing Craft Utility (LCU). It's highly likely that both AAV and ACV 1.1 vehicles will operate in conjunction while ashore depending on the threat and overall mission scenario. In a higher IED threat environment, the more robustly-protected ACV will likely be the vehicle of operational choice. "In early 2020s planned Marine Expeditionary Units (MEUs) and initial assault echelons, it's likely that self-deployable AAVs will come ashore first followed by connector transported ACVs for follow-on ground operations," said Garner. "With the introduction of ACV 1.2 with full amphibious capabilities, there would likely be both AAVs and ACVs self-deploying off amphibious shipping in a complimentary fashion. Eventually the AAV SUs would be replaced with more of the ACV 1.2 and possibly evolve into an ACV 1.3 variant or a determination might be to replace AAVs with a high water speed self-deployer capability." USMC leaders are also continuing with an ACV 2.0 study to further high water speed technology, with a decision at the 2025 timeframe as to how many of the AAV SUs would be replaced by ACV 2.0 out to 2035. "Today, 2.0 is transitioning to the S&T realm, with the AAV SU and ACV 1.1 programs on technical, cost, and schedule track, post-milestone B and on contract to build Engineering Manufacturing and Development (EMD) vehicles," said Garner. "Currently, the USMC has taken possession of the first two AAV SU upgrades with slated initial delivery of initial ACV 1.1 variants this coming Spring 2017." Current testing for AAV SU should be completed in 2017 with low rate initial production in Spring 2018 with ACV 1.1 testing to start in Spring 2017 into 2018, resulting in a, with down-select from 2 to 1 contract developers. Fielding of AAV SUs should begin in 2019 and projected fielding of ACV 1.1s in 2020. COMPLIMENTARY SUBSCRIPTION | scan the code to sign up now! An amphibious assault vehicle approaches the amphibious dock landing ship USS Carter Hall (LSD 50). U.S. Navy engineers are developing a new Extreme Power Internal Combustion (EPIC) engine to transform Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) capabili- ties. EPIC is designed to increase power and reduce weight to achieve high water speed for future Marine Corps ACVs. (Photo by: Petty Officer 3rd Class Kristin L. Grover) 42 | Armor & Mobility September/October 2016 ENHANCEMENTS AND EVOLUTION

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