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WEST: Marines Plan to Issue Amphibious Combat Vehicle Request for Proposal in March

The Lockheed Martin Havoc vehicle based off of the Finnish Patria AMV and one of the likely competitors for the USMC ACV 1.1 competition. Lockheed Martin Photo

The Lockheed Martin Havoc vehicle based off of the Finnish Patria AMV and one of the likely competitors for the USMC ACV 1.1 competition. Lockheed Martin Photo

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – The Marine Corps plans to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for the early version of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) in March, the head of Marine Corps Systems Command said.

The RFP will lead to the award of two engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contracts in November or December, said Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader on Wednesday speaking at the WEST 2015 conference

“We’re going to award two EMD contracts – 16 systems each – for a total of 32 systems to take into testing,” he said.

The Marines plan to buy 200 of the ACV 1.1 eight-wheeled amphibious personnel carrier as an adjunct to the Marines decades old Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV-7A1).

“It’s not a replacement to the AAV right now. It’s going to enhance that capability,” he said.

Likely competitors for the ACV 1.1 are BAE Systems, General Dynamics Land Systems, Lockheed Martin and SAIC, according to a September report in Defense Daily.

The Marines are also exploring an ACV 2.0.

“We’re still exploring the high water speed capability, determine if it’s still required. If it is still required we’ll chase it, if not we’ll go off in an another direction,” Shrader said.
“But I think ACV 1.1 is going to help inform what we do with 2.0 along with the connectors and along with the amphibious strategy. “

The ACV program follows the 2011 cancelation of the Marine’s Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV). After investing $3 billion in the armored vehicle capable of traveling on water at a top speed of 25 kts – much faster than the 7 kts of the AAV – the Marines canceled the program on grounds of affordability.

The initial speed requirement was to allow amphibious warships a greater buffer from the shore to provide an additional margin of safety from increasingly sophisticated and inexpensive guided weapons.

USNI News understands the service wants the transit from amphibious warships to shore to last no more than an hour.

However, the prohibitive cost of a vehicle that not only transits contested water but also functioned as an armored land unit in one package forced the Marines to look at alternatives to the high-speed concept.

The service is also upgrading some of its older AAVs.

“We’re looking at upgrading about 390 systems of that 1,200 vehicle fleet. That program is alive and well and I think in the next couple of weeks you’ll hear about a contract award,” Shrader said.

  • old guy

    One will be a bicycle, and one will be a tricycle, to match the LCSs

  • Michael Rich

    “sophisticated and inexpensive guided weapon.” Shouldn’t “weapon” be “weapons.”

  • Even 1 hours in transit is pushing it if the Marines inside are going immediately into combat once they hit the beach. If given ~30 minutes to recooperate then a longer ride is doable. It’s not a matter of being tough enough, you need time to rehydrate after (likely) puking your guts out, plus getting your inner ear to stop spinning. Puke Cans are no joke for the guys inside.

  • Rob C.

    Hopefully they can make this work, they need something. They can’t keep losing new design attempts to have go back to a aging fleet vehicles. This maybe a foot in the door. I’m not crazy about being wheeled vehicle that trying to swim, but Marines know their business. Hopefully the vehicle good enough.

  • Secundius

    Another Widget for the Widget Show, to go too Widget Nowhere…

  • Sparky Crank

    General Dynamics is going to get another shot at this???!!!

    They had to steal tech from one of their vendors they scr_wed over last time they had this contract.

    They are still in courts fighting about this… general dynamics land stystems and infinity fluid corp. what a bunch of hacks at GD!

    • Secundius

      @ Sparky Crank.

      Just exactly what other options are being overlooked. If you have One, share it. It’s extremely doubtful that Congress is going to Fund a Foreign Buy…

  • Keith Turk Jr.

    The EFV was very good, and probably cheaper than the cost of 4-5 r+d programs that follow its cancellation. Patria AMV could be good as well, but in a different way.
    I want them to get a good fleet of vehicles, that delivers a good set of capabilities at a reasonable price.
    The main obstacle to that end are the arguing bodies of congress.
    One side throws gobs of money out for programs and prototypes and other such shuffling and waxing on about greatness, then the other side manages to get it cancelled and makes the military ride on all its old junk decade after decade after the moneys already spent. They do this, while the american taxpayers are actually paying enough money to properly equip the military, yet the military doesn’t actually receive the equipment.

  • Secundius

    God, what ever you do. Don’t put any M1128 Gun Turrets on the Vehicle, like the Army did with the Strykers…

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