Home » Budget Industry » Marines: Amphibious Combat Vehicle Testing Going Well After Delay; On Track To Support June 2018 Downselect


Marines: Amphibious Combat Vehicle Testing Going Well After Delay; On Track To Support June 2018 Downselect

BAE Systems’ ACV 1.1 solution has completed thousands of miles of mobility testing and a full range of amphibious operations, including demonstrations of launch and recovery. BAE Systems photo.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle is on track for testing this year and a down-select and contract award a year from now, the Program Executive Officer for Land Systems told lawmakers and reporters today.

The ACV 1.1 test schedule had to be pushed back three months due to a contract award protest filed by General Dynamics Land Systems in December 2015, after the Marine Corps awarded its two engineering and manufacturing development contracts to BAE Systems and SAIC. But since the test schedule was revised, PEO Land Systems John Garner said the two competitors have been delivering vehicles and conducting multiple types of tests at facilities across the country.

“Both contractors are delivering, it is a competitive environment. One of them is ahead on the delivery schedule, is meeting all criteria and is ahead on testing, and by the end of this week we will have 13 vehicles from one of them, we currently have 12 already,” Garner said during a hearing at the Senate Armed Services seapower subcommittee. USNI News understands he was referring to BAE Systems when discussing the company that has delivered 12 vehicles.
“The other one, we’re accepting four vehicles today. … We already had two, so we’ll have six. By the end of next week it will be 15 from one and it will be 12 from the other, and that’s enough to fully support the test schedule and maintain the critical milestones, the Milestone C about this time next year.”

Garner told reporters after the hearing that testing is currently taking place at two locations now: blast tests and other assorted assessments at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, and mission-focused testing at Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch in California. The vehicles will also undergo soft soil testing in Mississippi and various other test events around the country, in about five locations total, he said.

An ACV operational assessment will take place early next year, Garner told reporters, with a Milestone C declaration made around June 2018 and a low-rate initial production contract awarded to one of the two bidders around the same time.

Also within in the PEO Land Systems portfolio, the Amphibious Assault Vehicle Survivability Upgrade (AAV SU) vehicles are wrapping up their operational assessment, after SAIC delivered its first AAV SU vehicles to the Marine Corps last spring.

Marines prepare to conduct amphibious operations during a training exercise at Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 2, 2017. Marine Corps Photo

Garner said during the hearing that the final shot of blast testing was successfully fired at the vehicles today, and as of this morning the vehicle “has met all of its survivability requirements.” He added that the operational assessment would end in about a week and that a decision to move forward with upgrading the remaining nearly-400 vehicles would take place in about two months.

Garner was also asked abut the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, which the Marine Corps is buying alongside the Army. The Marines asked for 527 in the 2018 budget request. Garner said in response to a question that he would have liked to buy more JLTVs in 2018, “but there are always other competing priorities, including things like ACV, so that’s balanced and right now that works fine for ’18. What we would like to do is, in a future year we may decide to accelerate and increase that requirement, but for right now .. we’re still in the low-rate initial production phase, we haven’t completed the [initial operational test and evaluation], so between our buy and the Army buy we’re pretty much against the [low-rate initial production] cap right now” for builder Oshkosh Defense.

Oshkosh Defense L-ATV which won the competition for the JLTV for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Oshkosh Photo

The Marine Corps has so far bought the JLTVs more slowly than originally planned, but it still intends to buy at least 5,500 over the life of the program. Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, said at the hearing that the Marines will have to buy more vehicles of some type to fully replace the more-than-17,000 humvees the service has today, but he said the Marines’ plans could evolve as it learns more about future increments of the JLTV and other potential Humvee replacements.

“We’re not exactly sure what that objective is going to be long-term. It’s going to be much higher than 5,500,” Walsh said, but “could they be some kind of lighter truck that does not have the same protection requirements that a JLTV would have? Because not all our vehicles may be operating in a highly contested environment. So that’s part of the decision as we continue to build this increment and then move on to Increment 2 and Increment 3, we’ll look through what that long-term requirement will be.”

 

  • publius_maximus_III

    Imagine if the Allies had stormed the beaches at Normandy (D-Day anniversary yesterday) with a bunch of these ACV’s instead of those Higgins boats.

    Sounds like a success story between designers, suppliers, and end users. Why can’t all our government programs work like this one?

    • Secundius

      Actually they did, “Somewhat”!/? Both the British and Canadians employed “Buffalo” LTV’s at Normandy. But the US Army employed them at the “Battle of the Scheldt” in 2 October through 8 November 1944…

      • E1 Kabong

        Buffalos aren’t armoured, for the most part and most were open topped.

        • Secundius

          At what point in my Statement did I say they were?/! The Question was about the Usage of ACV’s at Normandy. The “Buffalo” is the Closest thing to a Self-Propelled Amphibious Tractor in use

          • Scott Ferguson

            My, aren’t you a sensitive one?

            “Actually they did…”

          • Secundius

            And WHAT “Alligator’s” were used by the Americans on the Assault on Normandy Beach in 6 June 1944?/! “Donald Duck’s” or “DD’s” don’t count…

          • Aj jordan

            The marines were the only ones to widely use alligators in their crusade in the pacific, the US Army should’ve learned from the marines use of the AVT alligators and employed them in their own massive amphibious assaults.

          • Secundius

            Approximately 18,600 were produced by the End of the War. And were supplied to the US Army, USMC, USCG, the British, the Canadians, the Australians, New Zealand, Brazil, etc. which amounted to ~128 per Battalion, “Slim Pickings” when you come to it…

          • Aj jordan

            Thanks for correcting me, and kinda makes you wonder why they didn’t use them at dday….

          • E1 Kabong

            My, aren’t you triggered!

            Light armoured, OPEN TOPPED LVT-1 and LVT-2 amphibious vehicles, most of which were lightly armed, are not even REMOTELY close to what a Tuna Boat is…

            Okay, they both can float….

      • publius_maximus_III

        Was just thinking of movie depictions of a Higgins boat dropping its front unloading gate, only to have everyone mowed down inside by a machine gun directly in front of it… or stop too short and have troops stepping out into water over their heads with tons of gear to take them to the bottom.

        • Secundius

          But the same thing can happen even Now with LCU’s LCAC’s and L-CAT’s?/! Until you Actually Control the Beachhead. Once that Bow Ramp Drops, Everything and Anyone is “Easy Meat to the Fodder” for ANY Machine Gun, Cannon and Missile Fire…

          • Aj jordan

            Lcacs can go beyond the shore inland if need be…..

          • Secundius

            Under Fire or Not Under Fire?/!

          • Aj jordan

            When the aavs take the beach in the initial landing phase of an amphibious assault lcacs and or lcu ‘s will reinforce the marines on the beach with equipment like tanks and trucks artillery ect….. It shouldn’t run into anything heavy ……

          • Secundius

            Even “Light” and/or “Sporadic” Indirect Fire can still cause Significant Damage…

          • Aj jordan

            Whats your point? Are you saying seaborne landing craft are deathtraps and shouldn’t be employed? If so I strongly disagree, there will always be a risk no matter what we do , all we can do is better our amphibious doctrine and employ tactics that will cost us as least lives as possible.

          • Secundius

            Even after the Battle to Secure the Beaches of Normandy, the was Still “Sporadic” Fire which Claim Lives. Nothing is Absolutely Secure?/! The Marines found that out the Hard Way in Beirut, Lebanon in 23 October 1983. Which “Killed” ~305 people (241 Marines), even with “Jersey Walls” and Machine Gun Posts…

          • Aj jordan

            “Nothing is absolutely secure” I’m well aware of that fact, which is why I responded, all we can do is constantly improve ourselves and our doctrines, amphibious assaults will always be bloody, the key is making it as least bloody as possible…..which to some may sound synical and uncaring but it’s all we can do…..

          • publius_maximus_III

            Seems like a serious flaw in that old design. I’m sure it was cheaper and faster to build those Higgins boats than some armored duck-type amphibious troop carrier. But that front ramp probably had hidden costs, too, in terms of lives lost.

            A machine gun is devastating raking across a beach with it’s rapid fire, but at least there’s a chance the millisecond gaps betwen the spray of rounds will allow some to advance unharmed. But when that deadly spray is concentrated to the width of a landing craft, there are no spaces, and unbelieveable carnage results. Instead, each round probably kills more than one soldier as it passes through the front ranks, which in turn clog the “exit” for the rest to escape that death trap.

          • Secundius

            Minimally I would go with a remote 12.7x99mm BHMG, but my “Christmas/Hanukkah Herold Wish List” would probably be the “Supershot” 50x330mm CTA (Cased Telescopic Ammunition) Hopper Dual Feed (1,600 rounds each) ATS (Rh 503 Maschinenkanone 35/50) with a Minimum Range of 4,000-meters and a Maximum Range of up to ~20,000-meters depending on Ammunition Load. Total weight of Gun System is ~481-pounds. Ammunition Feed System is “Hot Swap” Capable…

          • publius_maximus_III

            Wow, your wishful thinking sounds like a regular Welcome Wagon, but for our guys, not the shore defenses.

          • Secundius

            The great thing about the “Hopper Feed System” is that Loose Rounds can be placed in the hopper and automatically fed into the gun system. No Down Time to Reload, similar to the M1941 Johnson “Johnny Gun”…

          • publius_maximus_III

            Amazon Prime for the USMC.

          • Secundius

            $49.95 is a Little Steep?/! I’ll wait for the “Paperback” version…

          • publius_maximus_III

            Sorry, Ole Pubic was being a little obtuse. I was talking about similarity in delivery system efficiencies (lead versus doggy treats).

          • Secundius

            Sort of like Top Hats and Mercury Poisoning “Madhatter”. Dog sounds like a “Typesetter”…

          • publius_maximus_III

            OK, your diversionary fault, Secundius — now veering COMPLETELY off topic. Interesting subject, those “Mad Hatter” haberdashers getting mercury poisoning from processing felt with same. Also, speaking of types of setter, my daughter owns a Carolina Plott Hound if you’ve ever heard of that breed. I once watched it wrestle with its visiting brother for the entire duration of a Super Bowl, I kid you not.

          • Secundius

            “Typesetter” is a Acute form of Lead Poisoning associated with people that worked in the Printers Trade or Newspapers. Lubrication used in the Trade has a Extremely High Level of Lead used as a Lubrication of the Printing Presses. You started you’re Apprenticeship at 14, became a Journeyman by 30, Retired by 40 and were DEAD by 45. Use to be known when shot by a Lead Bullet as “Typesetters Poisoning” from overexposure to the “Chicago Typewriter” (aka M1928A1 Thompson)…

          • publius_maximus_III

            I see said the blind man. You were right on track after all, just sending coded messages way over my head. Thanks for the lesson in Chicago gangland trivia. The Thompson submachine gun, my favorite because Sgt. Saunders (Vic Morrow) always carried one.

            BTW, I had a great uncle who was a pressman.

          • Secundius

            “Sounding Board”?/! “old guy” use to pull Sounding Board question all the time to see if I was Paying Attention or to See if I had a Clue to His Seemly Oblique Question/Answer (“In Plain Sight”) meant. I suspect most people, past it off as an Obscure Meaning or a Rambling of Thoughts to Feeling Out of those that “Troll the Web”. And your “Amazon Prime” Question sounded like one!/? So I just “Bootleg’d” the Question back to you. No Offense Intended…