Report to Congress on Marine Amphibious Combat Vehicle

March 20, 2024 9:21 AM - Updated: March 20, 2024 9:45 AM

The following is the March 19, 2024, Congressional Research Service In Focus report, Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV).

From the report

The Marine Corps describes the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) as:

The Corps’ next-generation vehicle designed to move Marines from ship to shore. Designed to replace the Corps’ aging Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), which has been in service since 1972, the ACV will be the primary means of tactical mobility for the Marine infantry battalion at sea and ashore. The ACV will have the capability to provide organic, direct fire support to dismounted infantry in the attack.

There are currently four ACV variants planned: (1) a Personnel Variant (ACV-P), which can carry three crewmembers with 13 Marines and two days of combat equipment and supplies; (2) a Command and Control Variant (ACV-C); (3) a Recovery Variant (AC-R); and (4) a 30-mm Gun Variant (ACV-30). The Marines intend for the ACV to provide effective land and tactical water mobility (ship-to-shore and shore-to-shore), precise supporting fires, and high levels of force protection intended to protect against blasts, fragmentation, and kinetic energy threats.

The ACV program delivered initial ACV-P variants in November 2020 and delivered initial ACV-C variants in FY2022. Plans call for delivery of Improved Lethality 30-mm Gun Variant ACVs in FY2025 and Recovery Variants in FY2026.

Current Program Status

In June 2018, the ACV entered Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) with BAE Systems selected for the first 30 vehicles to be delivered in fall 2019. In November 2020, the ACV achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). In December 2020, a Full-Rate Production (FRP) decision was reportedly made by the Marine Corps after having been delayed from September 2020 due to issues related to Coronavirus Disease 2019. The current planned acquisition objective of 632 ACVs would replace AAVs in Assault Amphibian Battalions. The previous acquisition objective of 1,122 ACVs was reduced in accordance with Marine Corps Force Design 2030 modernization efforts (see CRS Insight IN11281, New U.S. Marine Corps Force Design Initiative: Force Design 2030, by Andrew Feickert).

Full-Rate Production Contract

On March 6, 2023, BAE reported it had received its third full-rate production ACV contract for $256.8 million. Under this contract, BAE will produce both ACV-P and ACV-C variants. BAE reports ACV production and support is taking place at BAE locations in Stafford, VA; Jose, CA; Sterling Heights, MI; Aiken, SC; and York, PA.

ACV-30 Variant Delivered

Reportedly, BAE delivered its ACV-30 variant to the Marines in February 2024 for government testing. The ACV-30 is to be equipped with a stabilized, medium-caliber, remote-controlled turret system produced by the Norwegian company Kongsberg.

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