New in 2024: Marine amphibious combat vehicle variants will arrive

New command and control and a separate 30mm gun variant of the Marine Corp’s amphibious combat vehicle is expected to reach units in early 2024.

This variant is one of four designs either fielded or in production by BAE Systems from its facility in York, Pennsylvania, Defense News reported.

The personal amphibious combat vehicle variant arrived in Marine units in 2021 to replace the legacy amphibious assault vehicle, which has been in service since the 1970s.

More than 200 amphibious combat vehicle personnel variants had been built by mid-2023, and 139 of them had been delivered to either operational units or training units.

Planners expect the command and control version, dubbed ACV-C, to reach initial operational capability by March 2024, Col. Tim Hough, program manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault, told Defense News.

The ACV-C went into production in 2022 but was halted after testing problems and a design review.

Defense Department officials noted in a January 2023 report that the variant was “not operationally effective as a mobile command center.”

They cited the lack of “sufficient secure beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) voice and data networks to support” the command and control mission.

But by July 2023 the manufacturer, BAE Systems, had resolved the concerns and the vehicle was in full production.

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The same Pennsylvania manufacturing plant at the time was building three ACV-30 vehicles. The ACV-30 is equipped with a 30 mm gun. These three vehicles will be used for operational testing as the Corps decides the final details of the ACV-30 design.

Mark Brinkman with BAE Systems told Defense News that the company will deliver ACV-30 vehicles to the Marines in early 2024 for testing.

Officials expect the ACV-30 to have initial operational capability by mid-2026. That means at least one Marine unit will be equipped with enough vehicles, parts and training to carry out an overseas deployment.

Marines operating with any of the ACV variants should keep at least one version of the old AAV in stock for at least a few more years.

That’s because the new recovery variant, or ACV-R, isn’t expected to reach initial operational capability until late 2027 or early 2028. Marines must rely on the AAV recovery variant for field maintenance until its replacement arrives.

Todd South has written about crime, courts, government, and the military for multiple publications since 2004, and was named a 2014 Pulitzer Prize finalist for a co-authored work on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine from the Iraq War.

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