In search of an new, all-modern Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), the United States Marine Corps service has turned to long-time proven defense industry player BAe Systems to deliver on its requested 204 units of the "ACV 1.1" beginning in the fall of 2019. The BAe Systems proposal beat out a competing design in June of 2018 from SAIC. While the ACV requirement is not wholly refined as of yet, the selection of the BAe Systems vehicle is a step in the right direction for the service as it tries to, not only modernize, but also retain its mobility in key parts of the world.
After a Request for Proposal (RFP) was received by the USMC in 2015, a total of sixteen prototypes were delivered by BAe Systems with the first rolled out in December of 2016. The design was tested against the SAIC submission in early December 2017 and operational tests followed in January. BAe Systems partnered with defense industry veteran Iveco Defense Vehicles of Italy for the task.
The ACV is given no small task to fulfill within the inventory of the multi-mission-minded USMC whose battlefield role it is to take the fight to the enemy from "ship-to-shore" and beyond. The vehicle is called to support land and shoreline actions for the service meaning an inherent amphibious capability, enhanced battlefield survivability and reliability under the harshest of conditions. Beyond this there is general support of forward-operating units by way of armed engagement or resupply as a transport.
As proposed, the BAe ACV model will house up to thirteen combat-ready marines in its passenger cabin while being operated by a standard crew of three (driver, commander and gunner). Power comes from a turbocharged diesel-fueled unit of 690 horsepower output driving power to an 8x8 wheeled arrangement. Ground clearance is expectedly high giving good trnech-clearing capabilities and the usual features, such as run-flat tires and a central tire pressure system, are assumed parts of the mix. Underneath, the ACV will carry a "V-shaped" blast-resistant hull which is proven for under-vehicle blast deflection and occupants will be further protected by way of energy-absorbing / suspended seats.
Externally, the vehicle sports an all-modern design with a near-horizontal glacis plate at the bow, slab sides and a flat roof line. The 8x8 wheeled arrangement is spread across four total axles with the forward pair being steerable. The driver takes his usual place at front-left with the commander's position directly aft. At bow-right is the engine placement. It is assumed that the hull roof will support a Remote Weapon Station (RWS) and gun ports will be provided for the infantry squad. Entry-exit will be handled by a powered ramp at the rear hull facing.
The ACV will have an operational range of about 325 miles and speed along prepared roads at up to 65 miles per hour.
The ACV 1.2 portion of the project is set to further "enhance lethality" for the series.