Marines examined the Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle from June to September of final 12 months—and the ACV didn’t get rave critiques. The ACV was put via its paces, touring from ship to shore via the surf zone, conducting reside fireplace drills, and maneuvers with the Joint Mild Tactical Automobiles and Mild Armored Automobiles. Right here’s the place it fell brief.
Amphibious Fight Car
The ACV, designed by BAE Programs, replaces the Marine Corps’ Assault Amphibious Vehicle, an amphibious ship to shore transport car that has been in service with the USMC for the reason that Seventies. The large tracked vehicle can carry twenty-one fully-armed Marines plus three crew members and is armed with a distant weapon station turret that carries each a .50 caliber heavy machine gun in addition to a 40mm grenade launcher. Although definitely a succesful platform when it made its service debut, it has grown long in the tooth after practically a half century of steady service. And the ACV is charging ahead to interchange it.
The ACV has had its criticisms, specifically it’s really slower within the water than the legacy AAV, although it’s sooner on land. Due to blast-mitigating seats, a V-shaped underbelly, and metal slightly than aluminum armor panels, the ACV does have a superior armor safety bundle. Apparently, the ACV opted for an eight-wheel drive slightly than a tracked system, probably for the superior on-road means wheels supply on land.
All informed, expectations for the brand new ACV were high. And whereas latest testing revealed some facets of the platform that work fairly properly, total efficiency was lower than stellar.
Flat Tires and Busted Suspensions
General, the ACV handed its Preliminary Operational Check & Analysis. The Navy noted that the car efficiently accomplished twelve out of 13 mission assessments, was in a position to keep pace with the JLTV and LAV, and quoted Marines concerned with the IOT&E that the ACV carried out “higher than the legacy car throughout all mission profiles.”
Marines lauded the ACV’s intercom and digital camera techniques, in addition to its distant weapon station, which allowed for superior situational consciousness. The stabilized RWS allowed for a really excessive diploma of accuracy—whereas stationary, the ACV hit 91 % of targets, which climbed to 97 % whereas on the transfer.
Nevertheless, the ACVs struggled with mobility via desert terrain. Flat tires plagued ACV operators and led to lengthy delays whereas flats had been swapped out. Astoundingly, the ACV isn’t geared up with a hydraulic jack, and should depend on a Logistics System Car Alternative (LVSR) Wrecker help car to alter out its wheels. A few of the tire points might have been attributable to improper tire strain set by crew members, which as soon as rectified, contributed to fewer tire failures. Moreover, the ACV’s weight made restoration troublesome for a single LVSR, and in some instances two restoration autos had been required to get well the ACV.
Marines additionally famous that house contained in the ACV is cramped. Fast egress and ingress had been made troublesome by restricted house. To prime it off, BAE didn’t design the ACV’s seats with physique armor in thoughts, which made seating unergonomic and uncomfortable.
Lastly, the ACV had on common thirty-nine hours of operation earlier than an tools failure that led to mission failure. ACV program necessities stipulated sixty-nine hours. Nonetheless, the Navy report acknowledged that the ACV’s distant weapon station was answerable for the biggest variety of failures, and was a government-supplied piece of apparatus, and due to this fact not BAE Programs fault.
Regardless of the ACV’s present points, a lot of these will be comparatively simply fastened. And, all isn’t misplaced. This ACV model is seen as a type of interim answer. The Marine Corps plans on developing an ACV 2.0 round 2025 that can incorporate the teachings discovered from the preliminary ACV program, with one of many chief targets being a considerably larger water pace. Till then, there may be loads of time to work out kinks within the Assault Fight Car.
Caleb Larson is a Protection Author with The Nationwide Curiosity. He holds a Grasp of Public Coverage and covers U.S. and Russian safety, European protection points, and German politics and tradition.