US Marine Corps' Future Amphibious Vehicle Fleet
BAE Systems will help the U.S. Marine Corps determine the future of its amphibious vehicle fleet through two recently awarded contracts for the Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC).
The work includes conducting a trade study to evaluate improvements to the AAV and delivering MPC sample vehicles and hulls to be used for demonstrations of water mobility, blast protection and Human Factors Engineering.
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“BAE Systems has worked successfully with the U.S. Marine Corps for more than 70 years, and we’re proud to continue being a part of programs that will revolutionize the amphibious fleet,” said Ann Hoholick, vice president and general manager of Amphibious & New Programs for BAE Systems. “It is our goal to design a family of systems that incorporates low-risk, mature technologies that are scalable to align with emerging requirements and funding.”
The AAV trade study will allow BAE Systems to propose how to best improve the survivability and force protection of the vehicle while maintaining its current land and water mobility characteristics. Through this $250,000 contract, BAE Systems will determine if an affordable development and production unit cost can be realized using a production schedule that fields 43 upgraded vehicles by September 2017.
Work for the AAV upgrade efforts will be performed primarily at BAE Systems’ Santa Clara, California and Stafford, Virginia facilities. Additional work may be done through York, Pennsylvania; Fridley, Minnesota and Sterling Heights, Michigan. BAE Systems will provide its findings in December 2012. After completion of the trade study and design phase, it is expected that a Request for Proposal for full AAV upgrade development will follow.
BAE Systems has also been awarded a $3.5 million contract to support the USMC’s evaluation of the MPC through system demonstrations and studies for water performance, human factors, stowage capacity evaluation, survivability testing and the potential for future production in the U.S. The MPC is an amphibious 8x8 wheeled personnel carrier, designed to provide expeditionary protected mobility and general support lift to the Marine infantry battalion.
Work under the MPC contract will be performed at several BAE Systems facilities, including Santa Clara, California and Stafford, Virginia. Over the next eight months, a swim demonstration vehicle will be delivered to the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch in Camp Pendleton, California and two vehicle hulls for blast testing will be delivered to the Nevada Automotive Test Center in Carson City, Nevada. Evaluation of the delivered assets is expected to begin in March 2013, with anticipated completion in August 2013. These assessments will be used by the Marines to validate and refine the program for further acquisition milestones.
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Source : BAE Systems PLC (LSE: BAES.L)