BAE Systems is ramping up discussions with the Marine Corps on requirements for the three recently announced variants of the new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV), with an initial design review for a command and control version to be finalized later in 2019.
Jonathan Swift, BAE Systems’ director of amphibious combat vehicles, told Defense Daily Wednesday, the Marine Corps in the last several weeks confirmed ACV has met requirements for the program’s 1.2 phase and will now move forward with a Family of Vehicles approach, which include the three variants.
The Marine Corps at the end of January released a request for information announcing plans to acquire 29 command and control variants (ACV-C), 39 recovery and maintenance variants (ACV-R) and 150 units of a 30mm medium caliber cannon variant (ACV-30) (Defense Daily, Jan. 28).
In December, BAE Systems received a $140 million deal for the first 30 base-model vehicles, with deliveries to begin this June.
Swift said following the first ACV deliveries, the Marine Corps will begin validating its requirement sets for each of the variants, starting with ACV-C.
“The command and control variant, we’ve got a pretty solid solution to go forward with that. We expect that design to be validated here in the coming months, and the requirements set to be signed and approved by the Marine Corps in the same timeframe,” Swift told Defense Daily.
A requirements set will then follow for the turreted variant, followed by the ACV-R in 2020.
BAE Systems has already initiated design reviews for each of the variants, and has previously brought a version of the command and control variant to the 2017 Modern Day Marine and a turreted variant to last September’s show.
“We have built similar variants on other platforms. And Iveco, our partner on the ACV, has done the same. The base design for the vehicle comes from an Iveco family of vehicles. So the whole structure and power was based into the design of the vehicle to be able to transition it to a command and control or turreted variant. So it is not overly difficult,” Swift said.
Swift said the Marine Corps is still determining a contracting path for the ACV variants, but said he expected the manufacturing phase for ACV-C to begin in 2020 with the first test vehicles to be delivered by the fourth quarter of FY ’20.
“That’s really the only timeline that’s fully established for a variant thus far,” Swift said. “Discussions show, as we subsequently go through test and evaluation, the variants will come in at the end of full-rate lots two, three, four and five. So they will be at the tailend of each lot by variant. The C-variants are first, then the turreted variants, then the R-variants.”
IOT&E for the initial base-model personnel ACVs will begin in the third quarter of FY ’20 and a full-rate production decision is slated for the fourth quarter of FY ’20, according to Swift.