BAE Systems has received a $140 million deal from the Marine Corps for 30 more Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACV), as the company looks to deliver the first test units in summer 2019 and move on discussions to build three potential variants.

The deal, announced Thursday evening, is the second low-rate initial production (LRIP) order for the ACV. The new vehicles will be the first slated for fielding with a full-rate production decision expected for the third quarter of FY ’21, according to Jonathan Swift, BAE Systems’ director of Amphibious programs.

BAE Systems' Amphibious Combat Vehicle at Modern Day Marine. Photo: Matthew Beinart.
BAE Systems’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle at Modern Day Marine. Photo: Matthew Beinart.

“These vehicles then further validate the Marine Corps’ confidence in BAE as the corporation, but also validates their affirmation in our vehicle’s design and capability,”Swift told reporters on Friday.

BAE Systems is set to deliver the first of 30 vehicles ordered under the first LRIP order next summer (Defense Daily, Sept. 25).

Four of those vehicles are designated for blast testing while the remaining 26 will go to operational testing, according to Swift. Deliveries of the Lot 1 vehicles begin next summer and will be completed by the end of 2019.

Swift said production on vehicles under the Lot 2 award will commence at the end of next year, with deliveries set to take place through late summer 2020.

A full rate-production decision is expected in the third quarter of fiscal year 2020 following Initial Operational Test & Evaluation in the same year.

The Marine Corps has also begun discussions with BAE Systems on initial requirements for three possible ACV variants, according to Swift.

“Those detailed discussions have begun to unfold in the past several months. We will be soon placed on contract for the pursuit and initial design of those variants,” he said. “Those three variants in sequence of their priority to the Marine Corps are command and control variant, a gun or turreted variant and last but not least a recovery variant.”

Swift said any variants would likely be purchased during the first phase of the program, ACV 1.1, in an eventual full-rate contract.

The Marine Corps is expected to finalize requirements for ACV 1.2 by mid-2019, according to Swift.

“That will unfold early next year as to what the requirements for 1.2 our vehicles are capable of meeting. That’s really the significance of why we are continuing to validate through demonstration testing of the [Engineering, Manufacturing & Development] vehicles, because the Marine Corps has been able to validate that the performance of our vehicles meet many of the 1.2 requirements,” Swift said.