The US Marine Corps has been conducting operational training with its new IVECO / BAE Systems amphibious combat vehicle (ACV) during the bilateral Exercise Iron Fist 22 (10 January – 16 February), as well as on the amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage in the Pacific Ocean (14-15 February).
The eight-wheel drive ACV has begun to replace the old Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV). Production started in 2020 with the first 36 units. The ACV has been designed to self-deploy from an amphibious assault ship at least 12 miles from shore with 17 Marines aboard. It has a speed of around eight knots or more depending on sea conditions. Around 573 vehicles are scheduled for procurement.
“The amphibious combat vehicle, combined with L-class ships and the light amphibious warship are critical programs that afford us the ability to move forces around,” said General David Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps. “The Marine Corps’ role is a forward force. This organic mobility is crucial to operate as a forward deployed, stand-in force.”
Exercise Iron Fist combined the USMC’s 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion with troops from the Japan Ground Self Defense-Force with the 2nd Amphibious Rapid Deployment Regiment. The ACV’s undertook a range of amphibious basic skills including day and night training and a series of amphibious assaults.
by Andrew Drwiega