Marines Receive Amphibious Combat Vehicle with 30mm Cannon

According to BAE Systems, the US Marines have received its first production Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) equipped with the Mk44 30mm automatic cannon in the Kongsberg MCT remote weapon station. 

This ACV-30 will undergo testing toward approval of full-production release. This ACV is a follow-on to the amphibious troop-carrying version ACV-P which entered service in 2020. A Command and Control (ACV-C) has also been provided to the Corps. The designs drawn from the Iveco Defense Systems Super-AV in a collaboration with BAE Systems.

Both share a common 8 X 8 wheeled chassis with a 690hp engine and the advanced Iveco H-Drive which provides all-wheel traction. The vehicle has a crew of three and accommodates up to thirteen Marines in individual blast resistant seats. The troop variant is armed with the Kongsberg CROWS .50 machine gun remote weapon station.

The ACV provides both ship-to-shore movement of Marine forces as well as protected ground mobility ashore. The ACV-30 will provide direct fire support and ant-personnel, anti-material, and light armour defeat capability to the force.

The Kongsberg MCT-30 mounts the Northrup-Grumman Mk44 based Bushmaster II cannon using 30 X 173mm ammunition. Reportedly, this gun is lighter than that utilized on the US Army Dragoon Styker vehicles. Available ammunition includes armour-piercing, armour-piercing sabot, high explosive, and the Mk310 Programable Air Burst Munition. The later can not only engage targets in defilade but has also proved effective against unmanned aerial vehicles and drones. It has an effective range of three thousand meters and is fully stabilized in the turret.

The MCT-30 turret employed on the ACV-30 has day/night sights, laser rangefinder and digital fire controls. A 360-degree panoramic sight is located on the turret roof. The turret is unmanned but can be accessed from the vehicle to replenish ready-ammunition or to service the weapon. Dual link-less ammunition feeding provides seventy-eight rounds available to each feed.

According to Kongsberg “The fire controls automatically perform ballistic computations compensating for the lead angle, cant, tilt and vehicle motion, making targeting easier in the most challenging scenarios.” The electro-optics display and weapon controls are remotely located at a crew position in the vehicle. The design of the turret does not intrude into the vehicle compartment.

The Kongsberg system was selected by BAE for the ACV-30 in May 2020 with first article systems being delivered in early 2021. The results of testing of these ACV-30 will support the Marines decision for additional full production system. More than two-hundred ACV-P and ACV-C have delivered to date with a Recovery variant in development.

by Stephen W. miller