US Marines Contract for ACV-Recovery Vehicle

Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)
Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV)

On April 8, 2024, the US Marines awarded BAE Systems a contract to build its Recovery variant of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) family. 

The $78 million effort will have BAE build and deliver production representative Recovery variants of the ACV which will undergo Marine evaluation later in 2024. This contract is a follow-on to the previous design and development contract.

Garrett Lacaillade, vice president of amphibious programs at BAE Systems, shared “The ACV-R is a modern, highly capable recovery and mobile repair unit that provides critical expeditionary support to immobilized ACVs in the field and provides maintenance support capabilities without risking our Marines’ safety.”

The ACV is an eight-wheeled armoured carrier that is able to operate on both roads and over rugged cross-country terrains while also being fully amphibious. It is able to tactically transport Marines from ship-to-shore including through surf-zones or shore-to-shore and then carry them inland taking the fight to the enemy. Its protection and mobility allow embarked Marine units to gain manoeuvre advantage over opponents.

With a gross combat weight of 70,000 pounds the infantry carrier variant provides survivability against blasts, fragmentation, and kinetic-energy threats to thirteen combat-loaded marines as they close with and destroy the enemy and respond to various crises.

The BAE collaborating with Italy’s IVECO Defence was selected to replace the 1970’s legacy tracked AAV7 and is fielded in the Corps Amphibious Assault Battalions.

Recovery vehicles, like ACV-R, have been demonstrated since the first fielding of armoured vehicles into combat to be of critical importance on the battlefield. They can be a “combat multiplier” by not only recovering combat vehicles that may become bogged but also through retrieving those with mechanical failures or combat damage. These assets can then be repaired and return to operations enhancing a unit’s capabilities.

In addition, with mobility equal to the other ACVs of the unit the ACV-R can move with them and be readily available to respond to a situation where they might be needed. Fielding of the ACV-R will further address the inadequacy of the LVSR, the current Marine recovery tactical truck, to provide support to the ACV. This deficiency was identified in the operational testing of the ACV.

In addition to its role in recovery, the ACV-R is equipped with a winch and telescoping crane, as well as often, towbars, and welding and cutting equipment. These further expand its roles supporting maintenance and repair including the lifting, removal and replacement of power-paks in the field. The ACV-R can be expected, based on prior table of equipment, to be fielded to every ACV company and to battalion maintenance. Introduction of the ACV-R to operational field amphibian units is likely eagerly anticipated and will significantly enhance their readiness and capabilities.

by Stephen W. Miller