BAE Systems announces USMC amphibious vehicle contracts
BAE Systems has announced that it will work closely with the US Marine Corps (USMC) on two of its vehicle programmes under contracts awarded for the Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC). The company announced the news 23 August 2012 in a company statement.
According to the company, the work includes conducting a trade study to evaluate improvements to the AAV and delivering MPC sample vehicles and hulls to be used for demonstrations of water mobility, blast protection and Human Factors Engineering.
The AAV trade study will be conducted under a $250,000 contract. It will allow BAE Systems to propose how to best improve the survivability and force protection of the vehicle while maintaining its current land and water mobility characteristics; and BAE Systems will determine if an affordable development and production unit cost can be realised using a production schedule that fields 43 upgraded vehicles by September 2017. BAE Systems will provide its findings in December 2012, and after completion of the trade study and design phase, it is expected that a Request for Proposal for full AAV upgrade development will follow.
The MPC work will be carried out under a $3.5 million contract, where the company will support the USMC’s evaluation of the MPC through system demonstrations and studies for water performance, human factors, stowage capacity evaluation, survivability testing and the potential for future production in the US. The MPC is an amphibious 8x8 wheeled personnel carrier, designed to provide expeditionary protected mobility and general support lift to the marine infantry battalion.
According to the company, over the next eight months, a swim demonstration vehicle will be delivered to the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch in Camp Pendleton, California and two vehicle hulls for blast testing will be delivered to the Nevada Automotive Test Centre in Carson City, Nevada. Evaluation of the delivered assets is expected to begin in March 2013, with anticipated completion in August 2013. These assessments will be used by the marines to validate and refine the programme for further acquisition milestones.
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