U.S. Marine Corps award contract to BAE Systems for new ACV production

BAE Systems plc, a UK-based defense, security, and aerospace firm, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps, a division of the country’s armed forces, to develop a new amphibious combat vehicle. Sources have claimed that the U.S. defense body took the decision after evaluating the performance of both BAE as well as SAIC, both of which were considered for the ACV development.

The deal will allow BAE to enter low rate initial production with 30 defense vehicles that will be dispatched to the Marine Corps by the end of 2019. Reports cite that the vehicles will cost approximately USD 198 million.

Apparently, the U.S. Marine Corps has decided to offer the contract to BAE Systems for manufacturing more than 200 amphibious combat vehicles, worth approximately USD 1.2 billion. Reportedly, the U.S. defense body is expecting the new ACV to undergo additional changes with new requirements and advancements.

The U.S. Marines are already working on the requirements of ACV 1.2 that will include a lethality upgrade for the vehicle. As per the contract, BAE’s amphibious combat vehicle will replace the Marine Corps’ legacy amphibious vehicle. However, the replacement may take place via a phased approach.

For the record, in November 2015, the Marine Corps had granted SAIC and BAE Systems with the contracts worth USD 100 million each for manufacturing 16 amphibious combat vehicle models. The strategic move was aimed at measuring the production capability of both the firms. Apparently, the contracts were awarded to the companies with the intention of choosing one of them for the new ACV production in 2018, based on their ACV manufacturing ability.

Sources cite that the testing of ACV models was completed during the first week of December last year, while the U.S. Marine Corps began issuing bid requests in January 2018. Operational tests on seven ACV models of both BAE and SAIC were also carried out at the end of last year.