Military

Lockheed Martin unveils new amphibious assault vehicle

Lockheed Martin unveils new am...
The ACV 1.1 is Lockheed's replacement candidate for the US Marine Corps amphibious vehicle fleet
The ACV 1.1 is Lockheed's replacement candidate for the US Marine Corps amphibious vehicle fleet
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The ACV 1.1 is Lockheed's replacement candidate for the US Marine Corps amphibious vehicle fleet
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The ACV 1.1 is Lockheed's replacement candidate for the US Marine Corps amphibious vehicle fleet
Comparison of the ACV 1.1 and the DUKW
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Comparison of the ACV 1.1 and the DUKW
ACV 1.1 infographic
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ACV 1.1 infographic
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The US Marine Corps's fleet of amphibious assault vehicles is over 40 years old and instead of fitting them with classic number plates, it's looking for a replacement. At this week's Modern Day Marine trade show in Quantico, Virginia, Lockheed Martin revealed its new candidate Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) 1.1. The armored eight-wheel-drive battle wagon can carry up to 13 marines over land or water and incorporates intuitive automatic systems into the design.

The job of the marines is to act as an amphibious assault force, but ever since the days of wooden landing boats, getting from ship to shore has been tricky. Amphibious vehicles seems like the logical answer, but it is more than just a car that can splash about and then drive home on the road – it's a vital instrument during the long, vulnerable trip to the beach that's designed to not only protect marines from enemy fire, but also from slogging hundreds of yards over sharp coral reefs, fighting through the surf, or wallowing in mud.

Lockheed compares the new ACV 1.1 to the famous World War II-era DUKW that is now a common sight in many large cities, where it's often used as a tour bus. The Allied-forces DUKW was a standard transport truck that had a flotation hull welded on and a prop on the back that engaged with the drive shaft by means of a clutch. It carried 25 men standing up, had no armor, and hauled itself using a measly 95 bhp petrol engine. Worse, despite its legendary robustness, it wasn't very good as either a boat or a land transport because the design was a compromise between the two, which don't have very much in common.

In contrast, the ACV 1.1 is designed as a vehicle that will not only float, but is also watertight and operates well under fire on both land and sea while carrying a significant payload. It has a sealed shell with 8x8 drive and Lockheed says it's built to be modular, easily upgradable, use off-the-shelf parts, and be compatible with other vehicles.

ACV 1.1 infographic
ACV 1.1 infographic

The ACV 1.1 is fully armored, weighs over 20 tons and is powered by a 700 bhp six-cylinder turbodiesel engine. It seats 13 and can carry over 16,000 lb (7,200 kg) of payload. It has upgradable sensors and communications, and can carry weapons ranging up to a 30-mm autocannon.

To keep the ACV 1.1 watertight, only the driver has a window and the hatches are on the top of the vehicle, with a large door in the rear for passengers to enter and exit. There's a sealing and locking system to make sure every entrance is secure, an automatic pump in the bottom of the vehicle to remove water, and a system to supply air to the engine and passengers. The hull is designed to be both seaworthy and able to deflect blasts. It can do 5 knots (5.7 mph, 9.2 km/h) in rough seas, and can handle large waves, currents, rugged terrain, and nighttime conditions.

In addition, the ACV 1.1 boasts automated systems that place an emphasis intuitive operation. For example, it switches automatically from "land mode" to "sea mode" and back at the touch of a button and does not require special controls. This allows the driver to use the steering wheel and other standard controls on both land and sea as the drive system automatically adjusts itself.

According to Lockheed, future versions of the ACV 1.1 are expected to be even more automated with an autopilot for sea mode. In addition, the company sees the ACV 1.1 one day being used by civilian rescue services for disaster relief, such as floods and hurricanes.

Source: Lockheed Martin

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10 comments
Daishi
A 20 ton armored vehicle seems a little overkill for civilian disaster relief. A DUKW is like 6 tons and seats over 20 people.
Tank-like armor makes sense if you are being shot at otherwise it's a pretty expensive design requirement if you just need amphibious transportation to move civilian passengers.
Dan Marsh
Not so many of the amphibious buses for tourists are actual DUKWs now, and those that are have been heavily modified. Also, they're not so safe because the driver's seat is far back from the front meaning he/she can't see what is in front of the vehicle, such as a small child.
Stephen N Russell
Museumize the older assult vehicle types & produce this one for MC use Overall same design style since WW2.
TimothyRitchie
The military sure loves to spend money on equipment that will NEVER be used in an armed conflict. The Marines were the major U.S. military force in Afghanistan a LAND LOCKED country! Why doesn't the brass spend the taxpayers money on what Marines need. New upgraded weapons including sniper rifles. New upgraded communications system for Marines in the field. The Marines may be a mobile force but they are in all honesty no longer amphibious. Name the date of the last amphibious invasion? You can't.(Beirut,Lebanon,1983) NO new amphibious ships are on the horizon to be built......
Island Architect
My first ride in a similar troop carrier was in 1955 at the GM Proving Grounds. It seemed slow an a bit klunky.
This looks like some real deal... thinking was involved.
If the wheel pairs are bogied then the ride would be amazingly smooth and the economy would be quite high. That's the real trick.
Yes you can stick video cameras all over the place.
b
ezeflyer
War industries need to transform themselves. Appropriate technology could bring peace to our world and make life wonderful for all. Instead of producing arms to kill each other with to profit a few sociopathic oligarchs and dysfunctional conservatives, use technology for the good of all. Listen to Pope Francis.
the.other.will
The same chassis can be used for an armored vehicle or for an unarmored 1 that can carry lots more cargo. An unarmored version of the ACV 1.1 would be able to carry much more than 7.2 tonnes of cargo across both land & water. Specialized & expensive but invaluable for disaster relief. There'll be other users over time.
Slowburn
The DUKW was not expected to be the best amphibious truck American industry could produce. It was the best amphibious truck American industry could put into production in 90 days or less. In 1940 being able to go 30 mph all day long was not considered particularly slow. They were good 2.5 ton trucks that could move about reasonably well floating in reasonable calm water; fording rivers or normal lakes they do pretty good. If you don't like the view from the drivers seat add a mirror.
unklmurray
If you all could just learn to get along there would be no need for war.....and war vehicles.......Peace.....LOL
The 1 TaiN
As of 5 January 2016, Lockheed-Martin is No Longer a Contender. It's Now Dow To SIAC-Terrex 2 and BAE...