Defense Media Network

Marine Corps Explores AAV Reset Options

Limited reset options for the Corps' aging AAVs

Advertisement

U.S. Marine Corps planners are seeking industry assistance in exploring various approaches for a limited reset of the service’s AAVP7A1 personnel variants of its Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV).

As outlined in a recently released request for information (RFI), the Marine Corps’ Program Manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault (PM AAA) is conducting market research “to analyze viable approaches for the sustaining maintenance of the USMC Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV).”

The self-deploying and fully-amphibious AAV7A1 family of vehicles includes three different vehicle variants: Personnel (P7); Command and Control (C7); and Recovery (R7). The Marine Corps had originally planned to replace its AAVs with the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), but the subsequent cancellation of the EFV program has prompted the service to look at alternate futures for its AAV platforms.

The “limited reset effort” currently envisioned would include a set of actions or processes that would restore the personnel variants “to the level achieved at the completion of the 2007 major rebuild.” In addition to an AAV end life of 2030, other assumptions supporting the effort range from a minimum throughput of 96 vehicles per year to an approved acquisition objective of all 1,064 vehicles.

“Originally fielded in 1971, the AAV is the oldest vehicle platform in the USMC inventory and the last major rebuild effort was completed in 2007,” the announcement explained. “The USMC has a current inventory of 1,064 vehicles. The end-of-life for this platform has been extended until 2030. PM AAA is developing an acquisition strategy for a survivability upgrade on roughly 40 percent of the vehicles in service; however, this effort does not address long term sustaining maintenance effort. PM AAA is considering approaches similar to a limited rebuild/reset effort to support extending the vehicle life cycle.”

AAV reset splash

An assault amphibious vehicle (AAV) assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31st MEU) launches from the well deck of the amphibious transport dock USS Denver (LPD 9). Current plans are to keep AAVs operating until 2030, but without significant enhancements to their capabilities. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Bryan Blair

The “limited reset effort” currently envisioned would include a set of actions or processes that would restore the personnel variants “to the level achieved at the completion of the 2007 major rebuild.” In addition to an AAV end life of 2030, other assumptions supporting the effort range from a minimum throughput of 96 vehicles per year to an approved acquisition objective of all 1,064 vehicles.

The notional effort could include three major components:

  • Replacement of obsolete, worn, or high failure-rate parts
  • Recapitalization actions to extend the equipment’s useful life “by returning it to a near zero-mile/zero-hour condition to the original performance specifications”
  • Repair or overhaul of equipment to Marine Corps standard.

According to the RFI, “A limited reset approach is not intended to increase the capability of the legacy platform; however, it is intended to enhance reliability due to the focused attention on sustaining maintenance. Specific maintenance actions taken/executed on an individual AAV during a limited reset may be dependent on the condition of the asset when it is introduced into the process.”

“PM AAA is conducting market research to assess available sources to perform a limited reset for the AAV fleet from Fiscal Year FY 16 through FY 30,” it added. “The government is considering approaches that conform to industry best practices, which may consider a public/private approach, a purely public approach, or a purely private approach. In short, PM AAA is seeking to understand proven, implemented approaches that have historical data/feedback which can be applied to this platform and is interested in various approaches for consideration.”

Industry is requested to submit responses to three different scenarios presented in the RFI, including an inspect and repair only as necessary (IROAN) approach, an “open approach based on the facility’s best practices and lessons learned,” and an open approach performed in conjunction with performing an AAV force protection upgrade. Those specific force protection improvements were previously outlined in a separate RFI that was released in late May of this year.

By

Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...