Assault Amphibious Vehicle

The Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV)—official designation AAV-7A1 (formerly known as Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Personnel-7 abbr. LVTP-7)—is a fully tracked amphibious landing vehicle manufactured by U.S. Combat Systems (previously by United Defense, a former division of FMC Corporation).

The AAV-7A1 is the current amphibious troop transport of the United States Marine Corps. It is used by U.S. Marine Corps Assault Amphibian Battalions to land the surface assault elements of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives and to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent mechanized operations ashore. It is also operated by other forces. Marines call them "amtracks," a shortening of their original designation, "amphibious tractor."

Variants

  • LVTP-7: Original series introduced from 1972. Originally armed with a M85 .50cal machine gun and Mk-19 Grenade launcher.
  • LVTP-7A1: 1982 upgraded. Renamed to AAVP-7A1 from 1984.
  • AAVP-7A1 (Personnel): This is the most common AAV, as it carries a turret equipped with an M2HB .50 caliber heavy machine gun, and a Mk19 40mm automatic grenade launcher. It carries four crew radios as well as the AN/VIC-2 intercom system. It is capable of carrying 25 combat equipped Marines in addition to the crew of 4: driver, crew chief/vehicle commander, gunner, and rear crewman.
  • AAVC-7A1 (Command): This vehicle does not have a turret, and much of the cargo space of the vehicle is occupied by communications equipment. This version only has two crew radios, and in addition to the VIC-2, it also carries two VRC-92s, a VRC-89, a PRC-103 UHF radio, a MRC-83 HF radio and the MSQ internet working system used to control the various radios. This AAV has a crew of 3, and additionally carries 5 radio operators, three staff members, and two commanding officers. Recently, the C7 has been upgraded to use Harris Falcon II class radios, specifically the PRC-117 for VHF/UHF/SATCOM, and the PRC-150 for HF.
  • AAVR-7A1 (Recovery): This vehicle also does not have a turret. The R7 is considered the "wrecker", as it has a crane as well as most tools and equipment needed for field repairs. It is by far the heaviest of the three, and sits considerably lower in the water. Crew of three, not including the repairmen.

Many P7s have been modified to carry the Mk 154 MCLC, or Mine Clearance Line Charge. The MCLC kit can fire three linear demolition charges to breach a lane through a minefield. MCLCs were used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War and again in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

In the 1970s, the US Army used an LVTP-7 as the basis for their Mobile Test Unit (MTU), a ground-based antiaircraft high energy laser. After several successful test firings at Redstone Army Arsenal, the laser was reportedly transferred to NASA.

Specifications
Weight 29.1 tons
Length 7.94 m (321.3")
Width 3.27 m (128.72")
Height 3.26 m (130.5")
Crew 3+25
Armor 45 mm
Main
armament
Mk 19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (864 rounds) or M242 Bushmaster 25mm (900 rounds)
Secondary
armament
M2HB .50-caliber (12.7 mm) machine gun (1200 rounds)
Engine Detroit Diesel 8V-53T (P-7), Cummins VT 400 903 (P-7A1)
400 hp (300 kW)
VTAC 525 903 525 hp(AAV-7RAM-RS)
Power/weight 18 hp/tonne
Suspension torsion-bar-in-tube (AAV-7A1); torsion bar (AAV-7RAM-RS)
Operational
range
480 km (300 miles); 20 NM in water, including survival in Sea State 5
Speed 24–32 km/h (15–20 mph) off-road, 72 km/h surfaced road, 13.2 km/h water (45 mph, 8.2 mph)

Source

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