First deployment of amphibious combat vehicle could yield lessons in repairs

First deployment of amphibious combat vehicle could yield lessons in repairs

The U.S. Marine Corps is monitoring the first deployments of amphibious fighting vehicles to see if these long-term operations from ships yield new lessons about maintaining and operating the vehicles, the Marine Corps said. said the planning director.

The ACV made its operational debut this month at Exercise Balikatan, based in the Philippines, where the amphibious fighting vehicle platoon of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit conducted live-fire surface artillery exercises.

After years of testing and fleet induction activities involving the operation and maintenance of ACVs exclusively or primarily from the ground, Stephen Bowdren, program executive officer for land systems, said this is the first step in how Marines will use ACVs from the ground. He said this is the program’s first opportunity to find out more. ship.

Performing repairs and routine care from the well deck of an amphibious ship “creates a whole other set of challenges for the Marine Corps,” he said in an interview with Defense News at the Modern Day Marine Conference this month. said.

These ship-based operations by the 15th MEU reflect “how the vehicles now operate full-time, whether on this deployment or the next.” So we’re going to get a lot of great information about how it’s going to go. ”

The exercise also tests “the ability to predict which parts will be in demand during normal operations,” allowing the program office to ensure that deployed forces bring in sufficient spare parts and that logistics systems ensure they are brought in. We can make sure it’s ready to replenish, Bowdren added.

Lessons learned on maintenance and upkeep will allow Program Executive Office Land Systems to make changes to vehicle tactics, techniques and procedures, and could inform changes to the platform itself, Bowdren said.

The Corps established a Readiness Management Board to study lessons learned about maintenance, training, parts, and anything else that impacts vehicle readiness and availability. Those deemed to be related to the design of the vehicle itself, to proposals for technological changes that will affect his future ACVs (both currently fielded personnel variants and future versions) coming off the BAE Systems production line. It may be possible to connect.

The Marine Corps commissioned BAE Systems to design and manufacture four types of vehicles. Personnel and command and control variants are operational. BAE Systems said variants of the ACV 30mm gun are being tested and the ACV recovery vehicle has completed the design and development stages.

Bowdren said these variants have approximately 80% parts commonality, so depending on lessons learned from this ongoing rollout, the program office may limit engineering changes to personnel variants only. , said it could change the production of the entire class.

Megan Eckstein is a naval warfare reporter for Defense News. She has reported military news since 2009, focusing on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs, and budgets. Geographically she reports from four fleets and she is happiest when she is filing articles from ships. Megan is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

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