The development of the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAAV) began in the early 1990s and was intended to be used by the US Marine Corps to replace their current amphibious assault vehicle (AAV). Initial plans were to utilize just over 1,000 of this new amphibious vehicle, whose water speed could reach upwards to 29 mph. Not only did the AAAVs design give it the capacity to be launched from ships as far as 25 miles or further off shore, its speed increased its time in transit from ship to shore. The increased capabilities in the design of the AAAV allowed it satisfy a number of operational requirements.
The authentic WWII DUKW in the AFHMs WWII Navy Gallery allows you to experience its alarming size, presenting you with clearer understanding of the important role this incredible military vehicle has played throughout US history.
This new design was able to transport as many as 18 troops along with three additional crew members. Its on-road speed averaged 45 mph. One of the most noted design upgrades was this AAAVs smooth transition from water to land, a transition which challenged previous amphibious vehicles. The AAAV was capable of easily transferring its power from high-speed water jets to its vehicle tracks.
Another variant of the AAAV provided a command and control vehicle with access to satellite information and computer-based intelligence. This cutting edge vehicle would allow operations to be controlled from land or sea.
- 30mm MK44 Cannon (or)
- 7.62mm machine gun
The AAAV first entered phase 1 of the US Marine Corps acquisition program. Once through and in service, the vehicle would transform every aspect of the Marines combat operations. In 1997, a large group of Government and private industry team members involved in the AAAV Acquisition Program were taken to Norfolk, VA and given first hand, hands-on experience aboard this craft. They not only rode on board, many drove the vehicle and all stayed aboard the assault ships in troops quarters to gain a full understanding of the operational suitability the state-of-the-art AAAV design provides. Overall cost and budget constraints resulted in a 22-month extension in the demonstration and validation phase and also a two year delay in the procurement.
In July of 2001, the USMC contracted with General Dynamics Land Systems to manufacture and test nine newly designed prototypes and update three earlier prototypes. General Dynamics would not only provide the materials and services, but would also support the USMCs initial operational test and evaluation of the AAAV in preparation for its production phase.
The Program Is Cancelled
In late 2003, the AAAV was renamed to the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV). On January 6, 2011, Robert Gates, the Secretary of Defense, recommended cancellation of the program, which had already cost an estimated $3 billion as projected costs would exceed $15 billion. Shortly after, the USMC also asked that the program be cancelled.