This week in ceramic news, U.S. Marine Corps officials unveiled the first of 10 test and development vehicles incorporating upgrades to its AAV-7 amphibious vehicles. The AAV-7 will be upgraded with flat-sided buoyant ceramic armor panels, 2.25-in.-thick aluminum armor to its underbelly, shock-mitigation seats with elevated foot stands, and rebuilt VT 903 engines.
The U.S. Marine Corps is upgrading 392 AAV-7s with an extensive survivability upgrade (SU). The AAV-7s are vulnerable to improvised explosive devices (IED) and other weapons when operating in Iraq and elsewhere. The fleet of 1,058 AAVs, in service since the 1970s, is slated to be replaced by the new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). The ACV, however, won’t be in service until the early 2020s. The Corps Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is working under a potential $194 million firm fixed-price contract to upgrade the existing legacy AAVs to the SU standard.
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