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AAV7

Amphibious armored personnel carrier

AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle

The AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle is intended to land troops on open beaches

 
 
Country of origin United States
Entered service 1971
Crew 3 men
Personnel 25 men
Dimensions and weight
Weight 23.9 t
Length 8.16 m
Width 3.27 m
Height 3.31 m
Armament
Machine guns 1 x 12.7-mm
Grenade launcher 1 x 40-mm
Mobility
Engine Cummins VT400 diesel
Engine power 400 hp
Maximum road speed 72 km/h
Amphibious speed on water 13.5 km/h
Range 480 km
Maneuverability
Gradient 60%
Side slope 40%
Vertical step 0.9 m
Trench 2.4 m
Fording Amphibious

 

   The Amphibious Assault Vehicle, usually known as the AAV7 was once called LVTP7 by the US Marine Corps and other users. It is a bulky amphibious tracked vehicle intended to land troops on open beaches so it has to be seaworthy and is thus scaled accordingly.

   Intended as a replacement for the LVTP5 series the LVTP7 prototype appeared in 1967 with production commencing during 1970-1971. In 1985 it was renamed the AAV7. By the time production has ceased over 1 500 had been produced not only for the US Marines but also for seven export customers, including Argentina, Brazil, Italy, South Korea, Spain and Thailand.

   It has a crew of three, including commander, gunner and driver. The capacious troop compartment of the AAV7 can hold up to 25 marines or 4.5 tonnes of supplies. Troops are seated on benches. Entry and exit being via a large rear-mounted ramp or roof hatches.

   The AAV7 is launched at sea from amphibious assault ships. This armored vehicle is self-deploying. It is intended for a forced entry into the semi-aquatic areas. The main mission of the vehicles during an amphibious assault is to spearhead a beach and to secure coastline for ongoing troops. Once ashore functions of the AAV7 include guarding checkpoints, patrolling and carrying troops and supplies inland.

   This amphibious armored vehicle has a welded aluminum armor hull. It provides protection against small arms fire and artillery shell splinters. A kit was devised to permit extra add-on armor to be installed on most US Marine Corps vehicles.

   The AAV7 has a small turret, armed with a 12.7-mm machine gun. Later it appeared that a single heavy machine gun is insufficient and a 40-mm automatic grenade launcher was added on improved AAV7A1 model. Heavier turrets with 20- or 30-mm cannons were tested on this vehicle, however were not adopted.

   Engine of the AAV7 is mounted at the front. Originally vehicle was powered by a Detroit Diesel 8V53T turbocharged diesel engine, developing 400 hp. In the water propulsion is provided by two waterjet units at the rear, or alternatively, by spinning tracks. Vehicle has a seaworthiness up to Sea State 3.

   The late production model was the AAV7A1 and most earlier models were later brought up to this standard in the late 1970s. AAV7A1 improvements included an new Cummins diesel engine pack, night vision devices, a new weapon station control system, improved ventilation and many other detail changes. Further improvements included universal weapon mounting capable of accommodating a 40-mm automatic grenade launcher as well as 12.7-mm machine gun.

   Various automotive and suspension test beads have appeared, including a project, involving an electric drive system. The AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicle were to be replaced by a new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. However it was not accepted to service with the US Marine Corps due to funding problems and the AAV7s is still used. It is planned that refurbished and upgraded AAV7s will remain operational until 2035.

 

Variants

 

   AAVC7A1 command vehicle.

   AAVR7A1 recovery vehicle, fitted with a recovery jib.

   Various mine clearing vehicles, including one with a mine plough.

   LVTH7 prototype amphibious light tank, armed with a 105-mm gun. This vehicle never reached production.

   AAV7 Survivability Upgrade is a refurbished and upgraded version of the AAV7 armored personnel carrier. It has add-on ceramic armor kit for improved protection. Occupants are seated on mine protected seats rather than benches. The upgraded AAV7 is powered by a new and more powerful engine and is fitted with new waterjets. This upgrade was developed by a Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and was first revealed in 2016.

 

Video of the AAV7 amphibious armored personnel carrier

 

 
AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle

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AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle

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AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle

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AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle

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AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle

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AAV7 amphibious assault vehicle

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