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California Marine unit set to receive first amphibious combat vehicle

The first batch of 18 amphibious combat vehicles will be delivered to Marines aboard Twentynine Palms, California, in the next month, according to Marine Corps officials.

The eight-wheeled amphibious combat vehicle, or ACV, is set to replace the tracked amphibious assault vehicle that the Corps has been using since Vietnam.

The first batch will go to a platoon of Marines with 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, John Garner a program executive with Marine Corps Systems Command told reporters at a media roundtable Tuesday during the Modern Day Marine expo.

The next lot to hit the fleet is expected sometime during January or February, followed by a string of vehicles hitting the fleet every two or three months, Garner said.

“This is only a start and we’re gonna continue at a fairly regular right from this point onward,” Garner said.

The vehicles, produced by BAE will arrive to the Marine Corps on schedule, Garner added.

The vehicles fielded came from the Corps' low-rate initial production, or LRIP, and a decision on whether the Corps will go with a full rate production, or FRP, is expected to take place in November, Garner said.

Once a decision is made the vehicles from the FRP will start production and eventually hit the fleet in five or six years, Garner said.

All the vehicles expected to be fielded in the next year are the troop transport version, but if the Corps approves the FRP it will receive a command and control version, a version with a 30 mm cannon and a recovery version to pair with the amphibious troop transports, Garner added.

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