Marine Corps has awarded a $184.4 million contract to BAE Systems for the full-rate production of 36 amphibious combat vehicles.

The vehicle is meant to replace the amphibious assault vehicle the Corps has used since the Vietnam War.

“We’re providing Marines with a modern, armored personnel carrier that offers tremendous capability with respect to survivability,” Col. Kirk Mullins, program manager for Advanced Amphibious Assault at PEO Land Systems, said in a press release.

“The ACV gives the Marine Corps a capable platform operational across the full-range of military operations,” he added.

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The full-rate production approval was made on Tuesday by Assistant Secretary of the Navy Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts, according to the release.

Delta Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, based out of Twentynine Palms, California, received the first ACV to hit the fleet in early November.

“With the re-designation of D. Co., 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, we reaffirm our commitment to maintaining a competitive edge in amphibious operations,” 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a spokesman for the 1st Marine Division, said in November.

“The amphibious combat vehicle provides a vital tool for commanders to employ in a multitude of ship to shore missions, in both combat and non-combat environments,” Edinburgh added.

That lot, along with vehicles expected to hit the fleet in January or February, are personnel variants purchased as part of the low-rate initial production.

All 36 vehicles purchased on Tuesday are also the personnel variants, Barb Hamby, Marine Corps program executive officer land systems, told Marine Corps Times on Thursday.

The Corps also is interested in other variants of the ACV, including command and control version, a version with a 30 mm cannon, and a recovery version.

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