via BAE Press Release.
BAE Systems has been awarded a contract to produce new Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAVs) for the Japanese Ministry of Defense.Interesting.
This contract supports the ongoing development of an amphibious capability within the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force.
“We’re proud to support the Japanese military’s recapitalization by providing this enhanced amphibious capability,” said Dean Medland, vice president of programs at BAE Systems’ Combat Vehicles business. “As the original equipment manufacturer of the AAV fleet, we have a strong history of supporting this platform.”
BAE Systems will provide 30 new AAV7A1 Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard (RAM/RS) vehicles, plus supply tools and test equipment to support maintenance. The company will also provide training aids for the vehicles to the Japanese military.
The AAV7A1 RAM/RS variant provides a more powerful engine and drive train, as well as an upgraded suspension system, allowing the new vehicles to meet or exceed original AAV7A1 performance. The variant also provides improved mobility, command, control, and repair capabilities while transporting troops and cargo from ship to shore.
Work on the contract will take place at BAE Systems’ York, Pennsylvania facility. Production is expected to begin in August with vehicle deliveries beginning one year later. Final delivery to Japan is expected to take place by the end of 2017.
I looked and saw no notification to Congress on this sale which would seem to mean that they're not going the FMS route.
So what's the game here?
The Japanese are going to build an Advanced AAV and it looks like they're going to get BAE's ride to establish a baseline for future work. I'm guessing that BAE is already working with one of the Japanese Heavy Industry firms on a next gen model.
What does this mean for the USMC?
It means by the time we get the ACV into production the Chinese (that you have to believe are working on a follow up to their current vehicle), the S. Koreans (probably the same) and the Japanese (I'd bet body parts they're charging ahead rapidly) will all have vehicles that outclass our armor.
HQMC needs to get head out of ass and develop a Armored Vehicle road map ASAP!