BAE Land and Armaments will be manufacturing 30 AAV7A1 (Assault Amphibious Vehicles) in the latest RAM/RS versions for the Japanese Ground Self-Defence Force (JGSDF) in a contract announced in early April.
Supply of these vehicles has been in discussion since 2012. They will support Japan’s deployable force strategy. The AAV7 is designed to carry 18 infantry and crew of three from amphibious landing ships to the beach at seven knots (13.2 kilometres-per-hour) including traversing the surf zone and then operating inland.
The vehicle is armed with a one person weapon station mounting a 12.7mm calibre machine gun and Mk.19 40mm Automatic Grenade launcher. The RAM/RS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard) improvement for the AAV7A1 replaced the engine and suspension with those of the US Army BAE Systems M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle. Deliveries to the JGSDF are to occur in 2017.
By Stephen W. Miller