Augmenting the Amphibians

AAV7A1 Marines hit the water
Marines conduct training in an assault amphibious vehicle during ship-to-shore operations at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Jan. 19, 2017. The training helped the Marines enhance their ability to operate the vehicles while in the ocean. The Marines are assigned to 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Clemente C. Garcia)

The Japanese military is organising an Amphibious Rapid Deployment Brigade that is expected to become fully operational in 2018.

An important enabler in this concept that will allow this force to defend the nation’s islands and islets will be the Japanese Ground Self Defence Force’s (JGSDF) 30 new BAE Systems AAV7A1 tracked amphibious armoured vehicles.

The company has a number of hulls on its production line and is manufacturing components for the first tranche of vehicles. Dean Medland, the vice president for combat vehicle programmes at BAE Systems told that: “Delivery of the 30 vehicles for the JGSDF will begin in 2017.”

These vehicles will feature enhancements rolled out across the AAV7A1 RAM/RS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard) programme for the US Marine Corps. Mr. Medland continued that: “The RAMS/RS engine provides approximately 30 percent more horsepower than the (legacy engine).” Furthermore, the AAV7A1 RAM/RS features an upgraded suspension system, allowing the new vehicles to meet or exceed the original AAV7A1 performance.