Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress Page: 2 of 16
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Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC)
On January 6, 2011, after spending approximately $3 billion in developmental funding, the
Marine Corps cancelled the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program due to poor reliability
demonstrated during operational testing and excessive cost growth. Because the EFV was
intended to replace the 40-year-old Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), the Pentagon pledged to
move quickly to develop a "more affordable and sustainable" vehicle to replace the EFV The
Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) is intended to replace the AAV, incorporating some EFV
capabilities but in a more practical and cost-efficient manner. In concert with the ACV, the
Marines were developing the Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) to serve as a survivable and
mobile platform to transport Marines when ashore. The MPC was not intended to be amphibious
like an AAV, EFV, or the ACV but instead would be required to have a swim capability for inland
waterways such as rivers, lakes, and other water obstacles such as shore-to-shore operations in the
littorals. Both vehicles are intended to play central roles in future Marine amphibious operations.
On June 14, 2013, Marine leadership put the MPC program "on ice" due to budgetary pressures
but suggested the program might be resurrected some 10 years down the road when budgetary
resources might be more favorable.
In what was described as a "drastic shift," the Marines decided to "resurrect" the MPC in March
2014. The Marines designated the MPC as ACV Increment 1.1 and planned to acquire about 200
vehicles. The Marines also plan to develop ACV Increment 1.2, a tracked, fully amphibious
version, and to acquire about 470 vehicles and fund an ongoing high water speed study. Although
ACV Increment 1.1 is to have a swim capability, another mode of transport (ship or aircraft)
would be required to get the vehicles from ship to shore.
On November 5, 2014, it was reported the Marines released a draft Request for Proposal (RFP)
for ACV Increment 1.1. The Marines were looking for information from industry regarding
program milestones, delivery schedules, and where in the program cost savings can be achieved.
On November 24, 2015, the Marine Corps awarded BAE Systems and SAIC contracts to develop
ACV 1.1 prototypes for evaluation. BAE's contract was for $103.8 million and SAIC's for $121.5
million, and each company was to build 16 prototypes to be tested over the next two years. The
Marines expect to down select to a single vendor in 2018. On December 7, 2015, General
Dynamics Land Systems filed a protest to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) about
the award of the contract to BAE and SAIC, and GAO had until March 16, 2016, to decide on the
protest. In March 2016, it was reported that GAO had denied GDLS's protest, noting that "the
Marine Corps' evaluation was reasonable and consistent with the evaluation scheme identified in
the solicitation." The Marines reportedly stated that the protest put the ACV 1.1 program about 45
days behind schedule but anticipated that the ACV 1.1 would still be fielded on time. Both BAE
and SAIC delivered their prototypes early and Engineering and Manufacturing Development
(EMD) testing began mid- March 2017.
The Department of Defense's FY 2018 Budget Request requests $340.5 million dollars for 26
ACV 1.1 is.
Potential issues for Congress include an increase in Marine Corps end strength and force structure
resulting in an increase in overall ACV requirements and the challenges and risks associated with
the Marines' new MPC/ACV acquisition strategy.
Congressional Research Service
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Feickert, Andrew. Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC): Background and Issues for Congress, report, June 1, 2017; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1043303/m1/2/: accessed March 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.