The AAV7A1 RAM/RS (Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard) family of vehicles is the latest version of the assault amphibious vehicle operating with the U.S. Marine Corps and in numerous countries worldwide. The family of vehicles includes the AAVP7A1 RAM/RS Personnel Carrier, the AAVC7A1 RAM/RS Command Variant, and the AAVR7A1 RAM/RS Recovery Vehicle. BAE Systems has designed the AAV to be fully amphibious with all vehicle systems optimized for improved corrosion resistance, maintainability and sea worthiness. Having earned the reputation as the finest Assault Amphibious Vehicle in the world, the AAV’s rugged durability and superior mobility at sea and on land provides a significant edge in all expeditionary operating conditions.
In 1997, the now BAE Systems, Ground Systems was awarded a contract for the AAV7A1 Reliability, Availability and Maintainability/Rebuild to standard (RAM/RS) programme. Key parts of the RAM/RS includes installation of a Cummins diesel developing 525 hp which is a derivative of that installed in the Bradley and the installation of the suspension system from the Bradley used in large numbers by the US Army. These changes restored the performance capabilities of the original design requirements of the AAV7A1, especially the power-to-weight ratio. The BAE Systems conducted hull modifications to the AAV7A1, provide teams (technical engineering and management support) and be the sole source for FMS (Foreign Military Sales) international opportunities. The first rebuilt vehicle was handed over to the US Marine Corps in the spring of 1999 and under current plans a total of 680 vehicles are to be upgraded.
The AAV7A1 RAM/RS can be equipped with armor protection, as well as configured for command and control, and repair capabilities. The personnel variant can transport 21 combat loaded troops, a crew of three and their cargo from ship to shore, difficult beach conditions, and rough terrain ashore. The unique boat-like hull design and powerful water jets make the AAV7A1 RAM/RS highly mobile in amphibious environments. A 525 hp turbocharged diesel engine enables excellent sea performance with a speed of 7 knots in the water and up to 45 mph (72 km/h) on land. The modernisation of the vehicles included adding NAVSEA HB-525 transmission; Harris RF-7800I intercom; thermal imager; GPS system; torsion bar suspension with four shock absorbers on each side; flooding sensor; fire suppression system; new instrument panel; government-furnished radios from Elbit Systems; and provisions for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems EAAK applique armour. The AAV7A1 RAM/RS firepower comes from an improved.50 cal/MK19 40mm weapon station.
The Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV)—official designation AAV-P7/A1 (formerly known as Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Personnel-7 or LVTP-7)—is a fully tracked amphibious landing vehicle manufactured by BAE’s US Combat Systems (previously by United Defense, a former division of FMC Corporation). The AAV-P7/A1 is the current amphibious troop transport of the United States Marine Corps. It is used by U.S. Marine Corps Assault Amphibian Battalions to land the surface assault elements of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives and to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent mechanized operations ashore. It is also operated by other forces. Marines call them “amtracks”, a shortening of their original designation, “amphibious tractor”. In June 2018, the Marine Corps announced they had selected the BAE Systems/Iveco wheeled SuperAV for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program to replace the AAV.