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US State Department Approves $268 Million Sale of Assault Amphibious Vehicles to Greece

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US State Department Approves $268 Million Sale of Assault Amphibious Vehicles to Greece

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AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle
AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Greece of Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) and related equipment for an estimated cost of $268 million. The Government of Greece has requested to buy sixty-three (63) Assault Amphibious Vehicles, Personnel Variant (AAVP-7A1), nine (9) Assault Amphibious Vehicles, Command Variant (AAVC-7A1), four (4) Assault Amphibious Vehicles, Recovery Variant (AAVR-7A1), and sixty-three (63) 50-Caliber Machine Guns (Heavy Barrel). Also included are MK-19 Grenade Launchers, M36E T1 Thermal Sighting Systems (TSS), supply support, support equipment (including special mission kits/tools/Enhanced Applique Kits (EAAK)), training, technical manuals, technical data, assistance (including Contractor Engineering Technical Services (CETS)).

AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle
AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps)

In 2022, the Special Standing Committee on Equipment Programs and Contracts of the Hellenic Parliament was informed by the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos and authorized the activation of Armored Amphibious Vehicle programs related to the equipment of the Hellenic Army 32nd Marines Brigade. Unlike other countries, the Greek Marines form part of the Army, while the landing craft and naval equipment are provided by the Hellenic Navy. The brigade is based at the port town of Volos in Thessaly, and its primary role is infantry and amphibious operations on the numerous islands off the Greek coast. Supply of 76 AAV7A1 Armored Amphibious Vehicles for a total estimated amount of €291 million. The Armored Amphibious Vehicles are from the U.S. Marine Corps inventory and will undergo a complete rebuild before being delivered.

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AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle
AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps)

The Assault Amphibious Vehicle (formerly known as Landing Vehicle, Tracked, Personnel-7, LVTP-7) is a fully tracked amphibious landing vehicle manufactured by U.S. Combat Systems (previously by United Defense, a former division of FMC Corporation). The vehicles 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, negotiating ten-foot (3.1 meter) plunging surf, 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.

AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle
AAVP-7A1 Amphibious-Assault Vehicle. (Photo by U.S. Marine Corps)

Enhanced Applique Armor Kits (EAAK) were developed for the AAV-7A1 in 1989 and fitted by 1993, and the added weight of the new armor necessitated the addition of a bow plane kit when operating afloat. The Assault Amphibious Vehicle Reliability, Availability, Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard (AAV RAM/RS) Program was approved in 1997. The program replaced both the AAV engine and suspension with US Army M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) components modified for the AAV. Ground clearance returned to 16 inches (40.6 cm) and the horsepower to ton ratio increased from 13 to 1 to its original 17 to 1. It is used by U.S. Marine Corps Amphibious Assault Battalions to land the surface assault elements of the landing force. It is also operated by Argentina, Brazil, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea.

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