Amphibious assault vehicles for the Marine Corps. Years waiting for the green light to renew the AAV-7, with 50 years of life notes

One of the most important points in the renewal of resources in the Spanish Marine Corps is the acquisition of the latest generation of Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) (Assault Amphibious Vehicle). The chief of the planning department of the General Staff of the Spanish Navy, Vice Admiral Gonzalo Sanz Alisedo, recalled a few days ago that the naval infantry vehicles in the case of the AAV-7 have an approximate average age of 27, which is closer, no more and no less than 50 years .

Virtually nothing new is known about this renewal of the TEAR (Tercio de Armada) as the US State Department announced in March 2018 a determination to sell a total of 11 amphibious assault vehicles to Spain at a price estimated at $ 107 million, approximately $ 94.5 million Euros, as we published at the time. Since then, there has been no news of this acquisition, which included eight Personal Carrier version AAVP-7A1s, two Command or AAVC-7A1s, and one AAVR-7A1 recovery versions.

According to the North American report, the 11 would come from the standard known as RAM / RS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability / Rebuilt to Standard) and manufactured by the UK company BAE Systems in the US. The process also included purchasing Enhanced Armor Applique Kits or additional protection kits, replacement and repair parts, test tools and equipment, technical documentation, and subscription to publications, and the necessary training.

For Vice Admiral Sanz Alisedo we are facing a program whose needs are well defined, whose documentary milestones, possible execution plan and costs in the SEDEF (Secretary of State for Defense) have taken time since the need was identified and the procedure was hopefully this program can also not to be started too late, he said about it. The importance of AAVs is fundamental to the amphibious capacity of the marines as they enable the mobility of the armed forces from the sea to the beach and then their progress on land.

Once the government has given the go-ahead, it will be processed in the US through the Marine Corps or USMC (United States Marine Corps). The prime contractor is BAE Systems, which will have a stake in its York, Pennsylvania and Anniston, Alabama factories. Currently, the Spanish Marines have a veteran fleet of 19 AAVs (16 of the passenger transport version, 2 of the command and one of the salvage version), which were modernized at the end of the eighties of the last century. (Julio Maz Sanz).

Photo: A United States Marines AAVP-7 with the armor sets. (Photo: USMC)

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