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USMC Amphibian Assault Vehicle-7

The U.S. Marine Corps AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicle was originally designated the LVT-7 or LVTP-7. It is a full-tracked, amphibious vehicle, providing an over-the-beach capability for landing troops and material through heavy surf. It is the world's only tracked vehicle capable of operating in rough seas and plunging surf up to 10 ft (3.0 m) high. It is the successor to USMC LVTP-5.

The mission of the AAV7A1 dictates its bulk and unusual shape. The vehicle is taller and wider than any other armored personnel carrier (APC). The bow of the aluminum hull has an upturned snout extending well forward of the tracks. Below the nose, the hull flares out in sponsons. This forward section of the hull houses the transmission and engine. The driver and commander are located to the left of the engine compartment, the gunner to the right in a slightly elevated weapons station. Farther aft, the crew compartment can hold 25 troops in three rows; the compartment's upper sides are sloped toward the centerline.

Propulsion is by tracks on land and by twin waterjets in the water. Afloat, the AAV is steered by a deflector's stream at the rear of each waterjet. Secondary track propulsion can be used if necessary.

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U.S. Marine Corps Amphibian Assault Vehicle-7 (AAV7 or AAV7A1)

The history of the LVTP7/AAV7 may be summarized as follows:

  • 1972 - 1975 LVT7 Fielded. Most common variant was the LVTP-7.
  • 1983 - 1986 LVT7A1 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP)
  • 1987 Redesignated AAV7A1 to better reflect mission
  • 1987 - 1999 Product Improvement Program (PIP) - Upgrade Lethality, Survivability and
  • Communications
  • 1999 – 2003 AAV7A1 Vehicle Reliability, Availability and Maintainability/Rebuild to Standard Program (RAM/RS)

Variants of the AAV7A1 include:

Variant Name Mission
AAVP7A1 Personnel Variant Carries troops in water operations from ship to shore, through rough water and surf zone. It carries troops to inland objectives after ashore.
AAVC7A1 Command VariantMobile command post for communications with subordinate adjacent, and senior infantry units or supported units as well as with supporting arms and logistics support units. It provides work stations for 10 personnel; communications equipment is located on the port side and staff equipment on the starboard side.
AAVR7A1 Recovery VariantMobile and complete maintenance shop tracks. Enables vehicle recovery and maintenance functions to be performed in the field through third echelon.

The hull length is 26 ft. while the width and height are 10 ft. 9 in. and 10 ft. 8 in. respectively. Ground clearance is 16 inches. Track lenght on the ground is just under 13 feet. Combat loaded weight is 58,105 lbs.

The USMC EFV (Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, originally named Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle until 2003) was expected to replace the AAV7A1 with low rate initial production planned for FY2007. However, further delays with the EFV program stretched to 2011 with full production still years away. In January 2011 it was announced that EFV was cancelled due to budget pressures. Instead, the AAV7 will be upgraded with more armor, better electronics and weaponry.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the Amphibian Assault Vehicle-7 (AAV-7) at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

USMC Marine AAV7A1 Assault Amphibian Vehicles move onto shore during a Capabilities Exercise (CAPEX) held aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, NC, 21 Apr 2004.
An Amphibious Assault Vehicle 7 (AAV7) rolls down the city streets of Fallujah, Iraq, while patrolling with Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment personnel and Iraqi soldiers, 4 May 2005.
GYSGT Timmothy Bach, with Landing Force Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT), guides one of his Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV7A1) around to transport Malaysian military members, Malaysia (MYS), 27 June 2002.
M-1 Abrams tank mired in a ditch, Charlie Co., 2nd Tank Bn, 2nd Marine Div.  Recovery vehicle to the right is an Armored Assault Vehicle (AAV7-A1 with Enhanced Applique Armor Kit EAAK).
A Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV-7A1 or formerly LVTP-7) is driven onto a roll-on/roll-off discharge facility attached to Maritime Prepositioning Ship USNS SGT William Button near Camp Pendleton, CA, March 2011.
US Marine Corps LCPL Randy Brueggen, with 4th Platoon, Charlie Company, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, repairs a track on an Amphibian Assault Vehicle-7 (AAV7), operating from USS New Orleans (LPD 18) on a beach in Salinas, Peru, 14 July 2010.

Amphibian Assault Vehicle-7 (AAV-7) Photo Gallery

USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicles at Freshwater Beach, Australia, during Exercise Crocodile, 1 Oct 1999
USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicles at Freshwater Beach, Australia, during Exercise Crocodile, 1 Oct 1999.

USMC AAV7A1 in the water after launch from USS Germantown (LSD 42).  The AAV is completely watertight, and very bouyant. When launching the AAV all hatches are closed to ensure no water enters. After hitting the water the driver and machine gunner open the hatch to better navigate the AAV
USMC AAV7A1 in the water after launch from USS Germantown (LSD 42). The AAV is completely watertight, and very bouyant. When launching the AAV all hatches are closed to ensure no water enters. After hitting the water the driver and machine gunner open the hatch to better navigate the AAV.

USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicle maneuvers near the USN Austin Class Amphibious Transport Dock, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) during a well deck qualification drill off the coast of Southern California, 26 April 2006
USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicle maneuvers near the USN Austin Class Amphibious Transport Dock, USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) during a well deck qualification drill off the coast of Southern California, 26 April 2006.

4th Assault Amphibian Battalion Marines on board a USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicle searching the area around the Chalmette Bridge in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, 10 September 2005
4th Assault Amphibian Battalion Marines on board a USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicle searching the area around the Chalmette Bridge in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, 10 September 2005.

USMC AAV7A1 from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) maneuvers into position to enter the well deck of an amphibious assault ship conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 23 July 2005
USMC AAV7A1 from the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) maneuvers into position to enter the well deck of an amphibious assault ship conducting Maritime Security Operations in the Persian Gulf during Operation Iraqi Freedom, 23 July 2005.

USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicles coming ashore during Capabilities Exercise (CAPEX) training, Camp Lejeune, NC, 21 April 2004
USMC AAV7A1 Amphibian Assault Vehicles coming ashore during Capabilities Exercise (CAPEX) training, Camp Lejeune, NC, 21 April 2004.

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