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Report: Testing reveals flaws in Marines' new amphibious combat vehicle

Tests of the Marine Corps' new Amphibious Combat Vehicle showed problems with flat tires and problems carrying 16 personnel, a Pentagon report said. Photo courtesy of BAE Systems
Tests of the Marine Corps' new Amphibious Combat Vehicle showed problems with flat tires and problems carrying 16 personnel, a Pentagon report said. Photo courtesy of BAE Systems

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- A Defense Department report indicates problems with the U.S. Marines' new Amphibious Combat Vehicle following initial operational testing.

Although the ACV could maneuver, demonstrate desert and water mobility and provide "suppressive fires in support of dismounted infantry," it did not "meet its 69-hour mean time between operational mission failures threshold," according to a report on the vehicle's Initial Operational Test and Evaluation, a three-month test of the eight-wheeled vehicle.

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The vehicles, which can carry 16 people and are meant for travel from ship to shore, in addition to overland travel, broke down more times than acceptable, Task & Purpose and the Marine Corps Times reported this week.

The report noted failures of remote weapons stations, hatch and ramp sensors, and suspension components.

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Additionally, the vehicles had tire failures in desert assessments, leading to delays of up to two hours, but the vehicle successfully performed 12 of 13 missions during the tests.

Although the Pentagon report cited the weapon system for the largest number of failures, the M2.50-caliber machine gun mounted to the ACV hit its target 91 percent of the time while it was stationary, and 97 percent when in motion.

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Members of the Marine infantry company involved in the tests also said interior seats were too small for personnel wearing body armor, making it uncomfortable and difficult to exit the vehicle quickly in an emergency.

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"Due to the placement and number of blast mitigating seats, interior space within the ACV is limited, making rapid ingress and egress difficult," the report said.

"Infantry Marines noted that the troop seats were not contoured to fit body armor configurations, leading to discomfort during long-range ship-to-objective missions," it added.

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