Then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, views the Amphibious Combat Vehicle during a capabilities display with 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in September. Photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle C. Talbot/U.S. Marine Corps
Feb. 18 (UPI) -- BAE Systems announced Thursday that it has handed over the first of a new variant of its Amphibious Combat Vehicle to the U.S. Marine Corps for testing.
BAE is under contract to deliver two variants of the ACV family of vehicles: the ACV personnel carrier, or ACV-P, and the ACV Command, or ACV-C.
The ACV-C, which the Marines are to begin testing, is designed to "provide the highest levels of communications, coordination, and analysis on the battlefield to support command and control."
"The delivery of the first ACV-C for testing is significant as it provides Marines with advanced operational control for defeating adversaries," John Swift, director of amphibious programs at BAE Systems, said in a press release.
"Marines will be able to quickly receive and analyze data, coordinate battlefield functions, and transmit information to provide terminal mission control rapidly from the mobile protected ACV-C," Swift said.
The ACV-C uses multiple work stations for Marines to maintain and manage situational awareness in the battle space and accesses independent networks for advanced digital communications on the move, according to BAE.
Last week BAE received a $184 million contract to produce more ACVs for the Marine Corps.
The vehicle is intended to replace the amphibious assault vehicle as it's phased out over the next decade, and the Marine Corps authorized full-rate production of ACVs in December.
But a Defense Department report released last months found problems with the ACV following initial operational testing, including failures of remote weapons stations, hatch and ramp sensors, and suspension components.