The US Marine Corps (USMC) has awarded an initial low-rate initial production (LRIP) option to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for the survivability upgrade (SU) of additional amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs).

SAIC has received the order after the USMC Programme Executive Officer Land Systems (PEO LS) approved the AAV SU programme to begin the production and deployment phase, following a Milestone C decision.

Under the LRIP phase, valued at approximately $145m, SAIC will supply a total of 25 vehicles over a two-year period to carry out operational test and evaluation, as well as initial fielding to USMC expeditionary units.

As part of an engineering design effort, the company will be responsible for upgrading personnel-variant (P7) vehicles, in addition to command and control-variant (C7) vehicles.

Around 22 AAV SU P7 variant vehicles and three C7 variant vehicles will be delivered by SAIC to USMC.

"Around 22 AAV SU P7 variant vehicles and three C7 variant vehicles will be delivered by SAIC to USMC."

SAIC Navy and Marine Corps Customer Group senior vice-president and general manager Tom Watson said: “SAIC is pleased to be moving into the LRIP phase for the AAV SU programme and to begin delivering these important survivability and mobility enhancements out into the fleet and into the hands of our marines.”

The additional 25 vehicles will be added to the fleet of ten existing AAV SU prototypes that were delivered by SAIC during the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase.

During the EMD, the AAV SUs completed stringent development testing required by the USMC.

In May 2014, SAIC was awarded a contract by the USMC PEO-LS to engineer, design and test upgrades to ten prototypes and 52 LRIP vehicles for the legacy AAV personnel-carrier variant platform programme.