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Amphibious Assault Vehicle
The AAV-7A1 is a full-tracked amphibious landing vehicle manufactured by FMC Corporation . It is used by USMC Amphibious Assault Battalions to land the surface assault elements of the landing force and their equipment in a single lift from assault shipping during amphibious operations to inland objectives and to conduct mechanized operations and related combat support in subsequent mechanized operations ashore.
Three types of AAV-7A1s exist; the AAVP-7A1 (Personnel), the AAVC-7A1 (Command), and AAVR-7A1 (Recovery). The P-7A1 is by far the most common type. The P-7A1 has the capacity to carry 25 combat equipped Marines. AAVP-7A1s are operated by three crewmen; the crew chief, driver, and rear crewman.
AAVP-7A1s have also been modified to carry the Mk. 154 MCLC, or Mine Clearance Line Charge. The MCLC kit can fire three linear demolition chargers to breach a lane through a minefield. MCLCs were used in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
The LVT-7 was first introduced in 1972 as a replacement for the LVTP-5. In 1982, FMC was contracted to conduct the LVT-7 Service Life Extension Program, which converted the LVT-7 vehicles to the improved AAV-7A1 vehicle by adding an improved engine, transmission, and weapons system and improved the overall maintainability of the vehicle. Later versions of the P-7A1 incorporated the UGWS (UpGunned Weapons Station) which mount an M-2HB .50 caliber machinegun and a Mk-19 40mm grenade launcher.
Twenty US-built LVTP-7s were used by Argentina during the invasion of the Falkland Islands in April 1982. It was heavily used in the conflict in Iraq and was provided with anti-tank armor add-on kit by Rafael, making it one of the safest armored personal carrier in the Iraqi theatre. AAV-7A1s were also used extensively in the Persian Gulf War and in Operation Restore Hope.
The AAV is still used by the United States Marine Corps, although it is slated to be replaced with the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle starting in 2008. The AAAV project has been renamed to Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).
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