(Source: Iveco Defence Vehicles)
Iveco Defence Vehicles’ experience in developing wheeled armored platforms dates to the 1930s, when the plant in Bolzano was established. Lancia and later Iveco have developed several 4×4 armored vehicle for the domestic market, the Italian Army, but the main experience comes from the development of the Centauro 8×8 armored fighting vehicle. This vehicle, which aimed to replace MBTs with a high-speed Armored Fighting Vehicle, equipped with a high pressure 105 mm cannon able to fire throughout 360 degrees while moving, required a stable and powerful platform. The result was a well-performing armored vehicle, with a unique H-shaped transmission that enabled a much lower profile with respect to any other 8×8 or 6×6 armored vehicle in the world.
The experience matured with the Centauro family, adopted by Italy, Spain and Oman, developed across several models and adapted to the continuous changes in the operational environment, played a key role when the Company decided to approach the amphibious operations environment. The engineering team decided to develop an amphibious armored vehicle based on the 8×8, H-transmission adopted by the Centauro family, implementing them in a new hull concept, able to balance mobility requirements on water and land. Our unique H-shaped transmission demonstrated paramount advantages, enabling the adoption of effective protection solutions against mines, IEDs and ballistic threats.
This design matched the requirements of the US Marine Corps, that was looking for a new amphibious combat vehicle able to perform in the modern land environment after a ship to shore trip. Knowing that each single pound dedicated to additional protection was obviously ballast for the navigation mission, a complex challenge to fulfill those demanding requirements was set. After years of intensive work, we are honored to say that we overcame the challenge, in cooperation with an outstanding partner in BAE Systems.
June 2018 is considered in our Bolzano Headquarter as the US success month. For nearly a decade we have invested in the ACV program working on it with enthusiasm and dedication, providing platform design and core components to our partner BAE Systems. We are greatly satisfied with the contract being awarded and is significant recognition. We demonstrated to the world how we can satisfy the most demanding customer, by developing a vehicle capable of fast fording in choppy seas, landing safely, travelling across varied terrain and can achieve speeds of over 50 miles per hour, perform combat missions and effectively protect the crew. The new ACV FOV (Family Of Vehicles) represents the optimum balance of sea and land mobility, survivability, and future growth potential.
Today we reached a new paramount milestone within the ACV program. After five years of extensive testing development and consultation with USMC, the first fleet of 18 ACV’s has been delivered to a platoon of Marines. We fully agree with BAE Systems when they say that this initial fielding is not just a major milestone for the ACV program, it’s a significant win for the men and women who will use this new technology to execute their unique expeditionary missions.
We are very proud of the hard work of our team, of the success of our partnership with BAE Systems and of the commitment alongside the USMC that enabled us to achieve this milestone. We now look forward to initiating full rate production and to supporting the fielding of the next units in early 2021.