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The AAV-7 (or LVTP-7) is an amphibious assault armored vehicle designed and manufactured by United Defense Industries for the US Marine Corps. Under the former denomination LVTP-7, the AAV-7 first saw combat action on April 2, 1982, when Argentina invaded the British Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. The US Marine Corps is set to replace its aging fleet of AAV-7 vehicles with the results of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle program. For centuries there lived the long-standing challenge in warfare of moving the fighting man from sea to land. One of the key (though largely unsung) heroes the American march to Tokyo was the landing craft. In the 1960s, the United States Marines began to focus on a replacement for their aging fleet of LVT-5. The LVTP-7 certainly held a distinct appearance about her with her raised boat-like bow, wheeled-tracked system and slab-sided hull superstructure. Powerplant: 1 x Detroit Diesel model 8V-53T, 8-cylinder, water-cooled turbo-charged diesel developing 400 horsepower at 2,800rpm.
It was also used by the US Marine Corps in Operation Urgent Fury, the 1983 US invasion of Grenada, which is an island nation in the Caribbean, and in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
The initiative called for an armored personnel carrier with sea-going qualities that could serve the United States Marine Corps in transporting men and supplies from off-shore ships to positions inland. These coastal-minded vessels were launched with a full complement of infantry, support material, fire support equipment and the like against fortified locations across enemy-held beaches.
FMC Corporation was charged with the design and development of a new amphibious armored personnel carrier (APC).
The vehicle was given six double-tired road wheels to a track side with the drive sprocket at the front and the track idler at the rear. Other countries, such as Spain and Italy also acquired this amphibious vehicle for their marine corps.

It also saw heavy combat action in the Battle of Nasiriyah, during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The tracked nature and distinct hull design of the vehicle ensured that it could fulfill both requirements and the AAV-7 series has since served with distinction for several decades now. The campaign would require the transporting of soldiers, machinery and supplies across thousands of miles of water and land utilizing massive concentrated assaults which proved critical to victory in the Pacific.
In time, thought was given to a better-armed and armored landing vehicles that could not only traverse bodies of water in transporting infantry but also go ashore and continue the fight inland in support of advancing ground personnel. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance or general operation.
The vehicle is also known as the "Amtrack" or "Battle Bus" and is utilized by the Assault Amphibian Battalions of the USMC. In essence, a new kind of infantry fighting vehicle would be born and - for the Americans - this came in the form of the "LVT-1" and culminated in the "LVT-4".
As such, the design would be made buoyant with basic seaworthy qualities while still retaining a capable on-shore infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) component. The front hull held a well-sloped raised underside and near horizontal glacis plate leading up to the flat hull superstructure roof.
Its maximum speed on water is 8.3 miles per hour, and on land 45 mph, with an operational range of 300 miles. It is expected to be replaced by the results of the ongoing "Amphibious Combat Vehicle" (ACV) program. After the war, the massive "LVT-5" was developed for the same purpose and replaced all preceding types.
In September of 1967, the first pilot vehicles (known as the LVTPX12) were made ready for evaluation to which they were then formally adopted for service with the USMC as the LVTP -7 ("Landing Vehicle, Tracked Personnel, Model 7").
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The AAV-7 has served beyond the USMC with the forces of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, Thailand, Venezuela and Indonesia. The LVT-5 held the capability to move up to 34 armed infantry from offshore ships to awaiting beaches while its tracked nature assured mobility beyond that, capable of bringing the fight to the enemy in a whole new way.
The rear facing sported a power-operated large rectangular door for unloading troops and supplies via the door-turned-ramp at speed.
However, the USMC is, by far, the largest supporter of the AAV-7 vehicle - managing some 1,300 examples in inventory. Armed with a 7.62mm machine gun and powered by a Continental 700 horsepower engine, the LVT-5 was utilized by the United States and several allies (Chile, Philippines and Chile) and eventually emerged in a command vehicle form, a fire support version, an armored recovery variant and a dedicated mine sweeper.
Formal operational service of the new vehicle was attained in 1972 with the last LVT-7 delivered in 1974 (FMC Corporation has since been absorbed by defense powerhouse BAe Systems). The internal configuration saw the driver seated at the front left of the hull with the vehicle commander to his immediate rear (these positions were noted for their individual cupolas along the hull roof). A turret was offset to the right-front side of the hull and this served to provide suppression firepower as the unit neared the shoreline and enemy positions inland. The engine was fitted to the front which not only helped to increase frontal protection but also freed the rear internal volume of the hull for the passenger cabin.
Up to 25 personnel could be seated across three benches running the length of the design and fixed along the sides and center portion of the cabin. As completed, the LVTP-7 held an inherent amphibious capability, being able to propel itself in water by its own tracks or via a pair of waterjets fitted aft of the track idlers at the rear.

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