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Amphibious Assault Vehicle - Military Power

Here Is A Quick Look At Some Surf-And-Turf Protection

Text By Jason Thompson, Photography by The National World War II Museum, Lance CPL. Kentavist Brackin, Courtesy of BAE Systems

Some people can only relate to the Normandy beach landings of World War II because they've seen the movie Saving Private Ryan. If you don't know your history or haven't seen the movie, here's what happened: When the Allied Forces hit the sand with their landing craft, they could go no further because they weren't amphibious. After they beached, the front door dropped open and the soldiers were instantly greeted with heavy machine gun fire coming from the Nazis in their fortified bunkers. We don't want to ruin the ending, so we won't tell you anymore. Flash-forward to 1984 when BAE Systems introduced a new solution for transporting soldiers from ship to shore under enemy fire.

Amphibious Equalizer
The AAV7A1 Assault Amphibious Vehicle is capable of landing on shore in 10-foot plunging surf without sustaining mission failure (sinking). It can also transport 21 combat-equipped soldiers, cross 8-foot-wide trenches, and scale 3-foot-high walls. It's powered by a Cummins VTA 903 T 525 diesel engine, which spins two water-jet pumps. In the water, the AAV uses its tracks to assist with forward propulsion.

Constructed from welded panels of ballistic aluminum, the AAV does not offer all of the protection of land-based tanks, and it's slow—in and out of the water. The current engine replaced the Detroit Diesel 8V53T, which was a replacement for the Cummins VT400. General Dynamics is in development with the AAV's possible replacement called the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).

MIL-SPEC

Engine: Cummins VTA 903 T 525
Type: Four-cycle, 90-degree V-8, water-cooled, turbocharged, and intercooled
Bore: 5-1/2 inches
Stroke: 4-3/4 inches
Displacement: 903 cubic inches (14.8L)
Compression Ratio: 15.5:1
Fuel: Multi-fuel
Horsepower: 525 hp at 2,800 rpm
Torque: 1,127 lb-ft at 2,200 rpm
Oil capacity: 10 gallons
Coolant system capacity: 30 gallons
Transmission: NAVSEA HS-525
Transmission Type: Hydraulic torque converter,
and parallel shaft gear arrangement with four speeds
Transmission oil capacity: 23 gallons
Water Propulsion: Water-jet pumps
Water-jet pump rate: 14,000 gallons per minute
Thrust: 3,025 pounds static
Water-jet location: Left and right in the rear
Weight Unloaded: 48,060 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 171 gallons
Range on Land at 25 mph: 200 miles
Range on Water at 2,600 rpm: 7 hours
Max speed forward on land: 45 mph
Max speed on water: 8.2 mph

By Jason Thompson
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