|Entered service in||1970|
|Dimensions and weight|
|Total weight in combat order||26 t|
|Overall length||7 940 mm|
|Chassis length||7 940 mm|
|Width||3 270 mm|
|Height||3 260 mm|
|Machine guns||1 000 rounds|
|Engine||Cummins VT 400 diesel|
|Engine power||400 hp|
|Maximum road speed||70 km/h|
|Maximum amphibious speed on water||13 km/h|
|Autonomy on roads||480 km|
The AAV7 or Amphibious Assault Vehicle in it's nature is an armored personnel carrier, intended to deliver troops from the landing ships to attack the beachheads and support them with it's own firepower. It entered service in early 1970s, but until 1985 it was known as the LVTP7.
AAV design evolved before the World War II with the introduction of the Roebling Alligator in 1932 after a development process which took 7 years. However, the initial Alligators didn't give an impressive performance, so in 1940, Roebling introduced another model, called the Crocodile. The Croc had a road speed of 40 km/h and moved on water with a maximum speed of 15 km/h. The LVT-1, introduced in 1941-43, was a complete copy of the Crocodile, except that it was made of steel rather than aluminum.
The AAV7s amphibious assault vehicles carry troops from ship to shore along with supplies and provide avenues for a forced entry into the semi aquatic assault areas. Some of these vehicles tasks also include guarding the checkpoints, patrolling and escorting convoys. It can transport up to 25 fully equipped troops. Vehicle's internal volume and cargo capacity allows it to be used as an expedient ambulance or a refueler during the war. Arguably, the AAV7A1 is the most versatile armored vehicle belonging to the Marine Corps.
Usually AAVs are armed with one 12.7-mm (0.50) caliber machine gun. New and improved vehicles have a dual setup of one 40-mm grenade launcher and one 12.7-mm HMV heavy machine gun.
The Marine Corps upgraded 64% of the fleet of these vehicles by putting them through reliability, maintainability (RAM) and availability improvement. Despite that it is expected to be replaced by the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle starting from 2008.