BAE Systems’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) is the US Marine Corps’ next generation vehicle designed to move Marines from ship to shore. The ACV is a full replacement for the aging Amphibious Assault Vehicle, the ACV will be the primary means of tactical mobility for the Marine infantry battalion at sea and ashore.

While initial ACVs enter the force, the service is concurrently using an Other Transaction Authority (OTA) contract to field an ACV Driver Training System. The contract’s OTA phase 1 officially concluded this November 15. Two industry teams are preparing to further compete for the contract which may lead to the delivery of about 110 simulators for this mission. The author had the opportunity to speak with one team consisting of VR Training, Talon Simulation, Theory Studios and 302 Interactive as they were preparing to advance their Wave Warrior ACV Driver Training System for the contract’s Phase 2. LSI is the second competing industry team.

The conference floor discussion provided a bonus as the author “drove” this industry Team’s vehicle in one scenario, taking an “ACV” over land terrain contiguous to the beach up to the waterline. The event was enabled by the device’s 2-DOF system imparting additional fidelity to the scenario as the vehicle navigated hills along the shore line. As the author had the opportunity to embark in legacy-era USMC AAVs during active-duty assignments in the amphibious forces, motion and other technology insertions should help provide prospective drivers with doses of reality as they move on land and water routes.

2023 IITSEC Kauchak Day 3 USMC Wave Warrior (1).jpeg

The author "drives" the Wave Warrior ACV driver simulator over a virtual land course.
Source: Halldale Group.

Neil Levin, CEO and Founder at VR Training, corroborated the author’s opinion about the power and value of small businesses on an industry team of this nature. “Small businesses work much, much faster. They don’t have the layers and layers of administration going through this. It’s helps give the team flexibility,” he noted in part. 

The simulator’s graphics and physics-based models delivered by Unreal Engine 5.2 will continue to help build out USMC-required scenarios, insert faults and meet other requirements. Modified Vive XR Elite headsets support the team’s current driver simulator protypes. 

What’s additionally notable about the contract is it is harmonized with some of the expectations of Commander. TECOM, including the call to field simulators for new weapons platforms.  

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MS&T looks forward to following the evolution of the ACV training program for drivers, other crew members and maintainers.