The amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) was first developed by FMC Corporation (later acquired by BAE Systems) in 1972. It was introduced to replace Land Vehicle Traced Personnel-7 (LVTP-7). AAVs are widely used by the U.S. Marine Corps. Due to a wide range of application of this assault vehicle in military and civil forces, demand for the vehicle is rising gradually. Amphibian assault vehicles carry troops from naval ships through rough surfaces and surf zones. They can traverse through water at a speed from 10 miles per hour to 45 miles per hour. The vehicle has a 50-caliber machine gun and an automated grenade launcher.
Amphibious assault vehicles are capable of combating the enemies both on land and water, as they are equipped with armored systems. These vehicles are used in transportation of armed forces, armored vehicles, and for carrying out relief work during natural calamities. High investment is being made in AAVs, due to their capabilities especially in the areas of land mobility control reliability, communication systems, and intelligence. These vehicles have a unique feature of computerized fire control system.
This feature includes fire control computer, commander sight, laser rangefinder input, gunner sight, and night vision system. These night vision systems ensure operations in any weather, day and night, both on land and water. These benefits and capabilities of AAVs are expected to propel the market in the next few years. Speedy deployment of armed forces during onshore and offshore operations is another factor driving the amphibious assault vehicles market.
An amphibious assault vehicle is a large machine having boat-like hulls on either sides. This proves to be a restraining factor for the market, as these hulls get hit by roadside bombs. The major hindering factor for the market is that an AAV has to be launched from a ship. Another limiting factor for this market is dissolution of expeditionary fighting vehicles (EFVs). Though EFVs had better engineering and technology than existing AAVs, due to high cost of EFVs, the United States Marine Corps cancelled the program.
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Development of amphibian combat vehicles is gaining popularity owing to the risk of amphibian assault vehicles, especially in areas where there is lack of network, communications, and water land mobility. The amphibian combat vehicle would enhance the ground combat element (GCE), which would boost the ACVs to be more effective across various operations and provide the troops with modern armed personnel carrier.
The market for amphibious assault vehicles can be segmented only by geographical location. Geographically, the market has been segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East. North America dominates the global AAV market, followed by Asia Pacific and Europe. Asia Pacific aims at becoming the speedily expanding market in terms of production and pricing. Due to availability of cheap labor in Asia Pacific, the cost of production of AAVs decreases, which fuels the market in the region.
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Key countries/sub-regions in Asia Pacific that focus on the development of amphibian assault vehicles include China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and India. Japan and Philippines are likely to adopt these vehicles in the near future, to strengthen their naval forces. Countries in Latin America such as Argentina and Venezuela have adopted amphibian assault vehicles in recent years to fortify their armed forces.
There are several manufacturers of AAVs across the globe. The leading vendors in the market include BAE Systems (the U.S.), General Dynamics Corporations (the U.S.), Lockheed Martin (the U.S.), Northrop Grumman (the U.S.), and Thales Group (the U.S.). Other than these, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (Japan), Oshkosh Defense, Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles GmBH (Germany), and Science Applications Internationals Corporations (the U.S.) also operate in the AAV market.