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In this article we will give a brief overview of the developments with the AAV-7 and the prospect of joining the Greek Army from US Army stockpiles.
Before we begin, the Greek Minister of National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, has confirmed Greece’s supply of AAV7.
The vehicles available will be given according to unconfirmed information, free of charge to the Greek Army and are expected to be received in the near future.
We are not so much interested in when the Greek army will receive them, but we will discuss the general prospect of acquiring and joining the Greek Armed Forces based on the questions we have already received from our viewers in the form of questions and answers:
These Vehicles participated in Vietnam war;
No, these vehicles had their first operational action in the Battle of the Falklands (1982) by the Argentine Army without suffering any casualties during the operations.
When were they designed?
In March 1964, the Marine Corps USA requested a new amphibious landing craft to replace the LVT-5.
After considering a number of proposals from various companies, the defense department of FMC Corporation (now part of BAE Systems) won the contract.
The first work on the development of the vehicle began in February 1966 and the first 15 prototypes were delivered to the Marine Corps for testing in September 1967.
These prototypes were named LVPTX12 (Landing Vehicle Personnel Tracked Experimental, Model 12).
Testing of the prototypes lasted until September 1969 and was successful, so that in June 1970 a final order of $ 78.5 million was placed with the FMC Corporation to produce 942 amphibious armored vehicles without weapons stations.
When were they built?
The AAV amphibious armored vehicles are the replacement for the LVTP-5 that actually fought in Vietnam, originally named LVTP-7, and began enlisting in the United States Army in 1972.
In 1982, the FMC was commissioned to implement the LVTP-7 Service Life Extension Program (SLEP), which converted all LVTP-7s to AAV-7A1s, adding an improved engine, transmission, and weapons system to improve serviceability.
From 1989 to about 1997-98, the vehicles underwent several upgrades of both their armor and their power on the battlefield as several parts of the M2 Bradley were installed on them.
What missions can they undertake?
Essentially the main task of AAV7 (AAV-7A1) is to transport marines from landing craft to shore.
The armament of the vehicle is sufficient only against infantry and light armored vehicles, so the provision of support by the landing force of the Fleet and air support is necessary for a large-scale landing.
The vehicle is capable of carrying up to 21 fully equipped marines in addition to the driver, crew / vehicle commander and gunner.
What weapons do they carry?
The AAV has a turret equipped with a heavy M7HB 12.7 mm (0.50 caliber) machine gun and a 40 mm Mk19 automatic grenade launcher.
Didn’t the United States Armed Forces retired them?
Yes and no, after a fatal accident last year, the US Marine Corps decided to retire amphibious armored vehicles (AAVs) from amphibious operations and use them only in case of emergency, in a move that has more to do with entry, of the new AAV of the US Army.
Are the AAV-7A1 “useless” for the Greek army?
The amphibious armored vehicles offered by the USA to Greece, are not the super weapons that many imagine but we can not call them “useless” at a time when Greek Army keep thousands of M113’s that do not yet offer protection to the gunner and there is no similar vehicle for amphibious operations.
There are two conditions that must be considered before a possible supply:
The main factor is that the problem caused by the fatal accident with the US Marines has to be solved and that they will have to come at a similar symbolic “cost” just like the M1117’s that the US Army recently donated to Greece.
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