The LVTP7A1 vehicle
THE LVTP7 FAMILY
After the SLEP modifications, the three vehicles in the family were designated as the LVTP7A1, LVTC7A1, and LVTR7A1 (vehicle commander LVTPX12). A major change under the program was the installation of the Cummins multifuel VT400 diesel engine. This liquid-cooled, turbocharged, V8 engine developed 400 gross horsepower at 2,800 rpm. It was coupled to the FMC HS400-3A1 transmission. The new vehicle still used the twin water-jets for propulsion when afloat.
A new electric drive weapon station armed with the M85 .50 caliber machine gun was installed on the LVTP7A1 vehicle. On the LVTC7A1 and the LVTR7A1, an unarmed cupola was installed with nine vision blocks. The suspensions on all of the upgraded vehicles were fitted with improved shock absorbers and additional shock absorbers were added at the second road wheel arm. An improved instrument panel was provided for the driver.
A non-integral fuel tank that was less susceptible to damage from hull flexing replaced the integral fuel tank in the earlier vehicles. A smoke generator system was installed that injected fuel into the exhaust manifold. The new weapon station on the LVTP7A1 vehicle was fitted with launchers for eight smoke grenades. A mine clearing line charge (MICLIC) kit also was developed for installation in the troop compartment of the LVTP7A1. It consisted of three, 350 foot, rocket propelled line charges that could be launched, one at a time, from the top of the vehicle (U.S. Army).
Another device intended for installation in the LYT7A1 was the catapult launched fuel-air explosive (CATFAE) surf zone mine clearing system. It consisted of 21 fuel-air explosive rounds and a fire control system installed in the troop compartment. The equipment could fire 234 pound propylene oxide fiiel-air explosive rounds onto a minefield destroying surface laid mines. It could destroy mines in the surf zone while afloat and moving up to 6.2 miles per hour or on shore while moving at up to 15 miles per hour. A cleared lane 20 meters wide and 300 meters long could be created in 90 seconds or less.
Other improvements included a night vision device for the driver, a new ventilation system, and improved sealing and plenum drainage to reduce and dispose of water entering the vehicles during sea operations. The combat weights of the vehicles were 52,770 pounds for the LVTP7A1 vehicle, 47,517 pounds for the LVTC7A1, and 52,069 pounds for the LVTR7A1. The maximum speed for all three vehicles was 45 miles per hour on land and 8 miles per hour in water. The cruising range was about 300 miles on land and the endurance in water was 7 hours.
FMC built 333 new LVTPTAls starting in 1983. They also converted 853 LVTP7s to the LVTP7A1 vehicle standard. The older command and recovery vehicles also were upgraded with 77 LVTC7s and 54 LVTR7s being converted to LVTC7Als and LVTR7Als.
In late 1984, the Marine Corps changed the nomenclature and the LVTP7A1 became the assault amphibian vehicle personnel Model 7A1 (AAVP7A1). The other two vehicles now became the AAYC7A1 and the AAVR7A1. A new Cadillac Gage weapon station was installed on the AAVP7A1 armed with both a .50 caliber M2 machine gun and a 40mm Mark 19 automatic grenade launcher. The combat weight had now increased to 56,552 pounds for the AAVP7A1, 48,813 pounds for the AAVC7A1, and 52,123 pounds for the AAVR7A1. The performance remained essentially the same.
Applique armor packages also were available to enhance survivability. A bow plane kit was provided to improve the performance when operating in water with the applique armor. Concept studies also considered the installation of more powerful weapons to enhance the performance as a land fighting vehicle.