BAE Systems has landed a contract to design and develop survivability upgrades for U.S. Marine Corps vehicles.

The $12 million contract was announced Monday and will task workers at the West Manchester Township facility with improving 40 percent of the Marine Corps fleet of AAV7A1 Assualt Amphibious Vehicles.

"We're confident that we can deliver a new evolution in the design of the AAV that meets the ever-evolving challenges in the battlefield environment and provides even better protection for U.S. Marines," said Mark Signorelli, BAE vice president and general manager of combat vehicles.

BAE is the designer and original manufacturer of the global AAV fleet and has provided Marine vehicles for more than 50 years, he said.

The local defense contractor is hoping to also get the contract to install the upgrades it is designing.

If the company were to win that contract, the work wouldn't begin for a few years or be enough to mitigate the hit from a production break in the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle program, said BAE spokesman Randy Coble.

President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget outlines a production break for the Bradleys, beginning this year and extending through 2017.

BAE and its suppliers have been sustained by other Army contracts and the Marine contract, but the contracts haven't created jobs, Coble said.

The company continues to receive support from U.S. Sens. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Dillsburg, and state lawmakers, who all say jobs will be lost and national security will be threatened if the Bradley line goes cold.

— Reach Candy Woodall at