Amos: I’ll Be Able To Drive EFV Replacement Within Four Years

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos today shed some much anticipated light on when the Corps could see a replacement for the cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, telling lawmakers he expects to drive its replacement by the end of his tenure as commandant.

“There are two answers to that, one is as Commandant of the Marine Corps’s answer which is Before I leave leave office four years from now . . .  we’ll have a program of record, we’ll have steel, there will be a vehicle and I’ll be able to drive it,” Amos said responding to lawmakers questions during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. “I’m trying to pressurize industry, I’m trying to pressurize the acquisition folks, I want the word to get out. If we followed the standard acquisition timeline, which in some cases got us to where we are today, it’ll be 2024.”

To avoid such a fate, the general said the Department of the Navy will be using a model similar to the one it used to quickly buy and field thousands of MRAPs during the height of the Iraq war.

“Something probably that resembles the sense of urgency that we had for the MRAP but probably a little bit more scheduled, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Now that’s not saying that Amos will necessarily be driving the production model EFV replacement, dubbed the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, but it will will be some sort of early version ACV.

The EFV was cancelled earlier this year after it was predicted that its rising costs would swallow up waaay too much of the Marines’ procurement budgets. The craft was first conceived in the 1980s and has taken billions in development cash over the decade yet remained stuck in development purgatory.

It’s replacement will draw on the lessons learned from EFV development while using available technologies to field a 21st Century armored personnel carrier for the Corps, according to Amos.

  • FormerDirtDart

    Obviously, Gen. Amos needs to provide an urine sample for testing.

  • brian

    Its believable, prototype death traps are easy to get out the door.

  • joe

    Ok, humor me here..instead of trying to make the Amphibious tracked Vehicle faster so it can travers the “over the horizon” distance to the shore in a quicker time frame how about making the Ship that carries it to combat more stealthy. Like a Submarine LST? Yes, I said it. A Sub capable of carring at least 13 tracked amphibious Vehicles within a much closer distance to shore, off load at night and the tracks only have about 500 meters to go to hit the shore. Of coarse this would have to be done very quickly so the tracked vehicles would have to be updated vehicles than what the AAAV-7s are today. Put more thought into the Tracked vehicles armour and weapons systems instead of water borne capabilities for inland operations, and allow the Sub-LST to close the distance. Of coarse the Marines would transfer from regular LSDs to the Sub-LST sometime prior to the assault so your not doing 6 month cruises on board one of these monsters…
    Hey, Just a thought anyways…

  • ziv

    How about a cheaper, slower EFV that presupposes that the fleet will have to come within 15-20 miles of the shore? The ‘over the horizon’ doctrine is killing the Marines ability to conduct amphibious landings. If you start closer in you can reduce speed from 28 mph to 15 mph thereby reducing the need for the huge, thirsty engines. Then face facts on manning, reduce the marines aboard from 17 to 15 or 16. Then reduce the weight by using a M242 25 mm instead of a 30 mm. If it is good enough for the LAV and the Bradley, then it should be good enough for the EFV.
    Would it be as good as the original EFV? No. But could the Marines afford it, and dominate with it? Yes.

    • A. Nonymous

      When the EFV (AAAV) development started an anti-shipping missile’s range was around 30 miles, meaning you could park an LHA or LHD 40 miles offshore and launch an amphibious assault (as long as you maintained air superiority). Twenty years later, the rules of the game have changed. Anti-shipping missiles with a 200-mile range are a reality, meaning an amphibious assault must now stage well beyond the range of either the AAV or the EFV (and, I suspect, well beyond the range of any proposed ACV). I think Joe is right: instead of trying to come in fast from outside the ASM kill zone, it is probably a better idea to come in slightly subsurface but at much slower speeds.

    • William C.

      No need to cut the 30mm Mk.44 chain gun. It’s better capabilities more then compensate for the increased weight and size. If they upgrade the Bradleys again they might as well switch to the 30mm as well.

      One of the problems with your proposal is related to the speed. To the best of my knowledge you can’t improve much over the 8 mph speed of the AAV-7A1 unless you switch to a hydroplaning design like the EFV. It is one of those all-or-nothing deals.

  • Lance

    With the budget getting cuts over the next 5 years Amos can wish for his EFV in one hand and crap in another and guess what gets full first.

    With the Corps in financial strain and being now to upgrade existing AAV7s there wont be the funds to push billions for some up-gunned AAV like the EFV was.

  • Jacob

    At the risk of possibly sounding dumb….what does the EFV do that the LCAC doesn’t?

  • Cole

    The Marines have investigated “chimneys” down the middle of vehicles to vent IED blasts. The Army is pushing double V-Hull on Stryker. Combine the two concepts and create a catamaran like vehicle with six troops sitting in the two sides separated by a one foot chimney down the middle with double V-hulls that function like boat hulls. Limit troops on board to 13 + crew.

    Tow four or more of these vehicles to 15NM from shore using LCS, then turn on the water jets to get maybe 15 knots the last few miles and use disposable rocket assist bottles to cover the last stretch of water with additional speed.

  • Cole

    To add to Jacob’s comment, believe an LCAC and its ship to shore connector replacement should also be able to carry two vehicles and tow one or two more.

  • Oblat

    The EFV has successfully screwed a few billion out of the US taxpayer for no effect. Time to start again for another successful failure.

    Scrapping the marines gets rid of half the failed and corrupt development projects at the DoD in one fell swoop. We just cant afford this Cinderella service that cant even take on a few Libyan irregulars.

  • Donnell

    How about the U.S. look abroad at a vehicle, like the new German “Puma” Infantry fighting vehicle. It could be modified at a cheaper cost I’m sure, than to develope a new vehicle. It should be licensed built in the U.S. of course and it could also be adopted by the Army as a replacement for the “Bradley”. That way we save billions on development cost because the Germans have already done it for us.Also the resupply of spare parts will be cheaper because they will be produced in two country’s.

  • STemplar

    How about we accept the USMC isn’t going to land on a beach under fire ever again since it hasn’t in 2/3 of a century. Then we could buy some boring heavy lift helos and fly from 50 miles off shore to 50 miles inland, off load some AFFORDABLE jeep like vehicles towing/carrying heavy weapons and be parked in the enemy’s driveway in the morning when they wake up to go to their beach defensive positions.

    I get the USMC might need to come ashore in some hostile Somali fishing port, or into a capital where the poo poo has hit the fan, like say I dunno, Tripoli, but those are going to be bunker defended miles of coastline requiring 500 EFVs and 2 marine BDEs to take.

  • blight

    What would probably work better at this point would be a two-stage vehicle: A motorboat-esque vehicle carrying an APC in portee and then dropping it off on landing. There is inefficiency in bulk and equipment when you try to interface two items closely; but you weigh that against trying to design a land vehicle to perform well at sea.

  • Will

    They bought the MRAPs as urgency items because the tech & the basic designs were already in use by other countries. The only way a prototype ACV will be ready in 4 years is if the basic design is already out there. If any manufacturer in the world is trying to sell something like the EFV or even the AAV-7, what is it?

  • Old_Bear

    May this humble Brit offer a couple of suggestions for alternative vehicles to be used by the USMC:
    1) That the USMC combine it’s EFV and it’s LAV replacement programmes into one. IVECO & BAE have already teamed up to offer a replacement for LAV using IVECO’s SuperAV 25 ton Medium Armoured Vehicle, see the following links for further details:
    By adapting an existing vehicle which is already being offered to the USMC, they can cut a lot of costs straight up, especially if they were using off the shelf equipment. Especially, if the USMC configures it’s MAU’s along the lines of the Army’s Striker Brigades.

  • blight

    Ekranoplanes for everyone.

  • Brian

    You have to realize the EFV was a capability that allows for the ship-to-shore movement and is needed because of the majority of turmoil is along the littorals. Mission creep and too many hands in the pot made a vehicle that was no longer affordable and would suck the majority of O7M funds from the Marine Corps.

    The new Amphibious Fighting Vehicle (AFV) is going to be streamlined, especially with Gem Amos tracking the entire process. It can be done in the timeframe Gen Amos expects and I guarantee alot of the technology will be used from the EFV.

    You also have to remember what the enemy we are challenged today has for capabilities. Although China and North Korea are a potential enemy of the future, humanitarian assistance and other 3rd world countries that do not have capabilities to defeat an amphibious landing. Technology will eventually be able to counter defenses on the Navy and the distance will not be a factor.

  • Angela

    I know General Amos is an ‘air-winger”, so he might not know a whole lot about the procurement process. The faster you want it, the higher the cost of getting the parts. So whatever he thinks it will cost, add about 4 million to that.

  • Jack

    Commandant “A Mile Off Shore” Amos still has his head up his.., I mean in the clouds as most aviators do when it comes to infantry fighting.