Corps Eyes New Amphibious Assault Vehicles

Marine_ACV

The Marine Corps is building a new wheeled amphibious assault vehicle that can swim through waves and perform a wide range of combat functions on land, service officials said Sept. 24 at the Modern Day Marine symposium, Quantico, Va.

The Corps is poised to intensify an ongoing competition to select several vendors to begin building its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle, or ACV 1.1, Corps officials said.

The ACV 1.1 vehicle, which will carry between ten and 13 marines through land, water and rough surf, is slated to be operational by 2020, Col. Wendell Leimbach, deputy program manager, advanced amphibious assault program office, told Military.com in an interview.

The Corps plans to use the ACV 1.1 to complement its existing fleet of 1,046 Amphibious Assault Vehicles, or AAVs — older armored amphibs which have been part of the Corps for roughly 40 years.

“The objective for the ACV 1.1 is for it to have the mobility equal to an M1 Abrams tank. The vehicle will have enhanced ground mobility and a robust swim capability. We are looking to have a swim capability on par with the AAV,” he said.

The technology for the ACV 1.1’s wheeled armored vehicle that could swim has its origins in a previous Corps program called the Marine Personnel Carrier, or MPC. The MPC program was cancelled in 2013 – only to be resurrected as the current ACV effort, Corps officials said.

“The Marine Corps created a technology demonstrator years ago where we demonstrated that the fundamental technology in wheeled vehicles was mature enough such that we could incorporate it together into a single platform with greatly enhanced survivability and mobility,” Leimbach explained.

The existing AAVs are tracked vehicles, however technological advancements in wheeled vehicle technology have allowed the Corps to develop the ACV 1.1.

“In the last 10 to 15 years wheeled vehicle technology has improved dramatically in the weight class that we are pursuing which is about 35 tons. We have been able to prove that wheeled vehicle technology developed in the civilian marketplace could be put into a single combat vehicle,” Leimbach added.

While the ACV 1.1 is being engineered with what the Corps calls a “robust swim capability,” the tactics, techniques and procedures for how the vehicle will get to the shore are still being evaluated, Leimbach explained.

The vehicle may swim or possibly travel on a surface connector vehicle such as a Landing Craft Air Cushion, or LCAC, which launches from an amphibious assault ship to move personnel and equipment from ship to shore.

The Marine Corps’ development ACV 1.1 is part of a long-term strategy to modernize its fleet of ship-to-shore amphibious vehicles. The Corps plans to build 204 ACV 1.1s and then follow on the effort by building 490 improved additional amphibious combat vehicles called ACV 1.2, according to Corps spokesman Manny Pacheco.

Ultimately, the Corps plans to upgrade all of the ACV 1.1s in order to make them ACV 1.2s, Pacheco said.

After working closely with industry on a developmental phase for the technology, the Corps plans to release a formal Request For Proposal to industry in October, asking would-be vehicle makers to submit their designs, Leimbach said.

“We want to make sure industry is well-informed as to our requirements and make sure they know the timeline. The requirements are pretty solid. The plan is to down select to two vendors. They will each build 16 vehicles. We will use those vehicles to demonstrate their capabilities and help inform the final requirements for ACV 1.2,” he added.

So far, at least four vendors plan to compete in the ACV 1.1 competition. They are SAIC, Lockheed, BAE Systems and General Dynamics.

Alongside its development of ACV 1.1 and ACV 1.2, the Corps is concurrently in the early phases of discussions for a next-generation high-speed amphibious technology called ACV 2.0, Leimbach and Pacheco explained.

“ACV 2.0 is a high speed capability designed to get greater standoff distance from the beach,” Pacheco added.

ACV 2.0, which could be a surface connector vessel of some kind or an amphibious vehicle that swims, will be engineered to travel as far as 60 to 100 miles through the water from ship to shore or shore to shore, Pacheco said.

BAE Systems is basing its ACV 1.1 offering off of the Iveco Superav, an eight-wheeled amphibious vehicle made by an Italian vehicle company called Iveco.

“The vehicle was designed initially for a full amphibious mission which we believe is an optimum balance between amphibious mobility, land mobility and survivability. The vehicle is designed specifically to be launched from amphibious ships, transit the surf zone, complete a mission profile and come ashore,” said John swift, BAE program manager for ACV 1.1.

BAE’s ACV 1.1 swims through the water with two counter-rotating propellers- each with 65,000-pounds of thrust per propeller, Swift added.

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.
  • Edward

    BIG EYE ROLL

    Here we go again with ow a amphibious Striker vehicle. Not going to do well if the enemy has tanks or artillery at the landing sight. Going to wheels will make it fast but ALOT less durable than a tracked vehicle. Lets also not forget where the last EFV (AAV replacement) went. face it this is more nerd running the USMC and making weak sauce tech junk vehicles.

    • tiger

      That is what you have Marine Air for. They blow them up or fly behind them forces.

    • Dwayne

      One of the strangest oddities about running a military organization such as the USMC is the fact that whenever you need high-end planning, all the best military strategists are busy posting on-line…..

    • Mottlee

      I thought that looked like a “Striker” but my old eyes deceive me at times.

    • Dave

      You guys seriously don’t know that the Marine Corps has the LAV? Long before the Army had Strykers. It can run on just two good wheels. Can a AAV run without a track? Neither can withstand a tank or artillery so your argument is moot. Plus these vehicles are twice as fast as a AAV over land.

      • @GreensboroVet

        The Marines Corps had the LAV when I was still in school. Long, Long time ago. I always like them and wonder, at that time, why they didn’t make them bigger. This proto looks like it will fit the bill. Military Wheeled Vehicles have come a long way. IE,. Strykers very good and versatile example.

  • jsallison

    Let’s really think outside the box, submersible LST.

    • tiger

      With a $18 Trillion national debt? Dream on…..

      • John Deere

        The majority of the US debt is owed by the US Government, to the US Government. It’s in no real hurry to pay itself back.

        • CommonSense

          It’s actually the US Government to the Federal Reserve which is a private bank cloaked behind a Government sounding name.

    • Kostas

      Highly vulnerable to mines burried at shallow waters. Thse mines can ne very cheap and virtually undetectable. If you also harden them, there would be no way to perform mine clearance

      • Donovan

        Wrong Thread, I like submersible guy…

      • Donovan

        Gahh time for coffee. I am done here

    • Donovan

      I like this guy!

    • James Z

      LST? Why submersible LST. If you’re going big, How about a submersible LPD.

  • Doc

    If the beach is secure, go ashore in a boat. If not, in something stealthy and disposable for team transport. These look like platoon size, high fatality, high dollar targets.
    Wheels? What about stealthy biomimetics? With swimmerettes, you dig your own foxhole, like a Florida sand flea.

    • tiger

      You must like walking….

  • oblatt22

    All marine procurement is crippled by the fact that the Marines have no reason to exist.

    Despite having no viable operational plan, leading to no viable tactics and no viable procurement specifications they still need to keep their patronage network of contractors happy.

    So they have to pretend to develop something so that taxpayer money can be shoveled out the door.

    Getting rid of the Marines is the only solution. They have had almost 80 years to come up with something and they haven’t managed it - now they far too much time on PR and political influence trying to stay alive.

    • R LaFleur

      The nation doesn’t need a Marine Corps…she wants one. Semper Fi.

    • ShamWowed

      Oblatt your arrogance is showing yet again. You do realize the very existence of an amphibious landing force tied up large portions of the Iraqi army on the Iraqi and Kuwaiti coasts in Gulf War 1: http://www.nytimes.com/1991/02/28/world/war-gulf-… The ability to open a second front must always be recognized by opposing forces and has historically been pivotal in many combat theaters. So, you are not into strategy these days but a good bean counter?

    • Big-Dean

      Getting rid of the oblatt22 is the only solution. oblatt22 has had almost 80 years to come up with something intelligent to say and he hasn’t managed it - now he spends far too much time on lies and smearing the reputation of the Corp, trying to stay relevant in this forum.

      • tiger

        Ike & Truman wanted to do the same thing. The Role of the USMC has been questioned before. Oblatt’s arguments are not without merit.

        • moondawg

          Need to keep a few thousand Marines around. They guard Navy ships and help keep the sailors in line. As a land combat force, the USMC should be transferred to the Army as just another light infantry division.

    • give-me-a-break

      The Marines have more reason to exist than the Army. However, both are needed unless you are one of those who see the military as a jobs program and arena for gender experimentation rather than coming to grips with the enemy and killing them. The liberal agenda to eliminate the Marines is simply code for those who want to end US ability to project power. When was the last time any US leader was willing to drop paratroops on a target and accept 20% or 30% casualties. In your POV it is the assault mission itself that has no reason to exist. In the constabulary mindset of the current administration, you may be correct. Perhaps war is obsolete. If that is the case eliminate the Army since they will never be committed in any form other than MP’s. Put the money in the Airforce - long range strike and nuclear war-fighting and Navy/Marines. That makes much more political/strategic sense than the simply saying the Marines should be eliminated.

      • majr0d

        The Marines have more reason to exist than the Army.” Really? How so? The Army is our oldest service, its flag weighs 30 lbs with its 183 campaign streamers (not battle, CAMPAIGN), has paid 80% of the price in blood in the defense of our nation. The Army’s paid a pretty stiff price to protect the nation. Go ahead, belittle the sacrifice with your lack of knowledge.

        “When was the last time any US leader was willing to drop paratroops on a target and accept 20% or 30% casualties.” Actually every time paratroopers are deployed they risk the100% of the force. It’s not like parachutes work in reverse.

        “… eliminate the Army since they will never be committed in any form other than MP’s.”

        Really? I guess over the last decade or so Ty Carter, Ryan Pitts, Clinton Romesha, William Swenson, Kyle White, Salvatore Giunta, Jared Monti, Paul Smith, Ross McGinnis and :Leroy Petry received their Medals of Honor for “police work”.

        I don’t hold anything against the Corps but why is it Marines and their fans must always make a case for the Corps by trying to denigrate the Army? Is the insecurity that strong or just the ignorance of military history? You rarely see the opposite and when you do it’s typically an idiot making the case. Oblatt is a case in point.

        • Big-Dean

          “The Army is our oldest service,”

          fyi, it’s only SIX MONTHS OLDER than the Corp, but I see your logic here, the oldest gets to stay and the youngest have to go. Sorry Air force, you guys are the youngest so you are not dis-established. Now Army you have to find another ride ;-P

          • majr0d

            Where did I propose disbanding any branch? Is that what you got from what I said? BTW, those that thoughtfully (but incorrectly) propose disbanding the USAF place the mission back where it started, in the Army. Oh and where do you think the Marines get their heavy and jet air transport from, Delta? 64 - 100 bodies on a couple of handfuls of C130’s won’t cut it.

            Yes, the Army is six months older. Why the disclaimer? Should the Marines put out a disclaimer sating they have been defending six months less whenever they state how long they’ve been defending the country? Of course not.

            Nice effort at trying to minimize the argument. At least you had the temerity to not compare campaign battle streamers or the amount of sacrifice…

            Some try and disarm a debate with humor. It’s not that easy. How about instead of jumping on the bandwagon you condemn the bad habit too many Marines and their fans display. Heck, you probably didn’t even five a neg vote to give-me-a-break.. Hmmmm, that might take some moral courage. What about it BIG-Dean?

        • tiger

          Why?

          Jets vs Sharks…… Ala West Side Story.
          Now the the Marines Fans sing, “When your a Jet.”

      • Joe

        Precisely. The US armed forces are not going to be in a hurry to perform a mass parachute drop directly on top of armed opponents, nor are they going to rush to perform a beach assault directly onto a coastal defence wall.

        That’s not even slightly the same as wanting to get rid of airborne or amphibious combat capability, because the ability to deploy a combined arms light force in a day, or to land a medium force without a big dredged maritime seaport to do it at, *are* capabilities worth having.

    • Joe

      yep

    • Weber

      The Marines exist because we’re a key part of our offensive/defensive battle doctrine, along with the Navy we’re the first on scene in a military situation. The Navy secures any naval or air threats while we secures a beach head and landing strip for follow on forces. While we do this the Air Force and Navy strike strategic targets, Marine and Navy air units hit tactical targets, and the army and more marine units are mobilized and being transported to the theater via Air Force transport. Marines and Soldiers are taught how to fight similar in some ways but by a different doctrine because we have different and very important roles to play in the battle space. Losing the Marine Corps would put our country at an extreme disadvantage

    • War Dog

      The Marine Corps does more missions/deployments successfully with less money than the other services (Man for Man) and no other U.S. Service branch has ever turned in an end of the year financial report to explain where the money really went. Oh yea and no other service has ever given money back to congress at the end of the year except the Marines.
      Perhaps if your service stepped it up like the Marines there would not be a need for one service that fought on the air, land, and sea, but history has proven the need for a service that excels on a shoe string budget (compared to the others) Semper Fi.

    • Gy/Sgt D DALTON

      Just what are we to use for firstcontact with the enemy? I hope your not thinking the Army can replace the Corps!

  • Nick987654

    The ACV should have 2 levels of armor. The basic vehicle should be good for swimming at minimum weight. Once they have landed and the area around the beach has been secured, the LCACs can bring in additionnal armor kits which can be quickly mounted on the vehicles.

    For a large assault against a heavily armored enemy, a basic stryker like vehicle is not enough, unless maybe it it has some fancy NLOS capability to kill tanks.

    • Mottlee

      They can place a 105 on the Striker, That for the most part should be big enough to crack most nuts. BUT Why Design and build a NEW Vehicle when we have 1. I do not know if or how deep a Striker “Swim” but come on use my dollars wisely.

      • Nick987654

        It is still far from a tank. It cannot shoot on the move against moving targets, and has inferior firepower and armor.

        Besides the 105mm gun adds weight. I am not sure the vehicle could swim well with that extra weight.

      • majr0d

        The Stryker doesn’t float.

        • Mottlee

          Well, I guess there is that….

          • majr0d

            On the other hand it “swims” very deeply.

    • blight_qwerty

      Conversely, the ACV could be rethought as a vehicle with attached buoyancy kit to keep it afloat, and detach the dead weight when on land. Not every AAV used in land combat is going to be used for river crossings.

      • BLWarmonger

        Cause that always works well. :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DD_tank

    • BLWarmonger

      I see this as a really good idea, that could never actually be implemented in combat conditions.

  • RRBunn

    There IS a need for the USMC. When the AF can spend 400M on a single air superiority aircraft and the Navy can spend vast sums on new ships, the cost of 400 ACVs is not much but provides an OFFENSIVE capability. DDG and F-22s provide for defense. The Army is not geared, trained or equipped for the type of warfare that Marines excel in. Two different sets of TTPs. The ole AAV7A1 was revolutionary in 1976 when it replaced the AAVP5, but it’s time the Marines got a tech refresh.

    • majr0d

      “The Army is not geared, trained or equipped for the type of warfare that Marines excel in.”

      Not exactly true. Totally disagree on the “geared” comment. That’s just propaganda and ignoring the historical record where the Army deployed with or even before the Marines. Then there’s the fact that most of the manuals that serve both forces are almost identical. The TTPs are in fact far more similar than different.

      The Army does have the capability to conduct amphibious ops. It in fact has more ships than the Navy and many of the smaller amphib ships in service have an Army or at least a joint lineage that many are ignorant of or just ignore. The Army does not train as frequently as the Marines do in amphibious ops especially assault but it does train. Where the Army is lacking the most is in amphibious vehicles.

      Don’t get me wrong. I don’t propose the Army taking the Marine’s amphibious mission but it is capable of doing it with the Navy’s support (just like the Marines get). Saying the Army can’t do amphibious because it’s not “geared, trained, equipped” is like saying the Marines can’t do airborne ops for the same reasons but the Marines can, granted, on a smaller scale like BN or maybe BDE (if you mass all Force Recon).

      I agree the Marines need a new amphibious vehicle though the “tech refresh” is questionable. Not much has changed in amphibious vehicles and the “sea skimming” goal means you have a really light vehicle that doesn’t provide a lot of armor protection or a monster with nuclear propulsion (hyperbole) at a prohibitive cost.

      Absolutely agree the nation should have a USMC. I just chafe whenever those trying to make the case do so on the bones of the Army. There is much the Corps does well without having to try to denigrate the Army. It just smacks of insecurity at worst or ignorance at best. You don’t see the Army making its case with inaccurate shots against the Marines.

      • oscar d

        Agree with you on that sir. A good historical example would be the amphibious landings on DDay by the Army.

      • orly?

        Still, I’ve not seen regular army troops do full body armor loadout swimming and submerged vehicle escape.

        Marine recruits are at least taught/minimally trained the floating part.

        Though the only Marines that seem to drill this regularly are MEU/MEF types, they’ve been steadily increasing the standard (and one of the ways people have been kicked out).

        • majr0d

          LOL, nice try. The “floating part” somehow equates to full body armor loadout swimming and submerged vehicle escape. Then there’s the unofficial “steadily increasing” non specified standard for those in a MEU/MEF. Yes, you win the confusing award.

          Let’s keep it simple? For a decade the Army deployed EVERY soldier for a year. During the Iraq surge, 15 months was the standard. Marines deploy for seven months…

    • @GreensboroVet

      Army Airborne Arty Vet here. Love the ole AAV7A1. Got a nephew that rides one now. But as RRBUNN stated very well, it is time for the Marines to bring in something new.

  • Stan

    While I am not a foremost or even a backmost strategical/tactical thinker of the day I do not see the US military going D-Day part deux in Asia or Europe in the 21st century. This vehicle is a jobs program, which in itself is not a bad thing. I just wish we got something more worthwhile out of the money spent. How about more scholarship money for the Marines to be spent only at city and state colleges (to get a little off-track, Phoenix U. and its ilk can burn in hell)?

  • Joe

    All we need now is an enemy dumb enough to either leave a beach reasonably undefended or have an airfield right on it.

    Otherwise leave forced entry to the Ranger Regiment and the Airborne.

    If we need a seaport taken. ask the SEALS.

    • majr0d

      There are maybe a couple thousand SEALs and not a force designed to seize and hold terrain and in the event they are given the mission they risk suffering so many casualties to not be effective for years after.

      The Rangers and Airborne do a great job at forced entry but when it comes to moving supplies and heavy forces a port or at least a beach is exponentially better (and cheaper) than an airfield.

      Making the enemy defend a beach makes them weak somewhere else (and vice versa).

    • Don

      who needs rangers when you have Marines. Marines can do amphibious plus what ever the rangers do. The 82nd can handle the airborne operations.

      • majr0d

        You clearly don’t know what the modern Ranger Regiment’s capabilities are. Braggadocio doesn’t replace ignorance.

        FWIW the SEALS that took Bin Laden down had a platoon of Rangers as the QRF. When Marcus Luttrel was separated from his team it was the Rangers tasked with conducting his rescue. The Rangers have led every Airfield seizure since Panama including the raid on Camp Rhino a month before the Marines arrived.

        • tiger

          Great, the fan clubs meet….Marines vs. Airborne. Both have pros & cons.

          • Don

            I have nothing bad to say about airborne, the 82nd or Marines can handle any task the Rangers can do when it comes the Nut-Cutting. Rangers are just overrated. Nothing wrong with them neither.

    • tiger

      Airborne ops have less a role than Amphibious ops do. The helicopter & tiltrotor have made the need to jump rather dated. Even small scale ops like Grenada & Panama were messy. Nor can airborne travel far without transport. Airborne is also poor vs. Mech or Armor forces Ala Market garden.

      • majr0d

        Really? How do you explain the Obj Rhino Jump by a BN- of Rangers and I guess you forgot the 173rd jumped into northern Iraq? What Amphibious landing occurred during OEF and OIF?

        I’ll be the first to acknowledge Airborne Ops are limited in ground speed once they get on the ground unless augmented.

        (hope the ULCV happens http://gruntsandco.com/wheels-airborne-light-infa… http://gruntsandco.com/maneuver-conference-2014/)

        Let’s not forget that historically most and especially Marine amphibious landings are also greatly limited in mass mobility and need the same augmentation that airborne troops do.

        So historically speaking and if you HAVE to choose we have more airborne ops than amphibious with an equal reliance on augmented tactical mobility.

        • orly?

          Shall we start going into the vulnerabilities of both by the dreaded enemy “missiles?”

          Both types of transports suck against those. A MiG 21 can smoke both.

          • majr0d

            I don’t think so.

            FWIW, we’d have to have a pretty pathetic sir superiority for a Mig 21 to get through. Migs aren’t really great that great a CAS platform. They have a limited bomb load and pretty old tech. Now an Su-25 Frogfoot would be very bad news.

        • Joe

          and during WW2 in the pacific theatre no less, the US Army conducted more amphibious operations, captured more terrain, killed or captured more japanese, and took fewer casualties (as a percentage of force) than the marines. High Diddle Diddle Right Up the Middle might make for good civil war reinactments and get people loads of medals… but most of those medals will be enemy marksmanship awards.

  • Dfens

    Another weapon we can spend billions developing over the next 2 or 3 decades only to cancel it immediately before any operational vehicles are produced.

  • Josh

    Everyone is always thinking the same. Make the same vehicle just call it something different. What a Joke. Why don’t you just take a nuclear sub. Install tracks that come out the bottom add extra armor and more weapons. Then make it the size of an aircraft carrier and just drive up on land and run everything else over and if they happen to blow you up then you still win since it’s packing a nuclear motor. Although you would have to be brave enough to be on board. Better give it to the SEALS.

  • gkm

    I would can the general who said we should attack beaches under fire. That stuff went away with world war two. If a beach is defended use choppers and land behind it. The d day beach head is a thing for story books. Tell the marines that iwo jima is history.

    • orly?

      Choppers and stuff like that has been USMC doctrine for decades.

  • Tanker6

    65,000 lbs of thrust per propeller, or a total of 65 tons of thrust in a vehicle that only weighs about half that. This thing doesn’t have to float, it could just launch itself up out of the water and to a talk-walk like a porpoise. This looks like mid-20th Century technology, able to stage amphibious assaults over any beach hard enough that the vehicle doesn’t even leave tracks in the sand, and face up to any 4th Class army which does not possess weapons bigger than rifles. The Marines worked for over 20 years to develop a replacement for the AAV7, claiming that they needed to leave their transports over the horizon and get to the beach in under an hour. This thing looks like it needs WWII tactics of bringing the transports up to within 2 miles of the beach (i.e., out of tank fire range for T-55 era tanks) and plod on in. So much for “over the horizon” tactics. This program will eat up time and money and end up making the F-35 program look like a paradigm of acquisition efficiency.

  • Tanker 6

    Sorry for the typo in my previous post. (Auto-correct strikes again.) It should have said “do a tail-walk like a porpoise.”

  • Brian B. Mulholland

    I don’t think the American public will ever again accept the kind of casualties that are inherent in an amphibious assault of a defended beach. The only exception would be a worse-than-9/11 attack followed by a genuine declaration of war, the kind that Congress is desperate to never be asked to vote upon. Put crudely, if the injury done us, and the risk to our future, is not enough to justify the kind of national mobilization that no politician has dared ask for since 12/8/41, the nation will not accept casualties from a swimming vehicular assault of a beach. A couple of 20-year old tanks, a platoon with ATGMs in the way, and you’ll lose people in bunches. I think that for the forseeable future, we assault defended beaches from the rear, or not at all.

  • S O

    http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.de/2014/08/wi…

    “1973: Landing Vehicle, Assault (LVA) project,

    no production

    1982: LVT(X) project,

    no production

    1990’s and 2000’s: AAAV project,

    no production

    until recently: EFV project,

    no production

    Four decades. USMC development of big amphibious armoured personnel carriers has been ongoing for four decades without a production model, much less an affordable one. Only the “LAV-25″, a slightly modified off-the shelf armoured truck, was purchased in the meantime.”

    • oblatt22

      The Marines are where bad ideas go to die.

      • Dfens

        It’s almost like the contractors they hire to design these vehicles are happy to make a profit off of designing them and aren’t interested in actually producing anything. Almost.

        • Dfens

          In fact, a thinking person might look at this situation and think, “hey, maybe instead of doing the same thing over and over again, each time hoping for a better result, we should change the way we buy the vehicles.” You know, like maybe instead of providing these “for profit” corporations a financial incentive to screw the US taxpayer and the US soldier, we could offer them a profit incentive to provide the best vehicle at the best price. A thinking person might just think that.

  • majr0d

    “The objective for the ACV 1.1 is for it to have the mobility equal to an M1 Abrams tank.”

    That’s not going to happen unless you put tracks on it or restrict M1’s to roads. Must be a mistype or someone that doesn’t understand the inherent advantage of tracked mobility over wheeled vehicles especially when it comes to the M1.

    • S O

      The U.S. military uses threshold requirements and objective requirements.
      The former is a real requirement (which can still be waived), the latter is merely a nice-to-have and a sales argument aimed at public and Congress.

      Besides, who knows how much weight they’ll weld on the M1 in the meantime? The Marines take decades to finish a development project, after all.

  • Joe Sovereign

    You can’t defend a beach against smart bombs and drones. The United States is never going to send troops ashore without complete air superiority. The only conceivable opposition is going to be enemy jumping out of the civilian homes with RPGs. If there are MAin Battle Tanks any where near the beach they are going to be attacked from the air.

    • majr0d

      You assume we’ll see them all and get most of them. The historical record shows the opposite.

      Air-power enthusiasts exorbitantly overstate their effectiveness.

      After two months of constant and repeated air attacks during Desert Storm the Air Force “killed” 166 of the three divisions of the Iraqi Republican Guard approx 850 tanks. After the ground troops went in, over 90% of the enemy’s vehicles were scrap. Check out Congressional Armed Service Committee Report of Intelligence Success and Failures in Operations Desert Shield/Storm http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a338886.p… p18-21 for starters.

  • Don

    Why should the corps exist? I was in the Corps Infantry because it appealed to me, so what it’s another Infantry unit. I did not care for the Army, if there was no Corps I probably would not have served my country. If the Mission is Ship to Shore, I was transported from ship to shore in helicopters many times, CH-53, CH-46, and Huey. It’s not always landing craft. Besides I liked the Navel traditions. If you want more people to serve their country have more options that appeal to them. Not just Army and it be Generic

    • oblatt22

      USMC for the same reason you need more types of breakfast cereals.

      The marines specialize in PR that’s why Hollywood loves them. But then all we need is a couple V22s and a platoon.

    • Don

      Oblatt22 must have gotten his ass whipped by a Marine as much as he hates the Corps!!!!

  • gunnygil

    Truman’s big problem with the Corps was Belleau Wood when the Army failed to take the objective and it’s own General Black Jack Pershing called on the Marines who took the objective in short order and cleared the way for the final defeat of WWI Germany. sure the army has had horrendous casualties but most of that is the lack of discipline and team work to take the objective. Army has to have full squads or companies to operate, except for specialized units, while the Corps depends on 4 man fire teams with heavy fire discipline with strong weapons. It was the Army with their discontent of the M-1 and M-14 who had to go to a .22 round and lighter weapon to carry more ammo to expend with less killing power and since the Army is the procurement authority for all the services for small arms, the Corps had to integrate the M-16 pos. Don’t you think it is odd that even now the specialized forces have for the most part reverted to the tried and true .30 and .308 calibres. Even our enemies today are still armed basically with the Russian and Chi-com variant of the .30cal.. Marines are the first responders and fast reaction that can be on site far faster than Army. They are the specialty ground, air, and sea component of the Navy. Army at one time had their own air forces but the wisdom of the nation took that away and gave it to the high fliers of the Birdmen in 1947 and finally in 67 began taking even transport aircraft way from the Army

    • majr0d

      You don’t know what you are talking about.

      You present a highly slanted and inaccurate representation of the battle of Belleau Wood. http://www.worldwar1.com/dbc/ct_bw.htm does a much better job. Being in contact multiple days as well as artillery support have an impact on battles. Your supposition is as silly as saying the Marines needed the Army to take the ground at Guadalcanal because of a “lack of discipline and team work to take the objective.” It just ignores the enemy, fresh troops and more combat multipliers.

      FYI, the Army also uses four man fire teams.

      The Army does NOT have procurement authority for small arms for the other services. It’s why the Marines adopted the M1 two years after the Army because the traditional Marine Corps state of mind was a bolt action was more reliable than the semi-auto. http://www.scribd.com/doc/98444071/TIME-Magazine-… Each branch decided on its own to adopt the M16. The Army in ’64. The Marines in ’67. http://www.paperlessarchives.com/vw_m16.html

      Stating otherwise just demonstrates ignorance of the historical; record or a nasty habit of blaming another service for one’s own decisions.

      BTW the Marines of MARSOC are running M4s with heavier weapons being the exception and assigned for specific duties. You were wrong again.

      Finally as for being first to fight the historical record refutes that. The majority of conflicts have had the Army on the ground before or simultaneously with the Corps (Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq I & II). Your consistent lack of knowledge is a tribute to the Marines superiority in indoctrination and a cultural insecurity when it comes to the Army causing unsupportable knee jerk disparaging. It also shows too many Marines don’t know any military history besides that written by Marines.

    • majr0d

      gunnygil - Your post is full of factual errors. Seems my earlier response got deleted because someone didn’t like me correcting the propaganda.

      Characterizing the Army’s failure to take Belleau Wood because of a “lack of discipline and team work to take the objective” is as silly as saying the same about the Marines on Guadalcanal when the Army showed up and started seizing terrain the Marines couldn’t before the Army got there. That would be wrong and shows a complete misunderstanding of the battle. Fresh troops and more artillery
      make a difference.

      The Army also uses four man fire teams.

      There was no Army discontent over the M1. A rifle the Army adopted two years before the Marines because the Marines thought it wasn’t reliable enough. http://www.scribd.com/doc/98444071/TIME-Magazine-…

      The Army is not the small arms procurement authority for all the services. The Army adopted the M16 in ’64, the Marines did it on their own in ’67.

      Marines are not “the first responders and fast reaction force” that “can be on site far faster than Army.” Didn’t happen in WWII, Korea, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, Afghanistan or OIF. The Marines like to market themselves this way. It’s effective marketing, but historically untrue.

    • @GreensboroVet

      Gunnyagil: For your Info, U S Army has more ship-to-shore attacks than Marines.

  • Kostas

    I highly respect the warrior ethos of the corps. However, I don’t see any real argument about maintaining a separate branch for amphibious ops that wouldn’t apply to creating a new branch for airborne ops.

    Respecting the tradition is the only reason for the corps to remain independent. Another reason could have been to maintain diverse warfighting capabilities. To my disapointment I don’t see any real diverse or unique warfighting capability. A 13 man squad and an IAR is not sufficient.

    The only really revolutionary concept about land combat was the air-mech strike which came from army people, although it was never realised (unfortunately).

    • Don

      Ok then lets do away with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. We will call it the American Defense Force. All wear the same uniform. Then no jealousy will exist. We will have no pride in our units history to keep up the traditions. That’s a bunch of crap!! All services has wasted money (remember ACU).

      • majr0d

        Remember ACU? Yes, the pattern the Army developed because after 50 years the Marines decided to copyright and not share their pattern and so we went from two patterns back then to eight today.

        I agree, all branches waste money. Where we differ is I believe they should all be held responsible.

  • 45K20E4

    I have no issue with the USMC, but I believe that combat amphibious beach landings are a thing of the past. Like so many other concepts of warfare (castles, battleships, etc) the amphibious combat assault has seen its day come and go.

    Then again, I also believe there is no reason for the USMC to have its own fighter aircraft. In WWII is made perfect sense. However, in today’s combined arms world, when a ground unit can call up whatever aircraft is flying around, having your own dedicated fighter component is redundant (and not in a good way).

  • d. kellogg

    “BAE’s ACV 1.1 swims through the water with two counter-rotating propellers– each with 65,000-pounds of thrust per propeller, Swift added.”

    Wow did my BS meter ever spike on that one.
    How big is a 65,000 pounds thrust jet engine?
    And here’s someone suggesting an 8-wheeled armored vehicle is going to have 2 PROPELLORS that EACH create that much thrust?

    Yes, I get it, we’re talking water pressure not air pressure, but I think someone in that PR department is off on their math.

  • Tom

    I spent 6 years in “Amtracs” LVT-P5’s. The “LVT-P7”, AAV7A1, entered the inventory in July 1972 at Camp Lejeune NC. It has served on multiple operations around the world for 42 years. When I first had any contact with one in 1968 while they were in T&E I was not impressed with their survivability in combat. In 13 months in VN with the P-5 we were attached to Marine Bn.s as a combat support vehicle. We were used for every conceivable mission except air deployment. We transported troops in to and out of combat operations, we were able to operate under conditions that were very unfavorable to most other equipment. We provided the ability to resupply and support infantry ops. in any type of weather without regard to terrain. We carried twice as many troops as any other tracked vehicle in VN, and were capable of moving 18,000lbs of cargo of varying types including wheeled vehicle and artillery pieces.. We served as medivac vehicles when choppers were not capable of performing their missions due to weather or other conditions prohibited them from doing so. The AAV 7 has been doing those types of missions ever since.
    If the use of amphibious beach assualts is never going to be necessary then why are other countries developing such capabilities? The ability to perform multiple type missions immediately without immediate support from other branches that are not self supporting, ie. tactical air, heavy armor, artillery, ground troops, etc. is what sets us apart, not better than, the other branches. The USMC has these and other capabilities available 24 - 7 around the world in MEF,s that allow time for the other branches to bring the full force of the US Military to bear on any opposing force.

    • @GreensboroVet

      Well said Tom, well said.

  • Rob C.

    I’m glad their getting something, I just hope it has armor protection to handle the modern day battlefield. Hope it gets completed instead of stalled like the other projects to replace the AAV7s. I’m not thrilled it being a tracked, but they know their business. Just hope they know what their getting.

  • D.Tims

    First, this vehicle should be capable of surviving an I.E.D. explosion if planned for beach landing, second, it should be able to survive a direct mortar or tank round in the water or on land just to save lives. The Stryker vehicle was able to ‘survive’ an I.E.D. blast but some casualties did occur in those Strykers when hit with direct I.E.D.’s. Personally, I think a lot more thought should be put into any vehicle developed for modern-day warfare. Less casualties. The new vehicle needs to be able to survive high pressure explosions and not have to be towed from the battle site, endangering more lives. There just has to be a way of keeping vehicles semi-intact so that the mission may be completed as planned.

  • Thomas L. Nielsen

    “….it should be able to survive a direct mortar or tank round in the water or on land just to save lives”

    You are aware, I take it, that tank main gun rounds (APFSDS) are intended to punch through the frontal armor of main battle tanks? And you want an amphibious APC to be capable of surviving that? How, exactly?

    Regards & all,

    Thomas L. Nielsen
    Luxembourg

    • Thomas L. Nielsen

      ….and that was supposed to be a reply to D.Tims above.

      Note to self: Avoid posting prior to the first cup of coffee of the day.

      Regards & all,

      Thomas L. Nielsen
      Luxembourg

      • d. kellogg

        Either or, it’s still pie-in-the-sky foolishness.
        Do they specifically state the caliber/diameter/size of the mortar rounds and tank rounds they want it to survive?

        60mm mortar and a low pressure gun like the 76mm on the Brit Scorpion CVR(T) aren’t unrealistic (well, even that 76mm HESH might bring a world of hurt for an amphibious APC)
        But go forward to 120mm mortars (or even 81mm with a shaped charge) or any tank/AFV guns 90mm and up, and there just is not any current technology out there to offer that level of kinetic impact resistance and blast protection in a vehicle this size and still float.

        Maybe, like was accused during the Bradley’s early development days, the program executive office and contract writers for this Marine APC are allowing inferior-performance foreign ammunition/projectiles to be used in testing…?

        • Thomas L. Nielsen

          A heavily-armored vehicle (think MBT-level armor) could probably survive a direct 60mm HE mortar bomb or 76mm HESH hit, but not without at least a mission kill. Possibly (depending on the exact impact point on the vehicle) a mobility kill as well. And MBT-level armor on an amphibious APC? [shakes head slowly].

          And even if, I would not refer to the 76mm low-pressure gun as a “tank gun” by any stretch of that term.

          Anyway, my point was the same as the one you make: survivability against a tank gun or (heavy) mortar round is not a realistic expectation. And unrealistic expectations is a project-killer [cough-F35-cough].

          Regards & all,

          Thomas L. Nielsen
          Luxembourg

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  • RobF

    I attended the Naval War College in 2006. Currently it is taught that after exhausting, detailed research of Iraqi military records and hundreds of interviews with former Iraqi Officers, that the tying down of numerous Iraqi divisions, tens of thousands of Soldiers, and many key weapons systems existed only in the minds of Americans, especially USMC proponents.
    Of the 49 Iraqi Brigades occupying Kuwait, only 4 were tasked with defending the coast. The 117th & 40th Infantry overloaded with Milan ATMs, the 58th Armor with 228 T-72s, and the 325th Artillery with 38 South African G5 155mm guns.
    A USMC amphibious assault probably would have been successful, but would have resembled Tarawa not Grenada.

  • Perry the Platypus

    I’m surprised that GDLS hasn’t offered a redesigned version of the EFV without the high speed requirement. If I recalled the high speed was what killed the EFV.

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