Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV)
Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV)
In a statement on "Department Budget and Efficiencies" on January 06, 2011, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said announced his ... "agreement with the recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to cancel the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.
"The EFV's aggressive requirements list has resulted in an 80,000 pound armored vehicle that skims the surface of the ocean for long distances at high speeds before transitioning to combat operations on land. Meeting these demands has over the years led to significant technology problems, development delays, and cost increases. The EFV, originally conceived during the Reagan Administration, has already consumed more than $3 billion to develop and will cost another $12 billion to build - all for a fleet with the capacity to put 4,000 troops ashore. If fully executed, the EFV - which costs far more to operate and maintain than its predecessor - would essentially swallow the entire Marine vehicle budget and most of its total procurement budget for the foreseeable future.
"To be sure, the EFV would, if pursued to completion without regard to time or cost, be an enormously capable vehicle. However, recent analysis by the Navy and Marine Corps suggests that the most plausible scenarios requiring power projection from the sea could be handled through a mix of existing air and sea systems employed in new ways along with new vehicles - scenarios that do not require the exquisite features of the EFV. As with several other high end programs cancelled in recent years, the mounting cost of acquiring this specialized capability must be judged against other priorities and needs.
"Let me be clear. This decision does not call into question the Marine's amphibious assault mission. We will budget the funds necessary to develop a more affordable and sustainable amphibious tractor to provide the Marines a ship-to-shore capability into the future. The budget will also propose funds to upgrade the existing amphibious vehicle fleet with new engines, electronics, and armaments to ensure that the Marines will be able to conduct ship-to-shore missions until the next generation of systems is brought on line.
In a speech to Surface Navy Association on 13 January 2011, Commandant of the Marine Corps General James F. Amos stated that "Despite the best efforts of all involved, the EFV program has become too onerous. Thus, I recommended to the Secretary of Defense to cancel it. As he affirmed last week, the cancellation of the EFV is by no means a rejection of the Marine Corps amphibious assault mission. I remain committed to develop and field an effective, survivable and affordable new amphibious vehicle.sooner rather than later! In the interim, we will upgrade a portion of our existing amphibious vehicle fleet with new engines, electronics, and armaments to ensure that we are able to conduct ship-to-shore missions until the next generation of systems is brought on line." The Marine Corps' EFV is designed to transport troops from ships offshore to inland destinations at higher speeds and from longer distances than the Assault Amphibious Vehicle 7A-the system it is designed to replace. Until the new vehicle is fielded the Marine Corps anticipated spending more to maintain the current vehicle. The EFV will have two variants-a troop carrier for 17 combat-equipped Marines and 3 crew members, and a command vehicle to manage combat operations. With a water speed of 23 to 29 miles per hour, the new vehicle could be launched from amphibious ships 25 miles or more offshore and reach shore far more quickly than its predecessors. The improved mobility would reduce the risk to Navy ships from missiles, aircraft, boats, and mines.
The Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) was officially renamed the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) sometime in late 2003.
The Marine Corps was developing the AAAV to replace the AAV7A1 as its primary combat vehicle for transporting troops on land and from ship to shore. The AAAV had to satisfy many operational requirements, which would provide increased capabilities compared to the AAV7A1 and improve the ship-to-shore movement, thus allowing the Marine Corps and the Navy to more effectively implement OMFTS.
The AAAV was planned to be capable of transporting 18 Marines and a crew of three over water at speeds of 29 miles an hour. The design used a planing hull propelled by two water jets. On land, AAAV was expected to achieve speeds of 45 miles an hour, with cross-country mobility equal to that of an M1 Abrams tank.
In addition to its high land speed, the revised EFV had sufficient ballistic protection to defeat rounds up to 14.5mm or fragments from 155mm artillery shells. It also had improved mine-blast protection and a nuclear, chemical and biological (NBC) defense system. This combination of features alone would provide enhanced survivability.
A smooth transition from water to cross-country movement had always been a difficult and dangerous task for amphibious vehicles. The General Dynamics AAAV design solved the problem by arranging the automatic transfer of power from the high-speed water jets to the vehicle tracks.
Using the same vehicle design, General Dynamics would also deliver a command and control AAAV variant to the Marines. This mobile command post would provide access to information from satellite and computer-based intelligence sources, as well as from ships, aircraft and other vehicles, while controlling operations at sea or on land. The revised EFV followed the same two platform configuration. The personnel variant, referred to as EFV(P), would be armed with a 30 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machinegun and was intended to transport 17 combat-equipped Marines (one less than initially planned for the AAAV) and a three-man crew. The a command and control variant, referred to as EFV(C) would transport a commander and staff.
In response to changing warfighter needs, the program is also planning to develop armor kits to improve protection from Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) blasts. The EFV design as of March 2008 had a flat hull, which enabled the vehicle to move very quickly over the water. Program officials said they completed a review of using a "v-shaped" hull, and found that such a hull would reduce the vehicle's vulnerability to ground-based explosive devices, but would make it impossible to meet its key performance parameters. In order to provide additional blast protection, officials said additional hull belly armor could be added to the vehicle for land operations.
The program selected armor kits that provide two levels of protection. According to the program, one kit would provide comparable protection to the MRAP, while the other kit would provide a higher level of protection comparable to the M1A1 Abrams tank. The Marine Corps recently formalized the IED requirement for the EFV, but did not make it a key performance parameter for the program. In an effort to reduce vehicle cost and weight, the program office has considered different options, such as removing a system designed to protect EFV occupants from exposure to nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) weapons. If the NBC system were removed, warfighters would still be protected using mission-oriented protective suits, which they currently use on the AAV-7 legacy platform.
The EFV's design will continue to evolve into low-rate initial production. The Marine Corps has reported that 96 percent of the system's design models had been released as of early 2010; however, the program anticipates design changes will continue until 2014 as it executes its reliability growth and testing strategy.
The prototypes will be built using mostly production representative tooling and processes. However, the program will introduce new friction-welding processes during low-rate production that are expected to increase the strength of the hull and reduce weight. While the prototype vehicles will be built using production representative tooling and processes, the program does not intend to collect data on key manufacturing processes and use statistical process controls until low-rate production begins.
The AAAV was the U.S. Marine Corps only acquisition category (ACAT) I acquisition program. The Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) represented the signature mission of the USMC. A truly amphibious vehicle that would replace the USMC's aging current system and provide the capability to maneuver a combat loaded with a Marine rifle squad, at 20-25 knots in the water and maneuver cross country with agility and mobility equal or greater than that of the M1 Main Battle Tank (MBT). The AAAV was expected to virtually revolutionize every facet of USMC combat operations. It was potentially one of the most capable all-around weapon systems in the world. The technology to meet these requirements had been demonstrated, and the plan to procure the system represented the most operationally effective solution for meeting USMC requirements.
The AAAV was intended to allow the Navy and Marine Corps to seamlessly link maneuver in ships and maneuver ashore enabling Operational Maneuver From The Sea (OMFTS). The AAAV would be the principal means of armored protected land and water mobility and direct fire support for Marine infantry during combat operations. Based on this unique mission profile, the AAAV required the leverage of state of the art advances in water propulsion, land mobility, lethality and survivability. Lightweight components and structures that were cost and operationally effective and supportable together with a significantly more powerful engine were the primary technical challenges for the AAAV.
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