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Marine Corps One Step Closer to New Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070507-05
Release Date: 5/7/2007 8:13:00 AM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Riza Caparros, Fleet Public Affairs Center Atlantic

NORFOLK (NNS) -- A prototype of the newest Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) was introduced to DoD leaders and key personnel during an orientation event, May 2, at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek.

The EFV is designed to replace the amphibious assault vehicle (AAV), which has been used by the Marine Corps since 1972. The EFV will enable the Navy and Marine Corps team to project power from the sea base to exploit intervening sea and land terrain and achieve surprise.

“To me, the overall main benefit is the better firepower and the armor,” said Staff Sgt. William Becker, EFV test engineer, Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch, Camp Pendleton, Calif. “We can do 25 nautical mile sea objective maneuvers, 25 nautical miles over the horizon and then move inland approximately 200 miles on only one tank of fuel.”

During the four-hour orientation, participants experienced riding in the EFV during a high-water speed demonstration. They were also given a ride in the sand when the Marines introduced the vehicle’s cross-country mobility with maneuvers on the beach.

Cpl. Thomas Elliot, vehicle commander also from the amphibious vehicle test branch at Camp Pendleton, said it was an honor to show the participants all the capabilities of the vehicle.

“It was a lot of fun to show them where their hard work and money has gone,” said Elliot. “Every one of them had nothing but positive insight and comments after experiencing the ride on the water and on land.”

Becker described some ways the EFV benefits the Marine Corps.

“The EFV’s aluminum hull and custom two-mode diesel engine adds protection over the sea and on land that Marines did not have with the AAV.”

EFV crew chief, Cpl. Christian Cruz, added the towing power and speed of the new vehicle will make a big difference once it sees battle.

“We’re able to carry 17 combat-loaded Marines,” said Cruz. “On land it does 45 miles per hour and in high-motor speed mode it does approximately 25-30 knots. The AAV can only reach up to seven knots in the water.”

Cruz also highlighted the EFV’s firepower.

“There is a .50-caliber gun and a Mark-19 on the AAV, on the EFV we have a MK44 Mod 1 30 mm automatic cannon,” he added. “With that firepower, we can engage targets and carry out our mission feeling relatively safe.”

“To me, the overall main benefit is the better firepower, the armor and the specimen of the vehicle -- it looks a lot bigger, so it is a more intimidating vehicle to the enemy,” said Becker.

Becker expressed his desire to see the EFV program move forward.

“We’re continuously testing the EFV’s capabilities, said Becker. “Every day we’re finding new things to add or change with the current design to make it the machine it is meant to be.”

Full-rate production of the EFV is scheduled for no later than 2020.

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