Thursday, April 14, 2016

The ACV is on track? The vehicles will be obsolete before they enter service!

via SeaPower Magazine
But Dee and Lt. Gen. Robert Walsh, deputy commandant for combat development and integration, said the high-priority Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program was not affected by a short protest of the award to two contractors.

“Everything is on track. We are on cost. … There was a fairly minimal delay in execution due to the protest,” Dee said.

Walsh agreed that the program is “in pretty good shape,” with contracts awarded to two firms to produce prototype vehicles for testing before a down select to a single contactor.

Walsh had to spend a considerable amount of time explaining the complex plans to acquire a new vehicle to support the Corps’ cherished amphibious operational capability.

In the long term, the ACVs are to replace the 40-plus year-old Assault Amphibious Vehicles, AAV-7s.

But the initial model of the new vehicles, labeled ACV 1.1, are intended mainly to provide much better mobility and protection ashore and may have only limited ability to carry Marines from amphibious ships miles off shore, Walsh said. The operational testing, however, may show that the ACV 1.1 has better ability to “swim” than expected, he added.

Assuming the ACV 1.1 has limited ship-to-shore capability, the assault waves of a future amphibious landing would go ashore in AAVs, that are receiving an extensive set of survivability and mobility upgrades, Walsh said. Then the ACVs will be brought ashore by “connectors,” which could be Landing Craft Air Cushions, to provide ground mobility for Marine infantry, he said.

The decision to look at commercially available eight-wheeled troop transports for the initial ACVs was a result of the $3 billion failure of the decade-long quest for the expeditionary combat vehicle, which was to have a water speed three times as fast as the AAV’s seven knots, Walsh and Dee explained.

The Marines plan to obtain a later batch of ACVs, labeled 1.2, which may have improved ship-to-shore ability, while they look for technology advances that would allow the high water speeds sought in the expeditionary combat vehicle program, Walsh said.
Read the entire article but there is SO MUCH FAIL in the Marine Corps plans.  When you have to take "considerable" time to explain how you're going to replace AAVs with ACVs then you're looking at a convoluted, bastardized scheme designed more to fool the tribe rather than to retain a capability.

Even the wording is jacked up beyond belief!  "Assuming" the ACV 1.1 has limited ship-to-shore capability" !!!

They're making assumptions?  The plan is still not set?

The USMC desperately needs a CREDIBLE armored vehicle road map.  NOT GUESSES or ASSUMPTIONS!!!!  Additionally the little kingdom that has been built around the EFV/ACV program needs to be torn down to the roots, taken to the back 40 and burned in a massive bonfire.  But putting all that aside. The most stunning part of all of this is that because HQMC is slow walking the procurement of these vehicles, that they'll be obsolete before they enter service.  Just a few examples to back up my assertion.

The Brazilian VBTP-MR is essentially the BAE/IVECO SuperAV in a 6x6 configuration.  What's truly stunning is that they've already trialed it, operationally tested in  and its already in production and introduced into Brazilian service.  More stunning is the fact that not only are they building the vehicle, but that they're working on a 8x8 that will equal the ACV as we speak.  Quite honestly the Brazilian Army and Marine Corps will have a 8x8 that is more advanced than the ACV earlier than the USMC.

Here you see the AMV-XP.  Originally, Lockheed Martin teamed with Patria to offer the Patria AMV.  This vehicle is held in high esteem world wide and reportedly performed well in Afghanistan.  During the contest for the ACV, Lockheed Martin reportedly engaged in a type of skullduggery and the partnership ended.  Lockheed went on to introduce a new vehicle and lost the down select.  Patria went on to design the next gen AMV. Its ready now.  Of course this doesn't include the work that is being done by others to improve the design.  Poland is working hard to make the current vehicle even more robust than it already is.

The out take is clear.

We have no visibility on what China, S. Korea, Japan and others are working on.  Is it unreasonable to assume that the Chinese are working on a next gen Amphibious Assault  Vehicle as we speak?

The ABD-05 was introduced in the late 1990's so if past is prologue they're already building prototypes of its replacement.  We've seen pics of Japanese test beds for new amphibious assault vehicles.

You can bet prized body parts that the S. Koreans, that hate the Japanese more than they fear Chinese aggression are also working on the AAV replacement if for no other reason than to keep pace with the Japanese...forget trying to keep market share in their competition for their KAAV.

The USMC  was once the undisputed leader in amphibious assault vehicle technology.  That lead has been squandered. 

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