Lawmakers on Capitol Hill today voiced concerns about the U.S. Marine Corps’ new amphibious vehicle, questioning the service’s selection of wheels over the venerable tracked design.
Marine Corps leaders testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Subcomittee on Seapower to discuss modernization efforts in the proposed Fiscal 2016 budget request.
The Corps has identified its new Amphibious Combat Vehicle as its top modernization priority. The effort is set to replace most of Marine Amphibious Assault Vehicles that are well over 40 years old.
The Marines are somewhat at fault here after futzing around with the ECV for 20 odd years. But Congress isn’t helping by sticking its nose in now. Does anyone really honestly believe that –
Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said she was worried that first version of the wheeled ACV will be less capable since it is designed to carry 10 infantrymen instead of 14 like the current AAV.-
knows jack-all about armored fighting vehicles, amphibious lift, mechanized and mounted maneuver?
Essentially, at this point, handwringing in Congress takes us back to the days before the entry into service of the MV-22. So many people worried about minor issues with its performance that they completely overlooked the problem that the CH-46 faced. High accident rates, abysmal maintenance rates, terribly short range and crippling vulnerability issues.
Well guess what? At this point, recapitalizing the amphibious assault lift for the Marines is rapidly approaching a crisis. You can buy a relatively cheap increment now, and get 80% of the performance you want, or you can risk hundreds of Marine lives now and in the near term in vehicles that give you 50% of the performance you want, in the hopes that you’ll be able to spend a stupendous amount of money in the future for a vehicle that gives you 90% of the performance you want.