Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle

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Not to be confused with Expeditionary tank.
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV)
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.jpg
General Dynamics Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV)
Type Amphibious assault vehicle[1]
Place of origin USA
Service history
In service Canceled
Used by United States Marine Corps
Production history
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Unit cost US$22.3 million
Variants EFVP
EFVC
Specifications
Weight Gross vehicle weight fully loaded 79,300 pounds (35.97 metric ton)
Length 10.67 m (35 ft)
 length 9.33 m (30.6 ft)
Width 3.66 m (12 ft)
Height 3.28 m (10.7 ft) (turret roof)
Crew 3 crew
Passengers 17 fully equipped Marines (EFVP)
7 command crew (EFVPC)

Armor armor panels made of ceramic, S-2 fiberglass, and a Kevlar-like woven fabric in three separate layers, armor offers protection against machine gun and artillery fragments weighs 20 pounds per square foot, 14.5 mm AP at 300 Meters, 155/152 mm fragments at 15 Meters
Main
armament
fully stabilized and digitally controlled Mk44 Bushmaster II Mod 0 30 mm cannon (EFVP)
M240 Machine Gun, 7.62 mm Coax (EFVPC)
Engine MTU Friedrichshafen MT 883 Ka-524 diesel engine
2,702 hp (2,016 kW) (water), 850 hp (635 kW) (land)
Power/weight 34.48 bhp/ton
Transmission Allison X4560 six speed transmission; water propulsion through two 23-inch-diameter water jets
Suspension 14 retractable independent Hydraulic Suspension Units (HSU’s) with two nitrogen gas charges
Fuel capacity 325 gallons
Operational
range
land: 523 km (325 miles)
water: 120 km (74 miles)
Speed road: 72.41 km/h (45 mph)
water: 46 km/h (28.6 mph) (water)

The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) (formerly known as the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle) was an amphibious assault vehicle that was being developed for the U.S. Marine Corps. It would have been launched at sea, from an amphibious assault ship beyond the horizon, able to transport a full Marine rifle squad to shore. It would maneuver cross country with an agility and mobility equal to or greater than the M1 Abrams.

The EFV was designed to replace the aging AAV-7A1 Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV),[2] which entered service in 1972,[3] and was the Marine Corps' number one priority ground weapon system acquisition. It was to have had three times the speed in water and about twice the armor of the AAV, as well as superior firepower. The vehicle was to be deployed in 2015;[4] however, on 6 January 2011, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recommended the EFV program be canceled.[5][6] The program, which was projected to cost $15 billion, had already cost $3 billion.[7][8]

The Marines asked for the EFV to be canceled in favor of the Assault Amphibian Vehicle Service Life Extension Program, the Marine Personnel Carrier and the Amphibious Combat Vehicle.[9]

History[edit]

In the 1980s, the US Marine Corps developed an "over the horizon" strategy for ocean based assaults. The intention was to protect naval ships from enemy mines and shore defenses. It included the MV-22 Osprey, the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), and the EFV.

Development for the AAAV began in August 1974 with Landing Vehicle Assault (LVA) prototypes that continued in the early 1980s at the command at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. The AAAV's predecessor, the LVTP7, had its life expectancy extended in 1983–84 by use of a service life extension program, which modified and upgraded many of the key systems, creating the LVTP7A1 and re-designated it the AAVP7A1. At the time these vehicles were released, the USMC had anticipated and communicated delivery of the AAAV by 1993. As a result of delays, the AAVP7A1 has received another service life extension-type upgrade in the mid 1990s while the USMC still awaits final development and delivery of the AAAV, 14 years behind original projected time frames.[10]

In 1988, defense officials authorized the concept exploration and definition phase. In 1995, the program entered into the definition and risk reduction phase, where it won two DOD awards for successful cost and technology management.[10] In June 1996, a contract was awarded to General Dynamics Land Systems to begin full-scale engineering development of their design. Based on the aforementioned early success of the program, the Marine Corps awarded a cost-plus contract to General Dynamics in July 2001 for the systems development and demonstration phase of the program, expected to be completed by October 2003. The AAAV was renamed to EFV in September 2003. The Government Accountability Office would later state that the development phase of three years was insufficient, causing delays and prototype failures, particularly in reliability.[10] After the 2006 Operational Assessment was plagued by reliability issues and maintenance burdens, the Corps began a redesign of the EFV, requiring a new contract for an additional US$143.5 million in February 2007.[10] That June, a reset of the development phase delayed completion an additional four years.[10] Instead of initiating production as planned, the corps asked for seven new prototypes, to address the current deficiencies, which have caused an average of one failure for every four and a half hours of operation.[11]

On 7 April 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the EFV program will "continue as-is", pending an amphibious review in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.[12] The vehicle has recently been called "exquisite", which Gates has usually reserved for programs he intends to cancel.[13] He later questioned the EFV as the proper ship-to-shore platform on 3 May 2010,[14] the day before the initial prototype was rolled out at a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico.[15]

The USMC has reduced the number to be purchased from 1,013 to 573 AAAVs by 2015 due to escalation in unit cost estimated at $22.3 million in 2007.[10][15] The EFV might be a baseline vehicle for the Army's BCT Ground Combat Vehicle Program, however it is more likely that the army will start a new program.[16]

Low rate initial production (LRIP) was projected to begin in January 2012.[17] Projected total program development cost of the type until first quarter of 2010 has been estimated at 15.9 billion dollars.[18]

Controversy[edit]

Robert O. Work while Under Secretary of the Navy sketched out a future for amphibious warfare in which either the marines will land unopposed or it will take a major effort using all the long range weapons of the United States armed forces to clear out ship-killing missiles so that amphibious ships can safely approach the hostile beach and neither scenario sees much use for the EFV.[19][20] New families of guided anti-ship weapons have extended target ranges of well past 75 miles and the precision to target non-state actors, making the EFV's capabilities less of a game-changer than originally hoped for.[21]

In a joint report the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the National Taxpayers Union called the EFV program wasteful spending and asked for its cancellation.[22] The co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform have also supported the cancellation of the EFV.[23] During a Pentagon briefing, on 6 January 2011, revealing budget efficiencies and reinvestment possibilities, Secretary of Defense Gates announced his intention to cancel the EFV program.[6] In a statement released after Gates' press conference, USMC CommandantGeneral Amos said that he supports the cancellation of the EFV:

Today the Secretary of Defense announced the termination of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program. I support his decision. After a thorough review of the program within the context of a broader Marine Corps force structure review, I personally recommended to both the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Navy that the EFV be cancelled and that the Marine Corps pursue a more affordable amphibious tracked fighting vehicle.
Despite the critical amphibious and war-fighting capability the EFV represents, the program is not affordable given likely Marine Corps procurement budgets. The procurement and operations/maintenance costs of this vehicle are onerous. After examining multiple options to preserve the EFV, I concluded that none of the options meets what we consider reasonable affordability criteria. As a result, I decided to pursue a more affordable vehicle.[5]

James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps

Loren B. Thompson, of the Lexington Institute, said that Amos had been ordered to give this statement, which did not reflect his actual feelings on the issue.[24]

In an interview on 5 January 2011 with Bloomberg Businessweek, Duncan D. Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, anticipated the cancellation announcement by Gates. However, Hunter has predicted that his committee will reject the cancellation.[25]

According to Lieutenant General George J. Flynn of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command, the USMC will use funding from the cancelled EFV for other tactical ground vehicles over the next five years.[26] The EFV program was cut from a 2012 proposed budget by the White House.[27]

General Dynamics is offering a cut down version of the EFV without the hydroplaning or weapons.[28] Ray Mabus has said that new defensive systems will allow navy ships to close to within 12 miles off hostile shores so a 25 knot amphibious tracked vehicle is no longer needed.[29]

Deputy Commandant George Flynn has said that the analysis of alternatives to replace the EFV will be accelerated to complete in six to nine months.[30] In the 2012 appropriations bill, Congress ordered that the EFV be one of the alternatives considered in the study.[31]

Design[edit]

Diagram of EFVP1 variant

The EFV, designed by General Dynamics Land Systems, was an amphibious armored tracked vehicle with an aluminum hull. The engine is a custom MTU Friedrichshafen diesel (MT883) with two modes of operation; a high power mode for planing over the sea, and a low power mode for land travel. It has a crew of three and can transport 17 marines and their equipment. The EFV would have been the first heavy tactical vehicle with a space frame structure.[32]

The hull had a hydraulically actuated bow flap to aid planing with a maximum waterborne speed of 46 kilometres per hour (29 mph; 25 kn). Shrouded Honeywell waterjet propulsors are integrated into each side of the hull, which create over 2,800 horsepower of thrust. It was also outfitted with hydraulically actuated chines to cover the tracks while in seafaring mode.

The vehicle uses an Ethernet network connected by the Tactical Switch Router, based on the COTS DuraMAR Mobile IP router for its internal and external communications.[33]

Armament[edit]

The electrically powered two-man MK46 turret on the personnel variant accommodated the commander on the right and gunner on the left, a fire control system, and the main and coaxial weapons.

The standard version was to have had a Mk44 Bushmaster II 30 mm cannon, which fired up to 250 rounds per minute with single, burst, and fully automatic capabilities up to 2,000 metres (2,200 yd) in all weather conditions. A general purpose M240 7.62 mm machine gun with 600 rounds of ready-to-use ammunition was to be mounted coaxially with the main gun.

Countermeasures[edit]

EFVP1 engineering prototype undergoing shock testing

The EFV was fitted with composite armor, mine-blast protection, and a nuclear, biological and chemical defense system. The aluminum hull caused some concern due to protection issues.[34] However, aluminum hulls have been used for decades in military ground vehicles and watercraft.

In June 2007 members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces sent a letter to the Commandant of the Marine Corps urging that the EFV be redesigned to give troops better protection against roadside bombs.[35] The marines suggested that underbelly armor appliqué could be applied after the EFVs come ashore and before they encounter IEDs.[10] The limited protection the EFV offers is an improvement on that offered by the AAV so the replacement is an advantage, given the current doctrine of using landing craft for land patrols.[36]

However, tests in January and February 2010 at Aberdeen Test Center demonstrated that the EFV offers blast protection equal to a category-2 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, including two simulated improvised explosive devices under its belly and tracks.[37] Tests also show that it has superior protection (Mofet Etzion)from direct and indirect fire. The flat hull, which has endured persistent criticism for not being the more blast-resistant V-shape, was necessary for the EFV to plane across the surface of the water and reach its high speed, while dealing with sea states of Category 4.[37][38]

On 13 October 2010 the navy awarded M Cubed Technologies a contract to develop new armor for the EFV to offer better protection and lighter weight.[39]

Mobility[edit]

Given the increasing ranges of shore launched anti-ship missiles, the EFV's 25 nautical miles (29 mi; 46 km) range for amphibious landing may no longer provide the anticipated protection predicted for an over the horizon launch.[10] The U.S. Navy began reconsidering the over the horizon approach, and is considering 10–18 miles appropriate for amphibious launches. This shift in doctrine has made the EFV's high water speeds unnecessary.[7] The EFV's need for high water speed has resulted in an engine that is 1,200 hp more powerful than the M1 Abrams, even though the EFV weighs far less.[40]

Variants[edit]

Personnel variant[edit]

The EFVP1 with a three-man crew would have conducted the signature mission of the United States Marine Corps, expeditionary maneuver warfare from seabases by initiating amphibious operations from 20–25 miles over-the-horizon and transporting 17 combat-equipped Marines to inland objectives. The fully armored, tracked combat vehicle would have provided firepower to disembarked or mechanized infantry with its own fully stabilized MK46 weapon station with the 30 mm cannon and 7.62mm machine-gun.

Command variant[edit]

EFVC1

The EFVC1 was to have provided the same survival and mobility capabilities found in the EFVP1. The EFVC1 would have been employed as a tactical command post for maneuver unit commanders at the battalion and regimental level. The EFVC1 would have provided the supported commander and selected staff with the ability to communicate, via on-board communications, with senior, adjacent, and subordinate maneuver units. The EFVC1 was to be armed with only a 7.62mm machine gun.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Glenn W. Goodman, Jr. (2010). "EXPEDITIONARY FIGHTING VEHICLE". Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Assault Amphibious Vehicle Systems (AAVS)". Marine Corps Systems Command. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) – Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle, USA". army-technology.com. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "U.S. Marine EFV Delivery Delayed to 2015 and Costs Double". Defense News. 
  5. ^ a b Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) (6 January 2011), "Statement by the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos on Efficiencies", United States Department of Defense, retrieved 6 January 2011 
  6. ^ a b Garamone, Jim (6 January 2011), "Gates Reveals Budget Efficiencies, Reinvestment Possibilities", American Forces Press Service, retrieved 6 January 2011 
  7. ^ a b Christopher P. Cavas (8 January 2010). "Fleet will feel effects of major Corps cuts". Gannett Government Media Corporation. Retrieved 10 January 2011. 
  8. ^ Megan Scully (18). "House Armed Services chairman restructures committee". National Journal Group Inc. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Kuiper, Jahn R. "EFV ousted for less costly triumvirate." USMC, 22 March 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Feickert, Andrew (3 August 2009). "The Marines Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV): Background and Issues for Congress". Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  11. ^ Merle, Renae (7 February 2007). "Problems Stall Pentagon's New Fighting Vehicle – Washington Post". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  12. ^ Bennett, John T. (7 Apr 2009). "Gates: Cutting FCS was tough". Army Times. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  13. ^ Muradian, Vago; Osborn, Kris (28 September 2009). "USMC Battling for the Future". Defense News. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  14. ^ Bennett, John T. (4 May 2010). "Gates: U.S. must rethink expensive ships, EFV". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  15. ^ a b McCullough, Amy (5 May 2010). "Corps shows off long-delayed EFV". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  16. ^ Chavanne, Bettina H.; McLeary, Paul (8 Oct 2009). "No Options Out For Ground Combat Vehicle". Aviation Week. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  17. ^ USMC Anticipates EFV LRIP in 2012
  18. ^ Exhibit P-40, Budget Item Justification Sheet February 2007 http://www.finance.hq.navy.mil/FMB/08PRES/PROC/PMC_Book.pdf
  19. ^ Thompson, Loren B. "A Vision Of Future Amphibious Warfare That Will Not Work ." defence.professionals GmbH, 1 December 2010
  20. ^ Robert O. Work and F. G. Hoffman "Hitting the Beach in the 21st Century." Proceedings (magazine), November 2010.
  21. ^ Singer, Peter W. "The Marine Corps Is All Right". The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  22. ^ "Left and Right Unite against Government Waste". AllGov, 5 November 2010
  23. ^ "$200 Billion IN ILLUSTRATIVE SAVINGS". 10 October 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  24. ^ Reed, John. "The Reactions to Gates’ Spending Plans." DOD Buzz, 7 January 2010.
  25. ^ Capaccio, Tony (6 January 2011), "General Dynamics Marine Transport Vehicle Terminated in Budget", Bloomberg Businessweek, retrieved 7 January 2011 
  26. ^ Tiron, Roxan (12 January 2011), "Marines Steer $2.4 Billion Toward Tactical Vehicles", Bloomberg Businessweek, retrieved 12 January 2011 
  27. ^ "The Budget for Fiscal Year 2012" "Office of Management and Budget", 14 February 2011.
  28. ^ Beidel, Eric. "General Dynamics Makes Final Argument for Keeping EFV Alive." National Defense Industrial Association, 25 January 2011.
  29. ^ Steele, Jeanette. "Q & A with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus." The San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 February 2011.
  30. ^ Fabey, Michael. "USMC Expedites EFV Analysis Of Alternatives." Aviation Week, 10 June 2011.
  31. ^ Brannen, Kate. "Congress looks to wrap up budget bills." Federal Times, 16 December 2011.
  32. ^ Kelly, Kevin (4 July 2009). "Engineering A Serious Chassis". AutoFieldGuide.com. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  33. ^ Case study: EFV keeps pace with Ethernet to actualize net-centric warfare
  34. ^ Murtha Ups F-22, Downs EFV
  35. ^ "House Members Urge Redesign of Land-Sea Vehicle". 
  36. ^ Marine Corps Gazette – July 2009
  37. ^ a b Lamothe, Dan (2 March 2010). "EFV has MRAP-level protection, Conway says". Marine Corps Times. Retrieved 3 March 2010. 
  38. ^ JSF Not Too Hot For Carriers
  39. ^ M Cubed Technologies, Inc. Wins Contract To Develop Armor For U.S. Marine Corps Fighting Vehicles M Cubed Technologies, Inc. press release, 13 October 2010
  40. ^ Craig Hooper, Proceedings, 2008

External links[edit]