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Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Sinks EFV Hopes
This article first appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The prognosis for the U.S. Marine Corps' troubled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) is not good, according to Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
After his presentation to the Space and Missile Defense Conference here Aug. 19, Cartwright said the close-to-finished Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) is looking at EFV in the context of "amphibious writ large," and the high-speed combat vehicle "will have a significant challenge moving forward."
Cartwright went on to brand the EFV with the scarlet "E" for "exquisite" -- a pejorative term coined by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to refer to programs aimed at producing be-all, end-all systems.
"As we look at anti-access threats, is the exquisite nature of the vehicle appropriate? It's going to have a hard time," Cartwright said.
"Now I can't be a Marine anymore," he added. According to other sources, the QDR may downplay the Marines' role as a forced-entry assault force versus security assistance and the Corps' currently dominant role on the ground.
Under development by General Dynamics since the early 1980s, the EFV is intended to combine payload and protection with 25-knot overwater speed and long range.
It has been criticized for high cost, technical snags and delays, and for the potential vulnerability of its flat-bottom design to mines.