Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos today shed some much anticipated light on when the Corps could see a replacement for the cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, telling lawmakers he expects to drive its replacement by the end of his tenure as commandant.
"There are two answers to that, one is as Commandant of the Marine Corps's answer which is Before I leave leave office four years from now . . . we'll have a program of record, we'll have steel, there will be a vehicle and I'll be able to drive it," Amos said responding to lawmakers questions during a House Armed Services Committee hearing. "I'm trying to pressurize industry, I'm trying to pressurize the acquisition folks, I want the word to get out. If we followed the standard acquisition timeline, which in some cases got us to where we are today, it'll be 2024."
To avoid such a fate, the general said the Department of the Navy will be using a model similar to the one it used to quickly buy and field thousands of MRAPs during the height of the Iraq war.
"Something probably that resembles the sense of urgency that we had for the MRAP but probably a little bit more scheduled, and that's what we're going to do."
Now that's not saying that Amos will necessarily be driving the production model EFV replacement, dubbed the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, but it will will be some sort of early version ACV.
The EFV was cancelled earlier this year after it was predicted that its rising costs would swallow up waaay too much of the Marines' procurement budgets. The craft was first conceived in the 1980s and has taken billions in development cash over the decade yet remained stuck in development purgatory.
It's replacement will draw on the lessons learned from EFV development while using available technologies to field a 21st Century armored personnel carrier for the Corps, according to Amos.