The U.S. Marine Corps should use an MRAP-style acquisition strategy to field a replacement for the cancelled Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle as soon as possible, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos said today.
"What we did for MRAP should be the model for" how the Corps' replaces its ancient Amphibious Assault Vehicles now that the EFV is out of the picture, said Amos during a Surface Navy Association conference in Arlington, Va. He was referring to the fact that thousands of MRAPS were purchased and fielded in an extremely short amount of time by compared to standard military weapons buys. In the case of the MRAP, which became the DoD's top weapons buying priority late in the last decade, the Pentagon bought designs based on existing technology rather than develop all-new trucks and kept the requirements simple.
This comes a little more than one week after Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that he was cancelling the Marines' EFV, arguing that the craft's rising costs would threaten the entire Marine Corps procurement budget. He directed the amphibious service to find and field a low-cost replacement that could be put into service quickly.
The Corps is reportedly looking to buy a replacement for the EFV that costs less than $12 million each.
Amos said all this while reaffirming the fact the the Corps remains "a maritime Marine Corps . . . inextricably tied to the Navy" and committed to a return to a focus on amphibious operations.