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BAE Systems Will Make Marines' New Wheeled Amphibious Combat Vehicle

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  • BAE Systems Will Make Marines' New Wheeled Amphibious Combat Vehicle

    https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/201...t-vehicle.html

    After almost three years of testing, the Corps announced it will award several contract options, worth up to $198 million, to BAE to build 30 low-rate production ACV 1.1 vehicles, John Garner, Program Executive Officer for Land Systems Marine Corps, told defense reporters.
    Any metaphor will tear if stretched over too much reality.

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  • #2
    I still think the Marines needs tracks instead of wheels. Once they get on the beach there will be places those wheels can't go.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
      I still think the Marines needs tracks instead of wheels. Once they get on the beach there will be places those wheels can't go.

      Pruitt
      I'm with Pruitt the Marines need a tracked ACV given that not all beaches aren't always going to be Sandy. Tires and coral don't mix coral will turn rubber tires into swiss cheese. Let's not forget that tracked vehicles have better off road have better off road performance. So I say let developed a tracked version of the ACV.

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      • #4
        Point taken on tracked capabilities. OTOH, riding an amphibious tractor across a coral reef is the least likely thing that a 21st Century Marine will ever have to do.
        "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Merkava188 View Post
          I'm with Pruitt the Marines need a tracked ACV given that not all beaches aren't always going to be Sandy. Tires and coral don't mix coral will turn rubber tires into swiss cheese. Let's not forget that tracked vehicles have better off road have better off road performance. So I say let developed a tracked version of the ACV.
          I suspect that those tyres will contain very little, if any, rubber
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            I would agree on that statement.

            As for the wheels versus tracks, I've always been on the tracks side, but wheels are more easily fixed in the field, most wheeled vehicles can lose one or more and continue to function, and the ground clearance tends to give a bit better mine protection in addition to road speed and maintenance improvements. Tracks are supreme on soft ground, but I can see why they might not be considered completely necessary.

            I've seen where there's a possible sea change in the services, with the Marines going back to their roots of small wars, and the Army being pulled out of the 'insurgent' game in large part to focus more heavily on major combat operations. And I think that is a good plan, vis a vis division of effort. For better or worse, amphibious assault is only slightly more viable than paratroopers.....against a well prepared adversary you need to heavily suppress them and reduce them before launching the attack..
            Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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            • #7
              When did a Marine first ride an amphibious tractor across a coral reef? 1943? When was the last time? 1945? That means there was a Marine Corps for 168 years before that happened and there has been a Marine Corps for 73 years since that happened.

              And think about this: if WWII were re-fought today, the Central Pacific island hopping campaign would not be necessary because with today's aircraft there would be no requirement to incrementally creep to within bombing range of Japan.

              OTOH, think about having to re-fight other historic Marine operations like Montezuma or Tripoli. How useful would a wheeled vehicle be in those situations?

              I suspect the wheeled vehicle may well prove the superior choice for most anticipated operations in the 21st Century.
              Last edited by KRJ; 25 Jun 18, 22:53.
              "Shoot for the epaulets, boys! Shoot for the epaulets!" - Daniel Morgan

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              • #8
                I tend to agree with you. Tracked vehicles have some advantages, principally crossing soft ground, carrying heavy armor loads, and being stable platforms for heavy weapons. The Corps, especially if it's redefined as the US's primary force for counter-insurgency warfare (which was its job up through WWI and even into WWII (WWI was initially an exception, WWII made it the rule), has little need for heavy weapons platforms. I think it's telling that the Russians learning from Chechnya started putting middling autocannons on older tank platforms to make specialized counter-insurgency vehicles.

                Continuing along the lines of the Corps returning to its roots, things like the Barbary campaign, or the Haiti operations, or the Banana Wars, those were the Corps primary role. The Corps was an organization that was small, relatively self-contained, could operate without the necessary largesse of the Army logistics train, and could run a counterinsurgency for decades without the public profile of deploying major Army formations. The Corps were also called 'State Department Troops', especially back in the days where the President expected to get a declaration of war before deploying the Army but equally expected to be able to put a Marine Battalion on a problem independent of Congress.

                I think the division of labor, partly disassembled in the necessary expansions of WWII, and completely Effed up in Vietnam, needs to be re-established. Insurgency problem, send in the Marines, they're professional counter-insurgents who expect to be rotated in and out of the hot spot for 2-3 decades (which is how long it takes to do a counter-insurgency right). Things are at a point where you need true mechanized infantry and armored cavalry, get Congress involved and deploy the Army. Amphibious capability is desirable, as it adds an additional element to road-bound and heliborne type incursions. For example in Somalia the Marines deployed assets amphibiously, and doing so tends to get a decent chunk of combat power ashore immediately, power that can be used to secure an airfield or port for the necessary follow-on operations.

                With that division of labor in mind, the most powerful asset the Marines need is a decent Infantry fighting vehicle. And I think that the following are some good criteria for it (without even looking at BAE's offering, so we shall see how close I get).

                Armor protection against HMGs and man-portable anti-tank weapons.

                Mine/IED resistant

                Low Maintenance, Easily Repaired in country without the necessity of large shops (IOW no mega-FOBs needed).

                Can carry-deploy a squad or fire-team + on mounted patrol or QRF

                Armed with a light cannon for dealing with improvised armor and low-mid IFV threats as well as supporting fires against insurgents

                Armed with an ATGM for defense against armored threats

                Armed with an MG for supporting fires

                Amphibious for getting onto shore when necessary and maneuvering in riverine/delta environments.

                With those qualities in mind, I don't see where a tracked vehicle is necessitated, and I see where a wheeled vehicle is more easily repaired in the field and tends to have better anti-IED qualities due to increased ground clearance.
                Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                • #9
                  In the last twenty years each Marine Division has had enough assets to create a Brigade for Mechanized warfare. There was an Armor Battalion, a Amphibious Tractor Battalion and a LAV Battalion carrying a Leg Battalion. The rest of the Division was hauled around on trucks or by Helicopter. You could have as many as six Infantry Battalions walking at a time as well. The Amphibious Tractor Vehicle would carry more than a Squad and less than a Platoon. In places of long term service like Iraq and Afghanistan there were MRAPs and other vehicles available to use. It was not hard to use the Division Helicopters for other duties.

                  I for one don't like the idea of replacing the Tractors with a more robust LAV. The LAV is vulnerable to antitank mines, missiles, IED's and suicide bombers.

                  Pruitt
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                    In the last twenty years each Marine Division has had enough assets to create a Brigade for Mechanized warfare. There was an Armor Battalion, a Amphibious Tractor Battalion and a LAV Battalion carrying a Leg Battalion. The rest of the Division was hauled around on trucks or by Helicopter. You could have as many as six Infantry Battalions walking at a time as well. The Amphibious Tractor Vehicle would carry more than a Squad and less than a Platoon. In places of long term service like Iraq and Afghanistan there were MRAPs and other vehicles available to use. It was not hard to use the Division Helicopters for other duties.

                    I for one don't like the idea of replacing the Tractors with a more robust LAV. The LAV is vulnerable to antitank mines, missiles, IED's and suicide bombers.

                    Pruitt
                    If one has to use one's marines in theatres like Iraq and Afghanistan then something is seriously awry - that's not where amphibious troops are intended for
                    Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                    Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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                    • #11
                      Regarding wheels vs tracks.....

                      What do you think of this video from Facebook?

                      Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

                      "Aim small, miss small."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MarkV View Post

                        If one has to use one's marines in theatres like Iraq and Afghanistan then something is seriously awry - that's not where amphibious troops are intended for
                        The Marines always get into whatever war we have.

                        Pruitt
                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, in any major war, all services are involved.

                          The Coast Guard is involved.

                          But does the Coast Guard lose sight of what its real job is just because they escort convoys in wartime?

                          To quote Jeff Goldbum: "We spent so long wondering if we could, we never asked the question if we should"

                          Let's go to back to WWI:

                          The Marines got considered to be a very high-end service by our allies and by our adversaries. I would liken this to the same reason that the BEF was considered top-shelf in 1914. The Corps was a small (proportionately) unit with a relatively high number of long-service professionals with previous combat experiences, and also due to size had more time to train new enlistees (most or all volunteers as well). It's not a slight against the Army, just the reality of the situation that the Corps had more experience going into WWI and thus within the scale of its manpower performed better proportionately, just as the BEF in 1914 was fracking amazing initially until its experienced men got snapped up as cadre or killed off. The Army, meanwhile, was stuck with the unenviable (from a professional standpoint) job of taking a small army and guard and making it ginormous overnight.....the equivalent of saying that you want to draft civilians enough to make 10 airborne divisions and telling the 82nd to make it happen.....quality will suffer due to quantity demands and there's no way around it as all your experience is diluted to the point that prior-service privates are now platoon sergeants and your NCO cadre is all scrambled either into training, senior NCOs of the various units, or even made into officers in the sheer desperation to fill billets.

                          The Corps had this experience because the Corps had for all practical purposes been in one conflict or another each generation since its founding, Marines got into firefights and rare was the career Marine who hadn't at least seen the elephant to some degree. And because the Corps remained small. And equally importantly because the Corps were the quiet professionals who just did their job and got good at it. Unfortunately WWI gave the Corps a taste for fame and fortune, which I see as overall to their detriment in some ways, to their credit in others.

                          Interwar, the Corps put a lot of serious work into amphibious ops. This did have bearing on their primary (historically) purpose of small wars, and made sense considering that they're naval troops.

                          WWII happened. The Marines got 'ginormous' as well, and I would argue that quality dropped a bit due to that. It also proved a few things.
                          1) Given time to prepare, the Army could do an amphibious op, a big one.
                          2) Marines could do a LOT of amphibious ops, smaller ones, in a row.

                          So maybe the Corps was better at ship to shore and maybe they weren't. There's not a good way to compare, since the only wholly Army Amphib I know of was Normandy, and it was on a far greater scale and with far more planning time and effort than any of the Pacific Amphibs, having a bloody 4 star general running it and the greatest single-minded effort ever put into action by any nation ever for a single operation.

                          Taking in all of this, I would say the following as a future direction for the Corps, a division of labor, and a base on which equipment should be procured.

                          1) The Corps should take over counterinsurgency alongside SOCOM, full stop. Conversely the Army should prepare, train, and procure for major combat operations. I'm not saying the Army is incapable of COIN, just like I'm not saying Marines are incapable of major combat ops. But duplication of effort is duplication. Perfecting one is to be mediocre at another, and we are seeing this in the US, the UK, and other nations as all the efforts and procurement towards COIN over the last decade and a half has left readiness for a major war at a low.

                          2) The Corps doesn't need to be 3 Corps, which is basically what a MEF/MAW/MLG is. The Corps should downsize to 3 Divisional-ish-size units of MEB+/MAW/MLG. When you have a large stick, you tend to want to use it for large things. When you have a smaller stick you tend to not use it for big things. The Corps should be of a size to maintain a single large COIN operation (Afghanistan-ish) indefinitely, or several small COIN operations indefinitely.

                          3) Some are going to scream that that makes the Corps not viable and the Army would have them done away with. I argue that the opposite is true. The Army considers the Corps to be a budgetary threat as it currently stands, and the Army can argue with conviction that the Corps has duplication of their efforts. COIN operations involve a high level of national endurance, and war-weariness is typically what causes us to lose them. That's caused by large unit deployments, arguments about war footing, the guard being called up, and so on. The solution that has worked in the past is when the operation is run by a small quiet service. I would argue that the Corps is ideally placed to do so, just as it was in the past. A Corps of virtually all active-duty professionals can be kept on a war footing nearly indefinitely without the sort of exhaustion that comes with calling up guard and reserve units. And the Corps being smaller can (as it used to) be 'state department troops', operating on small things that simply don't need the attention of Big Army, or the constant attention of Congress. We've been in small undeclared wars dozens of times, the only ones that tend to become national issues are the ones that drew the Army in, since the Army tends to bring with it an appearance of 'War', while the Corps was the original 'peacekeepers and COIN' force under command of the President. Thus returning the Corps to its true roots would give us that ability, and the Corps would retain its service-level status because it fights the little dirty 'non-wars' while the Army gets ready for the balloon to go up.

                          4) In line with that, the Corps can focus on procurement towards assets that are more towards those goals. Amphibious and heliborne capabilities are still required, as there are many many places that need them. But tanks are probably a no, for instance, as if we're getting into something where the enemy has quite a lot of tanks, then we're probably into something that's a major combat operation. A family of good, low maintenance IFVs that are amphibious would be the ideal family of vehicles to acquire for the ground forces of a Corps focused on COIN operations, alongside a family of low maintenance light armored transportation vehicles (like MRAPs and such but maybe not so god-awful awkward).
                          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
                            Regarding wheels vs tracks.....

                            What do you think of this video from Facebook?

                            Very interesting. But I see that as a cool setup that's going to get blown off and then just be an expensive repair. From a technical standpoint it's really neat though.
                            Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cheetah772 View Post
                              Regarding wheels vs tracks.....

                              What do you think of this video from Facebook?

                              A very similar concept was proposed in WW1 by British inventors and rejected on the grounds that it was very prone to being clogged with mud and not able to stand up to the rigours of long term use.- too many moving parts. Current views seem to favour tyres involving graphene which would be highly resitant to sharp objects, shell splinters, small arms fire etc etc.
                              Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                              Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                              Comment

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