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Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:07 pm
Post subject: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

money.cnn.com/news/new...RTUNE5.htm

Marines Not Recommending End Of General Dynamics Amphib Pact

February 22, 2007: 06:54 PM EST

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The U.S. Marines aren't recommending that a big General Dynamics Corp. (GD) amphibious vehicle contract be canceled, even though a new competition is on the table, a Marine Corps spokesman said Thursday.

The Marines are trying to get their multibillion dollar Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle program back on track, after it failed initial testing last year. Last month, program officials said it faced up to three years in redesign work.

Now the Pentagon has asked industry about possible alternate designs for the program. Replies to the "sources sought" notice are due Friday, and could include anything from minor modifications to an entire new vehicle design.

This raises questions about whether General Dynamics will keep the program. Defense Department officials have turned up the heat on General Dynamics in recent weeks - for example, on Feb. 13, Navy Secretary Donald Winter told a House Appropriations Committee panel that the Navy was considering "funding of a second source."

But the Marines say it's too early to throw in the towel on the General Dynamics design.

"We have not made any recommendation to terminate our contracts with General Dynamics," said David Branham, a spokesman for the Marine Corps program office, in a Thursday telephone interview.

The Marine Corps plan calls for buying seven new vehicles over the next two years to build and test improvements to the original design. Industry responses could complement that effort.

"The only thing that we're doing, is we're trying to hear from who's out there that has the requisite expertise to weigh in with capabilities that may be applied to these problems," Branham said.

BAE Systems PLC (BAESY) is the only other major manufacturer of tracked vehicles. Industry observers said BAE might contribute to the redesign effort, but it's unlikely the military would want a completely new alternate design.

"It is not realistic at this point in the history of the EFV program to talk about a new design or a second source," said Lexington Institute defense analyst Loren Thompson. "If the existing amphibious vehicles are not replaced expeditiously, people are going to die."

Defense Department weapons buyers are scheduled to discuss the program next week at a Defense Acquisition Board meeting. That panel will weigh alternatives and possibly settle on a way forward.

General Dynamics spokesman Rob Doolittle said the current EFV design has met most of its performance parameters. The company will continue to work on improvements.

"We are working closely with the marines to achieve the reliability that they desire," Doolittle said.

BAE Systems declined to comment.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

www.dodtechmatch.com/D...7854070032

This announcement constitutes a Sources Sought Synopsis for market research. This is NOT a Request for Proposal. The following information is requested to assist the United States Marine Corps Direct Reporting Program Manager, Advanced Amphibious Assault (DRPM AAA) in conducting market research of industry. The DRPM AAA is seeking source information from industry leaders who develop and produce track combat vehicles that can provide an alternate design concept of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) that will include concept drawings, architecture, design analysis for selected alternate subsystems (Preliminary Design Review level of design completion). A follow-on effort may be requested for a possible detailed alternate design to include design analysis, test results (where applicable) for selected alternate subsystems (Critical Design Review level of design completion). This request is for information only and is intended to identify companies that can devel! op and produce a reliable amphibious capability that is a self-deploying, high-water-speed, amphibious, armored tracked vehicle and is capable of seamlessly transporting Marines from ships located beyond the horizon (approximately 25 nautical miles) to inland objectives. It must provide essential command, control, communications, and intelligence (C4I) functions for embarked personnel and EFV units. The mission of the EFV Program is to field an EFV that will provide the principle means of tactical surface mobility for the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) during both ship-to-objective maneuver and sustained combat operations ashore as part of the Navy and Marine Corps concepts within the Expeditionary Maneuver Warfare (EMW) capstone. The EFV will provide the MAGTF with increased operational tempo, survivability, and lethality throughout the battle space and across all quadrants of conflict. Companies or teams interested in responding to this request should mail the fol! lowing: a statement of the company's professional, technical and other capabilities, facilities and history with this type of development or similar development, the name and telephone number of a company representative that can be contacted, and the company's address. Contractors should submit responses electronically to Robin Kuschel at Kuschelrj @ efv.usmc.mil, no later than 5:00 PM EST on February 23, 2007. Information submitted to DRPM AAA in response to this notice will be treated as subject to the Trade Secrets Act and not generally releasable to the public unless otherwise indicated. It is emphasized this information is for planning and information purposes only and is NOT to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contractual agreement, nor will the Government pay for information solicited. No solicitation exists; therefore, do not request a copy of the solicitation. It is a potential offeror's responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis.
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:37 am
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

Hi Folks!

I think within the last two months or so, I have seen the Gunny do a report on the EFV on Mail Call and last week, or maybe the week before that ex-Navy Seal did a report on Future Weapons.

One of the things that was done on Future Weapons that impressed me was one of the test vehicles was lifted up in the air and the driver retracted the track system. At the front and rear, panels slide out to cover the opening left by the tracks. For the long bottom run, panels mounted flat along the hull bottom folded outward to cover the bottom run. After all the different panels did their thing, the track system was up and out of sight and not dragging in the water.

Both shows gave it glowing reports. I wonder what the problem or problems are?
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:24 am
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

I think the main problem is finding money to pay for anything that won't be used in Iraq.

Ever since Desert Storm I've been wondering how much sense it made to use AAVs for long cross country runs. in ODS I figured 'well it's a one time thing' but then we saw them used on the long run up to Bahgdad in the latest adventure and I kept seeing them used as regular cross country transportation. I wonder what shape they will be in for amphibious use after they have been driven around the desert so much?

I saw part of the Future Weapons segment and found myself wondering how practical a beach landing weapons system is these days. Even with the high speed and longer range I just wonder if the capability would ever be used.

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mike_Duplessis
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:18 am
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

Did anybody see a mention of which design goals weren't met? That's a rather diffuse phrase. It could either refer to seat cover material cracking or the thing refusing to float for more than fifteen minutes. Both of those would be considered a 'failed test'. The U.S. has a longtime history of its reach exceeding its grasp on light vehicle design. Remember aaaaaall those light tank designs to replace Sheridan over the past 25-ish years?
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:24 am
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

- mike_Duplessis
Did anybody see a mention of which design goals weren't met? That's a rather diffuse phrase. It could either refer to seat cover material cracking or the thing refusing to float for more than fifteen minutes. Both of those would be considered a 'failed test'. The U.S. has a longtime history of its reach exceeding its grasp on light vehicle design. Remember aaaaaall those light tank designs to replace Sheridan over the past 25-ish years?


I don't recall the Army (in particular) really seeming to want one very badly....and certainly not enough to divert any funds from anything it wanted more...like Bradley or Abrams. I had the impression that lighter "tanks" (as we understand them) had been pretty much dismissed as irrelevant. Not that I agree with that.
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Cloudy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:23 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

Here's the Gov't Accounting Office's report on the EFV:

www.gao.gov/new.items/d06349.pdf

Do you realize that they currently cost 12 million dollars+ each? Yikes!
After watching the complicated track retraction sequence on "Future Weapons" (first time I ever saw a good view of it), small wonder that they are having hydraulic problems...

Alan
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:31 am
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

I'm sure I read an article where Vickers engineers took a look at the EFV and when they had finished laughing suggested that the whole hydraulic folding nonsense be abandoned in favor of a bolt on box on the front of the vehicle that held an inflatable bottom section. The idea being that once the vehicle entered the water the bottom section was inflated it formed a bow and covered the tracks etc. Then the vehicle commenced its high-speed run into the beach. When it was close enough to the beach the bottom section was then deflated and jettisoned and the EFV finished the run in its normal amphibious mode.

It sounded a more practical idea as the EFV doesn't have to make the high-speed approach everytime its used but I suspect the idea fell foul of the NIH syndrome and, probably the manufacturers profit margin as it could have slashed the cost of the vehicle apparently despite having to fit a new inflatable section each time.

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Cloudy
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:03 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

I sort of expected mechanical arms & legs to be deployed and that the pilot would stand the thing up and stride down the beach into the sea and walk along undetected on the sea bottom Wink
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JimWeb
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:05 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

- Cloudy
I sort of expected mechanical arms & legs to be deployed and that the pilot would stand the thing up and stride down the beach into the sea and walk along undetected on the sea bottom Wink


I think that was the backup irish solution... Laughing

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johnestauffer
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:22 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

I saw some pictures of a 'EFV" like vehicle on that was in development by the PRC that looked much like a clone of the USMC's vehicle (except for the turret)

It does seem that the EFV concept is stretching things a bit.
Why go to the trouble of creating a single service, expensive vehicle?
It would seem more cost effective to focus on more LCAC's or similiar platforms that had more versitility.
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:47 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

- johnestauffer
It does seem that the EFV concept is stretching things a bit.
Why go to the trouble of creating a single service, expensive vehicle?
It would seem more cost effective to focus on more LCAC's or similiar platforms that had more versitility.


I get to watch those from time to time out here where I live and while they kick up a mess o' mist, I see your point.

I saw that "Futureweapons" episode and the one point I thought strange was the emphasis on "over the horizon" approach. I think he kept referencing distances like 20 miles out or so...maybe more, like 25-30. That seems like a long way to be cruising in for the sake of stealth. OK, it's probably less detectable than a low flying CH-46, but a lot slower. I just wonder how sneaky that kind of op really is and how often you'd get to use it in a forced entry kind of scenario? (if you'd even defined that as "forced") Then again, I'm not used to thinking like a Marine. Seems like a lot of water to cross, to me.
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Neil_Baumgardner
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:38 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

I theory thats the advantage, keeps ships out of visual & artillery distance from shore - that way enemy may know the Marines are somewhere over the horizon, but dont know exactly what beach they will hit...

My biggest question about Marine Corps amtracs is the need to carry 2 squads in each. It raises/stresses a lot of the requirements when you have to stuff 20+ guys in the back. Of course just carrying a squad like other APCs / IFVs means a lot more vehicles you have to buy... But you know, there is a reason why armies dont go around in vehicles like M59s and M75s...

Way back in the 80s United Defense offered an amphib version of the Bradley...

Neil
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Doug_Kibbey
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:53 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

- Neil_Baumgardner
I theory thats the advantage, keeps ships out of visual & artillery distance from shore - that way enemy may know the Marines are somewhere over the horizon, but dont know exactly what beach they will hit...
Neil


Yeah, I recognized the advantage of keeping 'em guessing, though there are now missiles that'll reach out that far. Still, 30-45 minutes or so to reach the beach?
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Cloudy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:40 pm
Post subject: Re: Marine Corps looking for EFV alternatives...

Marine squads are larger than Army squads - as I recall around 13 men. Transporting more men per vehicle is probably more efficient when it comes to storing the vehicles aboard ship. I wonder how they would be used? Suppress the defenses with Marine air assets and advertise that the Marines will soon be landing , send in the EFV's with no softening up from over the horizon in a "stealth" attack with CAS timed to arrive as they hit the beach or no CAS until called to avoid radar detection of the assault force?
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