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Posted: 8/26/2006 3:14:26 PM EDT
Just out on InsideDefense.com:

The Marine Corps is planning steep cuts to one of its largest modernization programs -- the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle -- as part of a wider effort to recalibrate its forces to better fight irregular combatants, according to internal Pentagon budget documents.

The cuts are spelled out in a summary of the Marine Corps' new six-year spending plan obtained by InsideDefense.com. The plan also includes “significant changes” to tactical aviation, including purchases of 25 fewer MV-22 tiltrotor Osprey aircraft and 35 fewer Joint Strike Fighter aircraft between fiscal years 2008 and 2013.

The Marine Corps six-year program “has been rebalanced to shift resources from conventional to irregular capabilities and capacities,” states a 10-page executive summary of the service’s program objective memorandum for FY-08 to FY-13.

The Marines need a new Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) to replace the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), but it is not clear that the service can fill all of its future needs with the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) given the system’s high cost. The Marines should seriously consider cutting back the number of EFVs that they plan to purchase from 1000 to between 600 and 700 vehicles. The Marines should instead consider purchasing a mix of EFVs and LAV II vehicles or other similar APCs. While these vehicles are not amphibious, the likelihood of the Marines storming heavily fortified beaches on the scale of WWII remains remote. Instead, the Marines should main tain a sizeable portion of the legacy AAV fleet as a strategic reserve in case there is a need to undertake a substantial amphibious operation.

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Okay I might be out of line critiquing the defence professionals making these decisions, but doesn't it seem to you the services are realigning themselves too much into the counterinsurgency mode? What good is the light equipment if we fight against North Korea or China?

Besides the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (a better armored HUMMVEE replacement), the Marines are also developing the Internally Transportable Vehicle (ITV), which is specifically designed to fit into the narrow MV-22...which they want to buy less of to fund the ITV...

Link Posted: 8/26/2006 3:26:35 PM EDT
Oh, I get it now.... Let's blow ALL the money on R&D and keep the used BTR-70's from the Afghanistan and Iraq. That'll keep the Pentagon happy.
Link Posted: 8/26/2006 3:30:05 PM EDT
The Marine Corps has finally suffered the sort of top-heavy stupidity the other services have had for years. Always seeking some new mission to keep the money coming, and forgetting the very basics, close with and destroy the enemy.
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