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Friday, March 4, 2011

USMC Issues Flurry Of Requests In Wake Of EFV

With the cancellation of its amphibious Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), the U.S. Marine Corps has released several requests for information (RFIs) looking for industry proposals to meet its future amphibious needs.
Instead of buying EFVs, the Marines have issued RFIs to upgrade their existing AAV7A1 amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs) and create a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) that would work alongside the AAV on land. The Corps has instructed industry that it is only looking for “mature” proposals that require little development.
In the near term, the Marines are looking to upgrade the entire AAV flee t— 1,057 vehicles — in 4-6 years. But Ann Hoholick, vice president of new vehicles and amphibious systems for AAV maker BAE Systems, says the company “could probably do that [upgrade] sooner” if the Marines were interested.
While BAE is pitching the upgrade to the AAV, it also plans to bid on the follow-on to the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the ACV. Hoholick says the company is in the early stages of putting together its package.
For the AAV, the company has a survivability upgrade concept, as well as improvements to its land mobility with a new power pack and suspension design. The vehicle will be able to increase water speed by about 40%, Hoholick says. However, this would still not enable “the high-speed requirement that the EFV program has,” she notes.
With the addition of a cooling system and a 25- or 30-mm remote weapons station, Hoholick says the new vehicle would weigh an additional 10,000 lb., though with the new power pack — or a new engine that the company is prepared to install — no speed or maneuverability would be lost.
The deadline for responding to the AAV RFI is March 4; responses to the ACV and MPC requests are due April 22.

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