14 PDF pages
On January 6, 2011, after spending approximately $3 billion in developmental funding, the Marine Corps cancelled the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program due to poor reliability demonstrated during operational testing and excessive cost growth. Because the EFV was intended to replace the 40-year-old Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), the Pentagon pledged to move quickly to develop a “more affordable and sustainable” vehicle to replace the EFV.
The Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) is intended to replace the AAV, incorporating some EFV capabilities but in a more practical and cost-efficient manner. In concert with the ACV, the Marines were developing the Marine Personnel Carrier (MPC) to serve as a survivable and mobile platform to transport Marines when ashore. The MPC was not intended to be amphibious like an AAV, EFV, or the ACV but instead would be required to have a swim capability for inland waterways such as rivers, lakes, and other water obstacles such as shore-to-shore operations in the littorals. Both vehicles are intended to play a central role in future Marine amphibious operations.
On June 14, 2013, Marine leadership put the MPC program “on ice” due to budgetary pressures but suggested the program might be resurrected some 10 years down the road when budgetary resources might be more favorable.
In what was described as a “drastic shift,” the Marines decided to “resurrect” the MPC in March 2014. The Marines designated the MPC as ACV Increment 1.1 and planned to acquire about 200 vehicles. The Marines also plan to develop ACV Increment 1.2, a tracked, fully amphibious version, and to acquire about 470 vehicles and fund an ongoing high water speed study. Although ACV Increment 1.1 will have a swim capability, a “connector” will be required to get the vehicles from ship to shore.
On November 5, 2014, it was reported the Marines released a draft Request for Proposal (RFP) for ACV Increment 1.1. The Marines are looking for information from industry regarding program milestones, delivery schedules, and where in the program cost savings can be achieved.
Recent reports suggest the final RFP will be issued in late March 2015 and proposals would be due in April 2016. The Marines reportedly plan to award two Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) contracts for 16 vehicles, each to be delivered in November 2016. In 2018, the Marines would then down select to one vendor in 2018 and start full production.
The Administration’s FY2016 Budget Request for the ACV is $219.1 million in Research, Development, Testing and Evaluation (RDT&E) funding.
A potential issue for Congress is the Marines’ new MPC/ACV acquisition strategy and its associated challenges and risks. This report will be updated.
As the CRS does not make its reports public, this report si hosted by the Federation of American Scientists on its own website.