Tuesday, December 01, 2015

STKinetics amphibious combat vehicle entry becomes the new Terrex 2.

This is beyond interesting.

Before the Marine Corps changed the Marine Personnel Carrier into the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, we were basically looking at inland waterway "amphibiosity".  With the revamping of the contest to the ACV, swimming from ship to shore was now desirable...not necessary, but indeed desirable and manufacturers wouldn't be penalized for exceeding requirements.

Meanwhile STKinetics entered the "old" Terrex 2.  It was a product improved version of the Terrex 1.  Better suspension, horsepower....extremely impressive electronics and "adequate" swim.  It could cross rivers but taking it from ship to shore was out of the question.

But then STKinetics did what I thought was a bold move.  They reskinned the vehicle to improve its hydrodynamic performance and rechristened it the "new" Terrex 2.

How good was the vehicle?  Good enough to knock Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics out of the running...and putting them in a face to face with BAE/Iveco with their SuperAV.

Do I think they'll win? No.  BAE/Iveco will NOT be undersold...from reading between the lines I think they've labeled this a must win contest and while STKinetics has the support of the Singapore govt (along with BAE/Iveco they're the only company to have actually swam their vehicle from ship to shore from amphibious assault ships or so I've been told) so will BAE/Iveco (sources tell me that the Italian govt is extremely interested in this contest).

So if I still think that the SuperAV is the right vehicle for the Marine ACV contest, why am I so excited about the Terrex 2?  Easy!  This is a positive move toward having real integration among allied Marine Corps in the Pacific.  I think the Terrex 2 will win sales.  I think it will be bought by Marine Corps across the world (and they'll probably be competing against the SuperAV) and with its future sales we'll see real integration.

Flying off each others warships isn't integration that really counts.  What counts is being able to maneuver from ship to shore and then onto the objective without pause....to be able to get a Marine onto a piece of land and have him hold ground (or continue).

This could be a turning point for allied Marine Corps.  Instead of being naval infantry that gets off their landing craft at the beach and then marching inland, they'll be fully mechanized and can keep up with the USMC.  That will be different.  That will be real transformation in partnerships.

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