Friday, April 08, 2016
Confirmed. Japan is buying NEW BUILD AAVs.
We had a short debate on whether the AAVs that the Japanese are procuring are new or rebuilt. I thought the press release was clear. That the Japanese were buying new vehicles fresh off the production floor. Others disagreed and insisted that they were taken from USMC stocks and rebuilt versions.
A quick e-mail to BAE Press Relations (good people!) provided the answer we were looking for.
These are indeed new build vehicles. But that does lead to other questions that I wasn't about to go into (at least not yet)...it isn't widely known but BAE has offered the USMC a variety of upgrades to the AAV. They range from massively increased horsepower, firepower enhancements and even different hull forms so that it performs better in the water.
The USMC shot down every offer. But what about the Japanese? I won't push my luck and ask for specifics on the Japanese AAV, but the takeaway is obvious. We could be looking at the Japanese operating the most advanced AAVs in existence. I fully expect these new AAVs to be faster on land and in the water and possibly to have an upgraded weapons package.
Do you believe me now when I say that the USMC needs a credible armored vehicle road map ASAP?