via Marine Corps Times
The Marine Corps' light armored vehicles qualify for antique license plates in most states, but the service is planning to upgrade half the fleet and keep them in service until 2035 while it searches for a next-generation replacement.And this.
It’s not a best-case scenario, officials said, but it is the best option as the Corps tries to find money to replace old vehicles and implement new technologies.
Koch doesn’t expect any leap-ahead vehicle technology in the coming decades. That means the next-generation vehicle may closely resemble the upgraded LAV. What he is looking for is “a good base vehicle with plenty of growth margin” that has sufficient maneuverability, protection, and lethality. The key is the ability to easily and incrementally add new technologies as they mature.Thankfully most Marine Officer don't become either stupid or batshit crazy till they start seeing stars on their collars. One Marine Major quoted in the story has his feet planted firmly on the ground without being awestruck by the latest "gee whiz" gadgetry the think tanks are promoting.
“This is not merely a reconnaissance and surveillance asset. It possesses the organic ability to grab the enemy by the collar and punch them in the face in order to get information,” Koch said. “We’re going to have to improve the organic lethality, both direct and indirect fires. We think we will be doing that in a broader and more complex battle space. The ranges and capabilities and capacities will be stretched beyond what we currently treat as normal.”
Koch spoke of expanded network capability, the need for more effective sensors, and the ability to counter unmanned air and ground systems. Topping Walsh’s list was more signals intelligence and longer range fires. Both spoke of organic electronic warfare, and a greater use of unmanned assets to extend the battlespace.
“What we see in the future is these scouts launching an unmanned system off their vehicle,” the three-star said. “That UAS is out there scouting, and could be scouting autonomously to search a designated area for specific silhouettes. It may be programmed to report such findings, or pre-approved to attack.”
“Something that is survivable and reliable is good enough,” he said. “We’ve benefitted from not requiring contractor support to run and operate this system. I generally agree with a modular platform, as long as it doesn’t require extensive contractor support and crazy training.”The big picture that is coming into focus is rather stark. The USMC is basically taking another 20 year holiday when it comes to recapitalizing its ground forces.
While his Marines have used the Raven UAS with great results, he said such benefits should never come at the expense of having eyes on the objective.
The major said a new LAV should maintain the ability to maneuver water obstacles, commonly called its swim capability. If possible, he would like to see lighter and scalable armor. Increased weight has not been a problem, but is a consideration in amphibious delivery and combat maneuver. Simply put, “mobility is central to our platform.”
If it ain't the wing then it ain't getting money.
So whats the list of vehicles that the Marine Corps will be operating in 2020 that are 40 years or older in their basic design? The M1A1 (assuming they're not completely cut which I expect), LAV-A2, AAV, Humvee (it'll still be around they're not all being replaced by the JLTV) and weirdly enough the MTVR will be close to joining that group.
What new vehicles have we seen bought recently? New Fire Trucks for the wing and new logistics vehicles to handle offloading the CH-53K.
This story proves I was right. The Marine Corps is taking a drastic turn toward aviation at the expense of its ground combat power.