Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ground Combat Element is getting love!

Just a quick update.

This is relatively new for me, but despite my continued annoyance with the pace, cost and utility of the F-35, the groundside is finally getting a bit of love.

What have we seen in the past week?

We're finally seeing a PROPER internally carried vehicle (HQMC is calling it a utility vehicle but the writing is on the wall) for the MV-22 come online.  I expect the number of roles to increase with its introduction and I fully expect it to replace the current Growler within a couple of years.

Additionally I expect this rig to be used by MARSOC, Force Recon, Recon, ANGLICO, Sniper Plt and of course the MEU air company.

Consider this a case of a good idea being adopted quickly.

We saw this pic of the AAV-SU on float during a certification exercise for a MEU before deployment.  Lots of good here.  Increased ride height, increased armor protection, increased horsepower...the only thing missing was improved lethality (easily solved by buying and trialing a couple of turrets from MOOG).

I hope we get to see video of this beast when it gets wet and I'd love to see how it performs in the water compared to the standard model.  Supposedly its regained some buoyancy lost in previous upgrades so this should be a solid bridge vehicle to the future.

BAE/Iveco ACV is being delivered ahead of schedule and the Program Office says that ST Kinetics/SAIC will have their rig delivered soon (as a matter of fact it should already be in the hands of Marines as I write this).

I vacillate on whether or not this is the right way to go, but HQMC seems sure (well sorta sure...they're not going with a full buy right now and still doing development in increments hence the 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 2.0 that are programmed) and testing is moving forward.

While I consider a year of testing unnecessarily long it could be said that considering the average lifespan of a Marine landing vehicle tracked (or in this case wheeled) then we could be living with this puppy for 30-40 years before a replacement arrives.

This does provide an interesting question and one that Amos MIGHT have been right about (you have no idea how much it pains me to say that).  Are ship to shore connectors what we should focus the speed aspect on and do an instream launch at what are now standard distances from the beach?  If that is the solution then the ACV family will be the standard bearer into the future.

That makes the next gen LCU more important than ever.

Other things that show the groundside is finally getting a bit of love?  We did a blogpost here about the Marine Corps seeking to stockpile artillery shells, rockets and missiles.

And last but not least Gunner Wade is putting out a few vids that are taking the shooting community by storm.  Good stuff.  War stuff.  It is so refreshing to see a Marine talking about Marine shit.

All in all are we seeing a reawakening of the Marine Corps way?  Has that small group of high ranking SNCO's and Mid Grade Officers that call themselves the "Insurgents" finally got thru to the leadership (they'll remain unnamed until they reach 1st Sgt/SgtMajor and Colonel/General level)?  One can only hope!

Update!  More sauce for the goose.  KitUP! is reporting that Marines will now be issued ECH's for training as well as deployment.  ECH's for all!  Pretty damn awesome, about damn time and pretty fucking "Marine type thinking" with regard to procurement priorities!  Story here.

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