Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Marine Corps approves the AAV Survivability Upgrade for production...AND does a preemptive strike against critics!

via USNI News.
The Marine Corps approved the Amphibious Assault Vehicle Survivability Upgrade (AAV-SU) program to begin low-rate initial production (LRIP), with the program executive officer for land systems signing a Milestone C decision on Aug. 17 and the program manager awarding SAIC funding for 21 vehicles Tuesday, Advanced Amphibious Assault Program Manager Col. Wendell Leimbach told USNI News yesterday.
SAIC delivered its first of 10 engineering and manufacturing development vehicles in March 2016, and the Marine Corps has spent the last year and a half putting these vehicles through developmental tests and operational assessments to ensure they meet all the criteria for “making the vehicle relevant to the modern battlefield.” Those upgrades – which SAIC performed on legacy AAVs that first went into production 45 years ago – include enhanced survivability through added armor and blast-mitigating seats, and an improved engine and suspension to allow equal mobility as the legacy AAVs despite the added weight.

Developmental testing took place at Aberdeen Test Center in Maryland and the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch (AVTB) at Camp Pendleton, and the operational assessment took place at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and AVTB.

Throughout the testing, which wrapped up in June, the program office learned a lot of lessons that were fed back into the design. For example, Leimbach said, adding new survivability features into a fixed vehicle hull size “constrained the internal volume” of the vehicle.
Story here. 

A year and a half?  To test an upgrade to a vehicle we've had in service for almost 50 years?

I guess the good news is that they're finally getting it done.  The bad is that this is entirely too long.

To be blunt, they're full of shit.

No way in hell it should take that long to test a vehicle and decide whether it meets specs.

That part of the story I highlighted?  Consider that a preemptive strike against the critics (like me) that are pounding the table saying this is taking too long and is too slow.

The real problem?  I'm just a blogger.  Why isn't some Marine General, Colonel or SgtMajor in the GCE saying enough is enough?  If the Commandant no longer represents the GCE then who does?  Consider this exhibit number one on why the Marine Corps Ground Combat Element needs an advocate at the Deputy Commandant level just like the Wing and Logistics.

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