Thursday, June 21, 2018

What do we get with the ACV 1.1? Is it worth it?

The decision was made with no fanfare.  No rollout of the vehicle.  No presentation of the ride to the Marine Corps in a formal setting.

Almost in a sigh of relief the Marines selected the BAE/IVECO offering as its new ACV 1.1 (for the love of all that's holy will someone PLEASE rename this thing...ACV 1.1 needs to be abandoned like its an infectious disease!).

But the questions remain.

What do we get with the ACV 1.1?

Is it worth it?

Thinking long and hard I think the answer is simple.  We got a modern APC that is far more comparable to its land counterparts than anything we've ever had in our history.  The addition of a large caliber cannon will give the Marine Corps something that it has NEVER had.

A truly capable infantry fighting vehicle...or rather amphibious infantry fighting vehicle!

But what about its swim capability.  Its no advance over what we have now you say.

To that I say fine.  That's right I'm good with it.  We labored long and hard but can't quite crack the egg.  From my seat the SLED concept looks like the best bet but we'll make do with LCAC for long distance work and I'm still waiting to see what Mullen does with the in-stream launches from various ships.

What many fail to understand is that while the "sea part" is important, the "land part" is just as important and is where the ACV 1.1 will show itself to be yards ahead of the AAV.

Is it worth it though.

Do we get enough with the ACV 1.1 to justify the expense compared to just upgrading the AAV?

I say yes.

Even with the survivability upgrade from my chair the AAV will probably still be inadequate.  You can bet body parts that additional armor will be applied to the ACV 1.1 that will practically transform it into a heavy APC (hopefully that armor will be flotation) but flat bottoms can't get past the IED/anti-vehicle mine.

We all get wrapped around the axle because the current wars are ours.

Ask a vet from WW2, Vietnam or Korea and they'll tell you that in everything from nation state conflicts to insurgencies anti-vehicle mines have been a feature.  Ask a Ukrainian and he'll tell you that along with steel rain the Russians applied generous portions of anti-vehicle mines to the mix.

Long story short?

If we're actually talking about getting ready for a peer/near peer vs peer fight then the Marine Corps really had no choice but to get a more capable APC that will hopefully develop into an IFV.

The BAE/IVECO offering offers the chance of relatively easy and hopefully inexpensive upgrades into the future.


The program has been slow walked. 


The vacillation that we saw with the former Commandant was infuriating beyond description.


It's water speed is no great improvement.

But is it the right vehicle for this time?  Will it give our Corps the kind of armored protection that we need when facing future opponents?  Will this be the most capable Amphibious Combat Vehicle on the planet?

As we sit tonight?


The ACV is worth it.  It sucked getting here but in the end it worked out.

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