Amos expects to issue ACV RFP soon

Marine Corps Commandant plans to brief the SecNav on the program before taking the next step toward replacing the Amphibious Assault Vehicle.

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos told a group of reporters to expect his service to issue a request for proposals for the Amphibious Combat Vehicle in the next couple months, according to a Defense News report.

The Marine Corps’ top modernization priority, Amos plans to brief Navy Secretary Ray Mabus with the results of a “deep dive” study that Amos ordered on the program. The Marine Corps finished the Analysis of Alternatives study in June 2012. The additional study gave Marine acquisition officials more time to review the amphibious tractor’s requirements.

“I think all of this is going to happen over the next couple of months because we’re anxious to get money in the budget that we’re working on right now, the [2015] budget,” Amos said Monday according to Defense News. “We’ve got [the money], so we just want to keep it there.”

The Amphibious Combat Vehicle is the program stood up by the Marine Corps following the cancellation of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle in 2011. Better known as the ACV, Marine officials plan to build it to replace the Amphibious Assault Vehicle.

Amos understands that the Marine Corps must solidify their case for the ACV when it is presented to Congress. He has made sure Marine officials have reviewed requirements and found ways to shrink its price tag.

“We’re going to get one opportunity to do this right,” Amos said this summer. “I want to make sure when we go to Congress with the requirement that Congress looks at it and says it makes complete sense to me and I fully support it. I feel like we are right where we need to be.”

Amos said in August that he’s placed the service’s top engineers and budgeteers to hold cost trade offs to find ways to save money on the program. He made sure to emphasize that the Marines don’t need the “Cadillac” of amphibious tractors. He wants something the Corps and the Defense Department can afford.

A major issue for the ACV, and one that complicated the EFV, was how far the tractor can travel from ship to shore and how fast. A higher speed tractor that can travel above the waves comes with a higher price tag, one the Corps might not be able to afford.

“[The scientists] have been getting into the physics of fluid dynamics. How fast a vehicle can go before you have to have a planing vehicle. How big a motor you have to have. What’s the cost tradeoffs. They’ve been working on that for a little over a year-and-a-half,” Amos said last August.