Thursday, February 1, 2018

Amphibious Assault Vehicle - Survivability Upgrade

The venerable Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) is undergoing a Survivability Upgrade (AAV-SU) while development of the Amphibious Combat Vehicle is proceeding.  The current plan is to upgrade 396 AAVs to the AAV-SU standard.

From the SAIC product brochure (1), upgrades include,

  • integral aluminum underbody and crew compartment armor
  • buoyant, ceramic-composite flank and roof armor
  • integrated spall liner
  • individual blast-resistant seats
  • upgraded engine with increased horsepower and torque
  • new, electronically-controlled transmission and Power Takeoff (PTO)
  • new axial-flow water jets
  • external fuel tanks
  • upgraded vehicle controls and driver interfaces


Initial Operational Capability (IOC) is planned for 2019 with Full Operational Capability (FOC) following in 2023.

So, how is the project coming?  There’s some good and some bad.  Let’s take a quick look at the DOT&E 2017 Annual Report.

  • Test units demonstrated desert and littoral operability – not exactly a surprise as the legacy AAV could already do that.

  • Reliability is an issue with Mean Time Between Operational Mission Failures at 10.7 hrs versus the required 25 hrs.

  • The transmission rapidly overheats when the vehicle’s tracks are used for swimming.

  • The transmission operation requires the vehicle to slow and pause during the transition from sea to shore creating a vulnerability during a critical moment.

  • The braking system is subject to a condition that can cause loss of hydraulic power and lock the brakes which necessitates remedial action that takes place outside the vehicle – undesirable in combat!

  • The vehicle was able to accommodate 17 troops.

  • The troop commander could not egress with the troops, instead having to egress out a top-side hatch and then down the side.

  • The AAV-SU median egress time was 29 seconds, which exceeds the user requirement of 18 seconds.

  • The vehicle met its force protection requirements.


Here’s an interesting recommendation from the DOT&E,

Reduce the troop capacity threshold …”

The legacy AAV supposedly carries 21-25 Marines, depending on the source.  Whether that’s true in practice, I don’t know but derating the AAV to 17 with a recommendation to further reduce that capacity is noteworthy.

In short, the survivability upgrade has some problems but nothing that appears unfixable in a reasonable time frame.

The biggest negative would seem to be the time frame for the project.  Five to six more years to get a relatively simple upgrade to full operational capability seems excessive.

There’s no particular point to this post – just informational. 


(1)SAIC product brochure, “Assault Amphibious Vehicle Survivability Upgrade”,


  1. Really??? A New engine and transmission and you don't test that under load until DT and OT?

    I left SysCom in 1994 and they didn't know much then about acquisition, but it certainly looks like they forgot what little they DID know. Like you have to have a robust test program.

    1. "you have to have a robust test program."

      Unfortunately, the military today views testing as an impediment to acquisition and does all they can to avoid or minimize testing.

      Rather than viewing testing as a golden opportunity to find and fix flaws before combat, the military views testing as a possible embarrassment and a threat to funding if problems are found.

    2. And not just a robust test program on the equipment but the whole operation

      So that would include tests of modern day AAV with less personnel and equipment and seeing how that effects the amphibious assault. What are they giving up, the guy who carries the extra machine gun ammo is not important until the machine gun starts running out of ammo. Will the corpsman have to stay behind on the ship. How about mortar ammo. Etc etc

      This is similar to the LCS where they not only did not test equipment first but the whole minimal manning was a top down effort with little or no testing if a ship could operate with that many fewer personnel

    3. "the whole operation"

      Excellent and astute comment. A pressing need, for sure.

      Care to speculate a bit? How could an overall test of the amphibious assault be conducted to evaluate the changes to the AAV without breaking the bank? Any ideas?

    4. "A New engine and transmission and you don't test that under load until DT and OT?"

      Kind of like the LCS MCM testing where no one thought to test whether the helo could even tow the MCM load safely until they were deep, deep into the development program. Should have been a day-one test.

    5. """"Care to speculate a bit?"""

      It would depend a bit on how realistic their present exercises are.

      But if they are pretty realistic then just take the present AAV and limit how many troops and how much equipment is put onboard and then run the exercise and see if there are shortages of men or equipment which affects performance f the unit and overall exercise

      If present exercises are not very realistic then that needs to be fixed first.

    6. Do you think this could be simply table-topped? If we know how many men and pieces of equipment we need now, would we be able to just simply evaluate how many the reductions, if any, would impact the operation?

      To the best of my knowledge, we don't actually conduct assault exercises in the sense of an entire opposed landing by a peer. At the most, we conduct an unrealistic "landing" and then might have a unit try to seize a single building with minimal opposition. We do not, for example, have a peer opposing force shell, rocket, and bombard the landing force or have a peer enemy air force apply their own close air support against us.

      In some of the aviation training, we do have the pilots fight an opposing force but I've never heard of that for any amphibious exercise.

    7. BLUF: Troop carrying capacity is a sore point because I think the USMC is trying to put too many troops in its amphibians, V-22, and helicopters.

      The right way to determine the troop capacity requirement is to experiment with optimal organizations for maneuver formations and then design the vehicles required to deliver the combat force.

      The Army essentially did the reverse and organized its squads to fit into black hawk helicopters and Bradley IFVs. Silly, but not stupid given physical realities of vehicles as we see below.

      The USMC 17-man requirement is based on the requirement to lift a reinforced rifle squad, that is 13-riflemen plus a 3-man machinegun team, or a mortar crew, or other attached unit so the combat force is spread as evenly as possible across the assault force.

      The problem when you start building expensive AFVs is that the physical demands of accommodating much more than 8-men in an AFV become formidable. AFV width is constrained in size by railroads (transportation) and to a lesser extent roads and bridges, and once you set the vehicle width, you essentially constrain the overall vehicle dimensions, particularly with tracked vehicles, otherwise you will experience steering issues, and other problems like a tendency to throw tracks.

      Requiring an AFV to carry 17-riflemen is an unrealistic requirement given current technology. The Army found out how unrealistic it was to provide MBT level protection to mechanized infantry in its GCV program, which at one point contemplated a 90-ton vehicle! To drive the point home, a quick look at APCs, HAPCs, and IFVs will reveal that most AFV designs seem focused on carrying ~8-men, to provide acceptable protection and mobility.
      Messing around with troop capacity likely means: 1) more vehicles and more expense, increased logistics demands, and 3) a revision in USMC infantry organization, which would be traumatic.


    8. As a non-expert in land combat and armored vehicles, common sense would suggest that vehicles be sized to carry troops in multiples of rifle squads just for simple unit cohesion. Vehicles with a capacity of, say, 8 when the squad is, say, 13, would seem to impose a lack of cohesion and combat efficiency. Exiting vehicles with absolutely no whole units seems counterproductive. I think this is at least partly what you were driving at when you mentioned "optimal organizations". Correct me if I'm wrong or forgive me if I'm restating what you meant. If the best squad size for combat is, say, 13, then we should make every effort to keep that group (or multiples thereof) together.

      If, say, 8 troops is the optimal armored vehicle transport capacity and we think that protection is more important than combat efficiency, then we should reorganize to fight with multiples of 8 (again, to your point about optimal organization).

    9. @CNO
      You have captured the issue: and walked right into the malstrom because practical AFV troop capacity is odds with the desired USMC fire team/squad/platoon organization and the trade offs are serious.

      The USMC, with a great deal of justification, is wedded to its current structure: fire teams are maneuver elements, 3 fire teams make up a squad, three squads plus a command element build to platoon, 3 platoons plus a command element and support weapons build to company, and so on.

      There are of course alternate was to group infantry ranging from the PLA 3-man fire team that the Marines altered into their current structure, the Roman 10 man unit (used by the Germans in WWII), and of course modern mech infantry units which are typically based on a 8 man squad (most Western Europe an armies) or a 9 man squad in the USA.

      These organizations are really built around supporting weapons, principally machine guns and high explosive launchers (mortars, RPGs, grenade launchers).

      But a practical IFV is not going to carry much more than 6-8 men, a practical HAPC is not going to carry more than about 10-men. It’s the physics of the problem.


    10. "practical AFV troop capacity is odds with the desired USMC fire team/squad/platoon organization "

      GAB, you've clearly stated the problem and challenges. Now, what solution do you propose? What size squad do you recommend?

    11. The Marines have the unique problem of having to bring troops ashore then maneuver on land. If the carrying capacity of their assault vehicles are cut in half, twice as many vehicles will be needed. Which can then limit how many vehicles the amphibious ships can carry.

      But, if you're considering changes in the squad size, you also have to factor in how tactics and doctrine are affected as well. What works for the Army might not work for the Marines.

    12. "if you're considering changes in the squad size, you also have to factor in how tactics and doctrine are affected"

      That states the problem and challenge. Now, what do you propose as a solution?

    13. I'm not sure there is a problem to be fixed. I'm not an expert, but the 13-man squad seems to work for the Marines.

      And, the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle and its replacement, the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, are both designed to carry 17 troops. If the upgrades to the AAAV-7 reduces capacity to 17 troop, I don't necessarily see that as a problem.

      Even with 17 troops per vehicle, an amphibious assault platoon can stll bring an infantry company plus a small number of other troops ashore.

    14. We were referencing IFVs and HAPCs being limited to 8-10 troops. See GAB's comment above. I thought that's what you were referring to, also.

    15. I was, but we're talking about different types of vehicles and needs.

      An IFV or a HAPC are usually better armed and armored than an amphibious assault vehicle. A Bradley and an AAAV-7 weigh about the same, yet the AAAV-7 can carry twice as many troops as the Bradley. With its 25mm cannon and TOW missiles, a Bradley can defeat just about anything on the battlefield. An AAAV-7 with its fifty cal and 40mm provides good general support.

      The Army standardized on the 9-man squad in the 1980's in part to create more infantry divisions that were lighter and easier to deploy. With some modifications, the Army was finally able to mount 3 infantry squads and a small HQ section on 4 Bradleys.

      But, the 13-man squad seems to work for the Marines. Therefore, they need a vehicle to carry a squad of Marines plus a number of other troops.

      Reading a little more on the subject, the new ACV 1.1 variant is designed to carry 8-9 troops with 2 mounting a reinforced rifle squad. I don't know if that means the Marines are considering a smaller squad or changes to the platoon/company structure.

    16. "practical AFV troop capacity is odds with the desired USMC fire team/squad/platoon organization "

      GAB, you've clearly stated the problem and challenges. Now, what solution do you propose? What size squad do you recommend?


      BLUF: an 8 (possibly 10)-man infantry squad grouped around a machinegun and a HE launcher (RPG-7, M3/Carl Gustav, PzF-3, etc.); this formation should not break down into fire teams (the squad leader will of course put is men where needed) and *might be* the smallest maneuver unit.

      The 8-man squad is designed to fight in high threat environments and takes into account: weapons effectiveness, span of control (typically 5-7 men), manning/training requirements (specifically skilled squad leaders), and effectiveness after casualties.

      I expect infantry company and platoon structure to also be affected; specifically the platoon should have 4-infantry squads, and a commando mortar team (two 60mm direct fire mortars).

      Normally a HMG/MMG squad with 2-3 weapons (8.6mm/.338 caliber with tripods and an ammunition cart) should be attached from company MG platoon giving the platoon a very robust direct fire capability with MOS trained machine gunners running the support.

      I am still toying with this idea; my main sticking point comes at the company level, because the company MG platoon would have be huge to support 4-infantry platoons.

      This is a challenging problem.


    17. Fascinating!

      In your concept, what is the purpose of the lowest level squad? I ask because you seem to be infusing it with a lot of firepower - perhaps more than is justified for the role of the squad?

      Not being a land combat person, I truly don't know the role of the lowest level squad in modern combat.

      Is it to clear enemy infantry? No? Better done by IFVs, MBTs, tank escort vehicles (none yet exist)?

      Is it to clear anti-tank defenses? Maybe yes? Mortar might be more effective than MG??

      Is it to secure and hold ground? Yes, but that's more an occupation function than a combat function.

      What I'm asking is how do the weapons fit you've envisioned tie into and support the squad's role?

      Corollary question - are infantry viable on the modern battlefield in the face of today's artillery, cluster munitions, mines, and air power?

      Just questions on my part - I have no answers!

    18. 1. The Corps is pretty consistent with its infantry mission statement across publications but from MCWP 3-11.2 Marine Rifle Squad: locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver or to repel his assault by fire and close combat. The USA doctrine is similar, as they are around the world.

      2. I absolutely believe there is a valid role for infantry in the 21st century and the mission from 1 above applies.

      3. The proposed squad I set out has several historical precedents, principally the German Army rifle squad of WWII (10-men) which was designed around the MG34/42 in the LMG role. Modern (WWII to date) experience strongly suggests that a direct fire HE projector (RPG-7, M3/Carl Gustav, PzF-3, etc.) is now nearly as critical as the MG – certainly so in urban terrain (see Israeli and Russian experiences). I like 40mm grenades, but believe them to be woefully deficient in HE fill for the role. I am also influenced by experience and observations in USA and USMC combat histories, especially concerns on span of control, particularly James Webb’s Vietnam experience - he operated with 6-man fire teams, and note that in practice, the German squad strength in WWII was typically 6-8 men.

      4. The tricky point here is the weight of the HE projector and the impact on the squad.

      5. On mortars, please see my reference to including 2-light-weight 60mm commando mortars for direct fire at the platoon level. These are simple and light weight affairs with no indirect fire capability. I would not mess with the company or battalion level mortar organizations, other than to seriously advocate for self-propelled mortars, certainly the 120mm mortars at the battalion level.


    19. "Marine Rifle Squad: locate, close with, and destroy the enemy"

      Well, sure but that's awfully generic. Couldn't the same be written for a Navy ship, an Army tank division, or any other combat unit? What distinguishes an infantry platoon from, say, a tank platoon in terms of roles?

      Turn it around ... If we didn't have infantry, what capability would we lose on the battlefield? What role would we no longer be able to fill?

      "I absolutely believe there is a valid role for infantry in the 21st century"

      To the casual, non-expert land combat observer - that would be me! - the experience of Desert Storm and, more recently, the Russia/Ukraine conflict might suggest that infantry have been relegated to a non- or marginal-combat role in favor of armor, artillery, and aviation. Yes, troops are required to provide occupation presence but on the actual battlefield their role seems diminished. Thoughts?

      I'm not trying to be argumentative - just trying to explore the role/purpose of modern infantry. Do we retain infantry because we've always had them or do they perform a specific, vital role on the battlefield? If they do, what is it?

      For example, what can an infantry squad do on the battlefield that an IFV couldn't do better? If the purpose of an infantry squad is to deliver MG firepower, couldn't an IFV do that much better?

      Does the infantry squad provide the firepower of an IFV (well, no, the IFV has heavier weapons but that aside ...) but with a greater dispersal of risk?

      Again, just trying to draw out more information from you and maybe help you solidify your thinking.

    20. Okay, I gave you the party line, and you rejected it - good for you!

      I am a fan of maneuver warfare, but infantry is essential not only for the terrain that is difficult for armored forces to fight effectively in (forests, cities, mountains, etc.) but also because there will be times, even in total war between competent, peer armies when human exhaustion, logistics shortfalls, maintenance, even weather (Russian winters!) combine to force armies over to static, or near static warfare, which is dominated by infantry.

      Warfare is unbelievably hard on flesh and machine, troops can only stay awake or function on limited sleep for a limited period of time. Exhaustion and disease take their toll. Beyond battle damage, trucks and tanks break, artillery ammunition gets expended, aircraft run out of key spares, and sometimes the generals and planners need to return to the drawing board.

      it is hard to image terrain more open and suitable for fast moving armored columns than eastern Europe, but the Eastern front of WWII looked a lot like the morass of WWI trench warfare on more days than not, in spite of the incredible industrial output directed to supply the Russian and German armies. It was not unusual for number of operational tanks in a newly equipped panzer regiment to fall below a dozen tanks after three or four days of fighting. Likewise, the U.S. and British tank armies stopped on the border of Germany for weeks after chasing the Germans out of France and simply running out of fuel.

      So you need infantry, not just for close terrain, but also to sustain the fight.


    21. "For example, what can an infantry squad do on the battlefield that an IFV couldn't do better? If the purpose of an infantry squad is to deliver MG firepower, couldn't an IFV do that much better?"

      One of the greater threats to tanks and armored is dismounted infantry armed with anti-tank weapons and urban warfare in Iraq is a good example. Armor and infantry, combined with artillery, engineers, and aviation, need each other to win on the battlefield.

      Toward Combined Warfare in the 20th Century by Johnathon House is a great resource. House covers not only changes in the US Army, but also the British, French, and Russian armies as well. It's a good read.

      You can buy the book at Amazon or read an earlier version online.

    22. "terrain that is difficult for armored forces to fight effectively in (forests, cities, mountains, etc.) ... static, or near static warfare"

      Hmm ... Much to ponder there.

      The first question that comes to mind is, what is there in rugged terrain (largely undeveloped, by definition?) that is of military usefulness that we would want to fight for? The immediate answer is nothing (bases, weapon sites, factories, etc. are not built on rugged terrain) followed by the answer, "movement". Getting to worthwhile targets may demand movement through rugged terrain. This seems legit.

      So, if we need troops for rugged terrain, that raises the question of armament. What armament is light enough to easily transport over rugged terrain and still packs enough firepower to be useful. You've suggested the MG and small mortar. Are those light enough (and their ammo!) to be suitable for rugged terrain? I simply don't know.

      Is static warfare viable on today's battlefield with precision missiles, artillery, cluster munitions, and air power? Again, I don't know. One of the commmonly heard/repeated maxims of modern warfare is that if you stay in one place (static warfare), you die. Does Russia/Ukraine have anything to teach us about static warfare? Again, I simply don't know.

      Great answer. I need to digest it.

    23. Gas on the fire - there is a proposal to upsize the Bradley IFV to 40 tons and go to 8 dismounts.

      I am uncomfortable with a 40 ton IFV given a T-90 is ~45 tons.

      Also for your consideration, AFVs can often dominate closed terrain that they cannot traverse, but have LOS into. Tank - infantry/mech infantry cooperation can be a long distance affair.


    24. "upsize the Bradley IFV "

      Presumably, a large chunk of the Bradley's size is due to the space requirements for troops. I've never quite understood this. Do we really need troops dismounted and operating around the Bradley? Generally, it seems like we either need troops or an IFV but not both at the same time and in the same location.

      The alternative concept would be a significantly smaller IFV that has no dismounts - a pure fighting vehicle. Accompanying this would be a pure APC/HAPC. The drawback is you need double the number of vehicles. The advantage is each vehicle would be individually cheaper and could be optimized for its role. Another advantage is dispersal of risk. Right now, if we lose a Bradley we lose the firepower and the troops. If the function is split into two vehicles, as I've described, we only lose one of the two functions. Is this a good idea? I don't know since I'm not a land combat expert. It's just a wild thought but it's an alternative to a 40 ton Bradley.

    25. "urban warfare in Iraq is a good example. Armor and infantry, combined with artillery, engineers, and aviation, need each other to win on the battlefield."

      Your comment deserves an entire post in reply, if not a book! Let me try to offer a few thoughts, though.

      You've provided the theoretical, generic response, just as so many people do when asked about the US Navy and frigates. Those people offer the theoretical roles that a frigate can play but fail to describe how a frigate would specifically help the US Navy. So, how do troops help the US Army on the modern battlefield? What can troops do that an IFV (Bradley) cannot?

      You mention urban warfare and, for that, you are correct. Troops are needed for house to house warfare AS THE US ARMY FIGHTS IT IN A SEMI-PEACETIME MODE WHERE COLLATERAL DAMAGE IS TO BE AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS. Consider, though, a WWII type scenario where collateral damage is not that big a concern. That house to house search with infantry becomes a "back a tank through the wall and then check for survivors in the house". Much safer and much more efficient. Or, better yet, forego the search and simply call artillery on to the house and move on.

      Also, regarding urban warfare, we would be idiots to allow ourselves to be drawn into high end urban warfare especially since there is nothing of military value in an urban setting that is worth occupying - destroying, yes, occupying, no.

      So, considering that, what specific function do you see troops performing on the modern battlefield that an IFV/tank can't do better and safer with proper ROEs?

    26. Let me know when an IFV or tank can do the following on their own:

      Clear a road of mines and IEDs.

      Repair a bridge or a road.

      Erect obstacles to deter enemy movement.

      Lay a minefield to slow down an enemy or make them take a path to your advantage.

      Rescue your own troops trapped in a building.

      Take out a HVT, like a senior commander, at a thousand yards with a single shot.

      Provide medical care to wounded civilians.

      That's a partial list of what infantry combined with other combat elemenents can do.

      Our rules of engagement don't, and shouldn't, include killing everything in sight.

    27. "Let me know when an IFV or tank can do the following on their own:"

      Don't be an ass. Have a discussion - politely and respectfully - or leave. You have a point worth discussing so I'll allow this to stand but in the future, discuss, don't mock.

      Regarding your point, you pretty much make my case for me. Consider your examples,

      Clearing mines - tanks or engineering vehicles do this with mine plows, explosive cables, etc.

      Repair - that's a support function not a combat rifle squad function

      Erect obstacles - that's an engineering function not a rifle squad function

      Lay a minefield - engineering function

      Rescue troops - that's a valid combat rifle squad function but it's circular logic. If we didn't have rifle squads they wouldn't need rescuing!

      Take out HVT - tanks can do that easily. If you're referring to snipers, again, that's a specialized function not a rifle squad.

      Medical care - that's a support function not a combat rifle squad function

      You've actually done a pretty good job of illustrating that infantry rifle squads may not have a lot of use on the modern battlefield.

      Feel free discuss this further and explore the hypothesis of eliminating or greatly reducing and retasking infantry rifle squads. Treat it as an intellectual examination rather than an attempt to "win".

      You'll note that I've not said that support troops don't serve a vital function. The discussion was limited to infantry rifle squads.

    28. "The alternative concept would be a significantly smaller IFV that has no dismounts - a pure fighting vehicle. Accompanying this would be a pure APC/HAPC."


      This is worthy of a day long debate.

      My sense is that an obsolete MBT with modest upgrades is likely far more effective than a state of the art IFV like the $8 million Puma.

      A cannon/mg combination is infinitely more effective and versatile than an auto-cannon/mg combination. There is a good reason that IFV armament continues to increase in caliber. And before someone brings up ATGMs, nothing prevents us from welding the launchers t to upper turret of a tank.


  2. When it comes to the transmission you have three options: lightness, durability, and sophistication. But you can only choose two. I am guessing that they wanted a fancy electronic transmission so they wouldnt have to train marines how to double-clutch, and it cant be too heavy because of the whole floating thing.

  3. The EFV and the new ACV are both designed to carry 17 troops. It might be that 17 troops is the minimum number the new AAAV-SU has to carry.

    I'm concerned more about its reliability and the egress time. And, why the troop commander has to agree from the top hatch then over the side. Is that how he entered the vehicle in the first place?

  4. Here is an article that says the upgrades are nice, but the Corps really needs an AAV mortar variant and a SPAAG variant.

    Makes sense.

  5. The Israelis make their Namer APC which can carry 8-10 troops plus commander and driver and delivers armor protection on par with main battle tanks as it uses the Merkova tank chasis, deletes the turret and places 8-10 troops in the hull but it's armament is limited to machine gun and light 60mm mortar and cannot provide enough fire support to it's dismounts. To solve this problem they have fitted at least a prototype IFV version of the Namer that places a non penetrating two ton lightly armored unmanned turret that does not interfere with the numbers of troops inside, fitted with 30mm autocannon, coaxial .30 caliber machine gun that can provide significant fire support to dismounts. It might also be able to be fitted, like the Bradley, with TOW or the widely marketed Israeli Spike anti tank missile to handle hostile AFVs like tanks or IFVs that the 30mm gun isn't enough alone to kill the enemy vehicle. has a photo of IFV version of Namer in the Namer article.

    The CV90 domestic version mounts a 40mm gun with limited ready magazine with 24 ready rounds of eight HE, 8 antiair proximity and 8 armor piecing rounds and, like the Bradley, it has a manned turret that reduces troop capacity. Smaller guns like a 30mm can have dozens of ready rounds by comparison although the advent of Case Telescoped or CT 40mm rounds are much more compact and greater numbers will be carried by new UK Scout Warrior IFVs.
    Meanwhile, the wheeled Striker has adopted the Dragon Striker which fits and off the shelf non hull penetrating remote turret with 30mm cannon and coaxial light machine gun that retains the full 9 man squad. Presumably a Bradley using a similar unmanned turret could increase it's troops to a full 9 man squad.
    It should be pointed out that while the remote turret has ready rounds depending on gun caliber, most ammo storage for gun is carried within the vehicle hull and that might affect troop numbers a vehicle can carry.
    USMC ACVs, unlike the overly expensive and vulnerable to IED cancelled EFV which had a 30mm cannon in two man turret and still carried 17 troops, cannot in their present form provide fire support to it's dismounts although the two types being considered and to undergo extensive testing to inform a down select for the production model have the ability to accept a remote turret of two tons fitted with a 30mm gun later, if desired.
    Currently, the USMC is evaluating a change in squad size to accommodate a systems operator who, among other things, handles/controls small recon drones Squad sizes being considered include a 14 man, 12 man or 10 man squads. The US Army may have to consider a systems operator added to it's squads as well and change squad size.


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