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The Marine Corps is about to get leaner, according to the USMC’s Lt. Gen. George Flynn, who said recently that the service is planning on ditching 10,000 of the current 42,000 tactical vehicles it has in its fleet.Flynn, who is the deputy commandant for combat development and integration, told This Week in Defense News that although the USMC’s Ground Combat Tactical Vehicle Strategy is still evolving, the service is committed to the cut, but he failed to elaborate which vehicles will be jettisoned. “We’re going to cut 10,000 vehicles from the inventory because we’ve decided what capabilities we need,” he said.The Marines have some tough decisions to make when it comes to their ground vehicle fleet. The biggest, of course, is the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, the $2.5 billion, decades-long program to replace the ancient Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAVs) which was first fielded in the 1970s. The Corps has estimated that the EFV will run them over $16 million per vehicle and hopes to build a total of 573 of them, although leadership has made some noises lately talking up the capabilities they provide--amphibious forced entry, speed, armor--rather than the EFV specifically.When it comes to the other big-ticket vehicles actually being used, just last month Flynn said that the Corps has plans to keep 2,500 MRAPs, half of that total being made up of the smaller, lighter, M-ATVs and the other half the larger Cougar MRAP. And then there is the good old Humvee, which the Marines are taking a second look at. Earlier this month Gen. James Conway told the Expeditionary Warfare Conference that “we’ve got thousands of up-armored Humvees out there sitting around [and the service is] wondering what we’re going to do with them.” And then he essentially answered his own question: “Is there a possibility that we can take the up-armored Humvee, elevate it off the deck, give it a v-shaped bottom, perhaps secure the hull and make it our next Joint Light Tactical Vehicle? We don’t know the answer to that, but we’ve got to find out, because I don’t think we’re going to have the money to buy new.” By “buying new” it’s safe to say that Conway probably meant the increasingly expensive JLTV program, which the Corps has been downplaying in recent months due to cost issues.(Pic: USMC)
USMC, JLTV, EFV, ar99
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