Does the Marine Corps Need Another Amphibious Vehicle?
INDUSTRIAL COLL OF THE ARMED FORCES WASHINGTON DC
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As the war in the Persian Gulf so vividly demonstrated, the essential demands of our military forces -- to deter conflict whenever possible but to prevail in those that do arise -- are certain to endure. The forward presence of our warfighters provides the conduit in our alliance relationships and signals that, if required, were prepared to defend our national interests with military action. As we enter a period of declining defense budgets, debates will rage over the viability of sea-based forces and amphibious doctrine to cope with future threats. For the Navy, the handwriting is on the seawall. The National Military Strategy outlines a Base force consisting of 450 ships and cuts could continue beyond this level in the next decade. Critics warn that this downsizing seriously compromises Americas maritime capability. For over 45 years, the Assault Amphibious Vehicle AAV has provided Marine infantry the means to conduct surface-borne amphibious assaults. Launched from amphibious ships, AAVs transport Marines to shore and once ashore provide them with armor-protected mobility. The current AAV is nearing the end of its planned service life and the Marine Corps is currently exploring alternative replacement systems. Before examining the requirement to field a follow-on vehicle, however, the following questions need to be addressed What strategic role will Naval amphibious forces play in the future What threats will these forces encounter What missions will Marine forces be assigned and Why do we need an amphibious assault capability
- Surface Effect Vehicles and Amphibious Vehicles
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