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MARINE CORPS PIVOTS TO FUTURE CONFLICTS
Thursday, April 2, 2020
WASHINGTON -- Marine Corps officials have outlined foundational force structure adjustments in preparation for conflicts in the years ahead, and the service’s latest budget request scales back a handful of acquisition programs that no longer align with its top priorities

One of the programs that took a hit in the Marine Corps budget was the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program, which was also scaled back in the Army’s budget request. The Marines are asking for 752 JLTVs in FY21, rather than 1,065 planned. A total of 3,780 vehicles are funded between FY21 and FY25. When compared to the FY20 outlook, the new budget cuts 1,092 vehicles between FY21 and FY25. The Marines for some time have said they plan to increase their overall acquisition objective from 5,500 JLTVs to 9,091, but the production rates have still been reduced.

The FY21 budget request represents the first full rate production lot of Amphibious Combat Vehicles, which are replacing AAV7 amphibious vehicles. The program was originally split into two increments: Increment 1.1 and Increment 1.2. The first increment was intended to feature shore-to-shore swim capabilities to cross rivers and small bodies of water, while Increment 1.2 vehicles would add improved swim capabilities, enabling ship-to-shore travel. During testing, Increment 1.1 vehicles demonstrated full ship-to-shore swim capabilities, allowing the Marines to consolidate the program into a single variant. The FY21 request formalizes this change, and combines Increments 1.1 and 1.2 into a single ACV Family of Vehicles program, with 72 vehicles funded in FY21 and a total of 524 funded through FY25.

The Marine Corps is seeking 98 Javelin missiles, down from 114 planned; 1,072 Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) rockets, up from 735 planned; and eight Ground/Air Task Oriented Radars (G/ATOR). The budget also includes $343.3 million for radios.

The service will also begin divesting some legacy equipment that is not well suited to near-peer conflicts. The move is also intended to reduce long-term maintenance costs for the service as a whole. Specifically, the Marines are divesting Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs), Amphibious Assault Vehicles, and the Air Defense Radar.

The budget request comes at a time when the Marine Corps has outlined major force structure changes that are expected to take place over the next 10 years. Service officials have said that the Marine Corps is not optimized to meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy. They argue that structural changes are needed to ensure the Marine Corps is prepared for its primary role, expeditionary warfare in contested environments. This shift entails becoming a faster and lighter force, a concept leadership has been pushing for a number of years in the wake of protracted ground operations in the Middle East that saw the Marines move away from their expeditionary roots.

The changes are outlined in a planning document called Force Design 2030. The plan calls for eliminating all seven tank companies, all three bridging companies, cutting all but five of the 21 existing cannon batteries, reducing the number of tiltrotor aircraft squadrons from 17 to 14, cutting the number of helicopter attack squadrons from seven to five, and helicopter heavy lift squadrons from eight to five. Three infantry battalions would be cut, leaving 21 in place. The remaining infantry battalions will also be lighter and more mobile than today. The number of fighter/attack aircraft squadrons remains unchanged at 18, but the service will reduce the number of primary F-35B/C aircraft in each squadron from 16 to 10. The Marines have not formally reduced the total number of F-35s it plans to buy over the years, but officials have suggested the overall number could be reduced down the road.

A renewed focus would be placed on long-range precision fires, with the number of missile/rocket batteries increasing from seven today to 21 by 2030. Additional investments will also be made in the area of mobile air defense and counter-precision guided missile capabilities. The number of unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons would double from three to six to increase overhead surveillance and strike capabilities, and the number of C-130 squadrons would increase from three to four. The service would also become smaller, losing around 12,000 personnel over 10 years.

Source:  Forecast International - International Military Markets
Associated URL: Click here to visit
Author: S. McDougall, Defense Analyst 

 
U.S. ARMY AWARDS OSHKOSH DEFENSE CONTRACT FOR M1977 COMMON BRIDGE TRANSPORTERS
Friday, March 27, 2020
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Army Contracting Command (Detroit Arsenal MI) awarded Oshkosh Defense LLC (Oshkosh WI) a $25,669,720 fixed-price-incentive contract for HEMTT Common Bridge Transporters and basic issue item kits with and without winches on the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 31, 2022.

The U.S. Army currently employs the HEMTT-based M1977 Common Bridge Transporter vehicle with two tactical bridging systems -- the Rapidly Emplaced Bridging System and the Tactical Bridge, Float-Ribbon.

The Rapidly Emplaced Bridging System is a product of General Dynamics European Land Systems (formerly Eisenwerke Kaiserslautern). This truck-mounted MLC 30 bridge is capable of spanning a 13 meter (42.65-ft) unprepared bank gap. Air transportable by C 130 aircraft, the REBS and launcher mount on a flatrack powered by an M1977 Common Bridge Transporter vehicle. Two soldiers can deploy or retrieve the REBS within 10 minutes.

The U.S. Army employed the REBS with the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs) as a stop-gap alternative to the aging M48/M60 series AVLBs. Army funding for REBS ended after FY07. Total REBS procurement consisted of 28 units.

The U.S. Army is currently procuring the Tactical Bridge, Float-Ribbon as the next-generation ribbon bridge. A product of General Dynamics Santa Barbara Sistemas GmbH, the TBFR consists of bridge bays (interior and ramp sections), Mk II Bridge Erection Boats (BEBs), and Common Bridge Transporter (CBT) vehicles.

Each brigade-level Multirole Bridge Company can transport, erect, launch, and retrieve 210 meters (688.97 ft) of TBFR bridging. The Army currently maintains a procurement objective of 1,582 TBFR bridge bays, 501 Mk II BEB craft, and 1,556 CBT vehicles.

Under the auspices of the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles program, U.S. Army procurement of Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck and Palletized Load System vehicle components will continue through FY24.

Since its combat debut during Operation Desert Storm (1991), the HEMTT heavy logistics vehicle has proven itself to be a vital element of the U.S. Army's logistical tail. Furthermore, the vehicle's compatibility with C-130 and C-17 tactical transport aircraft helps ensure that the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles will remain the primary platform for the U.S. Army's and U.S. Marine Corps' heavy tactical logistical vehicle fleet for the foreseeable future.

Source:  Forecast International
Author: D. Lockwood, Weapons Systems Analyst 

 
U.S. ARMY AWARDS OSHKOSH DEFENSE THREE FHTV CONTRACTS WORTH OVER $320.7 MILLION
Friday, March 27, 2020
NEWTOWN, Conn. -- On March 27, 2020, the U.S. Army Contracting Command (Detroit Arsenal MI) awarded Oshkosh Defense LLC (Oshkosh WI) three contracts - worth a total of over $320.7 million - related to the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles program.

The first award was a $173,788,535 firm-fixed-price, fixed-price-incentive contract (W56HZV-20-F-0035). for heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks, palletized load system trucks, and self-recovery winches on the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of October 31, 2022.

The second award was a $100,886,870 fixed-price-incentive contract (W56HZV-20-F-0149) for heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks, palletized load system (PLS) trucks and PLS trailers on the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of August 31, 2022.

The third award was a $46,093,000 fixed-price-incentive contract (W56HZV-20-F-0150) for heavy expanded mobility tactical trucks, palletized load system trucks (PLS), and PLS trailers on the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles. Bids were solicited via the internet with one received. Work will be performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with an estimated completion date of October 30, 2022.

Under the auspices of the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles program, U.S. Army procurement of Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck and Palletized Load System vehicle components will continue through FY24.

Rebuild and upgrade of the existing HEMTT fleet is reaching its end within the overall FHTV program. According to U.S. Army budget request documentation, PLS-ESP is funded only through FY21, and HEMTT-ESP is currently funded only through FY20.

Since its combat debut during Operation Desert Storm (1991), the HEMTT heavy logistics vehicle has proven itself to be a vital element of the U.S. Army's logistical tail. Furthermore, the vehicle's compatibility with C-130 and C-17 tactical transport aircraft helps ensure that the Family of Heavy Tactical Vehicles will remain the primary platform for the U.S. Army's and U.S. Marine Corps' heavy tactical logistical vehicle fleet for the foreseeable future.

Source:  Forecast International
Associated URL: forecastinternational.com
Author: D. Lockwood, Weapons Systems Analyst 

 

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