The bond flicks are usually associated with beauties emerging from the sea in a swimsuit and then causing severe damage to diplomatic ties between hostile countries. There is another beauty that is going to cause a similar sensation in the next few days. The fate of the amphibious EPV now lies in the hands of the new government who are going to test the $23-million Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. The vehicle is a swimming version of the Army’s Bradley fighting vehicle the EFV, built by General Dynamics Corp., is designed to travel long distances by water and move quickly on land. The vehicle is an amphibious armored personnel carrier; launched at sea, from an amphibious assault ship beyond the horizon, able to transport a full Marine rifle squad to shore. It will maneuver cross country with an agility and mobility equal to or greater than the M1 Abrams. The EFV is designed to replace the aging AAV, and is the Marine Corps’ number one priority ground weapon system acquisition. It has three times the speed in water and about twice the armor of the AAV, and superior firepower as well.
The Marine Corps plan a crucial test of its new Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle this week, and any “show stopper” problems like the ones discovered in 2006 could doom the $27 billion program. The Marines have not performed large amphibious maneuvers since the Korean War. Therefore, the practicality of this awesome machine seems to be hanging in the doldrums.