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Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV)
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle.jpg
General Dynamics Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV)
Type Amphibious Assault Vehicle
Place of origin  United States
Service history
In service 2015 (Planned).[1]
Used by United States Marine Corps
Production history
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Variants EFVP
Weight 34,473 kg. (38 tons)
Length 10.67 m (35 ft)
 length 9.33 m (30.6 ft)
Width 3.66 m (12 ft)
Height 3.28 m (10.7 ft) (turret roof)
Crew 3+17

Armor ceramic/composite
1 x 30 mm/40 mm MK44 cannon
1 x 7.62 mm machine gun
Engine MTU MT 883 Ka-523 diesel engine
2,702 hp (water), 850 hp (land)
Power/weight 34.48 bhp/ton
land: 523 km (325 miles)
water: 120 km (74 miles)
Speed road: 72.41 km/h (45 mph)
water: 46 km/h (28.6 mph) (water)

The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) is the newest United States Marine Corps amphibious vehicle, intended for deployment in 2015.[1] It was renamed from the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle in late 2003. The USMC has reduced the number to be purchased from 1,013 to 573 AAAVs by 2015 due to escalation in unit cost.[2]

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 Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) which entered service in 1972[3], 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, as well as superior firepower.



In the 1980s the Marine corps developed an "over the horizon" strategy for ocean based assaults. The intention was to protect naval ships from enemy mines and shore defenses. It included the MV-22 Osprey, the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), and the EFV.

Development for the AAAV began on the late 1970s with prototypes in the early 1980s at the command at Camp Pendleton. The predecessor to the AAAV the LVTP7 life expectancy was extended in 1983/1984 by use of the SLEP (Service Life Extension Program) which modified and upgraded many of the key systems creating the LVTP7A1 then designated the AAVP7A1. At the time these vehicles were released the USMC had anticipated and communicated delivery of the AAAV by the mid-1990s (1993). As a result of delays the AAVP7A1 has received another SLEP type upgrade in the mid 1990s while the USMC still awaits final development and delivery of the AAAV. This is now over 14 years behind original projected time frames.

On 7 April 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that the EFV program will "continue as-is", pending an amphibious review in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review.[4] The vehicle has recently been called "exquisite", which Gates has usually reserved for programs he intends to cancel.[5]

The EFV might be a baseline vehicle for the U.S Army's BCT Ground Combat Vehicle Program, however, it is more likely that the Army will start anew.[6]


The General Dynamics Land Systems EFV is an amphibious armored tracked vehicle with an aluminum hull. The engine is a custom MTU Friedrichshafen diesel (MT883) with two modes of operation; a high power mode for planing over the sea, and a low power mode for land travel. It has a crew of three and can transport 17 Marines and their equipment.

The EFV is the first heavy tactical vehicle with a space frame structure.[7]

There is a Command Platform version with secure command and control electronics (and seven work stations), but lacks the 30 mm cannon.

USMC Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. Note the bow, which is extended into hydroplaning position.

The hull has a hydraulically actuated bow flap to aid planing with a maximum waterborne speed of 46 km/h (28.6 mph, 24.8 knots). Shrouded Honeywell waterjet propulsors are integrated into each side of the hull, which create over 2,800 horsepower. Also outfitted with hydraulically actuated chines to cover the tracks while in seafaring mode.

The aluminum hull has caused some concern due to protection issues.[8] However, aluminum hulls have been used for decades in military ground vehicles and boats. The rear loading ramp is not able to open while the vehicle is afloat. This is also typical of other swimming military ground vehicles.

The vehicle uses an ethernet network connected by the Tactical Switch Router (TSR) (based on the COTS DuraMAR Mobile IP router) for its internal and external communications.[9]



U.S. Marines disembark from an EFV.

It is fitted with composite armor, mine-blast protection, and a nuclear, biological and chemical defense system (NBC). The standard version also has a Bushmaster II 30 mm cannon, which fires up to 250 rounds per minute with single, burst and full auto capabilities up to 2,000 meters in all weather conditions.

The electronically powered two-man MK46 turret on the personnel variant accommodates the commander on the right and gunner on the left, a fire control system and the main and coaxial weapons.

A general purpose M240 7.62 mm machine gun with 600 rounds of ready-to-use ammunition is mounted coaxially with the main gun. Smoke grenade launchers are installed on the hull.

Other features:

  • 7.62 mm Machine Gun (1, coaxial)
  • Smoke / Gas Dispensers (32)
  • Rear Troop Hatch
  • Top Troop Hatches (2)
  • Reinforced Crew Compartment


Reliability and range

In February 2007 the Washington Post reported that the USMC was not satisfied with the reliability of the prototypes and was not going to initiate production as planned. Instead the Corps has asked for seven new prototypes, to address the current deficiencies which have caused an average of one failure for every four and a half hours of operation.[10]

The EFV's 25 mile range for amphibious landing may no longer prove sufficient, given the increasing ranges of shore launched anti-ship missiles.[2]

IED protection

In June 2007 members of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces sent a letter to the Marine Corps Commandant urging that the EFV be redesigned to give troops better protection against roadside bombs.[11] The Marines have suggested that underbelly armor appliqué could be applied after the EFVs come ashore and before they encounter IEDs.[2] The limited protection the EFV offers is an improvement on that offered by the AAV so the replacement is an advantage, given the current doctrine of using landing craft for land patrols.[12]

However, tests in January and February 2010 at Aberdeen Test Center demonstrated that the EFV offers blast protection equal to a category-2 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, including two simulated improvised explosive devices under its belly and tracks.[13] Tests also show that it has superior protection from direct and indirct fire. The flat hull, which has endured persistant criticism for not being the more blast-resistant V-shape, is necessary for the EFV to plane across the surface of the water and reach its high speed.[13]

See also



External links


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