No announcement yet.

Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle: Cold-War Dinosaur or Techno Revolution...?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle: Cold-War Dinosaur or Techno Revolution...?

    The New Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle Is it really a step in the right direction?


    Though largely eclipsed by the controversy surrounding the troubled V-22 Osprey, the latest Marine Corps amphibian tractor, the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) has developed to a stage where it also presents some vexing questions about its future effectiveness. The AAAV will replace the current AAV-7 (formerly known as the Landing Vehicle Tracked or LVT-7) an aluminum-hulled vehicle adopted in 1972, shortly after the Marine Corps' withdrawal from Vietnam.

    The new AAAV is supposed to do more than address the shortcomings of the AAV-7; it will also offer brand new capabilities. Improvements include a large increase in water speed for ship to shore movement, coupled with a sufficient increase in firepower and armor protection to enable it to operate on land as an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). However, as details about the new AAAV emerge, it is becoming clear that these enhancements will be very costly and will require a sacrifice of some of the troop and cargo capacity that should have been the AAV's true raison d'être.

    Thus, it may be wise to take a more critical look at the AAAV in terms of the Marine Corps' probable future missions, and determine if it really represents genuine progress.

    Before beginning our discussion, however, we ought to be clear on a few key definitions: First, the existing AAV-7 is a lightly armored vehicle designed to carry a reinforced rifle squad. Once it swims ashore, the AAV-7 assumes the role of an armored personnel carrier (APC). In other words, it acts as a "battle taxi" with a strictly defensive armament (though this has recently been enhanced). The general tactical the idea behind the AAV-7 is to carry its troops to a debarkation point (screened from direct enemy fire and/or observation, if possible). At the debarkation point, the troops dismount and fight on foot. An APC is not designed to engage an enemy in direct combat, nor can its armor withstand hits by anything heavier than small arms fire or artillery fragmentation.

    The AAAV, on the other hand, seeks to extend the conventional combination armored amphibian/APC concept of the AAV-7 to that of an armored amphibian/infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) concept.

    This is a very big change.

    The IFV concept as understood by the US military actually originated with the Soviet Army's BMP. The Soviets designed the BMP to support their theoretical strategy for fighting a ground war on a tactical nuclear battlefield. (Some might argue that the IFV lineage began with West German HS-30 and its replacement, the Marder While they predate the BMP and are considered to be IFVs, they were designed to meet very different doctrinal concepts. See Endnote [1]) The Soviet BMP was a special type of APC. It was designed to keep troops alive as they invaded Western Europe across terrain that had been bombarded by tactical nuclear weapons.

    During the Second World War, the Soviets would typically begin one of their offensives with a massive conventional artillery bombardment. This bombardment would blow holes in the enemy's line, through which Soviet armor and its accompanying infantry would penetrate with the aim of exploiting their success through with an operational-level maneuver deep in the enemy's rear area.

    Post World War II Soviet planners theorized that they could substitute tactical nuclear strikes for the artillery barrage in an offensive against NATO ground forces in Germany.

    Fortunately, all nuclear warfighting remains an unproven theory. Soviet theoreticians recognized that their infantry would have to wear protective clothing to protect themselves from the radiation that would inevitably result from nuclear strikes. They also realized that this clothing would greatly reduce their effectiveness.

    So, faced with this problem, they tried to figure out another way to skin the cat. The Soviets identified a requirement for a special vehicle to safely carry their infantry through nuclear contaminated zones. The BMP was the result. It "solved" the problem of contamination with an overpressure system that would expel radioactive contaminants from the interior of the vehicle as long as all the hatches remained closed.

    The BMP also carried a heavy armament based on the theory that its heavy firepower could suppress surviving pockets of enemy resistance in the contaminated zone without having to dismount its own troops and thereby contaminating its own interior. Once a BMP passed through the contaminated zone, its troops could dismount and fight normally.

    The BMP lacked heavy armor since few enemy heavy weapons would be likely to survive the nuclear strike. Lighter armor (though somewhat more than what an APC carries) would reduce the BMP's weight and cost and enhance its mobility, thus enabling it to be made amphibious, among other things.

    Bear in mind, no one has ever fought on a nuclear battlefield and this is all theory. No one knows if the Soviet ideas would have worked as intended. Von Moltke the elder liked to point out that "no plan survives contact." The story of the BMP is no exception.

    While the nuclear scenario never materialized, BMPs were nevertheless used in combat against enemies that had not been subjected to nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) attack, or even to massed artillery fire. Since they were not well armored, like the tanks they accompanied, BMPs predictably suffered severely from enemy direct fire weapons in both Second and Third Generation conflicts like the Arab-Israeli Wars, and in Fourth Generation conflicts, such as those in Chechnya and Afghanistan.

    Ironically, the United States Army chose to build its own "answer" to the BMP "threat," largely because it did not like the idea of fielding armored troop carriers that lacked the armament of their Soviet counterparts. This "reasoning by mirror image," which had nothing to do with fighting on a nuclear or any other battlefield and everything to do with "one upmanship," eventually produced the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).

    Though heavily armed as an antitank missile carrier and "BMP killer," the Bradley lacked the Nuclear-Biological-Chemical overpressure system that had been the real raison d'être of the BMP. Moreover, the unbalanced emphasis on making the Bradley a fighting vehicle led its designers to sacrifice about half its troop capacity to enhance its firepower. In effect, the designers degraded ability to perform its primary mission as an infantry carrier in favor of secondary missions better performed by tanks, antitank vehicles, and attack helicopters.

    Notwithstanding the trade off in favor of firepower, the original M2 Bradley was no more survivable than either the early BMPs or the older APCs, like the M113. Though it actually had thicker armor than the M113, the ammunition it carried for its own weapons, especially the highly volatile antitank missiles and cannon shells, made it a rolling death trap. When Air Force Col James Burton's live fire testing program exposed the Bradley's extreme vulnerability to shaped charges fired from hand held rockets, such as the ubiquitous RPG-7, the Bradley's designers were forced to make corrective changes such as rearrangements of fuel and ammunition stowage, and the addition of appliqué armor.

    To be sure, the "Burton Modifications" saved a good many lives in Desert Storm, but the fact remains that the Bradley is still highly vulnerable to direct fire and precision guided anti-armor weapons, not to mention mines. Like the BMP, the Bradley's weak armor makes it dangerous to employ its mostly direct fire weapons, at least without employing new tactics, which the Army has shown great reluctance to develop.

    The AAAV, as currently conceived, will share similar weaknesses, though its vulnerability to secondary explosions will somewhat reduced because, as of now, it will not carry missiles internally. Its armament will consist of a 30mm cannon (firing the same ammunition as the GAU-8 "Gatling gun" used by the A-10 close support aircraft) and a co-axial machine gun. The 30mm round will provide greater "BMP killing" power than the Bradley's M242 25mm "chain gun." Nevertheless, one can argue that the AAV-7's "40-50" turret, with its 40mm MK-19 grenade launcher and its .50-caliber M2 machine gun would provide its Marines with better fire support after they dismount.

    The Marine Corps has also specified a level of protection for the AAAV that may not be realistic for a vehicle that must also be able to float and move through the water at high speed. Basic protection on the hull side and front is supposed to stop 14.5mm armor piercing bullets at 300 meters' range or greater and 155mm fragmentation at 50 feet or better. The vehicle is supposed to provide "99%" protection to its crew and passengers from mines, though these mines are probably just the kind designed to immobilize a vehicle by breaking a track or a road-wheel.

    It might be achievable to protect against 14.5mm armor piercing bullets with the frontal armor, but realistic live fire tests, patterned after the Burton tests, would be needed to confirm the level of side armor protection. In any case, whatever protection levels are actually achieved, the bulky and high-sided AAAV will be easy to see and shoot at Š and will provide little or no protection against any RPG, antitank missile, or tank that might be used against it.

    Like the Bradley, the AAAV's additional armor and firepower will come at the expense of its primary mission: carrying troops and/or cargo.

    The current AAV-7 can carry 10,000 pounds of cargo or up to 25 combat-equipped troops if a temporary centerline bench is erected in the troop compartment. The centerline bench is seldom used, however, so real troop seating capacity falls to about 17 to 20. Nevertheless, there is still much extra space for packs, weapons, ammunition, etc.

    The AAAV can only carry about 5,000 pounds of cargo, and it is supposed to be able to carry a "landing party" of 17 - but it will be very crowded, with the senior landing party member seated in the forward compartment with his own hatch and observation cupola. The engine compartment is in the central section of the vehicle, between the senior party member and his troops in the back, but there is enough width for a narrow passageway on either side of the engine. Each of these passageways can theoretically accommodate three infantrymen on collapsible seats. The main troop and cargo compartment is in the rear, where up to 10 men can sit on two facing rows of five seats each. The troops riding in an AAAV (unlike those in an AAV-7) will have no extra space. In fact, they will not even be able to wear their packs and will need at least ten to fifteen minutes to stow them. Crew served weapons and their ammunition, radios, and/or other bulky items can be carried only if seating is reduced.

    Under current Marine Corps doctrine, an AAV battalion is supposed to be able to lift the assault elements of an infantry regiment. Since it is unlikely that number of AAAV's in any future AAV battalion will probably not exceed the current number AAV-s, the restricted troop space in each AAAV will cause a sharp decline in the number of Marine infantry units that can be mechanized.

    The cramped and convoluted troop accommodations in the AAAV will have at least two deleterious effects: (1) more AAAV's will be required to carry a given number of troops (and that could have a force structure impact), and (2) ingress/egress times for the troops will be substantially increased. This could slow down the pace of ground operations and increase the vulnerability of debarking troops. Testing at The Basic School and elsewhere has shown that it is possible to evacuate an AAV-7 in ten seconds but the same operation for an AAAV takes 20-25. This is especially unfortunate because the AAAV is designed to operate much closer to the enemy than the AAV-7. Slow debarkation rates can result in excessive casualties during an ambush, or if the vehicle is sinking, or on fire.

    The one feature that really makes the AAAV unique, however, is its ability to travel in high water speed (HWS) mode. Most amphibious armored vehicles travel in the water in a "low water speed" (LWS) mode. In LWS the vehicle is mostly submerged and is propelled by its tracks (or water jets, as in the case of the AAV-7). Though it can survive surf and fairly rough water and can climb over a wide variety of obstacles, the AAV-7 in LWS mode can achieve no more than the five or six knot speeds reached by John Roebling's original "Alligator," which he demonstrated it to the Marine Corps in 1940.

    The AAAV is designed to hydroplane at 20-25 knots in the HWS, though it can also swim in LWS mode, if conditions are unfavorable for HWS. The Marine Corps specification is that the AAAV be able to use HWS when mean wave heights are three feet or less, but that has not been fully demonstrated. In fact, as of last year, testing showed that even a less than fully loaded prototype could reach HWS only if mean wave height conditions were limited to one to two feet.

    The announced purpose of this very expensive and technically risky capability is to enable the AAAV to support a new Navy-Marine Corps doctrine known as "Operational Maneuver From The Sea" (OMFTS).

    [Spinney's Note: OMFTS is still a theoretical concept. It is way of thinking that links amphibious warfare to the ideas of maneuver warfare, particularly multiple thrust infiltration tactics. Fig 5 is a 3 page Adobe Acrobat file introducing OMFTS and its relation to the ideas of maneuver warfare. The idea of OMFTS itself is independent of technology, but obviously certain technologies might enhance its application, once we understand how it works. Therefore, although it is an exciting concept, OMFTS still needs to be tested and understood thoroughly using existing equipment, before it is adopted and used to shape technological developments. The amphibious triad is a purely technical solution that was defined during the Cold War before OFMTS was conceived. But many Marines now say the triad is necessary to implement OMFTS. This is a logical mistake, because they are not sure how OMFTS will work in the real world. The ideas of OMFTS can exploit many different technologies (in fact, the Germans tried an early version of these ideas underpinning OMFTS in the Baltic Sea during World War I). The bottom line is that OMFTS (if realistic testing shows it can be made to work) should shape technologies like the AAAV not vice versa. LTC XXX in the following paragraphs is alluding to the perverse effects of pre-conceived ideas about technology shaping doctrinal thinking, putting the cart before the horse, which is a process known in the Pentagon as Incestuous Amplification.]

    OMFTS is really a marriage of the "vertical assault" doctrine developed by the Hogaboom Board in the late 1950s and the idea of multiple thrust penetration infiltration tactics in a ship to objective maneuver that bypasses (or reduces) the normal buildup on the beach. The Hogaboom Board called for the use of helicopters to land the first assault waves behind a landing beach so as to take the enemy's defenses from the rear and to allow the landing ships to remain out of sight and dispersed enough so as not to present a worthwhile target for a nuclear strike. Once the beaches were secure, supplies and reinforcements could come ashore in subsequent surface landings, which could be dispersed among several beach areas so that the amphibious task force could continue to minimize its target profile.

    Techno-promoters of OMFTS take this technical solution even further, calling for longer ranged aircraft, fires from long ranged ship-borne missiles and artillery, and unconventional landing craft that could head for shore while the ships that launched were still "over the horizon" (OTH), or well out of sight of land. In an OTH surface landing, a formation of AAAV's could, at least in theory, be launched from as far as 50 miles offshore but, using HWS, could reach land within two or three hours and immediately start moving inland.

    Of course this scenario puts heavy demands on the landing force, and it needs to be carefully tested under the most realistic free play conditions. In the case of the AAAV's technical influence on OMFTS, for example, it assumes the weather or sea conditions will not change enough to force a switch to LWS. It assumes the landing force can navigate over long distances with no mishaps, like going off course (even if GPS is infallible, people aren't) or having to switch to LWS. This techno-solution to OMFTS assumes that nothing will turn a two-hour trip into a 15 to 20-hour trip.

    Within this context, it is well also to remember that amphibious armored vehicles are not boats. They are not designed to remain afloat for more than a few hours at a time. That is because it is usually impossible or impractical to make them truly watertight. All armored vehicles have suspension systems and other cracks and seams that will leak. Waves breaking over the hull will force water through even closed hatch covers. Such leakage is not a serious problem as long as there is a working bilge pump. However, bilge pumps need power and when an armored amphibian runs out of fuel not only does it stop moving it starts sinking. Thus, if an AAAV stays on the water for longer than its fuel reserves last, its crew and passengers will probably be reaching for their "Mae Wests."

    Moreover, the cramped conditions and poor ventilation of the AAAV could easily make the troops seasick and vulnerable to disorientation. A flotilla of waterborne AAAV's could not carry any trucks, tanks, or artillery with it. If it carried enough ammunition, fuel, and water for even a very brief operation it would not have a lot of space available for troops. Indeed, in a true OTH landing (which would have to start at least 20 miles offshore) even if nothing went wrong the AAAV's would use up a third to a half of their internal fuel supply just getting to the beach. Though the AAAV's could deploy lots of BMP-killing 30mm guns, they would have no light mortars, howitzers, or grenade launchers for engaging enemy infantry in foxholes or buildings. Neither would they have any anti-tank weapons, except what their infantry brought with them.

    Given the AAAV's high profile and light armor, an AAAV-based landing force would be very brittle in mounted combat but probably could not carry enough troops to be effective in dismounted action. Despite such problems, such a force might still be able to execute a raid (although the Marine Corps has executed very few raids in its history and most of those occurred in World War II), but it would lack the troop/cargo capacity needed to perform even a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO).

    The bottom line is that HWS may be technically exciting, but it is hard to imagine a lot of future combat situations in which it would be useful.

    One could argue that air power can provide all the supporting firepower and observation capabilities the AAAV force would need. Airpower might also be able replenish its supplies and evacuate its casualties. Nevertheless, air power is highly weather and maintenance dependent. It is also subject to redeployment to other missions at a moment's notice. Furthermore, the effectiveness of airpower against tactical targets has been grossly overrated. Experience in Desert Storm and Kosovo showed decisively that fixed wing aviation's ability to effectively attack deployed enemy ground units is practically nil. Jet aircraft are mainly effective against fixed targets whose exact location is already known. Attack helicopters suffer from very limited ranges, short "loiter" times, and vulnerability to air defenses, especially shoulder-fired missiles.

    Naturally, HWS can also serve merely as a means of getting AAAV's ashore without using other ship-to-shore vehicles. This is perfectly sensible but in most cases, LWS would probably work just as well. Eliminating HWS might permit the incorporation of other features that are more useful to troops entering a combat zone.

    All in all, the AAAV reminds one of the old saw about the camel being "a horse designed by a committee." Its DNA goes back to the vulnerable BMP and the now irrelevant theory of the nuclear battlefield. It combines the flawed firepower/protection concept of the Bradley with the ungainly hippopotamus-like body of the AAV-7 that it hopes to transform into giving it the speed of a porpoise.

    All in all, a more practical and conservative design, giving priority to the AAV's primary function as a tactical troop/cargo carrier, would serve our Marines much better.

    Endnote [1]

    Explanatory Note to the AAAV Paper concerning the West German HS-30 and Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

    The West German HS-30 and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, both pre-date the BMP and are arguably the world's first IFV's. However, they were built for a different purpose and their designs reflected this.

    The HS-30 was actually an improvised vehicle based on a hull originally designed as a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. It had a relatively low silhouette and was well armored for an infantry carrier. It was armed with a 20mm gun and coaxial machine gun in a one-man turret. It could only carry a landing party of five or six who could only mount or dismount through roof hatches since the rear-mounted engine precluded a rear door.

    The Marder was Germany's first purpose post-World War II infantry carrier. It was designed to support Leopard I tank, and used a similar hull and suspension system, though its engine was located in the front, so troops could exit through the rear. Neither it nor the HS-30 was intended primarily for the nuclear battlefield.

    The Marder's armament was the same as that of the HS-30 and its armor was nearly the same as that of the Leopard tanks (for many years the Marders were the most heavily armored troop carriers in the world), with which it was designed to work closely. The Leopards themselves were relatively lightly armored because the West Germans deliberately sacrificed armor for a high power-to-weight ratio. The West German fighting concept stressed mobility and would use their Marders and Leopards to attack the shoulders of Soviet penetrations of the NATO front line. Unlike American and British tanks, the Leopard I's were never meant to slug it out "toe to toe" with the enemy. Speed and surprise would be their protection.

    The original Marder's 20mm gun was not meant to be a BMP killer, though it could certainly serve in that role. Instead, it was a carry-over from tradition evolved during the latter part of World War II, where German Panzer Grenadiers made extensive use of 20mm guns as multi-purpose close support and anti-aircraft weapons.

    A number of armies have come to the realization that infantry carriers designed to accompany tanks must not only be able to traverse the same terrain as tanks but must also be able to survive the same threats. In other words, they need to be armored to about the same level as tanks. In recent years both the Israelis and the Russians have produced special heavy armored personnel carriers based on converted tank chassis. Like the HS-30 they are improvisations that do not carry many troops and whose entry/exit arrangements are complicated by their rear-mounted engines. Nevertheless such vehicles are necessary for infantry that actually accompany tanks. Fortunately, the infantry riding in them need only provide scouts and close-in security for the tanks. This can be accomplished with only two to three soldiers per tank. Most infantry will conduct mainly infantry missions in a combined-arms sense that do not require them to be in close physical proximity to the tanks. They can dismount further away from the enemy and in better-protected positions. Their troop carriers (and they will not always require them) need not be so heavily armored nor should they require heavy firepower either.

    ------[End LTC XXX's Essay]-------------

    Whole article – containing Introduction & Aim and Background
    Article itself is a bit old, so some arguments are weakened or strengthened.

    In any case, I’d like to hear your comments.

  • #2
    The article made a number of good points about the AAAV, or EFV as it is now called. Another one to consider is that as the vehicle and its power-train ages, the available horsepower will decrease. It takes a good amount of energy for such a heavy vehicle to rise up and plane, thereby reaching the "high water speed" mode of travel. As the vehicle ages, it may loose the ability to reach plane and the high water speeds required. A lot of expensive maintenance will be required to keep the power-train performance at a level where the vehicle performs as advertised. Can the USMC afford this?

    This argument was first raised in an article in the Marine Corps Gazette, unfortunately I have been unable to locate a link to the article.


    • #3
      Cold war dinosaur.

      Wait........WWII era(wrt concept) dinosaur.

      No, wait......vastly expensive WWII era dinosaur.

      I'm not sure which is the worse program to be honest, this or Osprey.

      For a pleasant change, here is a USMC program i do support fully:
      CH-53K heavy lift helo

      Last edited by Bill; 07 Apr 06,, 18:12.


      • #4
        What about this?

        I take it the thought of it induces aneurysms?
        HD Ready?


        • #5
          Originally posted by HistoricalDavid
          What about this?

          I take it the thought of it induces aneurysms?
          Nope, for the simple fact that the JLR tiltrotor concept is COMPLETE fantasy.

          Look at that goofy thing, it's a Popular Mechanics cover, nothing more, lol. ;)

          In the end the Army will almost certainly end up with a newer version of Chinook and the USMC their much needed CH-53K.
          Last edited by Bill; 07 Apr 06,, 18:24.


          • #6
            Actually the AAV-7 was a pretty good vehicle and would have had better overland capabilities if the Long Beach Naval Shipyard wasn't scheduled for closure.

            In 1992 I was assigned as design and team leader to remove the original track and track support system (torsion bar restrained only in a tube with the end banging back and forth between hull bottom and deck plating) and replace it with the M-2/M-3 Bradley type tracks and suspension (torsion bars fixed to hull on opposite side and with 2-inch wider tracks).

            The Marine Corps service center in Barstow wanted to keep the modifications "in-house" (with the military) and the Amphib group at Camp Pendleton was very hopeful we would get the job. Visitations at both places loaded me up with all the design criteria needed and I even got to inspect the first prototype vehicle that just returned from the Nevada desert's 10,000 mile test run. During that run they only had to replace the idlers once. With the original system they would have to replace the idlers at least twice, drive sprockets once and up to four road wheels at least twice.

            They were busy cleaning it up otherwise I would have been allowed to test drive it because at one time I was licensed to drive light tanks and APCs.

            Films they showed on the seaworthiness of an AAV-7 were quite dramatic. It showed one actually doing complete roll-overs in a very high surf and still coming in for a landing. But that was with only a driver and a commander. One complaint the Marines had was that some models were so heavily laden with other equipment (comm vehicles, maintenance vehicles, etc.) that they had little signs attached that said "Don't Go Near the Water".

            I designed a sort of assembly line to be installed in our shipfitter shop. It was a series of cradles where each AAV hull would be transferred to by the overhead bridge cranes. The cradles would support the types of machines needed to do the cutting, installation, welding and drilling stages of the conversion. I was also working on a pontoon idea where long pontoons could be added on the sides as the AAVs were about to disembark from an LHA or LHD. Only those that were overloaded would need pontoons so sidewall stowage on the landing ship would not be overtaxed.

            However, we were also to be tasked to add on the bolting studs for more armor plates. I didn't have time to do the buoyancy calcs (thinking however that adding the armor on after landing would be wiser move than before running off the ramp). We were then notified that money for the modifications was suddenly frozen and they would get back to us during another fiscal year.

            You see, we were scheduled to modify 200 vehicles per year. With about 1,400 vehicles requiring track mods alone would have kept the shipyard open another 7 years. Plus there were hundreds more that had been sold (or issued) to foreign countries that would pay for the track mods.

            Instead, the shipyard was closed and today very few vehicles have had the track mods done. I have seen photos from Iraq showing a mix of AAVs still with the old track suspension and some with the Bradley system. If the shipyard was allowed to remain open, we could have started modifications by January of 1993 and had ALL the vehicles modified by 1999.
            Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.


            • #7
              Why was the shipyard closed?

              By the way, adding armour after landing wouldn't make sense from a combative point of view. You wouldn't be able to mount armour when it's raining fire and steel on you.


              • #8
                Originally posted by M21Sniper
                Cold war dinosaur.

                Wait........WWII era(wrt concept) dinosaur.

                No, wait......vastly expensive WWII era dinosaur.

                I'm not sure which is the worse program to be honest, this or Osprey.

                For a pleasant change, here is a USMC program i do support fully:
                CH-53K heavy lift helo

                Is the rear helo about to land wheels up? That would be a bit embarrassing.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blademaster
                  Why was the shipyard closed?

                  By the way, adding armour after landing wouldn't make sense from a combative point of view. You wouldn't be able to mount armour when it's raining fire and steel on you.
                  The shipyard, base and NAS were closed because the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach wanted all that acreage for container terminal parking lots. They weren't making a dime off of that 240 plus acres while it was the most cost efficient shipyard in the country. To hell with our defense structure, let's dump the Navy and get our 15% rake off the top from Port rentals so we can build more coffee shops on Pine Avenue.

                  As for adding armor AFTER landing would be for continueing the assault inland across unsecured terrain. The addition of the armor BEFORE disembarking may make the AAV too heavy to float. Not good. That's why, on my own, I was working up a design for temporary pontoons to be snap-hooked to the sides to allow fully loaded AAV's (including those with bolted on spaced armor) enough buoyancy to get to the beach.

                  As I said in my original post, some were already so overloaded with communications equipment, etc. that they had "Don't Go Near the Water" signs on them.
                  Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JCT
                    Is the rear helo about to land wheels up? That would be a bit embarrassing.
                    I think that's just an artists rendering.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Blademaster
                      Why was the shipyard closed?

                      By the way, adding armour after landing wouldn't make sense from a combative point of view. You wouldn't be able to mount armour when it's raining fire and steel on you.
                      The Marines really don't plan on doing opposed landings much anymore. The plan is to "hit 'em where they ain't" so to speak.


                      • #12
                        Murphy's law of combat #1: No plan survives first contact with the enemy intact.
                        Murphy's law of combat #27: The easy way is mined.
                        Murphy's law of combat #84: If you are advancing in good order and on schedule, it's a trap.
                        There are no exceptions to law #84. Do not be fooled.
                        Last edited by Bill; 09 Apr 06,, 07:03.