The US Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems a $144m contract modification to continue the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program. The contract funds the Design for Reliability (DFR) effort through to September 2008.
The EFV Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) of land and water high speed manoeuvre, firepower lethality, communication systems, and the ability to carry a reinforced infantry squad and armour protection have been met and validated. Achieving reliability is the only remaining performance parameter before low rate production can begin, which is projected for 2011.
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The EFV is an amphibious assault vehicle with a design that provides the Marines with a transformational leap in technology and capability resulting in dramatically improved land and sea performance.
Once deployed, the EFV will help the Marines sustain inland combat operations by maximizing tactical surprise; minimizing vulnerability on land; providing improved firepower, lethality, and survivability; and providing on-the-move command, control, communication and computer intelligence (C4I) capabilities.
On land, the EFV will manoeuvre and fight as an integrated part of the joint services ground combat force. The vehicle is capable of speeds up to 45mph, allowing it to complement the Abrams main battle tank during offensive manoeuvres to inland objectives. The EFV’s land mobility and communications capabilities are expected to provide Marines with the ability to exploit enemy force vulnerabilities.
Off shore, the EFV can launch forces from 20 to 25 nautical miles at sea, carrying its crew of three and 17 combat-ready Marines to shore at speeds in excess of 20 knots, three times faster than the current AAVP7-A1.