(Tribune News Service) — A two-decade-long effort to replace the Vietnam War-era machines that ferry Marines from ship to shore may finally bear fruit.
Marines who are among the first to operate the service’s newest amphibious vehicle say that although testing reveals some problems with reliability, it is a substantial improvement over the vehicles they’re replacing.
Right now, only one unit in the Marine Corps has received the 35-ton armored troop carriers. But the service will add more than 70 vehicles to its fleet over the next year and could order another 80 per year afterwards, according to manufacturer BAE Systems.
A replacement can’t come soon enough. A Marine Corps investigation released this week paints a scathing picture of the conditions faced by nine service members who died on July 30, 2020, when their 35-year-old assault amphibious vehicle or AAV sank off the San Diego coast. Investigators found that several of the unit’s AAVs were in poor mechanical condition on that day, and that the one that sank had two potential leaks that should have stopped the Marines from training with it.
The report of the sinking and drownings of the AAV and crew was, frankly, enraging. For the rest of the quoted article on the replacement, there’s more here, via Stars and Stripes.