The recent M6 Linebacker post got me thinking about the USMC LAV-ADs.
That’s very similar to the USMC’s 18 LAV-ADs. I asked and the USMC has no photos or information to share, just that they’re no longer on the roster. The USMC even admitted that they don’t even know where they are. The LAV-AD hasn’t been photographed in years and I sure bet that the USMC can use them now, but they never reappeared, even refurbished.
Might be sitting at MCLB Barstow, too. Last time I saw them in use was Spring Break '03, the Gatling Gun was a nice attention getter for the bad guys and fence sitters. We had a boot assigned to my platoon who was supposed to be assigned to the -AD platoon and discovered that the -ADs were going bye-bye, he ended up in one of the scout platoons.
MCLB Barstow is a more realistic place for them to be stored/abandoned and lost forever. That place is huge and has all sorts of decommissioned vehicles on it. There used to be a huge yard with just M151A2 in it, all stacked up 3-4 high. Another yard had a bunch of LVTP5s, etc., etc…
That is more likely. My comment was snark for leadership getting rid of all tanks and leaving the 25mm as the biggest direct fire weapon we carry into a fight. The next is either a carried .50 cal or mk.19 since the AAV is sidelined. Yes, I am excluding arty but I think you get what I mean.
Not to knock USMC Public Affairs, but I’ve tried Camp Pendleton and their USMC PAO general inquiry inbox and no replies but that was some time ago…per-pandemic times. The USMC can be picky as to what inquiries they reply to. I can try again with some new USMC contacts that I have, but who knows—maybe the USMC doesn’t like digging up the past. Most inquires go into the general USMC Public Affairs inbox in the hopes that some officer will take interest to answer them.
As far as I know, the LAV-ADs had low miles so it’s odd that they were retired so soon. What’s more…no one has new photos of them. One would think that the USMC will have some photos of the LAV-ADs’ decommissioning, but nope.
Regarding Force Design 2030, the largest gun caliber will be 30mm as found on JLTVs’ RIwP turret, ACV 30mm, and UGVs. A USMC general said that 30mm is adequate for ripping up bunkers, IFVs, and fortifications. He didn’t talk about armor rating though so supposedly the best USMC armor protection will be 14.5mm AP or a little bit more. The Marines piggyback off the U.S. Army a lot so if the U.S. Army adopts 50mm, then perhaps the USMC will too.
A problem with this approach is using the JLTV tactical truck as a autocannon IFV which it is not. The ACV 30mm will get additional add-on armor. But it goes to show that the USMC will support the Boot Marine and not engage in armored fights, preferring Loitering Munitions and ATGMs to perform that task.
Not necessarily until 2035 for the LAV because the USMC intends to replace the LAVs with the Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle (ARV) in which Textron System’s “Cottonmouth” is the leading contender. ARV 6x6 replaces the LAV 8x8 and for the like of me, I can’t fathom how and why a CROWS II (Javelin) can replace a 25mm autocannon. The USMC said that they will explore an autocannon option for the ARV and so far that is just talk and not much push.
Here is an ARV prototype with Hero-120 Loitering Munitions concept.
I get the will be to a certain extent, not saying it has to be a 120mm just doesn’t feel like a lot of up close knocking power. I am more commenting on the today. I could and have been wrong, those programs are not currently fielded, correct? So the boys hanging out on the MEU bobbing around in the water are running a little light on up close firepower.
As I’ve typed a few times already, the USMC was deadlocked in a training exercise with an allied African army until the five MEU M1A1s showed up to break the stalemate. So yes, tanks still play a vital role in combat compared to fighting it out with rifles and carbines.
That said, the USMC is trading guns for Long-range Precision Fires (LRPF missiles). The reason for this is because USMC Commandant David Berger foresaw that Congress will not give the USMC more money to transform and modernize. So he needed to axe Legacy systems to save money for newer ones. The USMC did save money but won’t say how much.
LRPF missiles help in island defense denial out to the sea, but some Think Tankers believe the range is not far enough. Longer range means bigger missiles and larger heavier trucks.
Naval Strike Missiles can also attack land targets (unmanned JLTV NMESIS). The Marines got rid of their FGM-172s SRAWs for Javelins which I think is a mistake because the SRAW was like the British NLAW.
Another problem is that the LCAC is rated at 60-75 ton payload. A USMC M1A1 is overweight for the LCAC at 67.6 tons. The new SSC hovercraft is rated at 74 ton payload but the USMC got rid of their M1A1s already.
So it came down to a money issue to get rid of the USMC M1A1s. Ironically, the US has a budget surplus now after COVID, but there are visions of a looming Recession in 2023.
I don’t know if the USMC is interested in the GDLS’s AbramsX. I should ask them although I think that the US Marines have done away with tracked armor besides robots. Ironically, the US Army hardly ever invites the USMC to anything armor-related. If the US Army and USMC can collaborate on AbramsX, then perhaps we might see a rise of USMC tanks again as AbramsX is rated at 60 tons weight…and has the neat high-tech doodads that the USMC might want such as Active Protection Systems.
Kinda always figured the M1 was the last heavy tank for the Corps but not it’s last tank at all. I think a light/medium tank sorta in line with a Sheridan would be a good compromise. Maybe the AbramsX can do that.
they are still building spare power packs for that series, so somebody must be using them. Last I heard BAE got the contract for the ARV, but even that can change overnight. There is another BAE project (actually two) that would allow the ARV and the other to be built in the same plant. Remember your not dealing with the Marines or Army, but struggling with TACOM. The only thing the end users get to do is to setup the specs required.
More ARV prototypes to test sounds good…see which ones perform and swim the best.
The USMC has indeed tested some 30mm to 50mm autocannons so perhaps the ACV and ARV can sport some remote weapons turrets with these calibers.
I think a TOW or Hellfire Hammerhead launcher might also be an option and the US Navy is exploring Hellfire Extended Range out to 15.5 miles (25 KM) compared to the usual 5 mile (8 KM) range. That should provide a good ATGM and direct fire punch.
Finally, Javelin is receiving a new lightweight command and control unit that can fire Stinger and Javelin with the same launcher and also has IR optics. Being an infantry-concentric force, the USMC should acquire some ASAP.