The U.S. Marine Corps is the world’s premier naval expeditionary force. But getting from ship to shore is a tricky task even when enemies aren’t shooting at you, and the Marines have to assume that in future wars they will be. So it has to be a matter of some concern that the amphibious tractors currently used to negotiate the last few miles of surf and then charge up onto the beach were first produced over four decades ago. A plan to replace them with something more agile fell through in 2011, forcing the Marines to start over. The new effort is called the Amphibious Combat Vehicle, and it is the Corps’ top development priority. It should be. The Marines need to have better protection and mobility in the force by 2020, because Nixon-era technology won’t be able to cope with littoral adversaries for much longer. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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