Marines: May 11, 2000


The Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle has completed its first high-speed water tests, achieving a speed in the water of 28 knots. The vehicle carries a squad of Marines and a 30mm cannon, and is described as 'a tank on land, a speedboat in the water'. The AAAV is part of a new stand-off amphibious warfare concept; the other half is the V-22 Osprey. With these two systems, the Marines expect to be able to launch their amphibious invasions and raids from extended ranges, instead of the current limitation (imposed by the tactical helicopters and AAVP7 landing craft) which effectively brings the amphibious ships within sight of the beach. With the faster AAAVs and the longer-range Ospreys, an amphibious readiness group could threaten a wider stretch of coastline or operate from farther offshore, where they are harder to attack with anti-ship missiles. Without either the AAAV or the Osprey, the system won't work. --Stephen V Cole


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