Marines Like Rat Patrol Jeeps

Marines Like Rat Patrol Jeeps

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Conway has made no bones about his determination to return the Marines to their expeditionary, door kicking roots instead of the second land army it has become in the current wars. Seven years spent fighting in Iraq encumbered the Marines with too many heavy and cumbersome vehicles designed to survive IED blasts, he says, and he intends to slim down the Corps’ battle fleet.

In December, Conway told reporters that the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), a Humvee replacement that weighs in at 22,000 pounds, is too heavy for his strategically mobile shock troops and he dispatched service buyers to shop around for a lighter version. While the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) amtrac replacement, the swimming armored infantry carrier, survived the QDR and 2011 budget exercise, the future of the troubled program remains very much up in the air.

So what vehicles is the Corps buying? Lots of little jeeps. The Marines want to pay General Dynamics $37 million to buy somewhere around 140 Internally Transportable Vehicles (ITV), what it calls “a highly mobile, weapons-capable, light strike vehicle platform that is transportable in CH-53E and MV-22 aircraft.”

The ITV comes in two versions. One is a Light Attack Vehicle configuration that the Marines are buying, jointly with Special Operations Command, for its reconnaissance and special operations units. The second is designed to haul around a 120mm rifled mortar and accompanying ammunition to provide rapid on-call fire support to Marine rifle companies. The ITV and mortar combination pack up small enough to fit inside the Osprey.

The Marines say the ITV in its different variants figures into its “distributed operations” war fighting concept where small, highly mobile, yet hard-hitting, units operate independently over large areas. But the small jeeps don’t come cheap, they cost around $273,000 a copy. That’s a lot of money for a modern version of the “Rat Patrol” Willy’s Jeep.

Also fitting into the distributed operations concept are Marine plans to spend $168 million to buy more rockets for its High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS). HIMARS takes the Army’s MLRS rocket launchers and mounts the rocket pods on a truck so they can fit inside a C-130. HIMARS gives Marines a 60 kilometer plus precision strike weapon.

For those who might worry the Marines are getting too light, do not fear. Budget documents say the Marines plan to add two companies of M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks to its two tank battalions.

Join the Conversation

This will work for Conaway’s concept but as soon as the marines are, again, being used to compensate for an undersized army they’ll be in trouble. Mobile shock troops are what the marines were intended to be and in that regard its good to see them getting back on task.

Five years from now, the inevitable: “COST-CUTTING BUREAUCRATS have saddled the Marines with UNDERSIZED, NON-SURVIVABLE VEHICLES…” with the sob-story photos of Marines welding scrap metal to the sides of their ITV…

“But the small jeeps don’t come cheap, they cost around $273,000 a copy.”

$50K for the jeep and $223K to have someone from DoD sign a form declaring that they have inspected the item and found that it does indeed have four wheels and a motor…

Anybody think of a Kubota or a Gator? Come on guys COTS — make it Berry compliant on the back end.

Ya know what the funny thing about this ‘mini’ jeep? The USMC has done this before. Back in the days when the Corps was operating the CH-37, they had a problem with vehicle weight, ground mobility and helicopter transportability. The solution? The M422 Mighty Mite.

Whats amazing is that it looks almost exactly like the 2010 solution to the problem! It would be funny but its too sad. Of all the procurement boondoggles that are currently going on this has to be at the top of the list. Add to it the allegations of corruption because of the contacts that the retired Colonel had with serving members of the procurement official and this is a cluster from hell.

The Commandant really needs to short circuit this program and start over.

Where’s Willys when you need them. Maybe we can prop Chrysler up with the Marine’s new “Jeep” to be maunfactured at one of their old factories! But $273,000 — no way! We should pay no more than the price of a basic Jeep — something like $30,000.

The price of $273,000 a copy seems a little steep even for the military.

The EFSS system is NOT a “jeep”, it’s a highly sophisticated vehicle that came with MANY unique requirements and there was significant development work needed to get all of the specs to line up together. If you take a standard jeep and try to plug it in, the system fails.

And exactly what is sophisticated about a prime mover? Come on Chris, you can’t kid a kidder. Oh and the LSV variant? It can fit inside a V-22…but so can a Prowler ATV and its probably faster and cheaper too! Check out this video if you want the story behind this vehicle.

<object width=“425” height=“344”><param name=“movie” value=“″></param><param name=“allowFullScreen” value=“true”></param><param name=“allowScriptAccess” value=“always”></param><embed src=“http://​www​.youtube​.com/​v​/​8​1​N​F​m​O​o​b​2​m​A​&​a​m​p​;​c​o​l​o​r​1​=​0​x​b​1​b​1​b​1​&​a​m​p​;​c​o​l​o​r​2​=​0​x​c​f​c​f​c​f​&​a​m​p​;​h​l​=​e​n​_​U​S​&​a​m​p​;​f​e​a​t​u​r​e​=​p​l​a​y​e​r​_​e​m​b​e​d​d​e​d​&​a​m​p​;​f​s​=​1​&​a​m​p​;​q​uot; type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” allowfullscreen=“true” allowScriptAccess=“always” width=“425” height=“344”></embed></object>


ok thats the right link to the story.…

Sophisticated vehicle!???? Thats a joke!


Man, that is messed up!

Why yes I can. I already posted the link to a video. I’ve already listed the solution to a 1950’s problem that came up with the same type solution.

Recognizing fraud, waste and abuse should always be a knee jerk reaction. Sorry Chris but the vehicle that you’re working on is a pitiful excuse for a war machine. To be quite honest the Officer that approved it should be jailed.

I’m fanatical because we’ve designed vehicles to fit aircraft before and it turned out badly? Because I can see that this 100,000 dollar plus jeep clone is really just a slightly muscled up kit jeep that was sold to the Jamaican military for 7,000 dollars just a few years ago? Because better offerings were refused and the makers of this vehicle believe that they won the contract because the owner has connections in the Pentagon?

And you call me a fanatic?

Yes someone should be held responsible. Sorry if your little project is such a turd but facts are facts.

Hey Chris…want to know about the vehicle that you’re defending?

It was called Carolina Growler…then it had a name change to American Growler…then its website went dark but thank goodness for the wayback machine on the internet…this is from 1999

wow, you went straight to the name calling. to be honest i thought that you would be able to hold out for perhaps another minute or two.

facts are hard, cruel things aren’t they? you call me a child and then stomp your feet and leave the debate? to top it off you hide behind men that you don’t know yet who’s honor you seek to defend?

and you call me a child? AMAZING!

With all due respec to the Commandant .….….… General, are you out of your effin’ mind?

A $270,000 Recon jeep?
A $1,000,000 Mortar jeep?

General, look at the 1945 movie “The Story of G. I. Joe.” It has a perfect example of what you are looking for

i think you should due to the fact that he is not being “swayed” by power and money and seeing WHAT will happen to the boys in the field

glad your not in charge then

why tell a fool that he’s a fool?

Back on point,…when I was a teen I used to go to the public library and study Jane’s Fighting Ships for hours. Mainly photos and stats on WW1 and WW2 ships that fought real wars. Next to Jane’s was a book for which I can’t recall the name but I liked to call it the “goonie bird” book. It was a compilation of all the stuff that people had ideas about how to help the warfighter out during WW2. We spent lots of money to develop prototypes of those kinds of things, but fielded none of them. This pet rock falls in the same boat.

This is a makeshift program for the Marines failure to get a bigger, better helo. When they needed a helo that could carry a HMMWV, they settled for less in the form of the V-22. I once told the Marine three-star in charge of aviation that they needed to repace the Jolly Green Giants was an aviation solution but they settled for a helicopter solution. Which just means that most often what the military gets is what contractors feed them and lobby Congress for. We need to be a lot smarter and more cost effective. How much money, technology and heavy weaponry does it take to hunt down and kill a bunch on insurgents with no uniforms or body armor, and only a rifle and an RPG? It does not speak well of our military leaders.

Please keep it civil guys.

N offense but there is nothing sophisticated about this vehicle. Its frame is all steel tubing, and every thing on it is off the shelf parts. There is no reason it should cost what it does, everybit of technology used to build this is proven tech that is used to build rock climbers and offroad vehicles. Nothing on this vehicle should have required extensive R and D. The American Growlers own website says they use old jeep parts. So it is in fact a beefed up glorified jeep, that i have seen built numerous times by rock climbers. The bulk of the frame could be built in a garage wih a plasma cutter, welder and pipe bender. There is no reason for such a high price!

What’s this military really think there polling this time? For years they hip the oversize behemoths they have now and they can’t get through the woods without a tank to plow a road for them. They seem to work OK for the dessert, but that about all. The military really needs something else but not at this price. I keep herring about Toyota pickups running up to are troops, letting loss with a 50, and driving off before we get are supper hi-tech weapons to bear. We need too get back too smaller, even low tech machines that can do the job. I hate to say it but even a jeep would b batter then we have now.

well even the retired colnel said… “if u get shot u shoot back”. what about if u hit an I.E.D?? u fly away! lol

This thing is just wrong on so many levels. The Marine Corps Systems Command was found by the GAO to have made several errors in the awarding of this contract to this company.

Insite Industries Inc. (the competing design) filed the complaint and was in large part proven correct. There was even hearings about this competition in the US Senate… But in the end Insite just got ran over by the green machine. Its not about whether the concept is correct or not…I happen to like the idea, but a cheaper, more capable vehicle was available and it wasn’t chosen. That’s what chafes about this whole thing.

Why does it cost over 273.000 a copy. Bantam was the original designer of the Jeep. But the Government took over and gave the contract and design to other contractors. I forget just who all had contracts. . We owned a Ford jeep way back in the mid 50’s that still had two bullets holes in the back. But I’ll tell you you could not hurt that jeep. in fact I learned to drive in that jeep. My Question is how come they cost so much today..After ww2 the government was selling them at salvage for 600.00 dollars a pop. Just how hard would it be to dig out the original plans and recopy the same frame. but with modern gages. but keep the same old 4 cylinder Go devil engine that was so tough. I also had an old 49 jeep that had the original 4 cylinder Go devil engine and it was still just as strong. But it did still have babbitt rods.. Maybe refit the crank with inserts

Oh and Chris.…I just read your posts again…not to be unkind and to keep it civil like Grant wants…do you even know the difference between the EFSS and the ITV????

Here’s a hint. One is a mortar that should have been ‘Dragon Fire’ but somehow we (the USMC) messed up that automated jewel and now have a manually fed mortar system. The other is the prime mover of the mortar.…That will sometimes be used as a fast attack vehicle…but remember…we BOUGHT MERCEDES BENZ TRUCKS TO PERFORM THAT ROLE NOT LONG AGO!!!! The operative item in this whole mess is the V-22 (which I support).

Want more tears boys and girls???? Remember Special Ops Command???? Well the Para-Rescue boys are looking for an internally transportable vehicle that will fit inside a V-22 that will transport 3 Para-Rescue men out to 50 miles from landing and allow a stretcher bound patient to be transported back to the LZ.

We could have piggy backed our buy off that program and let SOCOM foot the bill for our new vehicle.

I have had 3 Jeeps in the past 20 years and those things are not Jeeps.
Why anyone gets off calling them Jeeps is beyond me!

When are you civilians going to understand. Whatever the Marines want, give it to them, after all they are the ones doing the fighting, they know what they need. Yes jeep is the wrong word, I’d call it a “Marine Lean Mean Fighting Machine” or a “MLMFM”.

For you civilians who don’t know about our Marines is that they always got second hand equipment and made it work right. Now they have the opportunuty to get what they need and you civilians don’t get it.

God Bless Our Marines,

Marshall Tall Eagle, US Army vietnam Veteran

maybe Marines should look at the Jeep J8.


This move seems kinda foolish to me. Get rid of “heavier” vehicles that provide protection to the soldier? Do they want the marines to be nothing but cannon fodder?

The same high costs associated with health care are deeply embedded in gov’t acquisition (1.00 for the shot and 100.00 in planning and documentation. This is a poster child and should be included as a case study for the GAO Cost Estimating Guide.

Good Evening Guys,

I’m really not interested in this subject but I see one item of a that you who are may have over looked, that is this ITV was created to fit into the MV-22 not because it was a needed tactical vehicle, but simply to show the utility of the MV-22.

From the visuals that I’ve see, the ITV looks a lot like a squished up M-151A1 with the fenders removed. The Marines will find or create a mission for the ITV, I’m sure, they have to, but is it really necessary and does it bring something unique to the mission, I don’t see anything.

The military has in the past 40 years spent a lot of money on “light vehicles” that seem to offer little advantage over the M-35, M-37 and the M-38 frames they have replaced. I know a lot of you will go into the issue of armor, IED’s and EFP’s and all that but that’s a whole different class of vehicles.

The basic duce and a half (M-35), three quarter ton (M-37) and quarter ton vehicles (M-38) of the 1960’s did their jobs well, were dependable, adaptable to changing needs and at reasonable costs. They have been replaced by classes of vehicles that are very expensive, and have features, although great and impressive they will never be used during the routine service life of most of these vehicles. Sometime simplicity is the best answer.

Byron Skinner

Totally agree 273,000.00

I say buy or get them to make a larger ATV and beef up the engine and tranny. At most $50,000.00 per copy…

Force them t make it cheap yet rugged… Or go back and have Chrysler make Willy’s again…

Solomon, honestly, what do you care what it cost? If this vehicle expedites the mission and saves lives doing it, then buy it. The Marines are not the Army. Our Mission is about speed and mobility. Not about sitting inside an armored vehicle the slowly creeps down the road and praying we don’t hit an IED. Tell me Solomon, your personal experience in armor vs light attack vehicles.


Last I checked the U.S. is a democracy, imperfect as it is, not a military dictatorship — so NO, Marshall Tall Eagle, I as a civilian, along with millions of others, will not unquestioningly give the Marines, or any other service, anything they want just because they ask for it. If they can make a rational case for what they need, it should be fairly considered and weighed against other national priorities. And FYI — I can easily and happily hold this position AND wholeheartedly and sincerely claim to be a patriot.

You say that you are a U.S. Army veteran — remember that oath you took to defend the Constitution? Read it again — it says nothing about the needs of the military being beyond democratic debate or accountability, never mind automatically having untrammeled precedence over all other legitimate demands on scarce and finite resources.

To be brutally honest, it is this kind of boneheaded bullshit dressed up as patriotism that is part of the problem, not the solution. What you are suggesting is utterly at odds with the long-established constitutional civil-military arrangements of this nation, and makes no strategic sense whatsoever. If the Founding Fathers and Clausewitz were to read your reactionary screed, they’d all spin in their graves.

It would seem, Marshall Tall Eagle, that it is you that does not get it, but I have little doubt that by wrapping yourself in the Stars and Stripes, your earnest refrain about putting the troops first as if you are the only one that cares, and your hallowed status as a Vietnam veteran, that all this somehow, in the minds of yourself and your maudlin fellow travelers, places you beyond criticism.

It doesn’t

God Bless America.

A civilian who does get it.

What would be nice is not to have to fight a war, The next best solution would be to give them a transformer capable of all their requirements, not going to happen in the near term. Is this one of Obama’s transparent competitive bid’s. I sure that one of the big three failing automakers could come up with a better deal than what’s on the table. I’m sure they can paint them in just about any color that the military desires.

Why not go back to the fast light and highly mobile willys type jeep. the mighty mite of vietnam was too light, an anti-personel mine wrecked havoc with them and they didn’t have the power or the mileage of the old fourbanger willys. Of course the troops wopuld have to learn to drive a stick instead of all these automatic gas guzzlers the military now uses. New is not always better. As to mjunting recoiles rifles on them, beef up some for that use. A fifty and other armament would be much better and faster to get away from harm and the old jeep climbed like a goat in just about every terrain

OK, a few comments:

1. Byron. You’re off-base on this one. The Marines have a valid need for a vehicle like this and I endorse the concept.

2. I, too, think the price of $273,000 is ridiculous. I’ve looked at building Jeeps on a number of occasions and have followed the literature on that. From what I’ve been able to find on the specs, I think that as a one-off vehicle you’d probably have to pay more than $100,000. There’s going to be a lot of engineering and optimization. But as a production vehicle I’d not think you’d have to pay more than $80,000. Admittedly, the volume is low but the components should not cost all that much and even with a low volume I just don’t see how it could cost anywhere near the $273,000 price tag.

A recent history of internally carried vehicles in the Marine Corps?

Lets start from the 1990’s (relatively recent) and move forward…remember the M151 Mutt Fast attack vehicle? It was a jeep that was brought out of storage (remember we were using Humvees), modified with bigger tires and suspension, given machine guns and grenade launchers and designed to drive out of CH-53’s.

It didn’t last long and we moved on to an “interim Fast Attack Vehicle”…this was the Mercedes SUV…the Wolf modified Daimler Chrysler. We did the same thing to it. Mounted machine guns etc..on it. It was bigger and more stable than the M151 and we still use it (I think). Not really a success but hey…

Now we have the ITV. Its a back to the future jeep clone…Its claim to fame is fitting inside the V-22. It driven by that sole requirement.

Because I point out that the emperor has no clothes I’m not being patriotic? Why should I care about cost?

If the Marine Corps is wasting money then I care. If they’re not getting the right gear I care. Hey Pete…what’s your experience with light attack vehicles? I’ll put my SRB up against yours any day. You don’t really want to go down that road cowboy.

ied just don’t blow out of the ground strait up, they blow side ways too. not to mention some ied have cooper plates put in front of them now, that blow melted copper darts. so somebody please explain to me the purpose of an open top vehicle, in afghanistan? the commadant of the corps sounds like an air winger, and not a ground pounder. i geuss this is the reasoning behind the ospreys.
and the lack of range on artillery 14 miles thats a joke, 198 shot 18miles

At 237,000 bucks a copy. Its 3000 for material, 134,000 for labor and 100,000 for taxes!

Why? We still buy $400 hammers.

Wanna know the difference between the Army and the Marines? In the Army at night when they stop they set up the pipeline and pumps to get water for their encampment. In the Corp the 1st sgt tells two pvts to take these jerry cans down to the river and fill them up.

It’s in the paperwork. The Wright Bros. contract to build airplanes for the Army was one page long. The contract to build the C-5A, when stacked up and laid on its side is longer than the Wright brothers first flight. Somebody has to pay the lawyers. What did you expect from a government that manufactured a spec for fruit cake that is 17 pages long.

Cowboy? Your right Solomon, you don’t want to go down that road. My buddies just read your statement and laughed. If you only know what you are talking about. First off, did you serve in the Corps Solomon? I did, for nine years. Twelve countries and more operations then you could fantasize about. Corps needs this vehicle, whether you like the price or not, it’s mission specific. What amazes me is that this country fought through WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and various other small battles right up to the 1st gulf war. Now, we can’t fight our battles without heavy protective armor. Guess what, getting blown up is part of the gig. I would rather be light weight and be able to rapidly deploy then to be this slow moving turtle and target of opportunity.

Have a good day Solomon. BTW, most patrols are done by foot in Afghanistan as far as the Marines are concerned that is. The Army, well, lets just say, they love their heavy armor.

Semper Fi!

Please forgive me if I say something stupid because I’m not totally sure I understand all you said, but I found it interesting and would like to attempt a response.

I’m not entirely sure I understand your objection to an open-top vehicle. Yes, I understand that some IED’s are not shaped charges so I suspect you are worried about shrapnel from a nearby bomb? Please do remember that while they are providing essentially no armor, the design has some built-in advantages over even something like an MRAP.

First, it appears to me it is not intended for use on prepared surfaces. I’d want to use it in lightly defended terrain or (more probably) in undefended terrain without roads. I’d want to use 1–3 of them to support something like a platoon or maybe company sized unit as it moved to contact. It can carry some ammo and gear and I’d consider holding it in reserve. Point is that I’d be using it where I did not expect mines or bombs. The heavily armored vehicles are heavy and are not as agile — they’re effectively constrained to locations where they’re going to be at high risk of being hit by explosive ordnance. The Growler will simply be where the bombs aren’t (hopefully).

The second defense is actually BEING an open design. If you are smaller it is a little more difficult to arrange for a bomb to go off while you are over it — it can be done, but it is more difficult. IIRC, the pressure settings on some anti-tank mines might be such that the Growler could drive over the things without even setting them off. Also, because of the small and relatively open design, something like an RPG is more likely to miss it or (possibly) go right through without hitting anything that would set it off. And because it is open, if a bomb hits the force of the blast will be dispersed to lesser effect rather than contained within the cab — not a huge benefit if your legs and lower torso were just blown off, but it could be lifesaving if it were a shaped charge type of munition.

To a significant degree I think the Marines are right about needing the ability to be very mobile and have at least limited vehicular support which they can bring to the battle with them.

If I were to blast the ITV concept I’d try it in this way:

1. Why worry about transporting in a V-22? I figure you could buy stripped and militarized versions of the Jeep Rubicon for about $30,000 each and drop them to the fight from a C-130 — so you don’t need to fit the thing into a V-22 to get that kind of support. And yes, you might not be able to retrieve it from the battlefield but at around 1/10th the cost of the Growler I think the math would work out (I doubt the Growler would survive 10 such missions). Plus maintenance costs should be far less.

Of course, the problem is that you might be somewhere out at sea with your Marines and you have to go now and there are no C-130’s available. You would then be officially out of luck…


No, no there is something wrong with the accounting. There is something wrong with the math. Have Christler manufacture the Jeeps. I think that may cost in between 9,000 to 30,000 a piece with todays economy, it may cost lower.

The need for heavily armored MRAPs in Afghanistan and Iraq doesn’t mean the Marines have no use for a vehicle like this. The British have a number of light fast attack vehicles that have been very useful despite their lack of armor.

However for what is basically a jeep capable of being carried in a V-22, the cost of this thing is ridiculous. I can’t recall what the other contenders in the ITV program looked like, but perhaps they had more promise.

Go find out what the mars are paying per vehicle anyone want to guess?

Yep $330,000 approx. per jeep.

Yes I served in the Marine Corps and I don’t fantasize about a thing. No I don’t believe that you did. Getting blown up is part of the gig? That’s idiotic. If M-ATV/MRAP’s are available and its practical then yes they’re used…by everyone— Army and Marines. You’d rather be light weight and able to rapidly deploy? You’re weird. I guess you think a flak jacket and helmet should be left behind huh?

The internet is famous for not having rules but if you think that you’ve even come close to making sense then you’re smoking crack. I smell poser.

Thanks for going 110% off topic.

Order it with GM or Chrisler. I think it’s cost is $14,000 a piece and thy’ll give you a Jeep Rangler with $ 1000 to
$ 5000 or more discount per piece.

I would like track and heavy plate any thing less than that in my opinion is crap.Of course it looks like general does not give a crap about semper fi so I see him selecting a piece of sheet that will insure him a good civi. job and a fat bonus.I would rather walk or fly and let the general ride his selection to a-stan.

I would like track and heavy plate any thing less than that in my opinion is crap.Of course it looks like general does not give a crap about semper fi so I see him selecting a piece of sheet that will insure him a good civi. job and a fat bonus.I would rather walk or fly and let the general ride his selection to a-stan.

Missng drones? Now Jeep at $273,000 a pece. There is somethng wrong and I thnk it needed to be investigated starting from some top brass

They still have the old Jeep plant up in Toledo Ohio. Im sure they would like the extra work.

It is all about fitting into the V-22, which is only 5.5 inches wide, .5 less than the CH-46E. And it has plastic flooring, so it can’t be too heavy. What is the top speed? 5mph.

So the Corps wants to return to its role as a lightweight strike force, and will add two tank companies.

I meant 5.5 feet

Yeah that’s a mystery too. Last I hear the Marines were debating whether to stick with the M1A1 or upgrade to an A3 version like the Army is expecting to. Now suddenly — without much debate– two more companies of tanks are coming.

The decision making in the procurement side of the house is a mystery to me. First it was the ITV, then it was the IAR and now you have tanks…that doesn’t even add to the mix the issues with whether or not we’re going to proceed with the Marine Personnel Carrier program. Stuff is kinda jacked up right now.

It seems as though we have collective amnesia as far as the current threats are concerned. I’m not sure why ANYONE would think that the employment of IEDs / VBIEDs is going to cease. These are the favored TTPs of the enemy for one reason.…THEY WORK! Maybe Gen Conway should be reminded of the following memo…I mean, WTF, it was 3 whole years ago:

April 2007 there had been 300 IED attacks in Iraq against the MRAP since it was introduced in 2006, and not one death in those attacks. According to Marine Corps BG John Allen, Deputy Commander of Coalition Forces in Anbar Province, there had been an average of less than one injured marine per attack on the vehicles, while attacks on other types of vehicles caused more than two casualties per attack, including deaths. By early 2007, over 3,300 US troops had been killed in Iraq, and as many as 70 percent of those casualties had come as a result of improvised explosive devices, IEDs.

So, I guess if you’re gonna send the USMC running around Haiti after an earthquake, an unarmoured vehicle would be cool. But, take it from me, rolling around with nothing between you and some daisy-chained 152mm shells ain’t cool!

Here’s the first part of Gen Conway’s memo…

In a memorandum to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff dated 1 March 2007, General James Conway, Commandant of the Marine Corps wrote “The MRAP vehicle has a dramatically better record of preventing fatal and serious injuries from attacks by IEDs. The Commander of Multinational Force West estimates that the use of MRAP could reduce the casualties in vehicles due to IED attacks by as much as 80 percent.”

BTW, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle program began as a USMC initiative which morphed into a joint program…for all of you salty dudes who think the Marines don’t like armor. I think I remember riding around Ramadi in a POS M1114 HMMWV in 2008 and the Corps was riding in huge f’ing MRAPs. I never heard any of them bitching about having armor.

There have been a lot of comments on this forum regarding this vehicle; whether it is better than a Jeep or whatever.
My concern has nothing to do with the make/model/nomenclature of this piece of equipment. My question is why is this vehicle needed? Are we not still engaged with an enemy whose favored tactics involve the covert placement of stuff that goes BOOM? Where do we plan on employing this thing? I guess some FOBBIT would look really cool driving to the mess hall inside the wire.
As soon as this is fielded, “Little Johnny” is going to get f’d up by an IED,or even small arms fire, and then we’ll be back to the blame game. the only people who’ll win is the guy who’s selling this thing.

I agree John. We are equiping the Corps with “Technicals”. How about Ford F150’s, GMC’s, or Rams for $30K?? At least, they would have AC.

Semper Fi!


Please remember guys that the Corps had horse cavalry detatchments for over 100 years. The USMC has a history of quick adaptability to terrain, culture, and circumstances. This experiment may become a productive adjunct to special ops. My concerns are:

1. Why the high price for a “Technical” ??
2. Why not Ford, GMC, or, Dodge??
3. “Technicals” were armored (To the extent possible). Even in Mogadishu.

Semper Fi!



Agreed. The Corps is, as it always has been, inovative, and adaptive. Remember the “Higgens” boats? They were originally wooden craft without a front ramp. They took 2 years (And, unfortunately, a lot of dead Marines and sailors to get it right. While I have reservations, I would like to see this thing play out for awhile.

Semper Fi!,

My best friend is the lead field tech for the MRAP program. It is effective, for sure. I would deploy this new platform in conjunction with MRAP’s when ever possible. Being more agile than MRAP’s, they would make a plausable counterstrike element.

Larry, thank you for your comments but I think you are missing a few things.

First, remember that the MRAP would not do well getting Marines from something like a Tarawa to the shore. Point being that armor has its place but isn’t always the answer. That’s why you need ships, helicopters, FMTV’s, MRAP’s, ITV’s, etc.

There is only so much explosive out there and sometimes you need to get away from the mined/IED’d roads and go cross-country through muddy, snowy, and/or rocky terrain.

So, let’s say that you have the USS Peleliu sitting off the Yemeni coast when the location of a big muckety-muck Al Qaida is found out in the hinterlands of Yemen. You’ve also got a Marine or SEAL unit aboard and they’re told to go get the muckety-muck. Your choppers don’t have the range or speed you want but you’ve got Ospreys. So you load up a coupla platoons and a coupla Growlers and send them off to Yemen. So you don’t alert the bad guys you might land your Ospreys 20–30 miles away and march to the anticipated contact point. One Growler is mounting a MaDeuce and the other is towing ammo and a mortar so that they have some additional firepower. IED’s are not the problem — and in any case most of your guys are hoofing it. This is not a mech mission — it’s light infantry and something like the Growler makes a lot of sense. The Growlers are there just to ensure they’ve got enough ammo and a little more firepower if needed.

Larrry, this board was about the Jeep and not MRAP. I think FBI should look into this JEEP for $273,000 per piece cost and the missing UAV drones that was posted on military​.com last month 1/2010.

For all the people who think it should be a heavily armored vehicle, couple of thoughts:
1. All the armor in the world doesn’t do any good if it is back on the boat.
2. How many IEDs did we find during the intial invasion? How many randomly scattered out in the mountains?
3. The alternative to something like a Growler is walking. Maybe not the best executed program but they are buying a limited number of vehicles for a limited role to do what we couldn’t do before.

Curt, Osprey was not the only cargo utility plane. If the problem is the width, we can also use C-5 Galaxy, C-141B Starlifter, KC-787, and C-130 Hercules.

Let’s just say , how about Jeep Rangler, marines?

The main flaw in your argument is that there was a competition and better vehicles were available. This is the grandson of the M151 Jeep Fast Attack Vehicle. We could have and should have done better.

MARCORSYCOM failed on this one.

It is instructive to look at the specifics of this, the reason the cost is so high is because of a few factors:
1. The USMC is buying less than 200 total vehicles for 120mm mortar transport and recon to deploy from a V-22. That’s it, it is not like they are buying hundreds. Look at the FY11 budget line for the program if you don’t believe me. That comes down to less than 50 per MEF.
2. All the overhead for the program (testiing, modifications, etc) all add to the unit price. See 1. above for how many that is.
3. All the wonderful ideas about commercial vehicles (Jeeps, MB interim Vehicles, etc) have one crucial flaw. They don’t fit in a MV-22! This is not even the origional Growler idea, it is both shorter and narrower, although clearly an ATV would probably fit. The mortar even had to be modified to fit.

Unless it can fly or turn itself invisible, i have a hard time accepting that this car (thats all it is, a car without a roof) is worth a quarter of a million dollars.

It doesnt even have doors, or heated seats, or a valet service like the Maybach.

So, REALLY, whats in this car that makes it so sophisticated?

Buy a Toyota Hilux, stick on a machine gun and weld some armour plates on it. A regular civilian can for those $230,000 buy a MUCH better performing, better armoured vehicle WITH airconditioning, stereo surround sound, some spinning rims and still have enough money left to buy food for the rest of the year.

Actually there were only three vehicles submitted. While I am certainly no expert and there were clearly areas of the program that the USMC failed to do correctly, the GAO, Marine IG, DoD IG, and NCIS all failed to find any evidence of any of the alligations made by the one contractor that protested (naturally the one that lost). It is interesting that, as expensive as the Growler is, it was substantially cheaper than the vehicle proposed by the other contractor. So unless you are privy to the test results and can post them, I am going to believe the IG. The IG report was very clear that they felt that numerous errors were made in the program, but final selection was not one of the errors.

i disagree Curt, i’ve downloaded the report submitted by the GAO. they found (like you said) numerous instances of failure on the part of the evaluating officials. i would also add that just because you lost a competition does not make a protest invalid. neither does it mitigate the allegations because the failing bid is accusing the winner of wrongdoings.

i posted a link to an investigative report done by a detroit television station. the statement by the shop foreman that they won because the Colonel had contacts in the Marine Corps is most telling.

that alone should chill the bones of every taxpayer and warrior sent out in these vehicles.

Sorry, your example fails on numerous levels.
1. It doesn’t fit on an Osprey.

So come back with something that fits on a Osprey and then you may have a point.

At least come up with an alternative that is realistic. It has to
1. Fit on a MV-22 with the proper height, width, length, and CG.
2. Be diesel powered
3. Fit on an MV-22
4. Meet all aplicable requirements for mobility and safety. For instance, this one even has Central Tire inflation and somethink like 150lbs of armor although I am not sure why.
5. Did I mention it has to fit on an MV-22?

Oh, and after the R&D, testing, etc. You want to make just under 200.

Uh Curt…simple question then. If this vehicle is the cats meow then how come the Para-rescue community which has put out a solicitation for a vehicle that can fit inside a CV-22 and can travel 50 miles from the LZ, pick up a downed crewman and return isn’t simply buying the Growler?

Is it because they know good gear when they see it? They will be buying fewer examples than the Marines yet they have a brand new solicitation out. SOCOM has a habit of picking gear from the conventional forces and modifying it for their use. They’re taking a pass on this. Why?

The Real story behind USMC ITV.…



The Corps has a long tradition of inovation and adaptation. Not every inovation was doable. The “Higgens” landing craft is a parade example. These craft were originally made of wood, with no bow ramp. The tough lessons learned tranformed the platform into a real work horse. Why is this example important? We must consider the mission, and possible applications. I for one, would like to see these vehicles working in close support of MRAP’s in convoy scenarios. The ITV’s may be an effective counter strike adjunct as speed and agility are so important. Let’s watch and see how this plays out. Semper Fi!

Don’t forget that the vehicle needs to be able to ford in sea water up to a depth of at least 3 — 4 feet (with fording gear) and be able to operate for weeks/month after the dunking without anything but operator maintenance.

As a former CO of a Marine heavy (107mm) mortar battery (Vietnam), I am amazed at the strong opinions held by those who obviously have no experience with Marine heavy mortars and their use in amphibious and helo born operations. In the Marines, the heavy mortars are highly mobile artillery. Like all artillery, they must be as mobile as the infantry they support. If the infantry moves in the MV-22, then the artillery must have that capability as well.

Semper Fi,

I’m with you on the idea that not everything should be armored. There are missions where armor really isn’t an option.

But if your #2 is referring to Afghanistan — there is a little problem… Afghanistan still has a lot of mines and had them the day we arrived. Now IED initially meant “Improvised Explosive Device” but seems now to be used to cover most any explosive ordnance secreted in our path — and in any case, the presence of mines would seem to be an argument for armor. I’d tend to agree, however, that they weren’t generally scattered about in the mountains.

You’ve had a recent problem with your #2’s.

Jeep actually does make a diesel Wrangler. (Look for CRD or Common Rail Diesel in association with Wrangler in your Google search and you’ll find references.)

Still won’t fit into a V-22 though.

I guess something low tech easy for a operator to keep going with a screwdriver and a cresent wrench is just to much to ask for. It would’nt cost as much but then thats not the issue with the big spenders in DC.

Whiskey 6 that’s a straw man argument. This is an entirely new requirement. First the M777 is capable of being sling loaded by the MV-22. Next their is no way in hell this vehicle is going to ford 3 or 4 feet of water.

The defenders of this vehicle are grasping–fumbling for reasons to support it. I still haven’t heard a good reason to support this program.

How do you know this vehicle can’t ford 3 or 4 feet? We use to ford the M151 this deep all the time. As for the M777, why would you want to take such a big gun on the same flight that you are taking an advanced unit to infiltrate a forward area? Your M777 point, makes no point at all. I agree with Whiskey6. Besides all this, it doesn’t really matter. The Marines have asked for, redesigned and will be buying this piece of equipment for whatever they deem to use it for. So get over it.

One more idea to ponder. If it wasn’t for the heavy armor we drive around, the IED’s would be less effective. By that I mean that back in the day, we were instructed NOT to take the same path everyday just in case they were mined. We have become so dependent on our vehicles to moves us from point A to point B. All you have to do is watch our movements, come out at night and set up some IED’s and BOOM, your dead.
We keep dancing around the idea of not getting killed in a combat zone, wearing and driving around in heavy armor, protecting the civilians that won’t get out of the way, even when we go out of the to ask them to leave for their protection.
Get back to more foot patrols, better air and artillery support, get rid of the current ROE and we’re in business. Pro-active, not Re-active is the answer.

I am not sure it is the best solution, but there are reasons why small lots of vehicles with extremely complex requirements cost a lot, and it did win the competition (at least none of the challenges were sustained) . I would think that SOCOM wants something better tailored to their requirements and can make search for an alternative. The Marines want to buy the LAV varient precisely because it is for all intents and purposes the same as the mortar prime-mover. Since SOCOM is SOCOM, if they want a desert patrol vehicle and it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and looks a lot like a dune buggy, that is OK, they are SOCOM. And we all saw how well the SOCOM mini-sub worked out.

Insurgency/guerrilla warfare is a nasty business. We owe it to our troops to keep trying out new ideas and designs that allow us to think outside the box.
To Larry B’s comments of Marines not wanting heavy armor and yet they drive the MRAP’s. Again Larry, Marines do many different jobs in a combat theater. They work in the Airwing, Supply, Motor transport, cooks, admin get the picture. The Marines that are making the most use of MRAP’s are the Combat Engineers and those who run and protect the supply lines. The MRAP is job specific to IED locating. These jeeps (on steroids) are for those grunts or MARSOP Marines that are flown into locations that would not have any IED’s for recon and forward FOB conditions. If you can produce one Marine grunt on here that will back you up on the idea that they would prefer to be in MRAP to a JLTV or HUMVEE, then I will reconsider my position.
HasBeen– Yes, unfortunately the re-supply guys have a big problem. I served in the Corps, My son, also a Marine is in Afghanistan right now he also was in Iraq last year as well and his grandfather served in the Corps during Korea. My brother in law served in Somalia in the Corps and we live here in San Diego. My son in law is in the Air wing and so, needless to say, we have many Marines, from different eras, different MOS’s so when we have get together’s we talk about what is going on now in theater vs what the rest of us encountered in previous theaters. We all see why the Corps needs this. The only ones that don’t are those who will never be, have never been or has no clue what the Marine Corps mission and responsibilities are around the world. Does anyone here know how many Al-Qaeda are in Southeast Asia? Ask any Vietnam vet or anyone who has served in a jungle environment and they will tell you that these heavy armored vehicles would be worthless there. “Every Clime and Place” think about it.

why so much $$? wats so special about this vehicle? iam not familiar with it at all, so why so much $$?

With all do respect to you Marines out there, it sounds more like your Commandant is having an identity crisis. You shouldn’t have to be exposed to IED’s and small arms fire just because your leaders “don’t want to be like the Army”. Sorry, but I don’t think the need and current use of Marines on the modern battlefield is going to change anytime soon. If you have a reconnaisance use for this vehicle or something of the nature, fine. If you want to roll down the MSR’s in one, which sounds to be the case, then this decision was made by a man who’s never walked away from his 4″ thick ballistic windshield cracked all the way through by an IED. Forget the price, think protection. Are you jarheads out of your minds?

it must have solid gold rims??

I don’t doubt for one minute you were in the Corps. 10 years Army Light Infantry myself and save the pissing match, I’ve worked side by side with plenty of Marines and got no beef with any of ya’. I do doubt, however, you’ve ever experienced an IED crackin all the way through your 4″ ballistic windshield, or having a mine blow off the front end of your vehicle and you were still able to walk away with only ringing ears and a few scrapes and cuts. I can say I’ve experienced both and thank god I don’t have a third scenario to give ya. As an Embedded Trainer with the ANA, I have experience in armored vehicles and we even ran missions with Toyota Pickups. There’s a time and place for both, but to throw away all protection whenever you can have it is just irresponsible of leaders.

One more thing: The majority of our patrols were on foot as well. I’d much rather have my support by fire mounted crew served weapons on something that an RPG cannot destroy over something that can be rendered usesless by one sneaky bastard with a single AK47. Heck, I’d think a good size Molotov cocktail would render that thing inoperable!

Josh, no doubt about the IED’s and no is saying anything about the Marines wanting to be the Army. The Marines, with limited budget, have to plan for long term use of vehicles. They are, after all, a quick reaction force. This vehicle is not planned to be used on main MSR’s either. This is intended to be used with the Osprey.
The Marines were using the Mercedes Benz SUV (G 290) for their light attack vehicle and will soon replace it with the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), both of which are too heavy and big to fit inside an Osprey. This “jeep” only weighs 2,000 lbs is designed to fit inside the Osprey. No, a regular jeep is too big as well and weighs much more. This “jeep” has rear wheel turning incorporated into it so it can maneuver easily in and out of the Osprey as well as around rough terrain. It’s faster than the HUMVEE or anything else out there. I would imagine that you could also mount a tow system on these. They seat four with one man standing operating the .50, Mk119 or anything else you need to mount on there. It also has a hydraulic lowering/raising suspension lift kit to give better handling. They do have some armor up planned for it, but not much do to it’s weight specifications. Again, they are not intending to use this on main MSR’s.
Army SpecOps is also eyeballing these vehicles for their needs. I suspect they are going to wait until the Marine Corps gets it’s black eye before they commit, but they are definitely looking at it.

Josh, no doubt about the IED’s and no is saying anything about the Marines wanting to be the Army. The Marines, with limited budget, have to plan for long term use of vehicles. They are, after all, a quick reaction force. This vehicle is not planned to be used on main MSR’s either. This is intended to be used with the Osprey.
The Marines were using the Mercedes Benz SUV (G 290) for their light attack vehicle and will soon replace it with the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), both of which are too heavy and big to fit inside an Osprey. This “jeep” only weighs 2,000 lbs is designed to fit inside the Osprey. No, a regular jeep is too big as well and weighs much more. This “jeep” has rear wheel turning incorporated into it so it can maneuver easily in and out of the Osprey as well as around rough terrain. It’s faster than the HUMVEE or anything else out there. I would imagine that you could also mount a tow system on these. They seat four with one man standing operating the .50, Mk119 or anything else you need to mount on there. It also has a hydraulic lowering/raising suspension lift kit to give better handling. They do have some armor up planned for it, but not much do to it’s weight specifications. Again, they are not intending to use this on main MSR’s.
Army SpecOps is also eyeballing these vehicles for their needs. I suspect they are going to wait until the Marine Corps gets it’s black eye before they commit, but they are definitely looking at it

Pete get off it.

This vehicle isn’t for SOCOM. I’ve been over that but you ignored the question. ROE’s are a different discussion. MRAP’s? Guess what. They’re used by all. Dismounted ops are the rule for the current operations BECAUSE the style of ops has changed.

The Commandants a big (met him) — straight talking guy. No bullshit in him. But I think his staff has sold him a bill of goods. Oh and for the uneducated. How many vehicle programs does the Marine Corps have going right now?
1. EFV
4. Marine Personnel Carrier
7. M1 reset
8. LAV 25A2 upgrade
9. AAV upgrade/life extension
10 M-ATV
11. MRAP upgrade with TAKS suspension
so tell me what on that list should be short changed for the sake of a jeep hybrid that can’t do jack? I’m all for good gear but if its wrong then it shouldn’t be purchased.

But Pete! That would make a lot of sense and it wouldn’t cost as much. Totally unacceptable!

Actually, it doesn’t really take care of convoy resupply. I don’t think we’ve got enough airlift to fly all our supplies into Afghanistan and there are relatively few roads we can use for resupply which means we are going to have to deal with roadside bombs and ambushes for quite a while. The flip side is that if we do more foot patrols we won’t need as much diesel and other supplies trucked in?

Personally, after my little sojourn in Afghanistan I became a great believer in a combination of mounted and dismounted patrols but I’d put the emphasis on the dismounts.

I’m x11ty billion on the changing of the ROE’s.

Pete, thanks. It’s nice to know that some understand the need. I suspect having been in a light infantry unit helps one understand why something like the Growler is necessary.

I’ll happily state that I don’t think the Growler should cost anywhere nearly its current price tag — I won’t claim to know where the blame for the ridiculous price should lie.

At this point, I’m just not interested in trying to make people understand that there is a Marine NEED for something like the Growler which nothing currently in the inventory can fill. Fortunately the number needed isn’t that great and its acquisition should not trash the other vehicular projects.

The big problem with the cost here is royalties, because they are using a lot of jeep components and Chrysler owns jeep, GD will have to purchase tooling to make these vehicles and hire personnel which is why the initial cost is so high. Even the aftermarket companies making jeep replacement bodies and such had to pay chrysler a pretty sum. The Govt needs to step in since we owe so much of chrysler and tell them they no longer own the rights as far as a military version is concerned and this would reduce the cost. Personaly I prefer the mercedes version and the chenworth dune buggies over this concept, but I like this far better than I do HUMVEEs. IED’s are not always going to be an issue, and they become less of an issue when you are actualy light enough to not have to use roads all the time to get where you are going.

Love our “heavy” armor huh? 6 years infantry and the only armor ive been in was FTX and family day dog and pony show. Just about everything else was dismounted. What, you think the Marines cornered the market on humping? I guess the half dozen amtracs packed full of Marines I walked past doesnt count right?

Ok, fair points. allow me to retort:


That was a respone to eagles post BTW, not FSBs (as i actually kinda agree with him)

im pretty sure the marines are intended for force protection and to be a combined taskforce for rapid deployment. shcok troops is a little more.

i would just as soon spend this money on fellow devil dogs as to give it to aig or some other s—tbird outfit for bonuses, christ these people arerisking their lives for our freedom, semper fi.

First; Can you tell me Solomon, which of all these vehicles, on the list you provided, will fit inside an Osprey? None!
Secondly; What exactly is your problem with the Marine Corps? Military buys crap all the time that cost too much, and I for one agree, this vehicle cost too much. But, in the end, these Marines will end up with the vehicle needed to operate with their Ospreys
Third; You’re wrong! Socom is eyeballing this. Why wouldn’t they, No one else has a vehicle that can store into the Osprey and yes Solomon, they have a bunch of those as well.
Semper Fi!

One more thing Solomon, the list provided shows eleven programs of which seven are Army_Marine Corps CO-OP programs, another two of which are UPGRADE programs on existing systems and the only two that are actually Marine Corps Developing programs are the MPC (Marine Personnel Carrier) and the EFV (Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle).

Looks like a Jeep to me, which leads me to question the $273K price tag per vehicle. Think it was Chris, who by chance works for GD, termed the vehicle “sophisticated”, which raises the issue as to what sets it apart from an off the shelf Jeep? General Conway is an 03, who hopefully has taken into account what he foresees as the future role of Marines, including where & when they will fight. Having done my time with 1/9 in VN, this type of wheeled vehicle would not be capable of navigating the rice paddies, hills and jungles. In effect, it would be limited to MSR’s, and fixed positions. As to vehicle mounted weapons, the 106 worked great on Jeeps & Mules.

The USMC had an opportunity to have a really unique vehicle with a folding suspension that fit inside a V-22, it expanded upon exit and provided the best off-road mobility of any known 4X4, in 2003. The price was around $300K. It provided enough on board power to run a TOC and did 1 hr plus of silent running at 30 mph. they decided it was too expensive. Ohh, the niggardly, short sighted Corps.

With the exception of rear wheel steering, most current SUV’s have similar capabilities at much lower cost. Most of the technology exists, and doesn’t have to be reinvented.

his point is you never never call a marine a soldier its considered an insult. thats why we say Army stands for Aren’t Ready for Marines Yet.

i got to agree they need to go bac to the drawing boards with this its just too much of a willis jeep look a like

Spinners for jamming

Not to defend the cost too much, but this is far beyond a Jeep. Lets look at it objectively. On a 2000lb vehicle with a track less than 5ft wide that fits in a V-22 you have:
1. Central Tire Inflation
2. Variable suspension
3. Rear-Steering
4. Diesel Powered
5. And it meets all the appropriate safety and performance requirements
This is far from being a Jeep or something someone put together in a garage, although it may look like one. A modern commercial jeep looks a lot like one from the 40s, but they are completely different.
Oh, and you are buying less than 200 in three different varients so you can pretty much figure they are being hand assembled.

Having served under then lieutenant general Conway in Fallujah in 2004 and lcpl rifleman in the Marine Corps, his idea sounds pretty good to me, he always did well by us then. I don’t see why they can’t get em for less than what might as well be a quarter mil apiece though.

The Mighty Mite was a rolling (sometimes) mechanical breakdown looking for a plane to happen. Expensive base price and and high maintenance cost. It was essentially an aluminum junk pile. The engine, gear box and drive train was a joke. Still in USMC inventory (early 1960s) in parallel with the MM (Mighty Mite = Micky Mouse) was the WWII jeep, mostly used in a radio vehicle role, but far more reliable. As a light weight vehicle suitable for helicopter lift the Might Mite met its intended design purpose, but that was about the extent of its usefulness.

As a vet and having done something similar in Nam I see this as a complete boondoggle. The cost is absurd ! I had an armored 106 recoilles jeep with a couple of 60’s in the back,100% tracers and charlie didn’t like ‘em much. I realize things are different over there and weaponry is better now but at almost 300,000 a copy c’mon give me a break!

I ‘m showing my age, but when I was in the Marines, the JEEp worked just fine, and I’m glad to see the Marines are focussing on their tactics before they go shopping.
Persoanlly, I’d take the concept farther-check out the Steyer-Puch “Pinzgauer” for a troop truck-cheap, easily overhauled and maintained, highly mobile, light. ANd no, there’s no armor-that’s because these are personnel carriers and most war zones aren’t drive thru-you have to eat in. As for an AFV, I’m still a big fan of the Russian BMP. It uses cover instead of armor. It even swims with no “life vest”. But the COST! You really mean, 4 “jeeps” for a milion dollars??? I can buy one “jeep” or two houses??? Hey, Semper Fi, and all that! But, did Conway ever think of checking out DRMO? Ebay Autos? Gawd! You know, the Taliban does just fine in 1/4 ton pickups. The major problem is “institutionalization”-spending thier whole life in the military has a way of leaving generals with the financial acuity of a four year old.

You all missed the point, the high dollar costs per unit is to cover the Congressional kickbacks!!!
The Marines would use a sled if you gave it to them, they know how to improvise. It’s the purchasing
agency with the issues.

I realize that $273K sounds like a lot of money for a Jeep. However, having worked in the Defense Industry for a number of years I can tell you that there is a lot of US Gov Mandated Requirements that usally come with that price tag. Everything from Research and Development to Maint planning thru it’s life cycle. After all we as Americans only want the best for our troops. I would rather pay taxes in support of this than some overpaid do nothing never been shot at Senator, Congressman, or President for that matter. IN 2010 WE NEED REAL CHANGE!!!

I was in the Marines from 1982 to 88, we also used the little ole jeep. It would go just about everywhere, it was extremely easy to work on and was very dependable. As a matter of fact, if I had some extra cash, I would seriously look into finding one and buying it.
Look, the Marines need something that is similar. Problem is that when the military needs something, the politicians and contractors get gold fever! They see it as a way to funnel tons of money to their district and the mission is an after thought. Therefore the final product that comes out is a bloated money pit. You can’t tell me that these vehicles should cost 270K, no way! What we need is competition! Hell, give the marine mechanics some materials on tools, let them build their own. Or get those guys that build those monster choppers, see what they can come up with. I would even see what Honda, Hyundai, etc., can come up with. These are not the only solutions but they are a start. Bottom line is that as a tax payer, I am sick and tired of getting ripped off by greedy contractors whose top priority is getting rich. I am also sick and tired of seeing our military get stuff that doesn’t do the job, hard to maintain, and unreliable.

the 75th Rangers had this type of vehicle in the 80s, and then went to a modified landrover 110, RSOV, The RSOV has already been designed and was pretty well thought out and would fit in a CH47 and an MH 53 Why do they always try to reinvent the wheel?

And I was Laid Off because ” We need to be Good stewards tax payer dollars” Col. Johnson Barstow Maintanence Depot. What a FN joke.

Sounds like a bunch of wanna-be thinkers trying to get the tax payers to buy them for 15,000 SQ FT homes and bigger SUV’s. I aint no big paid wnna-be thinker. But, I do say Fucck the POLITICally correct BS and cluster bomb the hell out of alll the ak, rpg carrying socialpaths, let them have their virgins they are to high on hash to do anyway. Send them to heaven with their delusions of grandeur. I doesn’t take billions of dollares worth of upgraded atv’s to solve that problem. Ask France what they told the world about perpetuators and sponsers of terrior on french soil. And, why they spent soo much time and money on a neucleor force.

Guess I’m a little dense but why is someone trying to reinvent the wheel when we had a perfect vehicle in Nam called the Ontos? It was fast, manuverable and packed a hell of a punch, especially when they ran in “rat packs”..

There is nothing better than a willie” I left my jeep to the SVF I should have bought it after my timeand shiped it home!!

I work in aquisition and this embarasses me. Adapt a damn Jeep, dont pay 273K to get a ground up designed one.

This program manager needs to be brought up on charges.

Yeah we need this POS built buy UAW workers who we know who has their back and every raghead in the world does just fine with Jap 4WD trucks not to mention the good ole boys with the big tires.
Give me a Nissan 4WD with diesel and be done with it. Might make it a convertable roof but it would do just fine.

After seeing this news report how are these guys not in jail????



A waste of money and a buddy buddy decision that will put marines in danger. No excuse for picking that lego cartoon jeep over a more superior and overall cheaper armored vehicle.….could have spent that money on more important things like, i don’t know, pay!!

yeah thats true, if it cost less that i could see going for it.

This new vehicle will do nothing that is NEEDED that an off-the-shelf JEEP CJ-8 light patrol vehicle will do. It is currently in production, and as viewed at the last AUSA conference, is readily available at a WHOLE lot less money!

Food for though CONGRESS!


After investigations by NCIS, the USMC IG, DoD IG, and the GAO, exactly zero of the alleged wrong-doings or failures of the selection could be proved. Not to say they didn’t happen, but no evidence was ever found to substaniate them. Obviously a conspiracy!

In 2003 the USMC had a foldable suspension vehicles made specifically for transport in a V-22. They thought it was too expensive at around $300K per vehicle. It had had better crodss country mobility than any 4X4, proven at the most difficult off-road test course at WSMR. It could do silent running for more than an hour at 30mph and provide enough exportable power to run a TOC. It could have been the precursor to JLTV instead of this thing.


I usually don’t comment on these matters, but I am a former GDLS employee who worked on the EFV and other programs and I am never sure whether to laugh (as a cynic) or cry (as a taxpayer) when I read these articles.

There is no way it should cost this much and whoever said this could be a modified COTS vehicle is absolutely correct. Its hard to say who is to blame in this. Military folks can lose their career if they call out waste, fraud and abuse — their own commanders and the contractors will bury them. The commanders themselves are tied down by Congress. Few of the folks working in the bowels of hese programs understand the lobbying portion which I witnessed first-hand. For example, everytime the USMC talked about pulling the plug on EFV, GD’s army of lobbyists would swoop-in on Congress and make sure that didn’t happen. Inotherwords, if you do what is right for the taxpayer and soldier, your blossoming career comes to a quick end.

The Army has always wanted the marine Corps to be part of the Army. The USMC is is not a stay in place and fight for extended periods of time, thats what the Army does best. Why the jelousy overy a very effective fast moving force that kills lots of bad guys. The Commandant is spot on, keep the Marine Corps fast, mobil, hard hitting and lethal. The cost is nothing comparied to the effectiveness of the Marines with their light fighting capability. The reason the Corps is good is because it use’s some of the Army’s stuff at reduced prices and little of their own stuff and there you are. Does anyone remember the Captain who created the Marine Utilities, as soon as he got it out every other brance tried to copy it, the only problem was the embeded USMC logo. The Marine Corps will always be the best at what they do, but lets give them the equipment they want and need to complete their mission.

Semper Fi Brothers

Kenneth Rice

General Conway is not an arm chair Gen eral. The General is a Field Officer, and a D– good one.

The Corps should and is proud of him.

I believe I can say this, as a 30 year retiree.

Preferred Chassis Fabrication Inc. has developed a vehicle based upon its COTS Scorpion to meet the LTATV and LMV specifications. 4 Wheel & Offroad has an online posting; http://​blogs​.4wheeloffroad​.com/​6​6​2​1​3​5​1​/​m​i​s​c​e​l​l​ane
The reduced size and footprint Scorpion is designed with the CV-22 in mind but retains the proven Scorpion capabilities.

General Conway is not an arm chair General. The General is a Field Officer, and a D–Excellant one.
I believe I can state this, as a 30 year retiree.

So they sell these to the Dominican Republic for $33K (per their website) and to the Marines @ $273K. That would but a lot of good body armor. Guess kickbacks are more important though, huh??

The old M151A2 was reported in service in theater in 2002–2003 because it could travel streets too narrow for a HMMWV, and ride in a –130. It’s also the source of the “old jeep parts” that Carolina Growler used; CG was just a new-manufactured M151A2 tub and bolted on refurbed running gear and power plant.

Too bad we destroyed thousands of M151A2s… (and yes, I drove one almost forty years ago, and have one today in the garage as my daily driver.)

must have air force ash trays and hammers, $250,000 for a friggin jeep for 4 people, hell for that you could get r44 helos and be really mobile, spending run amuck, once again, only people winning are general dynamics execs

“The Marine Corps Systems Command did not award the EFSS and ITV contract in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation. Specifically, Command source selection personnel did not adequately document and disclose all technical evaluation criteria in the solicitation and did not prepare a price negotiation memorandum. As a result, the Command’s source selection decision did not meet Federal Acquisition Regulation tests of fairness, impartiality, and equitable treatment.”


I am not suprised. This is an effort to continue to maintain two Armies. The USMC hasn’t had a real mission since Korea. They are the US Army’s auxiliary and it is high time they are folded in.
Lets not forget that the amphibious role was developed by the Army and it is the Army that conducted 98% of all landings in US military history.
Cost savings in every area from R&D, logistics, training, elimination of redundent HQ and much more will add at least two additional divisions. The history of the USMC must be retained but is should not be a reason to keep redundent military forces.

Get your facts straight.


I agree, I served under then Lieutenant General Conway in Fallujah, also his son, then Captain Conway was a rifle company commander in my infantry battalion, 2/2, attached to 1MEF at the time. From all I have seen of and heard about the Commandant, he’s the real frickin deal!

ok, so what happened in places like vietnam and somalia, and more recently in fallujah, where i personally served; that whenever the marines pull out and hand things over to the army they alway f*** it up, and then the USMC has to go back and fix it again. I have seen it personally, more money and less training does not make a better fighting force, Semper Fi till I die, the army is good at getting cooks and px’s to theater though. Too bad the army forgot how to fight after vietnam

In war there are alway’s casualties, I bet you would like to stay home and fight your opponent via X-BOX, well that luxury is not available yet. Untill that is we will have to live with doing the job the best way we can and prepare for the worst. I hope everyone comes back safely but I know better, SO I would hope that we go in as best equiped as we can. Not all situations or circumstances are ones that can be anticipated or prevented. Do your job, look after the guy’s around you, keep a sharp eye out and please try & get back home as best as you can.

ask the the men and women in the field what they need, and give it to them .there the ones that are fightihg and loosing ther lives.YES, the cost is high . I trust our people fighting for me and you , I trust there judgement why dont you ? ask yourself when a son or doughter dident make it back home , why dident i give them the tools they needed, Ask yourself why its ok to spend 2500 dollers a plate for a dinner in Washington ? A dinner you the tax payor cant go to. 300 hundred dollers for a toliet seat, 250 for a hammer and so on .Is it to much to ask to give our fighting people the, tools to save US ???????????????????????????????????


(1) According to historians, the average age of empires is 200 years. America is on the backside.

(2) The $400 hammer really cost $10. The other $390 was contractor overhead. DoD needs to shop at Home Depot.

(3) When the Marines kept going to Congress directly to get what they needed, Teddy Roosevelt, as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, wrote an executive order for the president which transferred the Marine Corps from the Navy department to the Army. The Army declared they didn’t want a renegade outfit in their midst. After three months and a threat from Congress to cut off the Navy’s budget, the president relented.

It’s just some metal with tires and an engine. $30,000 tops!

You might want to look at the full report as opposed to just the summary. Nice selective editing, you have a great future on 60 minutes. I did not say they did not identify mistakes, I said they did not find any evidence of the alleged wrong doings or violation of the law that were made and neither did NCIS or the GAO. Were there procedural errors, failure to document decisions accordingly, etc. Yes. However, on virtually all points raised in the protest and certainly all the major ones claiming wrong doing, the IG found no evidence to support the claims. Sorry, I did get my fact right.

AND…it will probably have “electronic” controls instead of mechanical controls for the gas feed, brakes lights,and heater controls.Just like the damn things on our cars that cost a fortune to replace and have no value
in making them less costly or more efficient to operate.Can’t borrow any more money from China so I guess it will be Japan we get the money from to buy them from. I am just so dammned frustrated with the idiots running our Government AND our military. Wonder how long 140 of em would last in battle.….? They ALL should be equipped with the Mortar, at a much less cost.!!! USAFE8RET

AND…it will probably have “electronic” controls instead of mechanical controls for the gas feed, brakes lights,and heater controls.Just like the damn things on our cars that cost a fortune to replace and have no value
in making them less costly or more efficient to operate.Can’t borrow any more money from China so I guess it will be Japan we get the money from to buy them . I am just so dammned frustrated with the idiots running our Government AND our military. Wonder how long 140 of em would last in battle.….? They ALL should be equipped with the Mortar, at a much less cost.!!! USAFE8RET

To the John who once again is talking about things he has no ideal. The MARINES have been front line in every engagement the US has been in. They frontlined all major campaings in WW2 against Japan, Korea, Nam, the term first ashore is in ref to the MARINES and not the ARMY. The Marines guard every US embasy in the world and the President and congress as well because of thier competence and ability. I am not a MARINE but I respect them and know they will always get the job done. All I can figure is you were rejected by the MARINES and wound up joining the army or went home and played paintball, because you dont know squat about the military of today or yesterday.

(cont) GD’s overhead is hemmed-in by the archaic contracting requirements that run government procurement and there is a huge union political element to this. GD uses a unionized work force (UAW) that has many financial ties to Congress.

There should be a competition and it should be awarded to the least expensive and most technically capable company and that’s it. I won’t even go into the issue of how this requirement was birthed by the lift limitations of the Osprey — that isn’t even debated at GD anymore because MARCOSYSCOM states it openly.

This is just sad because America can do so much better. Welcome to the decline of the Roman empire…

The effort is to make the teams quicker and capcable of going places like goat paths and hard to travel location; the mountains are going to get a looking at. To use them in the villages is ignorant, so far we haven’t lost a soul to IED’s since the V hulled heavies were finally put into action. These will not be replaced by the lights; it looks like they are cleaning up. I remember as a kid seeing the old Willies Jeeps in the rocky hills where there was joint efforts by all to get where they wanted to be; the old winch and backs always were the order of the day; they will be replaced in short order for a vehicle with cab self leveling along with all wheel independent suspension sporting the balloon type tire that are not puntionable.but givng to maximize traction. I don’t believe going down to GM or Ford and buying off the floor is the way to go either; this is why the requestor of any special Project item will cost more; Research and Development is always paid for by the requestor; here we have the DoD; no one would ever take a request if R&D was on the back of the supplier. Lives will be lost if they are just cutting the budget;

ha, sounds to me like another, its the goverment let jack up the price. Sort of like a toilet seat or a hammer.

Great! Marines should have the best and most advance gear availble, however where do $ 273 k´s fit on a small vehicle as the ITV ? What are these vehicles made of. Is there technical specifications available to the public?

Hi, Chris.

I agree with everything you stated regarding this vehicle. My only concern is the cost. The original Jeep was built for 875.00 dollars a copy.

I don’t understand, nor can I appreciate the cost, of these vehicles. By definition of their mission, the vehicles are expendable. Your company should be able to reduce the cost; however, they won’t…

yer right on .. darned DOD sign offs hold up production and expediant delivery by their inspections, heck fire the troops can tell those over them if theres a short coming on what they get. but typical military oversights, never let those whom use the equipment tell what is needed…
And i remember the “Rat Patrol” gang on TV.
in nam we had horses that didnt have to be fed, but sure needed watching at nights.
kill the enemy , kick azz and take names later is what my opinion is..

Don’t know much do you?

You know I think some enterprising Marines made the same type vehicles from surplus M-151s a few years ago. Remember seeing them in Okinawa. The $273K vehicles might be nice; but een if surplus M-151s are not still around and they could probably be built new for less than $10K. In tight budget times would really make more sense, wouldn’t it?

Just settle for a Jeep Rangler, it is also 5’6″ width thay can also fit in the Osprey and it may cost $ 9,000-$ 14,000 per piece with $ 1000 to $ 5,000 discount if purchase with GM or Chrstler. Or GM or Chrstler will manufacture it, with the military specificaton at a cheaper price.

COTS??!?!?!?! What a foolish idea that has been. Case in point? The MRAP vehicle. Can’t provision the spare parts; can’t get repair procedures, can’t get tech manuals to repair. COTS is penny-wise and pound foolish!!!

Chris, I was an OSI agent who got rail-roaded into working fraud after going to the AF contracting officer’s course. I almost resigned after working a few cases because almost every case I worked, the govenment specs were what caused the inflated pricing. When an item has to be inspected five different ways, by five different sets of eyes, the company (contractor) has to charge for that time. It’s not the companies fault that the military wants all toilet seats on a C-130 to survive a crash (even though all survivors never have time to make it to the surviving toilet seat, they usually went on impact). I have seen both sides of this. Solomon needs to see the other side to understand, and then do something with his passion other than trying to win this battle with words. I hated the system, still do, but if any change were to occur, action would be a majorly positive step. BIll K

Bravo, that’s hilarious considering there WAS competition and most of the bids came back as unqualified and thus we were awarded. This program took 5 freaking years to devlop due to constantly changing requirements and new requirements that were beyond what had been done before. And not that it matters to any of you people who insist only on bitching, but this is a SYSTEM, not just a vehicle. The rifled mortar system that it tows is also apart of the package– you can’t just “attach” it and go when coming out of a CH47 or VH22.

If there Marines needed, or wanted, an off the shelf standard Jeep for this mission, they would have selected one years ago and bought it. But a regular Jeep doesn’t fit the mission profile and CAN’T meet the requirements for the EFSS program.

But like I said, I’m sure the keyboard experts here who have no insight or role in the program know what the Marines in combat need better than they do.

What was wrong with the Vietnam Area Ford Jeeps and 1/4 ton trailers?

How about a used Toyota Pick up Truck with a home made gun mount and two individuals manning it? Demonstrated to be effective and a heck of a lot cheaper than the proposed ITV.

Explain to me how this “SYSTEM” as you call it warrants a $200k plus price tag. What technology involved makes this “SYSTEM” worth that much? What exactly about this “SYSTEM” has never been done before, because i dont see anthing that technologically advanced on this vehicle. This whole program appears to be a giant waste of money. Putting proven technology in a new package and claiming it to be advanced.

I bet we could get a light jeep for about $15,000.00 each. Fast and light. Rat Patrol II. I was the one of the 1st maint chief on the LAV’s. We spend way too much mone on things.

Today I read another depressing article about how another part of our troops are being saddled with an expensive fix me up. I always believed if the country ( our govt. ) was to send our well trained troops into Harmsway over seas. They should be the most well equiped soldiers around the world. Are the powers to be ever going get it right or should our soldiers be taking their own cross to mark where they fall because some person back home is going to the bank instead helping in all reality. Cut the price gauging and think hard and visualize your son or someone close facing an enemy with not the right equipment. Cut the costs and not the lives of our men whereever they are stationed .

That is definitely more of what I would have though to be a base for this design!

Perhaps the problem is that the V-22 isn’t wide enough ?

If I have any comprehension level at all for what I’ve read here they are selling a stripped down basic style carolina growler willy jeep hybrib for way overprice. There is no doubt in my mind $270,000 is way too much for a vehicle of this type. To be honest I can’t barely see what this vehicle can do that a HUMMER can’t. From what I’ve read those have no armor either and have been produced already too (for cheaper). I can see the RAT is smaller than a HUMMER but other than that no real advantage.

what about a john deer gator? or other ATV there has to be a less expensive answer.



Take a look at the LASSO Vehicle being developed by VSE Corporation. Full-time (locked) SIX-wheel drive, fully independent suspension, 3-cylinder turbo-diesel (w/JP8 capability), FITS IN THE V-22 Osprey, 3,000 pound payload, 6,000 pound GVWR, ability to carry class IV materials (4′ x 8′ plywood sheets), significant COTS content, meets 60% slope/40% side slope, traverses 14″ step, 22″ fording depth (without fording kit), 12 inches of ground clearance, 9 inches of suspension travel, common military controls, meets J2194 ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) requirements. Do a search on youtube for “6 x 6 wall climb” and follow the Weissmann link for several other videos of the LASSO vehicle test-grinding through the mud and the (3) rock crawl courses at “The Mounds” off-road park in Genesee County, Michigan.

The BIG difference is that they needed something that they could stuff into a V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Which, by the way, the VSE Corporation LASSO Vehicle will do.

THERE it is “ITV”…ITV = Internally Transportable Vehicle! They want something that fits into a V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft. Mmmaybe you didn’t pick that part of the conversation up though.

Ummmm…the V-22 CANNOT take a vehicle that is 5′ 6″ wide. 56″ is the max allowable width. 5′ 6″ is 10 inches too wide for the Osprey.

The V-22’s cabin and cargo ramp are capable of accepting cargo pallets or containers as large as 68 inches wide, 66.23 inches high, and 250 inches long as long as the object is capable of achieving the necessary restraint criteria. The Osprey has a usable cabin volume of 739 cu ft and is designed to carry up to a 20,000 lb load internally.

Uh…how about fit inside a V-22 Osprey?

Take a look at the LASSO Vehicle being developed by VSE Corporation. Full-time (locked) SIX-wheel drive, fully independent suspension, 3-cylinder turbo-diesel (w/JP8 capability), FITS IN THE V-22 Osprey, 3,000 pound payload, 6,000 pound GVWR, ability to carry class IV materials (4′ x 8′ plywood sheets), significant COTS content, meets 60% slope/40% side slope, traverses 14″ step, 22″ fording depth (without fording kit), 12 inches of ground clearance, 9 inches of suspension travel, common military controls, meets J2194 ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) requirements. Do a search on youtube for “6 x 6 wall climb” and follow the Weissmann link for several other videos of the LASSO vehicle test-grinding through the mud and the (3) rock crawl courses at “The Mounds” off-road park in Genesee County, Michigan.

Better check your stats. I designed the LASSO Vehicle to fit inside the Osprey.
From the Department of the Navy V-22 Transportability document: “The clear cabin width of the V-22 is 68.0 inches with the seats in the stowed position. THE MINIMUM CLEARANCE REQUIRED BETWEEN EACH SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT AND THE VEHICLE IS 4.0 INCHES. THIS REQUIRES A VEHICLE TO HAVE NO WIDTH DIMENSIONS IN EXCESS OF 60 INCHES. So there! :oP

They never should of gotten rid of the 1/4ton M151 A2 MUTT ! They could of upgraded them to new standards. If they want one they can have mine for $15,000 which I own myself. thats a deal.….(-:


Lots of capability in this LASSO vehicle!

I don’t know about that back in 2004 when we didnt have much armor on the humvees/ even with armor hittin those IED’s was no joke there was nothing left of the vehicles so as far as jeeps go! Were are becomming indesposable! Sgt. Garcia 2007 2/2 mar div.


NOTE: Comments are limited to 2500 characters and spaces.

By commenting on this topic you agree to the terms and conditions of our User Agreement

AdChoices | Like us on , follow us on and join us on Google+
© 2015 Military Advantage
A Monster Company.