Volume 4, Issue1
August 12, 2008


Welcome to the tenth issue of "Heavy Metal" -- the newsletter of the

Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles (VMMV). Our mission is our motto -- by working to restore armored fighting vehicles, artillery, small arms, uniforms, and accoutrements of the US military and other countries, we hope to share the legacy of the sacrifice and courage of our fighting men and women with future generations of Americans. Located in Northern Virginia, our collection has grown to over 90 vehicles, starting out with the first US tank, the M 1917 through such legendary US vehicles as the M4A1 and M4A3 Sherman , M3A1 and M5A1 Stuart , M24 Chaffee , M3A1 Half-track , M36 Jackson and M3 Lee along with a few vehicles you might not know existed -- such as a prototype of the Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) tank.

Get to know your VMMV staff & vehicles

In this section we will introduce you to the people and armor of the Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles. We will chat with the VMMV staff, so that you can get to know the people who "keep 'em running" and work so hard behind the scenes. And also provide a behind-the-scenes look into the history of individual vehicles in the VMMV collection. In this, our tenth newsletter, we look at one of the largest and newest vehicles in our collection-a prototype/test bed of General Dynamics Land System's Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV)

History of the EFV Program
The newest addition to the VMMV family checks in at 75,000 lbs combat loaded and measures nearly 35 feet long….talk about a healthy baby boy!!!! Except in this case the EFV can cruise across the water at the 25+ knots, as fast as it can move on land while carrying over a squad of fully equipped Marines.

The EFV program started in the late 1980s when the USMC recognized a need to conduct amphibious assaults from longer distances from the beach and at greater speed than ever before. The early 90's saw a variety of experiments to test various technologies and hull forms. Finally, in 1996, General Dynamics Land Systems was awarded the contract for development of a single AAAFV(P) prototype (back then the EFV was known as the Advanced Amphibious Assault Fighting Vehicle…..whew, I'm glad they shortened the name!!!)

The rollout ceremony for the AAAFV(P) occurred at Marine Corps Base, Quantico on 23 June 1999. It spent the next several years in test and evaluation, demonstrating a 30 knot over water speed and 44MPH land speed. The program then entered System Development, changed its name to EFV and continued rigorous hydrodynamic and weapons testing. The EFV is scheduled to enter Full Scale production in 2012 with 556 vehicles added to the fleet and will serve proudly with the Marine Corps for many decades into the future.

The EFV will come in two flavors-EFVC and EFVP. The former is the command variant and will have the same armor, ground and water mobility as the EFVP. The EFVC will serve as a tactical command post for the maneuver unit commanders at the battalion and regimental level. The EFVP will conduct the signature mission of the USMC since its inception….amphibious operations from over-the-horizon by transporting 17 combat equipped Marines into the battlespace. After disembarking its load of Devil Dogs, the EFVP can provide tracked firepower during the assault and maneuver phase of the battle.

Specifications of the EFV
Now, a few statistics to WOW you and give an idea of the capabilities of this massive armored beast:

Armament: 1 30xmm cannon with armor piercing and high explosive rounds, 7.62mm M240G coaxially mounted machine gun
Armor: Ceramic composite on an aluminum hull
Engine: MTU MT883 12 cylinder turbo charged engine developing nearly 2,700 horsepower
Height: 3.28 meters
Weight: 35,000 kg
Length: 9.33 meters
Width: 3.66 meters
Fuel: Multi-fuel, 400 gallon capacity
Bow Flap: To trim and push the water away from the front of the vehicle
Transom Flap: To allow for trim and buoyancy of the EFV
Chine Flaps: Designed to skim the surface of the water at high speed
Transmission: Allison, 3 forward gears and two reverse gears.
Suspension System: 7 Hydro-pneumatic road wheel suspension arms; 3 constant pressure and 4 regular roadwheels each side
EFVP Crew: Vehicle commander, Gunner, Driver, Troop commander for debarkation, command and control. 17 Fully loaded Marines
EFVC Crew and Staff: Vehicle commander, Assistant vehicle commander, Driver. 10 stations for Company, Battalion level or Regimental staff as needed

The History of our EFV Testbed at VMMV
Our EFV started life in the 1993-1995 timeframe when it was built by United Defense Limited Partnership as an Automotive Test Rig at which time it was given the designator CAL-1 (seen in white paint on the side of the vehicle in several of the photos). Beginning in March 1995, CAL-1 was tested at Aberdeen Proving Grounds (APG) to evaluate the suspension and land mobility characteristics of the AAAFV in competition with an alternate design submitted by General Dynamics. Separate test vehicles were built to determine the handling characteristics on water.

After the AAAFV/EFV contract was awarded to General Dynamics, CAL-1 continued work at APG and it moved down to Quantico Marine Corps Base where road wheel testing was done along with component durability evaluations. Even after several prototype EFV's were built and the testing focus shifted to them, the CAL-1 vehicle soldiered on like a good marine, testing in a reliable fashion and doubling its planned service life.

The Survivability Group at GDLS then took ownership of CAL-1, where it proved a valuable asset in field testing efforts around the country. CAL-1 performed quite well throughout the years in numerous test events conducted by the Survivability Group where its last field test was in the summer of 2005. After CAL-1 was found to be outdated for any remaining test objectives, GDLS made the decision to retire the vehicle. From retirement, CAL-1 was donated by GDLS to VMMV in July 2006.

VMMV would like to extend a sincere and hearty THANKS to Wayne Robinson, Doug Ferrenz and all the management team at General Dynamics that worked hard on making this donation happen. VMMV is proud to receive the EFV prototype and it will always have a place in our displays. SEMPER FI!!!

VMMV Acronym
The lexicon of armored vehicles is filling with a bewildering amount of acronyms. And at VMMV we have a few of our own. Here we will have the VMMV word of the day so you may better understand the conversations you might overhear at the museum.

PTO: No, not the Pacific Theater of Operations in WWII, but Power Take Off (PT0). If someone is talking about a PTO at VMMV it usually means a secondary driveshaft mounted somewhere on an engine to provide power for an auxiliary attachment. For example, one of our volunteers might be running the tractor and using the PTO to run a brush hog or large mowing attachment. The EFV discussed above also has a PTO attached to the transmission to provide thrust for its water jets.

Have a great Summer from all the staff and volunteers of VMMV!

Mike Panchyshyn-Editor