Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle maker General Dynamics has issued a statement on Defense Secretary Robert Gates' proposed termination of the program, making the argument that things are going well enough to continue -- and suggesting that the savings Gates expects won't materialize as such.
We understand the U.S. Department of Defense has decided to cancel the EFV program. This decision is disappointing, particularly now when prototype vehicles are performing exceptionally well in ongoing testing and the program is ready to deliver the capabilities that meet the U.S. Marine Corps’ requirements.
By cancelling the program the Defense Department is abandoning the $3.3 billion it has invested to date in developing the vehicle. Cost to terminate versus the cost to complete the development and the value associated with that course of action are essentially the same. With the cancellation comes the prospect of requiring additional new investments in another new program to meet the Marine’s requirements, where is the savings?
As to affordability, the Marines could purchase fewer vehicles and still capture the value of the investment made to date. Purchasing 200 vehicles – two Marine Expeditionary Brigades’ worth – would give the Marines the new capability and still save approximately $4.6 billion from the current estimated program cost.