March 1, 2009  

EFV embarrassment

To the Marine Corps, the latest service to perform miserably at managing a complex, multibillion dollar program. The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, or EFV, went back to the drawing board after program costs leapt from $8.4 billion to $13 billion, it failed a series of reliability tests, and major design flaws were discovered. But following a critical design review late last year, the Corps is determined to plow ahead with a program that many critics say was conceived in the 1990s and no longer is relevant to the threat. It will consume about a quarter of the Corps’ research and development budget through 2014, yet no one seems sure whether EFV ultimately will be worth the fiscal heartburn or just become another poster child for troubled military acquisition projects.