Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle: Cold-War Dinosaur
or Techno Revolution for the 21st Century?

July 11, 2001

Comment: #417

Separately Attached Files:

Fig 1: AAAV Schematics for Water and Land Movement (162 KB .pdf)
Fig 2: AAAV Pictures on Land and in High Speed Water Mode (84 KB .pdf)
Fig 3: AAAV Technical Specifications (12 KB .pdf)
Fig 4: AAAV Program Schedule (1 Feb 2001) (357 KB .pdf)
Fig 5: Operational Maneuver From the Sea and Maneuver Warfare (3 Slides - 19 KB .pdf))


The Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle, or AAAV, is one of the top development priorities in the Marine Corps. The leadership of the Marine Corps insists it is an absolutely necessary building block in a triad of amphibious capabilities needed to fight 21st Century war. The other two capabilities in this triad are the air cushioned landing craft (LCAC - Landing Craft Air Cushion) and the problem plagued V-22 Tilt Rotor Osprey. Of the three, only the LCAC has been deployed, and it was deployed during the Cold War as part of the modernization program that included the V-22 and early concepts of AAAV.

Each of these building blocks represents a huge jump in complexity, maintenance burden, and cost over the platform it replaced or will replace. Some lower-ranking marine officers and defense analysts believe the AAAV (and perhaps the entire concept of the amphibious triad) is a high-cost holdover from the Cold War and will be ill suited for the emerging requirements of Fourth Generation War.

My aim in this comment is to provide you with one of those dissenting views. Lt Colonel XXX, the author of the attached essay, believes the AAAV is not in the best interest of his beloved Corps.

Lt Colonel XXX has experience in infantry and armor. He loves the Marines and the military. He is also a student of military history and is one of that vanishing breed of American officers who believes the study of military history should lie at the core of an officer's education and professional development.

LTC XXX must remain anonymous. Unfortunately there is no free market of ideas in the vindictive atmosphere of Versailles on the Potomac.

Figures 1-5 are Adobe Acrobat PDF files that will assist you in understanding the following discussion.


Before introducing you to LTC XXX, it is perhaps appropriate to take a quick tour of the AAAV program and its goals, because it is one of the Defense Department's lesser known technological leaps into the unknown.

The Defense Department just announced the award of a $712 million contract to General Dynamics Corp. to develop, build, and demonstrate a new amphibious assault vehicle for the Marine Corps. This contract will run through September of 2006. But this is only another down payment in an ongoing $8.5 billion program (RDT&E + procurement), which will not enter full rate production until Fiscal Year 2008, assuming it proceeds on schedule, which is highly unlikely, in my opinion. The Marines want to buy 1,013 AAAVs at an average unit procurement cost of $6.9 million (including the effects of predicted inflation, whatever that may be).

Here (and in Fig 4) is a Marine Corps slide portraying the AAAV's program schedule as predicted on February 1, 2000:

The Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) would be an amphibious tracked vehicle operated by a three-man crew. Its primary mission would be carry up to 17 Marines into battle from Navy ships as far as 25 miles offshore at high speed. It would replace the AAV7A1 assault vehicle introduced in 1972 and upgraded a decade ago.

The Marines want to develop two variants AAAV:

1. The personnel variant - 935 AAAV(P)s. Each will transport 17 combat-equipped Marines and a three-man crew in an over-the-horizon amphibious assault. Once ashore, it will provide ground transportation, protection, and direct fire support for the infantry. The AAAV will also be armed with a 30 mm cannon and a 7.62 mm machine gun. 2. The command and control variant - 78 AAAV(C)s. Each will carry a commander and staff. This variant will serve as a tactical echelon command post

The AAAV will be very heavy, about 37 tons, but it will be very fast in the water as well as on land. Designers want it travel in excess of 20 knots in 3-foot significant wave height water conditions and at 43 miles per hour over land.

In layman's terms, these speed goals require designers to combine the incompatible attributes of a hydroplaning speedboat with a very heavy lightly armored vehicle. The natural result is a machine of Rube Goldberg complexity and is the main reason why AAAV costs so much.

These design goals, for example, require a propulsion kluge combining water jets for thrust to power its movement through the water, like a jet-powered ski boat, with conventional tractor treads to power its movement over land, like a tank. Moreover, high-speed water movement requires a relatively flat hydroplaning hull, like a ski boat, but this hull must be moved out of the way so the caterpillar treads can be used for land movement. The only way to do this is with hinged plates that can be folded back on to the vehicle when not in use during land movement. In both cases, operations in one mode, carries the dead weight and volume of equipment needed for the other mode of operation (e.g., water jets and folding hulls have no use on land). The high power requirements require a large engine, which also leaves less room for payload.

Fig 1 shows the result - it is a schematic of the AAAV concept - note the hinged flaps, the movable bow plane, and the water jets:


Fig 2 shows what AAAV looks like on land and in the water at high speed (note how calm the water is!! - LTC XXX explains why):

For you techno-geeks, Fig 3 is the Marine Corps data sheet listing a variety of design features and specifications. Additional information describing AAAV can be found at the following url:

The Marines assert that the AAAV will leap-frog the capabilities of the current AAV7A1. Its advantages include (1) over three times the water speed of the current AAV; (2) nearly twice the armor protection of the current AAV; (3) the ability to defeat future threat light armored vehicles; (4) land mobility equal to or greater than the M1A1 tank; (5) effective command and control with subordinate, adjacent, and higher units; and (6) Nuclear - Biological - Chemical protection for both the crew and embarked personnel. With this background in mind, let us now proceed to LTC XXX's analysis of the AAAV and its employment concept.

The New Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle Is it really a step in the right direction?


Though largely eclipsed by the controversy surrounding the troubled V-22 Osprey, the latest Marine Corps amphibian tractor, the Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAAV) has developed to a stage where it also presents some vexing questions about its future effectiveness. The AAAV will replace the current AAV-7 (formerly known as the Landing Vehicle Tracked or LVT-7) an aluminum-hulled vehicle adopted in 1972, shortly after the Marine Corps' withdrawal from Vietnam.

The new AAAV is supposed to do more than address the shortcomings of the AAV-7; it will also offer brand new capabilities. Improvements include a large increase in water speed for ship to shore movement, coupled with a sufficient increase in firepower and armor protection to enable it to operate on land as an infantry fighting vehicle (IFV). However, as details about the new AAAV emerge, it is becoming clear that these enhancements will be very costly and will require a sacrifice of some of the troop and cargo capacity that should have been the AAV's true raison d'être.

Thus, it may be wise to take a more critical look at the AAAV in terms of the Marine Corps' probable future missions, and determine if it really represents genuine progress.

Before beginning our discussion, however, we ought to be clear on a few key definitions: First, the existing AAV-7 is a lightly armored vehicle designed to carry a reinforced rifle squad. Once it swims ashore, the AAV-7 assumes the role of an armored personnel carrier (APC). In other words, it acts as a "battle taxi" with a strictly defensive armament (though this has recently been enhanced). The general tactical the idea behind the AAV-7 is to carry its troops to a debarkation point (screened from direct enemy fire and/or observation, if possible). At the debarkation point, the troops dismount and fight on foot. An APC is not designed to engage an enemy in direct combat, nor can its armor withstand hits by anything heavier than small arms fire or artillery fragmentation.

The AAAV, on the other hand, seeks to extend the conventional combination armored amphibian/APC concept of the AAV-7 to that of an armored amphibian/infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) concept.

This is a very big change.

The IFV concept as understood by the US military actually originated with the Soviet Army's BMP. The Soviets designed the BMP to support their theoretical strategy for fighting a ground war on a tactical nuclear battlefield. (Some might argue that the IFV lineage began with West German HS-30 and its replacement, the Marder While they predate the BMP and are considered to be IFVs, they were designed to meet very different doctrinal concepts. See Endnote [1]) The Soviet BMP was a special type of APC. It was designed to keep troops alive as they invaded Western Europe across terrain that had been bombarded by tactical nuclear weapons.

During the Second World War, the Soviets would typically begin one of their offensives with a massive conventional artillery bombardment. This bombardment would blow holes in the enemy's line, through which Soviet armor and its accompanying infantry would penetrate with the aim of exploiting their success through with an operational-level maneuver deep in the enemy's rear area.

Post World War II Soviet planners theorized that they could substitute tactical nuclear strikes for the artillery barrage in an offensive against NATO ground forces in Germany.

Fortunately, all nuclear warfighting remains an unproven theory. Soviet theoreticians recognized that their infantry would have to wear protective clothing to protect themselves from the radiation that would inevitably result from nuclear strikes. They also realized that this clothing would greatly reduce their effectiveness.

So, faced with this problem, they tried to figure out another way to skin the cat. The Soviets identified a requirement for a special vehicle to safely carry their infantry through nuclear contaminated zones. The BMP was the result. It "solved" the problem of contamination with an overpressure system that would expel radioactive contaminants from the interior of the vehicle as long as all the hatches remained closed.

The BMP also carried a heavy armament based on the theory that its heavy firepower could suppress surviving pockets of enemy resistance in the contaminated zone without having to dismount its own troops and thereby contaminating its own interior. Once a BMP passed through the contaminated zone, its troops could dismount and fight normally.

The BMP lacked heavy armor since few enemy heavy weapons would be likely to survive the nuclear strike. Lighter armor (though somewhat more than what an APC carries) would reduce the BMP's weight and cost and enhance its mobility, thus enabling it to be made amphibious, among other things.

Bear in mind, no one has ever fought on a nuclear battlefield and this is all theory. No one knows if the Soviet ideas would have worked as intended. Von Moltke the elder liked to point out that "no plan survives contact." The story of the BMP is no exception.

While the nuclear scenario never materialized, BMPs were nevertheless used in combat against enemies that had not been subjected to nuclear, biological, or chemical (NBC) attack, or even to massed artillery fire. Since they were not well armored, like the tanks they accompanied, BMPs predictably suffered severely from enemy direct fire weapons in both Second and Third Generation conflicts like the Arab-Israeli Wars, and in Fourth Generation conflicts, such as those in Chechnya and Afghanistan.

Ironically, the United States Army chose to build its own "answer" to the BMP "threat," largely because it did not like the idea of fielding armored troop carriers that lacked the armament of their Soviet counterparts. This "reasoning by mirror image," which had nothing to do with fighting on a nuclear or any other battlefield and everything to do with "one upmanship," eventually produced the M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV).

Though heavily armed as an antitank missile carrier and "BMP killer," the Bradley lacked the Nuclear-Biological-Chemical overpressure system that had been the real raison d'être of the BMP. Moreover, the unbalanced emphasis on making the Bradley a fighting vehicle led its designers to sacrifice about half its troop capacity to enhance its firepower. In effect, the designers degraded ability to perform its primary mission as an infantry carrier in favor of secondary missions better performed by tanks, antitank vehicles, and attack helicopters.

Notwithstanding the trade off in favor of firepower, the original M2 Bradley was no more survivable than either the early BMPs or the older APCs, like the M113. Though it actually had thicker armor than the M113, the ammunition it carried for its own weapons, especially the highly volatile antitank missiles and cannon shells, made it a rolling death trap. When Air Force Col James Burton's live fire testing program exposed the Bradley's extreme vulnerability to shaped charges fired from hand held rockets, such as the ubiquitous RPG-7, the Bradley's designers were forced to make corrective changes such as rearrangements of fuel and ammunition stowage, and the addition of appliqué armor.

To be sure, the "Burton Modifications" saved a good many lives in Desert Storm, but the fact remains that the Bradley is still highly vulnerable to direct fire and precision guided anti-armor weapons, not to mention mines. Like the BMP, the Bradley's weak armor makes it dangerous to employ its mostly direct fire weapons, at least without employing new tactics, which the Army has shown great reluctance to develop.

The AAAV, as currently conceived, will share similar weaknesses, though its vulnerability to secondary explosions will somewhat reduced because, as of now, it will not carry missiles internally. Its armament will consist of a 30mm cannon (firing the same ammunition as the GAU-8 "Gatling gun" used by the A-10 close support aircraft) and a co-axial machine gun. The 30mm round will provide greater "BMP killing" power than the Bradley's M242 25mm "chain gun." Nevertheless, one can argue that the AAV-7's "40-50" turret, with its 40mm MK-19 grenade launcher and its .50-caliber M2 machine gun would provide its Marines with better fire support after they dismount.

The Marine Corps has also specified a level of protection for the AAAV that may not be realistic for a vehicle that must also be able to float and move through the water at high speed. Basic protection on the hull side and front is supposed to stop 14.5mm armor piercing bullets at 300 meters' range or greater and 155mm fragmentation at 50 feet or better. The vehicle is supposed to provide "99%" protection to its crew and passengers from mines, though these mines are probably just the kind designed to immobilize a vehicle by breaking a track or a road-wheel.

It might be achievable to protect against 14.5mm armor piercing bullets with the frontal armor, but realistic live fire tests, patterned after the Burton tests, would be needed to confirm the level of side armor protection. In any case, whatever protection levels are actually achieved, the bulky and high-sided AAAV will be easy to see and shoot at Š and will provide little or no protection against any RPG, antitank missile, or tank that might be used against it.

Like the Bradley, the AAAV's additional armor and firepower will come at the expense of its primary mission: carrying troops and/or cargo.

The current AAV-7 can carry 10,000 pounds of cargo or up to 25 combat-equipped troops if a temporary centerline bench is erected in the troop compartment. The centerline bench is seldom used, however, so real troop seating capacity falls to about 17 to 20. Nevertheless, there is still much extra space for packs, weapons, ammunition, etc.

The AAAV can only carry about 5,000 pounds of cargo, and it is supposed to be able to carry a "landing party" of 17 - but it will be very crowded, with the senior landing party member seated in the forward compartment with his own hatch and observation cupola. The engine compartment is in the central section of the vehicle, between the senior party member and his troops in the back, but there is enough width for a narrow passageway on either side of the engine. Each of these passageways can theoretically accommodate three infantrymen on collapsible seats. The main troop and cargo compartment is in the rear, where up to 10 men can sit on two facing rows of five seats each. The troops riding in an AAAV (unlike those in an AAV-7) will have no extra space. In fact, they will not even be able to wear their packs and will need at least ten to fifteen minutes to stow them. Crew served weapons and their ammunition, radios, and/or other bulky items can be carried only if seating is reduced.

Under current Marine Corps doctrine, an AAV battalion is supposed to be able to lift the assault elements of an infantry regiment. Since it is unlikely that number of AAAV's in any future AAV battalion will probably not exceed the current number AAV-s, the restricted troop space in each AAAV will cause a sharp decline in the number of Marine infantry units that can be mechanized.

The cramped and convoluted troop accommodations in the AAAV will have at least two deleterious effects: (1) more AAAV's will be required to carry a given number of troops (and that could have a force structure impact), and (2) ingress/egress times for the troops will be substantially increased. This could slow down the pace of ground operations and increase the vulnerability of debarking troops. Testing at The Basic School and elsewhere has shown that it is possible to evacuate an AAV-7 in ten seconds but the same operation for an AAAV takes 20-25. This is especially unfortunate because the AAAV is designed to operate much closer to the enemy than the AAV-7. Slow debarkation rates can result in excessive casualties during an ambush, or if the vehicle is sinking, or on fire.

The one feature that really makes the AAAV unique, however, is its ability to travel in high water speed (HWS) mode. Most amphibious armored vehicles travel in the water in a "low water speed" (LWS) mode. In LWS the vehicle is mostly submerged and is propelled by its tracks (or water jets, as in the case of the AAV-7). Though it can survive surf and fairly rough water and can climb over a wide variety of obstacles, the AAV-7 in LWS mode can achieve no more than the five or six knot speeds reached by John Roebling's original "Alligator," which he demonstrated it to the Marine Corps in 1940.

The AAAV is designed to hydroplane at 20-25 knots in the HWS, though it can also swim in LWS mode, if conditions are unfavorable for HWS. The Marine Corps specification is that the AAAV be able to use HWS when mean wave heights are three feet or less, but that has not been fully demonstrated. In fact, as of last year, testing showed that even a less than fully loaded prototype could reach HWS only if mean wave height conditions were limited to one to two feet.

The announced purpose of this very expensive and technically risky capability is to enable the AAAV to support a new Navy-Marine Corps doctrine known as "Operational Maneuver From The Sea" (OMFTS).

[Spinney's Note: OMFTS is still a theoretical concept. It is way of thinking that links amphibious warfare to the ideas of maneuver warfare, particularly multiple thrust infiltration tactics. Fig 5 is a 3 page Adobe Acrobat file introducing OMFTS and its relation to the ideas of maneuver warfare. The idea of OMFTS itself is independent of technology, but obviously certain technologies might enhance its application, once we understand how it works. Therefore, although it is an exciting concept, OMFTS still needs to be tested and understood thoroughly using existing equipment, before it is adopted and used to shape technological developments. The amphibious triad is a purely technical solution that was defined during the Cold War before OFMTS was conceived. But many Marines now say the triad is necessary to implement OMFTS. This is a logical mistake, because they are not sure how OMFTS will work in the real world. The ideas of OMFTS can exploit many different technologies (in fact, the Germans tried an early version of these ideas underpinning OMFTS in the Baltic Sea during World War I). The bottom line is that OMFTS (if realistic testing shows it can be made to work) should shape technologies like the AAAV not vice versa. LTC XXX in the following paragraphs is alluding to the perverse effects of pre-conceived ideas about technology shaping doctrinal thinking, putting the cart before the horse, which is a process known in the Pentagon as Incestuous Amplification.]

OMFTS is really a marriage of the "vertical assault" doctrine developed by the Hogaboom Board in the late 1950s and the idea of multiple thrust penetration infiltration tactics in a ship to objective maneuver that bypasses (or reduces) the normal buildup on the beach. The Hogaboom Board called for the use of helicopters to land the first assault waves behind a landing beach so as to take the enemy's defenses from the rear and to allow the landing ships to remain out of sight and dispersed enough so as not to present a worthwhile target for a nuclear strike. Once the beaches were secure, supplies and reinforcements could come ashore in subsequent surface landings, which could be dispersed among several beach areas so that the amphibious task force could continue to minimize its target profile.

Techno-promoters of OMFTS take this technical solution even further, calling for longer ranged aircraft, fires from long ranged ship-borne missiles and artillery, and unconventional landing craft that could head for shore while the ships that launched were still "over the horizon" (OTH), or well out of sight of land. In an OTH surface landing, a formation of AAAV's could, at least in theory, be launched from as far as 50 miles offshore but, using HWS, could reach land within two or three hours and immediately start moving inland.

Of course this scenario puts heavy demands on the landing force, and it needs to be carefully tested under the most realistic free play conditions. In the case of the AAAV's technical influence on OMFTS, for example, it assumes the weather or sea conditions will not change enough to force a switch to LWS. It assumes the landing force can navigate over long distances with no mishaps, like going off course (even if GPS is infallible, people aren't) or having to switch to LWS. This techno-solution to OMFTS assumes that nothing will turn a two-hour trip into a 15 to 20-hour trip.

Within this context, it is well also to remember that amphibious armored vehicles are not boats. They are not designed to remain afloat for more than a few hours at a time. That is because it is usually impossible or impractical to make them truly watertight. All armored vehicles have suspension systems and other cracks and seams that will leak. Waves breaking over the hull will force water through even closed hatch covers. Such leakage is not a serious problem as long as there is a working bilge pump. However, bilge pumps need power and when an armored amphibian runs out of fuel not only does it stop moving it starts sinking. Thus, if an AAAV stays on the water for longer than its fuel reserves last, its crew and passengers will probably be reaching for their "Mae Wests."

Moreover, the cramped conditions and poor ventilation of the AAAV could easily make the troops seasick and vulnerable to disorientation. A flotilla of waterborne AAAV's could not carry any trucks, tanks, or artillery with it. If it carried enough ammunition, fuel, and water for even a very brief operation it would not have a lot of space available for troops. Indeed, in a true OTH landing (which would have to start at least 20 miles offshore) even if nothing went wrong the AAAV's would use up a third to a half of their internal fuel supply just getting to the beach. Though the AAAV's could deploy lots of BMP-killing 30mm guns, they would have no light mortars, howitzers, or grenade launchers for engaging enemy infantry in foxholes or buildings. Neither would they have any anti-tank weapons, except what their infantry brought with them.

Given the AAAV's high profile and light armor, an AAAV-based landing force would be very brittle in mounted combat but probably could not carry enough troops to be effective in dismounted action. Despite such problems, such a force might still be able to execute a raid (although the Marine Corps has executed very few raids in its history and most of those occurred in World War II), but it would lack the troop/cargo capacity needed to perform even a non-combatant evacuation operation (NEO).

The bottom line is that HWS may be technically exciting, but it is hard to imagine a lot of future combat situations in which it would be useful.

One could argue that air power can provide all the supporting firepower and observation capabilities the AAAV force would need. Airpower might also be able replenish its supplies and evacuate its casualties. Nevertheless, air power is highly weather and maintenance dependent. It is also subject to redeployment to other missions at a moment's notice. Furthermore, the effectiveness of airpower against tactical targets has been grossly overrated. Experience in Desert Storm and Kosovo showed decisively that fixed wing aviation's ability to effectively attack deployed enemy ground units is practically nil. Jet aircraft are mainly effective against fixed targets whose exact location is already known. Attack helicopters suffer from very limited ranges, short "loiter" times, and vulnerability to air defenses, especially shoulder-fired missiles.

Naturally, HWS can also serve merely as a means of getting AAAV's ashore without using other ship-to-shore vehicles. This is perfectly sensible but in most cases, LWS would probably work just as well. Eliminating HWS might permit the incorporation of other features that are more useful to troops entering a combat zone.

All in all, the AAAV reminds one of the old saw about the camel being "a horse designed by a committee." Its DNA goes back to the vulnerable BMP and the now irrelevant theory of the nuclear battlefield. It combines the flawed firepower/protection concept of the Bradley with the ungainly hippopotamus-like body of the AAV-7 that it hopes to transform into giving it the speed of a porpoise.

All in all, a more practical and conservative design, giving priority to the AAV's primary function as a tactical troop/cargo carrier, would serve our Marines much better.

Endnote [1]

Explanatory Note to the AAAV Paper concerning the West German HS-30 and Marder Infantry Fighting Vehicles.

The West German HS-30 and Marder infantry fighting vehicles, both pre-date the BMP and are arguably the world's first IFV's. However, they were built for a different purpose and their designs reflected this.

The HS-30 was actually an improvised vehicle based on a hull originally designed as a self-propelled anti-aircraft gun. It had a relatively low silhouette and was well armored for an infantry carrier. It was armed with a 20mm gun and coaxial machine gun in a one-man turret. It could only carry a landing party of five or six who could only mount or dismount through roof hatches since the rear-mounted engine precluded a rear door.

The Marder was Germany's first purpose post-World War II infantry carrier. It was designed to support Leopard I tank, and used a similar hull and suspension system, though its engine was located in the front, so troops could exit through the rear. Neither it nor the HS-30 was intended primarily for the nuclear battlefield.

The Marder's armament was the same as that of the HS-30 and its armor was nearly the same as that of the Leopard tanks (for many years the Marders were the most heavily armored troop carriers in the world), with which it was designed to work closely. The Leopards themselves were relatively lightly armored because the West Germans deliberately sacrificed armor for a high power-to-weight ratio. The West German fighting concept stressed mobility and would use their Marders and Leopards to attack the shoulders of Soviet penetrations of the NATO front line. Unlike American and British tanks, the Leopard I's were never meant to slug it out "toe to toe" with the enemy. Speed and surprise would be their protection.

The original Marder's 20mm gun was not meant to be a BMP killer, though it could certainly serve in that role. Instead, it was a carry-over from tradition evolved during the latter part of World War II, where German Panzer Grenadiers made extensive use of 20mm guns as multi-purpose close support and anti-aircraft weapons.

A number of armies have come to the realization that infantry carriers designed to accompany tanks must not only be able to traverse the same terrain as tanks but must also be able to survive the same threats. In other words, they need to be armored to about the same level as tanks. In recent years both the Israelis and the Russians have produced special heavy armored personnel carriers based on converted tank chassis. Like the HS-30 they are improvisations that do not carry many troops and whose entry/exit arrangements are complicated by their rear-mounted engines. Nevertheless such vehicles are necessary for infantry that actually accompany tanks. Fortunately, the infantry riding in them need only provide scouts and close-in security for the tanks. This can be accomplished with only two to three soldiers per tank. Most infantry will conduct mainly infantry missions in a combined-arms sense that do not require them to be in close physical proximity to the tanks. They can dismount further away from the enemy and in better-protected positions. Their troop carriers (and they will not always require them) need not be so heavily armored nor should they require heavy firepower either.

------[End LTC XXX's Essay]-------------

Chuck Spinney

[Disclaimer: In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.]