Pressed by House lawmakers to name their ground vehicle priorities if U.S. defense spending becomes even tighter, the U.S. Marines are choosing the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

Brig. Gen. Daniel O’Donohue, director of capabilities development, told a House Armed Services subcommittee Nov. 16 that the ACV is the service’s No. 1 ground vehicle priority. The program was created after the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle was canceled.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), chairman of the subcommittee on tactical air and land forces, lamented that the full committee and Congress have to make difficult budget choices in the absence of a military strategy that takes into account a future of smaller defense budgets. “It appears we will not have a new military strategy until after the fact,” he said.

The witnesses explained to subcommittee members why the service is banking on JLTV instead of recapping Humvees. William Taylor, program executive officer for land systems, said the recap cost per vehicle is close to that of a new JLTV. It meets requirements better and does not have the Humvee’s weight and payload problem, he said.

If the Budget Control Act’s sequestration scenario is triggered, O’Donohue said, “all our judicious plans unhinge.” Taylor added that problems would spread through the acquisition process and it would be difficult to keep existing programs stable and on schedule.