The U.S. Marine Corps will probably issue a request for proposals (RFP) for its amphibious combat vehicle (ACV) in early 2014, says Gen. James Amos, Corps commandant.

“That program is alive,” Amos said June 26 during a discussion roundtable with media.

The Marine Corps has secured and saved a “moderate amount” of money for early program development, he says.

The ACV is the proposed successor to the Marines Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) program that was halted because the vehicle, which takes Marines from ships to shore and also serves as a combat platform, proved too expensive.

“We’ve really been working this,” Amos says. The Corps has been trying to reach the right kind of trade-off between requirements and cost for the platform, which the service considers to be vital to its expeditionary nature.

“What do you really need,” Amos asks rhetorically. “We’re only going to get one bite at this apple. I don’t want to mess this up.”

The Marines, he notes, have been working with contractors to see which type of vehicle would meet requirements without proving too costly.

The Marines need something akin to a pickup truck, he says, not a high-end sport utility vehicle.

Cost is another concern for the joint light tactical vehicle (JLTV) program, Amos says.

“The JLTV is moving along,” Amos says. “I need them. I like them. But I keep telling people, keep the cost down or I’m not buying them.”