Marine Corps adjusts ACV waterborne guidance after training incident

By Nick Wilson / October 17, 2022 at 11:22 AM

The Marine Corps has adjusted operations guidance for its Amphibious Combat Vehicle, halting all water operations involving surf zone transit after a training accident last week.

According to a service press release, an ACV was performing routine training exercises near Camp Pendleton, CA, on Thursday evening, when a mechanical malfunction occurred and the vehicle tipped over in surf. Three crew members were unharmed.

The service announced an investigation into the incident and said it will maintain the suspension of ACV surf zone transit until it can perform additional data collection and analysis.

The suspension applies only to surf zone operations -- ACVs will continue operating on land and in the open ocean.

“We’re taking a deliberate and methodical approach to fielding this platform,” Lt. Gen. David Furness, deputy commandant for plans, policies, and operations, said in a statement included in the release. “This adjustment to current guidance ensures our Marines have the ability to safely train and maintain proficiency with the platform while we work to conduct additional testing.”

Earlier this year, all ACV waterborne operations were paused following a training incident in which two ACVs capsized. The Marine Corps resumed waterborne operations in September after establishing new safety guidance.

The ACV will replace the legacy Amphibious Assault Vehicle, which was permanently banned from waterborne operations in December, but continues to operate on land. In 2020, eight Marines and one sailor were killed when an AAV sank during a training exercise.

ACV maker BAE Systems is on pace to increase production from five to nine vehicles per month by FY-25. The Marine Corps is closely monitoring schedule risks that could delay production.

The Navy requested $536.6 million to procure 74 ACVs in its fiscal year 2023 budget, after acquiring 83 of the vehicles in FY-22.