Marine Corps to resume ACV waterborne operations

By Nick Wilson / September 23, 2022 at 12:34 PM

The Marine Corps authorized its Amphibious Combat Vehicles to resume operations in the open ocean after establishing guidance to improve safety during ACV training, the service announced Thursday.

Waterborne ACV operations were paused in July, after two ACVs capsized during a training exercise off the coast of California. The accident did not result in any injuries.

After this incident, the service performed an internal review of ACV practices and procedures, and updated its rules for surf conditions.

“The interim maximum surf conditions identified include a significant breaker height of 4 feet, which allows the ACV to operate safely while maintaining a high-state of readiness for the ACV community,” the release states.

“We remain steadfast to the safety of our Marines who conduct amphibious operations, and expect strict adherence to established standards that allows our ACVs to return to waterborne operations,” said Lt. Gen. David Furness, deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations, in a statement included in the release.

ACV waterborne operations were previously suspended in September 2021 due to an issue with the vehicle’s towing mechanism.

The ACV is expected to replace the Amphibious Assault Vehicle and outperformed the legacy system “across all mission profiles” during initial operational testing and evaluation in 2020.

AAVs were permanently banned from waterborne operations in December, but continued to operate on land. In 2020, eight Marines and one sailor were killed when an AAV sank during a training exercise.

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