Security concerns prevent the Marine Corp’s Amphibious Fighting Vehicle (ACV) from operating on the water.
In an article on Twitter, the Marine Corps announced that it was suspending “water operations after identifying a problem with the towing mechanism.” The Marine Corps is working to identify and resolve the root cause of the problem. “
An official marine corps declaration said the move was “over-cautious”. The Corps’ Twitter post also stated that “realistic training is an essential part of preparation, and the Marine Corps is committed to ensuring that Marines train under the safest possible conditions; this includes ensuring the functionality of vehicles and equipment.
In 2020, a fatal accident involving the Corps’ Vietnam-era amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) killed eight Marines and one sailor during a summer training exercise at sea. This is the incident. deadliest AAV in United States Marine Corps history and this is probably why the Corps takes The safety of amphibious combat vehicles so seriously.
After a training raid, the AAV reported taking on water en route to an amphibious transport dock. Soon after, the AAV sank with a total of fifteen Marines and one sailor on board. Seven Marines and one sailor failed to escape the vehicle after it sank, and the AAV was only 1,500 meters from shore.
Expeditionary combat vehicle
The Marine Corps received its new ACVs in 2020 and slowly began to phase out the AAV, which by 2020 had been in service for almost half a century. However, the road to commissioning an AAV replacement has been strewn with pitfalls.
An old replacement for the AAV called the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) attempted to combine all of the Corps’ desires on one platform: The EFV sported a powerful 30mm cannon and was incredibly fast on water thanks to a Retractable bow flap which gave the outboard EFV -like speeds. In addition, two water jets at the rear of the EFV propelled the vehicle through the water and retractable flaps covered the traces of the EFV in the water, giving it a very smooth underwater profile.
Despite high hopes and high performance on land or at sea, the EFV was plagued by reliability issues and failures were frequent. Additionally, the Marine Corps’ focus on post 9/11 ground warfare, coupled with the balloon cost of the program, ultimately led the Corps to discontinue the program.
Although in USMC service, the new VCA is far from perfect. A Marine Corps assessment called for several modifications to the vehicle, including a modified Troop Commander’s station to facilitate vehicle entry, improved vehicle recovery capabilities if the ACV needs support, and better protection for the suspension and steering of the vehicle against debris encountered on the battlefield, concertina wire in particular. So even though the ACV is already in service, the Corps still has work to do on the vehicle to ensure efficiency and safety on the battlefield.
Caleb Larson is a multimedia journalist and defense writer with National interest. He lives in Berlin and covers the intersection of conflict, security and technology, focusing on US foreign policy, European security and German society.