The US Marine Corps is purchasing additional Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) despite safety issues during training.
British defense firm BAE Systems has been awarded a $154-million contract to produce 30 more ACVs and provide fielding and maintenance support.
The ACV is an 8×8 platform designed to deploy Marines from ship to shore.
It can carry up to 16 military personnel and travel 65 miles (105 kilometers) per hour on paved roads or six knots (11 kilometers/6.9 miles per hour) in water.
The amphibious vehicle will replace the service’s legacy fleet of Amphibious Assault Vehicles.
The US Marines plan to purchase 632 ACVs but have ordered only 290 since last year.
“The ACV family of vehicles modernizes amphibious vehicle capability and is designed with built in growth capacity to help the US Marine Corps prepare for tomorrow’s challenges today,” BAE Systems vice president Garrett Lacaillade told Breaking Defense.
Earlier this year, the Marine Corps suspended waterborne operations of its ACVs after two were involved in a training accident at a base camp in Pendleton.
The vehicles reportedly rolled over in the surf after a mechanical malfunction.
No one was injured in the accident, and all crew members were immediately transported to shore.
The pause will reportedly allow for an investigation into the incident and ensure the “assault amphibian community can review best practices and procedures to remain capable, safe, and ready.”
The incident prompted the service to adjust the amphibious vehicles’ waterborne operations, ceasing activities involving surf zone transit to allow for additional testing and evaluation.
“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,” Lt. Gen. David H. Furness said.