The Pursuit of High Water Speed
Because HWS capability is still a very important capability, USMC, in collaboration with ONR, will continue research into the “art of the possible” regarding amphibious platforms and possible alternative landing craft. HWS, either as an independent amphibious vehicle and/or a connector-based capability, is the single most significant improvement necessary to enable the rapid build-up of combat power ashore.
ACV 2.0 serves as a conceptual placeholder for a future Decision Point (~ 2025, or sooner) at which time knowledge gained in the fielding and employment of the first phase of ACV (1.1 and 1.2), the state of the naval connector strategy, and S&T work towards a HWS capable self-deploying vehicle will support an informed decision.
The ACV 2.0 Decision Point preserves DoN/Marine Corps decision space, supports a sequential modernization approach, and provides for an affordable, phased modernization of legacy capability to enable extended range littoral maneuver.
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) will serve as the S&T lead for all ACV 2.0 and Connector activities. ONR is evaluating ongoing S&T investments to address Marine Corps’ ACV 2.0 capability gaps, to include ACV Program Office R&D initiatives. ONR will evaluate research opportunities across the Naval S&T Enterprise related to three strategies: enhancements to legacy platforms that enable them to achieve higher water speed, new platform concepts for HWS amphibians, and future connectors to transport lower water speed platforms at high speed. ONR is forming an Integrated Product Team (IPT) to coordinate HWS S&T initiatives and identify specific investment areas.