Coast Guard hovercraft

Canadian Coast Guard to modernize Hovercraft fleet

By Jose Canadas, 24 September 2023

According to a note released this week in Naval News (1), the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) plans to revamp its fleet of Air Cushion Vehicles (ACVs), commonly known as hovercraft. These crafts play a crucial role in supporting CCG's operations, from search and rescue (SAR) missions to icebreaking duties, particularly in the St. Lawrence River at the end of winter season.

The decision to modernize these specialized craft underscores their significance in maintaining safe and efficient navigation in Canada's waterways. This upgrade initiative aims not only to enhance their life span with fully modernized systems (e.g. lift and bow thruster system, electrical system, controls and communications) but will also explore the use of innovative power plant technologies to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Preserving these hovercraft is crucial not only for their immediate duties but also to safeguard expertise in their operation and maintenance. This specialized craft (and associated knowledge) could prove quite valuable for Arctic operations at some point. By keeping them operational and upgrading their systems, Canada may remain better prepared to address evolving conditions and challenges in the Arctic.


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