Wednesday, August 27, 2014

US Marines test new ship to shore vehicle

(US) The US Marines currently use hovercrafts to get their men and equipment ashore during any amphibious landing. This is something the US excels at, which they learnt the hard way during World War 2. However, the Marines don't stand still and are always looking at ways to improve their way of doing things. Which is why they are currently trailing this little machine which they would like to use to ferry stuff ashore from out at sea.

Welcome to the Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC). The prototype half-scale version, made of aluminum, measured in at 42 feet (13 metres) long, 26 feet (eight metres) wide and 17 feet (five metres) high.

The UHAC model consists of two tracks that are composed of dozens of air-filled foam blocks, which gives the vehicle the propulsion it needs for land and sea travel. In the water the tracks act as paddles but on land they are similar to a tank, letting it traverse across difficult terrain such as mud and sand.

They also barely leave an impression on the ground as they flatten out on impact with a hard surface; in a demonstration the huge vehicle moved over a tar road without leaving a mark.

The full-scale UHAC will be able to carry the equivalent of three M1A1 tanks, or cargo weighing up to 200 tons, at speeds of 25 miles (40 kilometres) per hour. It will ultimately be 84 feet (25 metres) long, 34 feet (10 metres) high and have a range of 200 miles (320 kilometres).