Saturday, March 25, 2017
It's time to replace the other amphibious vehicle...time to replace the LARC!
It's past time to replace the other amphibious vehicle in the Navy/USMC arsenal. It's time to replace the LARC. This underappreciated hero of the fleet is used by SeaBees to perform many tasks. Additionally it's used to transport men/materiel ashore, act as a rescue boat and a general workhorse.
There really are only two off the shelf candidates and they'd have to be modified to fill the role if we don't want to contract out for new build, but improved versions of what we have now. The first is the Gibbs Humdinga below.
The advantage is obvious. High water speed due to the water jets and retractable wheels. The issues are obvious too. We'd need alot of them or we'd need to modify the design and make it bigger. I personally prefer that we buy alot (maybe 4 to do the job of the legacy LARC?) but that's for the bean counters.
The other option? Some will think I'm crazy (ok, let's be fair...crazier than they think I already am but let's go easy on that talk) but check out the pic below.
I can't find the pic but I saw Marines conducting exercises with allies and they were landed ashore in the above vehicle. What's it's name? The PTS4 Tracked Amphibious Vehicle. The advantage? Obvious. It's got a ton of lift! The disadvantage? It's freaking huge!
Pick your solution. New build and improved LARCs. Buy Gibbs Humdinga as is or design a larger model. Go with the PTS4 and purchase it from the Ukrainians or Poles (I think they use it). Either way the Gator Navy needs a new or new version of the LARC.