Thursday, August 30, 2012

Launching AAVs from LCACs at Sea.

Sea launch of the mechanized raid force from LCACs.

A concept you might not have heard of but is part of "LCAC Doctrine" and is even part of the manual on the employment of LCACs.  I've never seen it actually employed but according to the book, the operation can only be performed in sea state 1 and there is much talk about safety considerations.  I totally get that but what has me intrigued is the idea of extending the range of our AAVs without having the expense of the EFV's hydroplaning.

With all the experimentation that's going on (or supposedly going on) you would think that the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch along with the Navy LCAC crews at Pendleton could come up with some innovative procedures that could let us make best use of this concept.

The manual states that the LCAC is to come off cushion, remove tie downs, lower stern ramp, get underway at a speed of approx 3 knots and launch the AAV's.

Why can we add some type of cushioning to the interior sides of the LCAC to protect it from a vehicle that might get jostled around...use wheel chocks instead of tie downs and (this is perhaps the hardest part do you launch an AAV from an LCAC without coming off cushion?) launch the vehicles at speed.

Whatever the AVTB and the LCAC crews come up with will be a big improvement over what we have now.  It should allow us to have over the horizon reach with our amphibious vehicles and not just helicopters and perhaps most of all, it'll give us another option to present to the Combatant Commanders.

Oh and did I mention that the LCAC manual also talks about launching small boat raids at sea using a similar technique?

I'm becoming more and more convinced that our LCACs can be a massive force multiplier if we would only get a bit creative.

MCRP 3-31.1A Employment of Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC)

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