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heavy amphibious transporters

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posted on Jul, 22 2005 @ 07:06 PM
What's the best way to transport heavy armoured units onto enemy shores?

Isn't there a use for a landing craft that could complete the better part of the journey above waterlevel and submerse when within range of coastal defenses? It could sneak up to the beach. submerse and rapidly unload the tanks. (the craft could also be armed to dispose of some nuisances found on the beach/further inland)

The tanks could be stored on deck. (NBC proof equals water proof right) the vehicle could land on shore and disembark any number of tanks.

It might be more useful to try something like this instead of waiting for ground troops to capture or build a landing strip to bring in the heavy armour.

any comments/suggestions?

posted on Jul, 23 2005 @ 07:10 AM

The most obvious way to go about it would be to seize a port as it’s very difficult to transfer heavy armour from ship to shore, and movement of such heavy equipment off shore would be dictated by the weather and sea-state. That is why forces such as the US Marine Corps is relatively light on MBTs and instead relies on lighter armoured vehicles during the initial landing.

The LHA class and LPD class of amphibious vessels are capable of landing small numbers of MBTs to the shore using air cushion landing craft, but the number of tanks would be very small. They usually deploy APCs and other lighter vehicles instead.

The only country that has a good sealift capability is the US Navy, they have ships like the Bob Hope class, that can transport a fairly large number of vehicles and supplies, I am not sure if these shops can offload equipment on beaches, but I would expect them to need a port to do so. I guess it would be possible for them offload equipment offshore using mexi-floats, but it would be slow work and such operations would need calm seas. These classes of ships have a roll-on roll-off capability.

As to the use of submergible landing craft; I don’t think that is very practable way to go about it as combustion engines don’t work very well under water. The tanks would also be very susceptible to corrosion. Using snorkels is impractable as the water density would knock them off if transported at anything above one or two knots.
Besides, I doubt you would find many tank crews willing to endure such conditions.

Also, most tanks use overpressure systems to keep biological and chemical contamination out of the crew compartment. I am not sure that tanks such as the Abrams and Challanger are designed to be able to ford rivers totally submerged, even using snorkels. I do know that the Leopard-1 and Leopard-2 (as can all modern tanks of Russian design) can do this, but I don’t think the capability is used much as it takes a long time to prepare the tanks for such operations. It’s easier to build bridges instead.
Also, tanks are limited to certain river/ocean bed conditions, it needs to be very compact if the tanks are to be able to operate and move effectively.

If tanks where to be offloaded totally submerged close to the beach, the traction of its tracks would practically be nil.
During WW2 the tanks used during the Dieppe raid (Churchill tanks) didn’t manage to get of the beach as the traction was too poor, the beach was mostly gravel. Rubber pads on the tracks help a bit, but not very much. Technology has obviously moved on since then so I may be underestimating the ability for modern tanks to move through the types of sand found on beaches.

During an amphibious operation, the invading forces will try to find a beach/coastline with compact seabed, but these beaches would be more heavily guarded and I would expect soldiers to be waiting for them with anti-tank missiles at the ready and artillery zeroed in. It would also be likely that such beaches would be mined.
Obviously if the coastline is very extensive it’s more likely that the invading force would not face any resistance, but air attacks on the beach used for the landings would be very likely, and if the attacking aircraft use cluster munitions with armour penetrating bomblets the armoured vehicles could be knocked out.

I am quite sure that the feasibility of a submersible landing craft has been thought about but has not been considered to be practicable.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the best way to invade a hostile nation from the sea is to capture a port as quickly as possible.

posted on Jul, 23 2005 @ 07:26 AM
LCACs (Landing Craft Air Cushion) are awesome and work
great....more of a hover-craft.

(scroll down a bit on the site)

[edit on 23/7/2005 by SportyMB]

posted on Jul, 23 2005 @ 04:52 PM
@ hoff

First of all I'm new here so after I posted my thread I didn't really how to change my tekst
so I left out a number of options...sorry about that.

What I wanted to know is: is there any real use for a craft like this? (intended to transport a large number of MBT's) let's presume it's to difficult to occupy a harbour/airfield inside enemy territory.
I don't know if over the horizon landing ships are/could also used for heavy mechanised units on a large scale, but if not there aren't a lot of options availeble.

The major problem would indeed be making the tanks waterproof.
The craft could could dive when entering enemy detecion range and surface when nearing the beach.
The (well trained) crew could exit the host craft and enter their vehicles in a short moment of time. Let's presume such an operation would take place under cover of darkness (a lot of other countries are very vulnerable at night due to the lack of state of the art equipment) When 10+ such craft would unload tanks/supporting infantry onto the beach (some distance from the beach presumable, so the grunts will still get wet feet) it would make a formidable strike force.

a craft that is submerged during the assault phase and is able to unload a large number of troops and armoured units onto an enemy coastline seems like a favorable option to me.
Perhaps better than the landing craft dock ships that unload their cargo some miles away....that still leaves the incoming craft vulnerable to incoming fire.

I don't really know what effect the seawater would have on MBT's??
You should indeed take the state of the landing zone into consideration...maybe military planners are smart enough to pic the right place?

thanks for the extenive reply!

PS "as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, the best way to invade a hostile nation from the sea is to capture a port as quickly as possible."

I definitely agree with that

posted on Jul, 23 2005 @ 04:59 PM

LCACs are indeed great and they do work, you're right about that.

They're somewhat vulnarable to enemy fire though. That's the main problem imo. I was really looking for a somewhat more stealthy aproach to the problem.

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