U.S. Marines and Sailors demonstrate amphibious landing capabilities with Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) and Assault Amphibious Vehicles at Camp Pendleton, California. The units are from 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Combat Logistics Regiment, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, and Beachmaster Unit -1.
image credit: navylive
The LCAC is a dramatic innovation in modern amphibious warfare technology. It provides the capability to launch amphibious assaults from points over the horizon (OTH) from up to 50 nautical miles offshore, thereby decreasing risk to ships and personnel and generating greater uncertainty in the enemy’s mind as to the location and timing of an assault, thereby maximizing its prospects of success.
image credit: AiirSource Military
The LCAC propulsion system makes it less susceptible to mines than other assault craft or vehicles. Due to its tremendous over-the-beach capability, the LCAC can access more than 80% of the world’s coastlines.
Previously, landing craft had a top speed of approximately eight knots and could cross only 17% of the world’s beach area.Assaults were made from one to two miles off-shore.Its high speed complements a joint assault with helicopters, so personnel and equipment can be unloaded beyond the beach in secure landing areas.
For 20 years, helicopters have provided the partial capability to launch OTH amphibious assaults. Now, with LCAC, landing craft complement helos in speed, tactical surprise and without exposing ships to enemy fire.