Last week, the U.S. Marine Corps showcased its Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) prototype during the Rim of the Pacific international maritime warfare exercises held biennially in Hawaii.
Military specialists and the media witnessed the launch of the UHAC prototype from the Navy’s amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore. The UHAC then cruised across the ocean at 5 mph and landed on the beaches of Oahu where the grounds for the Marine Corps Training Area Bellows are located.
The UHAC travels on tracks called “captured-air foam blocks” that help the UHAC carry troops, tanks, and trucks across land and sea. These custom-made tracks assume the shape of flippers when cruising in water and flatten when traveling on land.
(Image credit: CPL. Mathew J. Bragg/USMC)
Although the UHAC featured was only a prototype, the real version scheduled for service in the near future will be significantly larger. Also, the full-scale prototype will be able to travel up to 25 mph on water and scale sea walls that are 16 feet tall.
According to Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Perera, the Warfighting Lab’s Infantry Weapons Project officer, “The full-scale model should be able to carry at least three tanks and a HMMVW (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle).” Additionally, the full-sized production model will be fitted with a .50-caliber machine gun and armored plating.