LCAC gallery

The JEFF A prototype was designed by Aerojet General and carried 4 rotary propellers. This model was modified for operations in the Arctic, but was not chosen by the US Navy.
The Bell Aerospace JEFF B prototype was chosen by the US Navy and it can be seen the great resemblance with the final model or LCAC that entered service in the late 80s.
The LCACs can be operated by all US Navy vessels that have flooding decks. The first ship to incorporate them was the USS Germantown (LSD-42).
These hovercrafts can reach more than 70 km/h on the water at full load, which greatly decreases the time of dangerous navigation to the landing beaches.
The LCAC modernized variants can carry loads of more than 70 tons in overload conditions, which allows to transport any type of tank in service.
The craft assembles 4 engines to drive and operate the air cushion, and could continue in service with 2 damaged engines, which indicates its enormous efficiency.
With its huge payload, four LCAC could take to the beach a Marines battalion in one go, although without its heavy equipment. Even so, it is quite an achievement.
Currently, the LCAC fleet are finished their updating so that in 2020, fifty vehicles continue to serve in the US Navy for at least another 20 years.
In 1990 the estimated cost of an LCAC was around 24 million dollars, an amount more than estimable for a transport vehicle.
Japan is the only user apart from the US Navy to have it in service. In 1994, the American Government approved the construction of 6 units by Textron Marine & Land Systems for Japan.

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