RIMPAC 2014 is taking place between June 26 and August 01, 2014. The different exercises provide a good opportunity to test military equipment, which is still under development. For example the Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) were tested at the Marine Corps Training Area Bellows on Oahu, Hawaii by the United States Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) on July 11. The UHAC should finally lead to a giantic landing craft, which should be able to carry up to three M1A1 Abrams tanks, or 172 tonne of cargo. But it is not only a landing craft, actually it is an amphibious vehicle, which does not have to be parked at the coastline – this vehicle can just keep going.
The very early prototype – developed with help from Singapore – is about 34,5 tonne and about 13 m long. According to Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, Director of Futures Directorate, Commanding General, MCWL, and Vice Chief of Naval Research, a final design should be more than twice as big, with a bigger engine capable of traveling around 37 km/h (20 knots) and with an operational range of about 320 km. The question, how to armor the vehicle, has also to be adressed (Robert Beckhusen, “Marine Corps’ Monster Sea Taxi Paddles to Shore“, War is Boring, 14.07.2014).
Check out the short video made by Robert Beckhusen: