Meet the LACV-30. An unusual boat with a limited capability, limited service and proof positive that the Army should stay in its lane when it comes to ship to shore logistics. via FAS.
The LACV-30 was designed to carry 25 to 30 tons of containerized cargo in an over-the-shore logistics operation. Because an average container loaded with military materiel weighs approximately 18 to 20 tons, LEA reported that the LACV-30, whether self-loading or not, could safely carry only one randomly chosen container. The agency questioned whether such hauling capability was worth the severe penalties incurred. LACV-30 used five to seven times as much fuel required (per container loaded) as for conventional lighters. Extensive training was required for operators (100 hours), navigators (35 hours), and maintenance personnel. The LACV-30 faced high unit production costs, and high operation and support costs (the extent of which was not fully known).Go to FAS to read the entire article, but I find it interesting that the LARC-LX was a competitor and eventually "won" the battle. Quite honestly it sets up what should be battle lines today (once we get our financial house in shape...if we get it in shape) between the LCAC and an upgraded LCU or even a return to a supersize LARC.
An Army executive meeting to review the program was held on 15 January 1979 with decisions made to accept the LACV-30 as a standard Army item, begin procurement of production items, and conduct a follow-on evaluation test with the initial four craft produced. A program was conducted on the LACV-30 to test proposed improvements to the craft prior to production. A contract for initial procurement of four LACV-30's with options for follow-on buys of eight more craft, was awarded to Bell Aerospace Textron in September 1979.
In 1980 GAO recommended that the Army not commit procurement funds for the air cushioned lighterage vehicle (LACV-30). The Army had not done a cost and benefit analysis between the vehicle and an amphibious craft (LAX-LX) to determine if on-hand assets could meet amphibian watercraft requirements. GAO questioned the procurement because the Army did not know firm requirements and did not know the true performance of the air cushioned vehicle. A contractor charged with evaluating the joint tests also noted major concerns which created questions as to the air cushion vehicles' viability. Their report questioned load limitations less than the rated 30-ton capacity. Heaviest loads carried during the joint tests were between 22 and 23 short tons. Fuel consumption averaged 130 gallons per hour, which is about five times as much fuel as that required for conventional lighters. There were adverse effects of blowing sand, dust, and salt water on personnel and equipment.
Ship to shore logistics isn't fancy but it is important. Mobile Landing Platforms won't solve the problem. Only viable connectors will.