|The Marines need a new 'Gator. Or do they? The requirement that the rig be sea-worthy complicates things mightily, doesn't it?
How about a new LCT?
Give it an IFV-level of armor, maybe reactive too. Give it Active defense (trophy system)
Give it retractable hydrofoils if you want over-the-horizon, coming in at 25-30 knots
Give it a 70 ton capacity so it can bring in 2 Bradleys/New IFV or 1 M-1
Give it fold-down frontal hull/armor so the tank/IFV being transported can use it's weapons in the last 2000 meters in.
Give it a 3 foot draft max, so if/when it hits bottom the tracks are well within their capabilities.
Do you know why this will never happen? Because this helps to make the Marines obsolete. If an Army unit with a little extra training can drive their tanks and and M109s, and Strykers, and IFVs and MRAPS and up-armored Humvees right off the boat, the Marines lose a lot of their sexy, now don't they?
We ain't gonna do a large-scale landing against a contested beachhead ever again. We will JDAM and hell-fire the hell out of any heavy weapons capable of resisting. Landing will face small-arms, anti-tank missiles and IEDs at worst. PERIOD.
We still need some true amphibious assault capability, and we always will. The Expeditionary Battalion, with dedicated air, rotor, armor and artillery support is a work of art, but after the first 1000 yards have been seized they are just another, albeit elite, light infantry force.