Marines: The LCT Lives And Thrives

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August 16, 2015: The Moroccan Navy has ordered an LCT (landing craft tank) amphibious ship from a French shipyard. This is a modern version of the World War II era LCT a design that still has a lot of fans. The model the Moroccans ordered is 50 meters (162 feet) long, weighs 300 tons (DWT), has a cruising speed of 18 kilometers an hour and accommodations for 22 crew or passengers. Normally ships like this are designed to haul up to 200 tons of cargo (containers or vehicles) along coastal waters. The LCT can land or take on cargo from beaches as well as docks and piers. The Moroccan LCT will, in addition, have a reverse osmosis desalination system on deck and storage for 35 cubic meters (35,000 liters/8,400 gallons) of water. This will be useful as the Moroccan LCT will often operate along coastal deserts where water supplies are scarce. The Moroccans will receive their LCT in 2016.

The original World War II LCT design was a landing craft for vehicles designed to operate no more than 200 kilometers from base. These tended to be about 35-40 meters long, displace about 300 tons and had a bow ramp that could allow vehicles (3-4 tanks, or twice as many trucks and jeeps, or about 150 tons of cargo) to land on a beach. Most had a top speed of 18 kilometers an hour and a crew of 10-15 men.  About a thousand were built during World War II and some were converted to gunships (firing rockets.)

 

 


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