back to article Royal Marines' semi-hovership prototype launched

A prototype high-speed landing craft - using a novel British design halfway between a catamaran and a hovercraft - has been launched. The "PACSCAT" (Partial Air Cushion Supported CATamaran) design is intended for service with the Royal Marines. The prototype PACSCAT hover-cat debuts. Credit:QinetiQ Per Mare Per Terram - …


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  1. Captain TickTock


    ..." leaving its amphibious ships - ... - safely over the horizon out at sea."

    So these "amphibious" ships never actually land...?

  2. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD

    I would like to know...

    Are yous seriously thinking of fielding the capability of making large amphibious assault type operations where kit like this will really make a big difference to the outcome (versus kit what you already have)?

    This is an honest question.

  3. phoenix

    @Captain TickTock

    The sentance is a bit missleading. The ships mentioned are amphibious vehicle cariers that have a rear opening wet hull area to deploy the landing craft. Anyone know otherwise please correct me.

  4. Ivan Headache

    Not a new idea.

    The Denny D1 and D2 sidewall hovercraft first used this idea in 1963 (or thereabouts). Unfortunately it came to nought as the company went into liquidation shortly afterwards.

  5. Dave Bell

    Using landing craft

    I'm sure there are people who would like this vessel to be a little bit bigger--it sounds marginal for carrying an MBT. But if the amphibious transports are the limit, so be it. Just remember to build the next ones with the space.

    I suspect that these will mostly be used for more humanitatian work. Being able to pick up refugees off of a beach, rather than depending on a port that would be an objective for both sides in a civil war, is a big advantage. And perhaps the same for landing relief supplies, though they can never replace aircraft for speed.

    In the end, this is military transport equipment, and the features which make it good for the military will have a lot of other uses in a world of floods and rising sea levels.

  6. Anonymous Coward


    This looks like a positive article by Lewis Page. Honest, I can't spot negativity or sarcasm in the article. No criticism of the MOD, government ?

    Perhaps it's because it a Royal Navy piece and not an RAF article. I don't know.

  7. Trygve Henriksen

    Well, I guess it may be new tech for landing craft...

    Otherwise, it looks 'rather similar' to the Norwegian Skjold(Shield) class missile fast patrol boat.

    And yes, the tech works as the thing can do more than 55Knots.

  8. Daniel Wilkie

    @Dave Bell

    I don't think the MBT capability would be so much of an issue for the Booties - unless things have changed a lot recently they don't have any organic armour support, they're principly light infantry and operate as such, with just light troop carriers (such as the aforementioned Viking) - they're similar in role to the Parachute Regiment, only they principally deploy from the sea rather than the air.

    Note to any ex-booties reading, I didn't say you were the same as the Paras, just filled a similar role so please don't beat me :p

  9. TeeCee Gold badge

    Why didn't they use Soldiers?

    "Tests................carried out using models in tanks..."

    Kate Moss was quoted as saying: "It was great fun to drive and I only scraped a bit of the paint off getting it onto the Landing craft"......

  10. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    I'd prefer one of these myself

  11. /\/\j17


    PAC SCAT - when Pacman gets dirty on Mrs Pacman?

  12. b 3

    what about ekranoplans?

    beach assault is FAR faster with an ekranoplan..

  13. Graham Marsden

    How about...

    ...the Fast Track Amphibian?

    I'd love one of these if they didn't cost about $250,000 at the moment :-(

  14. Stu 6

    Re: Bootnote

    "For American readers: 'Commando' in the British forces doesn't imply special-operations-forces status any more."

    I also suspect it has nothing to do with whether or not they are wearing "skivvies".

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Commando <!> "Special Forces"

    Since ALL Royal Marine Commandos can do all the jobs (allegedly) performed by the American Special Forces, and even the average British squaddie has to be capable of doing most - if not all - the tasks assigned to American "highly-trained" troops (ie the US Army's Rangers), I guess you could say that the term "Commando" is no longer an indication of fightin' men trained to a greater degree than their fellows.

    Of course, if the Labour government hadn't ripped the heart out of our Armed Forces (or perhaps Armed FARCES will become more apt, if Labour carry on with the current rate of cuts...) and they still had enough people and equipment to actually do the tasks assigned to them by pencil-necked REMFs sitting in nice cosy offices without having to push themselves and their kit well beyond designed usage then maybe we would still have enough Regiments to have "special forces" units in addition to the standard line units.

    Isn't it strange how the Labour Party in opposition castigasted the Tories "Options for Change" defence cuts as being too harsh - but as soon as they got into power they went and cut the budget down even further, and still have to keep cutting regiments, fleets and squadrons but still cannot balance the books...

  16. Adrian Esdaile
    Thumb Up

    My hovercraft is full of eels.

    I've waited years for the chance to say that.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    Up The Royals

    Just to inform the uninformed the Royal Marines have the longest training of any infantry infantry based soldier in the world, nine months of blood sweat and tears. At the end those who have not dropped out then have earned their green beret. We also have our own special forces, Special Boat Service which is the elete unite and only takes the best of the best.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Covert operations

    The favourite marines assault craft is the RIB, especially for covert or surprise attack operations which is the marines prime task. The last time I saw a commercial sidewall hovercraft it might have been fast but it was anything but quiet, spray was also highly visible. So now we are downgrading commando operations capability?

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