Textron Systems Surface Effect Cargo Amphibious Transport

Defense contractor Textron Systems is working on a new Surface Effect Ship for the US Marines and Navy called SECAT which is short for Surface Effect Cargo Amphibious Transport. As a Surface Effect Ship, it leverages the aerodynamic principle of ground effect to achieve high speeds and enhanced stability.

Textron Systems Surface Effect Cargo Amphibious Transport

For the uninitiated, a ground effect occurs when an air cushion is trapped between the hull of the vessel and the water’s surface, reducing drag significantly and allowing for greater efficiency and speed. Common ground vehicles include commonly seen hovercraft and above-water-surface like the Airfish Ground Effect Aircraft we saw recently.

But the SECAT is somewhat different. Yes, the technology is not new. It is how Textron Systems leverages the technology to develop a new kind of logistical vessel. It has a flexible bow and stern that can seal air between the two side hulls, allowing the watercraft almost out of the water.

This reduces drag and allows it to go fast. Given its nature as a transporter, the SECAT is very fast, capable of making 50 knots (93 km/h or 58 mph) while having a payload of up to 500 tons, and a range of 500 nm (926 kilometers or about 575 miles).

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As an SES, it has a shallow draft hull, allowing it to operate in waters as shallow as 1.2 meters or about 4 feet. Thanks to the air cushion it is mine-resistant, and it can execute beaching operations with ease. It does not use traditional anchoring which is cumbersome and unreliable, to say the least.

Textron Systems Surface Effect Cargo Amphibious Transport

Instead, it just comes off the cushion, settles on the bottom, and proceeds to extend the ramp. If needed, the watercraft’s water-jet propulsion can be used to maintain position on the shoreline. Like, who needs a developed shore, piers, or cranes for unloading? This thing is practically the dock itself.

SECAT is also a trusty RoRo too, allowing for rolling cargo to roll on and roll off—even letting rolling cargo from other vessels be transferred to it on high seas, and then delivering them to the shores.

In this latest render, the SECAT is shown to be equipped with a turret system gun. You can learn more about the Textron Systems Surface Effect Cargo Amphibious Transport HERE

Images: Textron Systems.

via New Atlas.