The Aquatrack

The Glover Webb/GKN Defence/Alvis Aquatrack was an amphibious load carrier that sadly never entered service with UK forces but found limited export success with the Philippine Marines.

With a 5-8 tonne/40 passenger load its 4.3m x 2.6m load bed could also accommodate a small vehicle

Read more at the link

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.army-guide.com/eng/product2854.html”]

 

27 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
S O
S O
August 18, 2013 6:47 pm

It did once break down during a demonstration at a trade fair. I remember the photo of a Waran (German stretched M113) towing it.

Chris
Chris
August 18, 2013 7:30 pm

Last saw one parked up by the fence of what was I believe a scrapyard on the A26 in Newhaven, somewhere around 2000. Painted (badly) in some non-appropriate colour like canary yellow or lilac. Both wagon and scrapyard vanished in the years since; I suspect that was the end of that particular vehicle.

Mike W
August 18, 2013 8:39 pm

I think it must be the same vehicle that used to be in service at St. Michael’s Mount. The management there has for many decades used amphibians to re-supply the Mount (because of tides). They used to employ old Second World War DUKWs.

The Aquatrack was actually developed by a small engineering firm close to my home village (near Truro). I remember writing letters to the Royal Marines at Instow and Whale Island to try to get them interested but nothing came of it. It was displayed at Marchwood on one occasion. What a sad ending for one of the vehicles.

The present amphibian is a much larger vehicle, a real monster, manufactured by a British firm (hurrah!) (Plymouth/Redruth based, I seem to remember). The Royal Marines seemed much more interested this time but again nothing came of it. I did not work for either firm, by the way!

Chris
Chris
August 19, 2013 2:06 pm

MikeW – when you said the new St.Michael’s Mount amphibian is a monster, afraid I thought you might be exaggerating… you weren’t! http://www.geolocation.ws/v/W/File%3AAmphibious%20Ferry%20-%20geograph.org.uk%20-%201308923.jpg/-/en

Built by Sivad Maritime, which now goes by the name of Sealander Marine. Their website states it has a payload of 6t and room for a Landie or 40+ personnel. Doesn’t say whether it can go fast, nor how thick the armour plate is…
http://www.sealandermarine.com/seamaster.htm

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
August 19, 2013 2:24 pm
Mike W
August 19, 2013 2:45 pm

Chris

Yes, that’s it. The company was called Sivad Maritime. I was actually shown around the vehicle/vessel when it was being built at Penryn. It is very large and that is why I think I got a bit of a bite from the Royals. They were interested in its potential as a logistic/load carrying vehicle and I believe were going to come down to Marazion to have a ganders at it (combining it with a “jolly” perhaps). However, I think financial considerations got in the way.

Incidentally, sorry I didn’t reply to your long reply to me on the “FRES – Is it time to cancel?” thread. Just seem to be so busy nowadays. Am still waiting for a reply from Red Trousers concerning the CVR(T) family. I quoted its world sales at him. Perhaps he thinks that brilliant thread is now dead or is intimidated by the brilliance of my argument! Highly unlikely in RT’s case, I would say.

Chris
Chris
August 19, 2013 2:53 pm

I’ve driven past Pound’s Yard every now & then over 25-ish years. It used to be stuffed full of old armour from Ferrets & FV600 through to MBTs (I had heard the odd rumour that Harry Pound was not an easy fellow to deal with, a perception reinforced by the RN Museum who reported that they had tried to rescue an 1880s gunboat from his yard, but when the museum failed to agree a price Harry sent a bulldozer over and beat the old gunboat to worthless scrap.) Now its quite sad, when last I looked there were only the two fat amphibians there, and the ship-breaking part of the site on the other side of the motorway had almost no work in either. Nowhere near as busy as it used to be.

x
x
August 19, 2013 3:08 pm

Chris
Chris
August 19, 2013 3:21 pm

MikeW – no worries, I wasn’t aware I was owed a response. In the ‘Work Yet To Come’ list TD states there will be another FRES post coming along shortly, so ample opportunities will arise to engage in full & frank discussions over the right sort of armour for UK forces. That being said, I re-read many of the comments and decided there was as much opinion & information there as you’d ever need…

Anyway. Back to DUKW lookalikes – it shows really how big the amphibian needs to be to be a useful transporter. As big as the Sivad/Sealander wheeled boat is, I suspect it would be too small (and slow?) to be a really effective military bit of kit. Comparing with LCU Mk10 its small-fry. Not altogether sure if a ship-to-shore transport has much value climbing up the beach on wheels or tracks either, despite USMC practice. Specifically if the machine is to be armoured there is a problem between mass & volume that means the thing would want to sink if the armour is as thick as is the modern fashion. Floatation screens work but require prep before & after swimming, just what you wouldn’t want to do if the beach was a hostile area. So maybe its just as well to use the LCU to deliver proper armour rather than using compromised armour that can float.

BMP and BTR series would swim with almost no prep, but they are light armour (CVR(T)ish) to retain natural buoyancy. It also explains the big cheese-wedged nose on BMP, mostly full of air to offset the forward biased CoG because the engine & transmission are at the front. The same long (empty) nose features on the USMC tracked amphibians for the same reason.

x
x
August 19, 2013 3:37 pm

@ Chris re Russian stuff

This is another vehicle that I forgot to mention in the FRES SV thread…….

Chris
Chris
August 19, 2013 3:52 pm

x – cool video. Sprut is a fine example of over-gunning in my view – fifty years back it would probably been described as a ‘tank destroyer’, as in a huge gun on a light chassis. In the case of the BMD hull, a very light chassis. Not entirely a rational choice of hull/gun from my perspective, but it takes all sorts I suppose.

Interesting to see the Russian point of view though.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
August 19, 2013 4:39 pm

Not just the Sovs, albeit not very succesful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M551_Sheridan

Mike W
August 19, 2013 6:14 pm

Chris

Thanks for the reply.

“Not altogether sure if a ship-to-shore transport has much value climbing up the beach on wheels or tracks either, despite USMC practice. Specifically if the machine is to be armoured there is a problem between mass & volume that means the thing would want to sink if the armour is as thick as is the modern fashion.”

I’d always thought in terms of the amphibian being used in the “second wave” as a re-supply vehicle. In the case of the UK, it could possibly operate from the “Bay” class LSD (A)s. I think the Australians, and possibly the Americans , still use the LARC vehicle, but may be hugely wrong over that.

as
as
August 19, 2013 6:26 pm

http://www.amphibiousvehicle.net/frame.html
lots of amphidians have been produced over the years the Russian have made loads

x
x
August 19, 2013 7:01 pm

The USMC AAV can move 4.5t which is about the same as a Merlin. Whether they are worth the space I am never sure. Stuff gets moved in pallet loads. I wonder about having 4 (or so) that can move light loads from the RFA or LPD to a position on shore without need for a transfer at the beach. Small miscellaneous stuff. Water borne taxi. Not sure.

I worked on a logistical trial for a large utility. Instead of teams returning to the depot for supplies and so stopping working, the idea was to have a number of lorries with basic stores “orbiting” the area to make deliveries. It worked well. But what eased the flow was the lorry we had for taking stores orders to teams. These were orders the teams had placed themselves but weren’t specific to the job at hand. Workwear, tools, consumables, etc. All packed in heavy yellow polythene bags. Unlike the stores lorries which had racks for stores this lorry was just an empty box. And a van we had to take instruments out to teams; for statutory reasons these had to be tightly controlled. These instrument and yellow bags runs though didn’t up all the week so they were available for other work. They were the slack in the system and we used them for all sorts. I wonder if these amphib vehicles could be used for a similar role. No need for a vehicle beach side. No need to book LC space. Same for helicopter hours. From forklift to amphib to point of need. Like I said I don’t know.

Chris
Chris
August 19, 2013 7:29 pm

Come to think of it TD, when it comes to swimming vehicles, surely you should have included this: http://photos.id.kcdn.kz/8e/top_1691905166a7b2b7c71.jpg

Fromafar
Fromafar
August 19, 2013 8:42 pm

Chris
Was that not part of the Seelowe preparations? It was the only existing picture of the probing intelligence raid in September of 1940, (a sort of Dieppe in reverse), that consisted of filling that vehicle with two Herman’s, or to use the NATO/BAOR code name “Boxheads”, and a fräulein of questionable morals from some street in Munich Reaper St or something. They came ashore somewhere between Hastings and Dover and proceeded to try to undermine defensive preparations by corrupting all service personnel. They failed rather dismally except in Brighton where they managed to fundamentally change the moral fibre of the town, the effects of which can be seen to this day!

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
August 19, 2013 11:05 pm

Terrawind, schmerrawind. This is what you want…

as
as
August 20, 2013 1:09 pm

The US still use the smallest ones going as far as modernising them to extend there life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LARC-V
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LARC-XV
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LARC-LX

Alex
Alex
August 20, 2013 2:16 pm
x
x
August 20, 2013 2:56 pm

@ NaB

House points to those who spotted the Gamma Goat in that clip.

as
as
August 22, 2013 9:55 am

Chris
Chris
August 22, 2013 10:54 am

as – impressive loading technique! Drive up the ramp as fast as possible – no careful left-a-bit-right-a-bit marshalling here. Looks like a river crossing machine though – I doubt it has good sea-legs. One of the design features of Aquatrack were the high sides that gave the machine a better chance in choppy waters.

Chris
Chris
August 22, 2013 11:03 am

Faster than the average amphibian:

Apologies the editor is removing URLs. More useful software.

Go look up FastTrack1 on YouTube…