An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | July 14, 2014

The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab Showcases the UHAC During RIMPAC 2014

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Amanda R. Gray USS Rushmore Public Affairs

The Marine Corps Warfighting Lab sponsored an Advanced Warfighting Experiment, featuring a half-scale Ultra Heavy-lift Amphibious Connector (UHAC) prototype at the Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, July 11.

The UHAC is a track driven connector that can reach reasonable water speeds and access beach areas that Landing Craft Air Cushion's (LCAC) and Landing Craft Utilities cannot. The UHAC was originally created by Navatek and the project was funded and carried out by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

"It has taken a number of years of development to get to this point," said Dr. Frank Leban, program officer at ONR. "This is actually the third demonstration vehicle in this program. There has been a one-fifth scale model, then a one-quarter scale model and this is a half scale model, so we have been progressing. Every vehicle has incorporated more features and technology to help get us to the full scale. Over the past year the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab has gotten involved and they are looking at trying to put this technology in an operational context. They have been coming up with vignettes and scenarios on how the UHAC can be used."

The goal of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab was to assist with the development of the UHAC technology and feature the half-scale model during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise 2014.

"Showcasing the UHAC during RIMPAC is a big deal," said Dave George, project officer assigned to the Ground Combat Element Branch of the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab. "This is a great way to let people know that this new technology is being developed and this is a great way to show what it can do. Today went quite well. We had much better seas then we anticipated and we were still able to get onto the well deck of the USS Rushmore."

The model consists of two tracks that are made out of captured-air foam blocks, which gives the vehicle the propulsion it needs for land and sea travel. The UHAC is intended to be a heavy lift vehicle; the full scale UHAC will be able to carry three times more than an LCAC and can go over more obstacles including 10-foot-high sea walls.

"There was generally some degree of apprehension since it is a new and unfamiliar piece of equipment and how it would operate with the ship," said Cmdr. Thomas Stephens, commanding officer of amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47). "At the same time, there was an excitement about being in a position to assist in the development of something significant like UHAC. I saw that excitement and pride on board Rushmore a great deal today. It was awesome to see them so proud of what it is they do so well day in and day out. I'm very proud of my crew's support to the UHAC endeavor."

The UHAC departed Marine Corps Training Area the Bellows and made its way to the Rushmore, where it embarked the ship's well deck. It then picked up and transported an assault vehicle back to shore.

"Today's successful demonstration of the half-scale UHAC is the culmination of months of research and risk analysis," stated Capt. Clint Carroll, Commander, Amphibious Squadron 3. "Setting the right conditions in the well deck was critical to the safe execution of this proof of concept. The Sailors of Rushmore performed flawlessly and the data collected during this well deck evaluation provides important information for follow on studies and design improvements."

Twenty-two nations, more than 40 ships and submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in RIMPAC exercise from June 26 to Aug. 1, in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans. RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th exercise in the series that began in 1971.


Like Us
Follow Us



U.S. Forces Participate in Indian Navy-led Exercise MILAN
VISHAKAPATNAM, India (Feb. 18, 2024) First Lieutenant, LTJG Ezra Haddock, from San Diego, Calif., waves in forward tug while pulling into port in support of Exercise Milan 2024 onboard the forecastle of the arleigh-burke class guided missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG-97), Feb. 18, 2024. U.S. Navy photo by ENS Chloe VonderLinden.
Feb. 22, 2024 - U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) joined ships, aircraft and personnel from India and numerous other navies to begin Exercise MILAN 2024 in the Bay of Bengal, Feb. 19...

Rapid Tanto: 5th Anglico Implements Expeditionary Advance Base Operations Concepts
U.S. Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, conduct a patrol during a communications field exercise, Rapid Tanto, at Ie Shima, Okinawa, Japan, Feb. 6, 2024. The patrol allowed Marines to conduct communication training including 9-line casualty evacuation with field radios. 5th ANGLICO and 3rd Intelligence Battalion demonstrated proficiency in planning, coordination, and execution of dynamic targeting capable of supporting maritime campaigns in an increasingly contested Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. William Wallace)
Feb. 22, 2024 - Just under four nautical miles from Motobu Peninsula, Okinawa, Japan U.S. Marines with 5th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company, III Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, traveled from Camp Hansen to Ie Shima, a remote...

The United States, Nepal Launch Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise Shanti Prayas IV
Nepali soldiers participate in the opening ceremony of Exercise Shanti Prayas IV, a Multinational Peacekeeping Exercise, at the Nepali Army Headquarters on Feb. 20, 2024. Shanti Prayas IV is a multinational peacekeeping exercise sponsored by the Nepali Army and U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and is the latest in a series of exercises designed to support peacekeeping operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl John Hall)
Feb. 20, 2024 - With the Nepali Army Headquarters building as a backdrop, representatives from 19 nations stood before Nepali and U.S. dignitaries at the Army parade ground in Kathmandu, February 20, to celebrate the opening ceremony of the...

U.S., Japan and Australia Conduct Trilateral Exercise in Bay of Bengal
231117-N-FK754-870 BAY OF BENGAL (Feb. 17, 2024) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97), sails with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Takanami-class destroyer JS Sazanami (DD 113) and Royal Australian Navy Anzac-class frigate HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152) during trilateral operations in the Bay of Bengal, Feb. 17-18. U.S. 7th Fleet is the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, and routinely interacts and operates with allies and partners in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ismael Martinez)
Feb. 20, 2024 - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) conducted a trilateral exercise with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to strengthen interoperability and...

Department of Defense participating in Singapore Airshow 2024
Feb. 20, 2024 - The U.S. Department of Defense will participate in the Singapore Airshow 2024 with aerial demonstrations and static displays at Changi Exhibition Center, Republic of Singapore, Feb. 20-25...