Video of the US Marines amphibious tank at 29 knots
It probably doesn’t surpass the intelligence and desirability of James Bond’s Lotus Esprit, but the US Marines’ latest amphibious effort looks as though it would make the devilishly cunning spy jealous to the core – scroll down to see the video.
The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, or EFV, works with a similar principle to a jet-ski. As the half-tank, half-speedboat meets the waters’ edge the tracks ascend into its body and reinforced mechanical plates create a streamlined underbelly. With only one Marine at the helm the 2703hp engine propels the 34 tonne tank over the waves at an astounding speed of 29 knots, pumping through a quarter-of-a-million gallons of water every minute.
This new technology is a far cry from the EFV’s predecessor, the Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), which could only achieve a top speed of 7 knots despite being ten tonnes lighter. Even better, the old amphibian had to be dropped a mere 3 nautical-miles from the coast, whereas the new EFV can travel unaided on water for 25 nautical-miles. This is a vast development in ‘over the horizon’ tactics, meaning that the enemy has even less warning of their imminent peril.
Once back on land the massive power is transferred to the tank-tracks which can carry 17 gun-toting Marines to their destination at a speed of 45 mph; a good accomplishment for any standard tank. Even after the 25 mile run across water, the EFV can still manage a 200 mile journey on land before it needs refuelling.
But this machine isn’t just about speed and convergence, it can create a serious amount of devastation. The EFV is fitted with the classic rotating tank cannon, capable of accurately unloading 200 computer-guided, 30 mm rounds-a-minute, at a target up to 2000 metres away. If the ammo runs out, the Marines still have a 7.62mm machine gun to deal death to any unlucky foe.