Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Gibbs Technologies will develop a family of High Speed Amphibious (HSA) vehicles designed specifically for military operations. The new vehicle will reduce the risk of marines and Special Forces units by dramatically reducing the sea-to-shore transition time. According to Rich Lockwood, Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensor’s vice president for Mission Systems, “HSA minimizes that risk, allowing forces to move safer and faster – and with capabilities that make it a powerful asset in a net-enabled force.”
The new vehicles will be based on Gibbs’ amphibious vehicle prototypes originally designed for the consumer market. Lockheed Martin and Gibbs will enhance these designs integrating expeditionary command and control capability, armor and weapons systems. Gibbs’ technology enables amphibians to travel at speeds over 45 mph on water and over 100 mph on land – and to transition from water-to-land or land-to-water in five seconds. These features provide a much needed capability for military littoral, riverine and special operations. The vehicles will have armor protection capability, they will be equipped with network ability to share and distribute information from onboard and remote sensors. The craft will be able to accommodate a variety of weapons systems, based on specific mission needs.
Gibbs and Lockheed Martin are developing three military concept vehicles, representing a scalable capability to meet various missions – the Amphibious Combat Craft — Expeditionary (ACC-E), a 20-foot amphibian capable 45 mph on the water and 80 mph on land; The Amphibious Combat Craft – Riverine (ACC-R) is a 35-foot amphibian capable of 40 mph on the water and 65 mph on land; and the Terraquad, capable of over 55 mph on the water and 50 mph on land.
Alan Gibbs founded Gibbs Technologies in New Zealand in 1996. Initial amphibian concept work was undertaken in 1997 and 1998 in Detroit. In 1999, excited by the technology, Neil Jenkins merged his business to form Gibbs Technologies UK, of which Gibbs Military Amphibian is a licensee. ”
HSAs are high performance craft on the water, and high performance vehicles on the ground and the transition between the two is seamless,” says Alan Gibbs, chairman of Gibbs Technologies. “These are true amphibians, combining the best of both worlds”. Gibbs’ commercial offerings, currently in prototype stage, include the Aquada, a three-person sports car, Humdinga, a four-wheel military vehicle, and Gibbs Quadski, an amphibious all terrain vehicle.