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History of Landing Craft

 December 18, 2019

Landing craft or often being called LCT (Landing craft tank) is a small or medium seagoing vessel. Most of the time people includes boats, barges, and other small medium vessel as a landing craft. This type of vessel is mainly used to carry infantry and/ or vehicle to the shore during an amphibious assault. Due to its purpose, the production of landing craft was peaked during world war II era and mostly produced by United Kingdom and United States.

A landing craft is a suitable vessel for battle because it is design to berth almost anywhere near the shore. An LCT was designed with a low water draft level with flat bottom structure which allows the vessel to sail very near to the shore. Furthermore, landing craft bow design is not just a normal bow but in the form of lowerable ramp or usually being called ramp door. Having that kind of feature helps the vessel to reach the shore and make a way for the infantry of the vessel to move in and out the vessel easily. However, having this design makes a landing craft very hard to control in the rough sea.

Based on its function, landing craft has many types in the war era. There are several types of landing craft, starting with a landing craft assault (Hedgegrow), landing craft flak, landing craft gun, landing craft rocket, landing craft support, and inflatable landing craft. Each type has its own uniqueness based on its purpose. For example, landing craft flak was equipped with a anti-air craft gun to give anti-aircraft support to the landing, landing craft assault (hedgegrow) was equipped with spigot mortars to be fired onto the beach to clear all the mines or other obstructions, and other the other types of landing craft with its own purpose.

Right now, the war period has ended thus making a landing craft having a functional shift. Nowadays, a landing craft mostly used to transfer almost anything because its design that has a big deck space with high capacity. This changes was initiated by British that use a landing craft to transfer their supply, including a heavy equipment, vehicle, and construction material. The vessel itself is used in all beaches where the LCT can sail very near the shore and reach the shore with its ramp door.

Today, most of the developing archipelago countries has many landing craft to help them create a smooth logistics distribution. Developing countries do not have a good infrastructure in every places or every island, furthermore, there are many islands have a shallow water draft level which makes a merchant ship such as bulk carrier, cannot sail to that location. However, a landing craft tank can cater all of those areas since it has a flat bottom structure with shallow draft level. Not only that, the lowerable ramp also help the vessel and act as a bridge to connect the vessel and the shore. Hacing this functional shift, more and more landing craft being modified to suit their purpose even more such as passenger room modification, sidewalk to make the passenger easier to reach the passenger area, double ended lowerable ramp to create a ferry or RORO, and many others.

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